Is it possible that the ancient Greeks knew about grass that contained DMT?
The genus Phalaris has an interesting niche in the world of visionary plants. For DMT extractors, it is simultaneously a “source of last resort” and the best hope of permanently winning the battle against prohibitionists who would thwart individuals from obtaining DMT. Perfecting the elusive “grass tek” – that is, finding a strain of P. arundinacea, P. aquatica, or P. brachystachys that produces a clean alkaloid profile and developing a simple and efficient method to purify these alkaloids – would effectively make it impossible for governments to stop people from obtaining DMT.
Prior to current efforts in developing a grass tek, the last time that Phalaris saw such a surge in popularity was the early 1990s, during the first few years of the Entheogen Review publication. At that time, people were trying to find viable local plants from which to brew ayahuasca analogues. In the years since, concerns have been raised about the possible toxicity of Phalaris brews (see Toxicity concerns below), and plants with higher concentrations of DMT have become widely available on the Internet.
So Phalaris has largely taken a backseat in the contemporary Entheogenic Revival. Many are aware of its visionary potential, but few actually take the effort to work with the plant. Perhaps sometime in the future it will have its day in the sun.
But all of this begs the question: might earlier cultures have also been familiar with the visionary potential of Phalaris grasses? After all, they are ubiquitous in many regions, and people have not always had the botanical offerings of the entire planet a few keystrokes away as we do now.