hist-brewing: ergot, water (not ergot water)

Richard Richard at WowMe.com
Tue Jan 18 23:08:00 PST 2000

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Hiram Berry" <burningb at burningbridges.com>

>  but a cereal grain of the genus
> Paspalum which grows wild in the Mediterranean area.  Researchers have found
> that the strain of ergot which grows on Paspalum contains only the
> psychoactive, non-peptide and relatively nonpoisonous lysergamide;  it would
> not have caused the serious somatic side effects of regular ergot
> infestation. Since ancient writers who underwent the Eleusinian rite don't
> report deleterious health side effects from the celebration, it seems like a
> fair explanation to me.
> The wine of that time often contained herbal additives.  Perhaps the bread
> contained intentionally added ergot of Paspalum, while the wine was mulled

What exactly is Paspalum?  Is it more like barley, wheat, or rye?  Are there a lot of different grains in this genus?  Are there a limited number that actually grow in the Mediterranean area?  If so, do you know which ones?

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