San Pedro Cactus Brew. Using Medicinal Plants to Take Charge of Your Own Healing

1 12 2016

Original posting can be found here at Keating Bodyworks


People commonly use San Pedro Cactus to confront a variety of ailments.  These ailments include approaching anxiety, depression, addiction, trauma, stress, in a different, communicative, and efficient way.  The medicine is used with intention setting to positively increase empathy, one’s connection to the world, one’s connection to oneself and others.  It is used to tap into one’s life meaning and fulfillment and purpose and allows one to process more efficiently whatever it is that is on the mind and also things that weren’t realized were on the mind.

San Pedro Brew

Notes: You need one big pot, serrated knife, small knife, smaller spoon, maybe pliers, strainer, large bowl, canning jars or grolsch jars, 4 lemons or limes based on how many cactus stalks you have


Step 1:

–take out spikes and cut end off if very dry and throw away.  Pliers work great for the spikes or just a little serrated knife, rubber gloves, canning or grolsche beer glasses (something that can be air tight closed and put in freezer).

Step 2:

–There are usually about 5-7 ridges on a cactus with their respective valleys between 2 ridges.  Cut down into the ridge and into the center of the cactus until you hit the center cortex.  Cut down into the ridge next to the one you just cut.  Both cuts into the ridge should either meet at the center cortex or come close.  Once two adjacent ridges are cut down into, then try to peel off those two ridges from the center cortex by pulling back on the valley.  If it doesn’t come off smoothly you may need to use the knife to aid in cutting it off from the center cortex while you pull back the valley.  Do this for all the valley and ridges.

–The goal of this step is to make sure the skins come off intact and the little bit of material under the skins.  You will be scrape it all off later so it’s okay if you do pull off some of the center cortex with the skins as this will be scrapped off later.  It is important for the skins to be intact

–Put the skins aside and if what you pull off from the center cortex is moist, or the center cortex itself is most, then throw it into the pot.  If it’s white, fibrous and super dry then no.  You want gummy, moist, slimy green stuff and not white, fibrous looking material.

Step 3:

–Take each skin and put it in front of you.  Face the skin down and take your small knife or spoon (I found a spoon to work much better) and scrape off the fibrous white center cortex from the skin.  If it’s white and fibrous throw it away.  If it’s moist, gummy, and snotty and green throw it in the pot.  Keep scraping away at the skins until the cactus skin is basically clear.  The stuff you want is what will be closest to the skin.  All that gummy, snotty, moist, slimy green stuff is what you want!  It’s ok if little bits of skin come off here and there with the stuff you want.  Do that with each skin and put contents into pot.  Throw the skins away after each one is scraped.

Step 4:

–Buy 4 lemons or limes to be squeezed in at any time before the first 15 min cook once the water is put in pot.  Use 4 fully squeezed lemons/limes per my 6 stalks which I obviously know what looked like but you don’t (this was about 3 to 4 doses).  Basically, 10 inches of one fat stalk is a good dose.  2 stalks of thin 6 inches is one good dose.

–Take the pot and fill it with cold water just so everything is covered in the pot (can be a little higher than the contents).  Wash off cutting board you used for scraping the skins into the pot.  Put on stove top between low and med heat to bring it to a slow simmer (don’t put on high to bring to simmer).  Once see bubbles in the pot set the timer for 15 minutes.  At this stage you don’t want the inside to bubble up like it does when cooking pasta or whatever.  That means it’s too hot and the lid needs to be taken off or heat turned down.

Step 5:

–After the first 15 min cook, drain contents into a shirt or an unbleached muslin cloth and let filter out into a strainer and into a bowl.  Squeeze out liquid from cloth until it almost doesn’t give out any more liquid.  Put contents back into pot and fill up with cold water again just above contents and not like the first time where it might have been a little higher.  You don’t need lemons/limes again.  Put back on stove and start 15 min timer again after when it starts to bubble and simmer on low to med heat.

Step 6:

–Drain second batch like how you did the first and squeeze liquids completely out this time.  Throw away shirt and cactus contents (or just wash shirt and feel how cool it would be to wear it again knowing you brewed san pedro with it!).  Pour into bottles.  You can store it in the fridge and it will be good for a week or in the freezer being good for 6 months.

–Ppl usually think the brew tastes much better if it is cold.

–6 oz of the brew is a low dose.  8 oz is normal dose. 10 oz higher dose.  This is for if the cactus was super dried out.  If it was more of a moist cactus then increase 2 to 3 oz for each dose.





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