Fifth Estate # 40, October 15-31, 1967

photo, Dr. Eugene Schoenfeld speaking at Community Arts Auditorium, May 28, 1969
Dr. Eugene Schoenfeld speaking at Community Arts Auditorium, May 28, 1969 at a benefit for Open City. Photo: Alan Gotkin.

QUESTION: Is it possible to get high on morning glory seeds? If so, is it dangerous?

ANSWER: Morning glory seeds contain ololiuqui which is basically lysergic acid monethlamide. Ingesting the seeds gives an LSD-like experience but there is also almost invariably a prolonged period of severe nausea and vomiting. A real bummer.

When the hallucinogenic properties of the previously pristine morning glory became known, legislation was considered which would have outlawed this new found menace. But the spectre arose of FDA agents swooping down on blue-haired LOLs puttering in their gardens. And word soon spread that morning glory seeds were a bad trip anyway.

Fortunately the public was spared the expense of putting yet another unenforceable law on the books. And law officials were also spared because when one law is freely and knowingly violated disrespect is created for all other laws. In the words of Spinosa:

“All laws which can be violated without doing anyone any injury are laughed at…He who tries to determine everything by law will foment crime rather than lessen it.”

QUESTION: Do laxatives have any real physical effect or are they just “mind” pills?

ANSWER: Although constipation may have its origin in psychic processes, laxatives act physically by stimulating the gastrointestinal tract, increasing the bulk of the stools or by causing them to be more “oily” and allowing these “ruins of meals” to pass more quickly out of the body and into the rest of the universe.

QUESTION: Are there any ways to get birth control pills besides having to go to a doctor to get the prescription?

ANSWER: No and for good reason. The doctor will take a medical history and do a gynecologic examination, including a Pap or cancer smear, to determine that there are no conditions which would be caused or made worse by taking birth control pills. You should see your own physician or you may be eligible for care at your local health department or Planned Parenthood office. Doctors aren’t so bad, some of my best friends…

QUESTION: Two years ago, I had a bad fall during my second month of pregnancy and had a miscarriage two weeks later. Was the fall the cause of this? Since then I have been unable to get pregant again. Is it true that after a miscarriage it is hard to get pregnant? Will I ever be able to have children? I am 20 years old.

ANSWER: Miscarriages are rarely caused by falls; usually the cause is unknown. A previous miscarriage will not, in itself, cause a decrease in fertility unless there has been also an infection involving the uterus, tubes or ovaries. You ought to consult a gynecologist to determine whether there is any physical condition preventing conception.

Dr. Schoenfeld welcomes your questions. Write to him c/o the FIFTH ESTATE.