Morning Glory is a plant in the largest flowering genus Ipomoea. It belongs to the family Convolvulaceae.
Morning glory are often grown as ornamental plants due to its colorful flowers. Most unravel into full bloom in the early morning – hence it’s name ‘Morning Glory’.
The root of the morning glory is called ‘John the Conqueror’ in hoodoo. It was used in luck and sexual charms. The tubers are carried as amulets and rubbed to gain good luck in gambling or flirting.
Morning glory was used in folk medicine and herbalism due to its psychoactive compounds and alkaloids. The Aztecs and Zapotecs in shamanistic and priestlydivination rituals used morning glory as a poison to give the victim a horror trip. Morning glory has been used in modern medicine due to the laxative properties of its seeds.
Although Morning glory is a popular ornamental plant and used in medicine, it is a toxic plant as it contains many alkaloids. The seeds may cause hallucinations, neurological damage and severe diarrhoea. Ingestion of the seeds can be particular dangerous if the victim has a history of liver disorders. If accidental ingestion occurs medical attention must be sought as soon as possible!