Variable adverse effects in subjects after ingestion of equal doses of Argyreia nervosa seeds

Forensic Sci Int. 2012 Jan 10;214(1-3):e6-8. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2011.06.025. Epub 2011 Jul 30.


As the new drug Spice hit the market in 2006 and was a hot topic in the media, the general issue of legal highs has been brought to the attention of a large number of (young) people. One of these so called legal highs are the seeds of Argyreia nervosa, also known as Hawaiian Baby Woodrose, which contains the psychotropic alkaloid lysergic acid amide (LSA). A study was designed to assess how driving ability is affected by Argyreia nervosa. However, the study could not be continued due to severe adverse effects in 3 of 4 subjects, such as cardiovascular dysregulation in two and a psychosis like state in one subject. All of the participants recovered completely within 9h after ingestion. Despite body normalized doses interindividually highly differing reactions in type and intensity were observed. Furthermore, fluctuating alkaloid contents in seeds and multi-drug intoxications make the use of this legal high far more dangerous than commonly believed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aphasia / chemically induced
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Fatigue / chemically induced
  • Female
  • Forensic Toxicology
  • Hallucinogens / administration & dosage
  • Hallucinogens / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Lysergic Acid Diethylamide / administration & dosage
  • Lysergic Acid Diethylamide / adverse effects
  • Lysergic Acid Diethylamide / analogs & derivatives*
  • Male
  • Nausea / chemically induced
  • Plants, Toxic / adverse effects*
  • Psychoses, Substance-Induced / etiology
  • Seeds
  • Tremor / chemically induced


  • Hallucinogens
  • lysergamide
  • Lysergic Acid Diethylamide