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Old-School Low-Tech Tek. w/ Pics

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wow..i'm gonna place an order of this one..it is a good deal imho expecially for what i pay for it :p lol nice post indeed! thank you
for all the cacti ive scraped with rocks in peru ive had limited success in comparison to a machete perpendicular to the cacti being scraped back and forth breaking the flexible spines

great post, interesting to hear of terscheckii use

a cactus practitioner in chavin de huantar added lots of toe, some red aya vine, "chacruna", copious amounts of coca
Sandtrout said:

I found this picture on google earth. I recognized a particular cactus. Awesome.

Wow! i noticed this tread today and saw the pictures..

I Was there!!!

Is in the Catamarca region... a very nice and sacred place of my country.

And for the date of the post, i think we bout visited the place in the same year.:p 😁

I remember the tour guide said "some people was here last night, a lot of purge"..:p


great contributions to photos!

i can't wait to see them in the rainy season in 2 weeks. I'm going directly to chavin via huaraz then possible cusco or tarapoto if you were going to be semi local
In Argentina we only have trichocereus terscheckii, and some pachanoi in the northest part of the country..

In Peru you have more species...
Nice necrobump!

So, I was wondering about the de-spining technique, since the video of it is now private:
I was fortunate enough to travel to the foothills of the Andes in Argentina to visit Trichocereus terscheckii with a contemporary "cactus practitioner." This cactus, he told me, was medicine for the heart. The ancient people, he said, would traverse the Andes solely on San Pedro and water.

His technique was beautifully simple. I am honored to share with you his technique and these pictures. Please treat this information with respect.

Here are some pictures to illustrate the process. Here is a link at the bottom to a video showing how he removed the spines:

We arrived before sunrise and left as the sun was setting. The whole day was spent tending to San Pedro.



Placing a small amount of tobacco and dirt to "facilitate healing" of the cactus.

The top of the arm used is grafted onto the base to allow continued growth.


The cut "arm" is ready for despining. The video above shows a genius method for despining. After the spines are removed, the core is removed and angular cuts are made parallel to the skin, cutting the white material away from the green material under the skin. The "ribs" are separated from each other and chopped to yield chunks with green flesh attached to the skin. These chunks often have the fluffy aereoles and the base of broken spines. These are included in the final product.


These chunks are then dried by fire. Further drying takes place either by a fire or in the sun. These chips are crushed by hand and then lightly boiled for 45 minutes to an hour to produce a mild, fresh and somewhat flowery tea with considerable potency. For best taste, the tea should be thoroughly dried, in which case they become brittle and the green taste dissipates to leave the true subtle flavor of this cactus.
Small amounts of ash and dirt are considered "good for the medicine." As the chunks dry, they often become mottled a with rust color.





Cact Eye Watch

Cheers to the Nexus.

That method for despining is indeed genius! I wonder if it works with smaller spines such as the ones from a pachanoi.
Fortunately, there's a bit of a hint how it might run, quoted here:
There is something about the rigidity and size of the terscheckii spines that make them especially susceptible to breaking with a rock. Smaller cacti and spines have allowed their spines to bend rather than break in my experiences so this ancient rock technique isn't as effective
Does anyone have any further insight to add regarding the de-spining method, or maybe even a copy of the video?

T. terscheckii is such a splendid plant, glad to have a couple in my collection 🥰🌵🍵💚
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