Auxins Bioassay FAQ
Auxins Bioassay FAQ

Hosted by Shaman Australis Botanicals

Page Last Updated 8 November 2003

What is a bioassay?
Why should I read bioassays?
Why should I write bioassays?
How do I compose a bioassay?
Terminology that should be used in bioassays
Terminology that need not be used in non-clinical bioassays
The importance of sitters and emergency medical information cards
What is a bioassay?
In short a bioassay is a report detailing a persons experiences testing a specified quantity of a particular drug. It outlines the effects, and side effects experienced by the subject when testing a particular substance.
Why should I read bioassays?
Before venturing into a new drug experience it helps to know how to proceed and what effects to expect. By reading bioassays done by others you learn information that can prevent you from overdosing or proceeding improperly. In addition to dosage information reading several bioassays should give you a clear idea of the effects you could expect from the substance in question, it could be that while the generalized internet hype made the substance sound desirable peoples reports of the specific effects and their reaction to them might change your mind about proceeding with your exploration of the substance.
Why should I write bioassays?
Simply put writing and distributing bioassays detailing your experiences is an act of compassion. It gives you a chance to add your knowledge and experience to the global pool of public knowledge providing others with information valuable in their own journies. It gives others the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about how to proceed without putting their health in jeopardy, and it helps them decide if the substance in question is even something they would benefit from.
How do I compose a bioassay?
The two most important concepts in bioassay writing are accuracy and truthfullness. That isnt to say that bioassays should be long winded and filled with an excess of details, but rather that a good bioassay should clearly outline all relevant aspects of the experience. A bioassay should include all of the following information on 1) the material tested, 2) the subject, and 3) the effects:
1) The material
The identity of the material
in question must be stated, including the relative strength (5X, 10X, 20X, etc.) if dealing with an extract enhanced herb *, an extract, a tincture, etc. or the absolute strength (%, grams per 100ml, grams per liter, etc.) if dealing with a solution of a pure compound.
The quantity used must be stated. This information is best if reported in grams (for solids) or milliliters (for liquids or gasses), this form of measurement provides great accuracy and repeatability. If reporting in the metric scale is not possible due to a lack of a gram scale (for solids) or volumetric equiptment (for liquids and gasses) then you should use the most accurate method of measurement at your disposal. Saying 'I smoked one bowlfull' is not very accurate because the volume of pipe bowls varies, as does the density of your material when packed in a pipe. In the absence of a gram scale you could conceivably measure your doses in teaspoonfulls. Saying 'I smoked 3/8 tsp.' IS more accurate than saying 'I smoked one bowl'. Teaspoons, tablespoons, and cups can also be used to measure liquids. If dealing with gasses fill a small baloon with the amount you want to test, then get a measuring cup. Place the baloon in the measuring cup and fill the cup with water until the baloon is covered. Record the volume. Remove the baloon. Record the volume remaining in the measuring cup. Subtract the second volume from the first and you have the volume of the gass.
The source of the material is relevant. Some sources have better products than others and some sources even sell fake products. If the material your testing is legal its a good idea to state your source.

2) The subject (you)
Your weight
must be reported so people can figure out how much of the material would be one unit dose for their weight.
Your gender should be stated because it can sometimes be relevant in relation to a drugs effects/side-effects, as can...
Your race. It may not SOUND politically correct at first glance but some drugs can have different effects, side-effects, or dosage requirements depending on race (if you doubt me just look up the side-effects of primaquine on people of african and mediterranian ancestry to see a very well proven example of race being a factor in the occurance of side-effects).
Relevant pre-existing medical conditions should be noted. For instance if you are smoking something and you have a disease or disorder of the lungs at the time you should make note of it regardless if you had an adverse reaction or not (for example, this way you can tell people if smoking salvia splendens seriously aggrivated bronchitis or not). Any known history of psychological disorders must be counted amoung relevant pre-existing medical conditions.
Relevant pharmacological variables should be noted. For instance if you are taking any perscription medication, over the counter medication, or other drugs anywhere near the time the bioassay is done it should be noted.

Terminology that should be used in bioassays
Because you want your bioassays to be understandable to the common person, rather than just doctors, your terminology should be sufficient to clearly define the individual effects noted durring your bioassay but should be free of excessively complex medical terms. Some medical terms are well known to the majority of the population in the first world nations. It is good to be familiar with, and use such terms when applicable because they are well known and when used correctly they can be very accurate, but you shouldnt feel required to use any terms your not comfortable with- in that case just describe the effects as accuratly as you can. The following is a partial list of common medical terms and their definitions to assist you in reading and writing bioassays, it is good to know these terms because they come up often and are a nice compact way to state effects.
  • Anti-anxiety: Removes feelings of apprehension, uncertainty, and fear (the proper medical term is actually 'anxiolytic' but 'anti-anxiety' is much more well known, as such it is prefered).
  • Antidote: A drug that counteracts or neutralises a poison.
  • Anxiety: A feeling of apprehension, uncertainty, and fear.
  • Aphrodisiac: A drug that stimulates the sexual impulses or the reproductive organs.
  • Euphoriant: A drug that causes euphoria- a general sense of well-being.
  • Hallucinogenic: A drug that causes hallucinations- distortions in sense perceptions. These can be visual, auditory (hearing), gustatory (taste), olfactory (smelling), or tactile (feeling) distortions.
  • Lethargy: A feeling of drowsiness or tiredness.
  • Sedative: A drug that causes sedation- a general reduction in ones capacity for activity or excitement.
  • Stimulant: A drug that causes stimulation- a decrease in 'tiredness' or a notable increase in 'wakefulness' and ones ability for physical activity. It 'gives you energy'.

  • Terminology that need not be used in non-clinical bioassays
    I am including this sample of more advanced medical terms primarially as a resource for your reading of clinical reports. In the bioassays you write such terms should be avoided to maintain their usefulness for the masses.
  • Abortifacient: A drug that causes abortion.
  • Adaptogen: A drug that helps the body deal with stress.
  • Analgesic: A drug that eases pain.
  • Analgia: The absence of pain.
  • Anodyne: A drug that relieves pain.
  • Antiarthritic: A drug that relieves or heals arithitic conditions.
  • Anticoagulant: A drug that slows or prevents blood clotting.
  • Antineoplastic: A drug that inhibits or destroys tumors.
  • Antipyretic: A drug that prevents or reduces fever.
  • Antispasmodic: A drug that reduces or prevents excessive involuntary muscular contractions or spasms.
  • Antisudorific: A drug that stops or prevents sweating.
  • Antitussive: A drug that relieves or reduces coughing.
  • Anxiogenic: A drug that causes anxiety.
  • Anxiolytic: A drug that reduces anxiety.
  • Bronchodilator: A drug that increases diameter of pulmonary air passages.
  • Carcinogenic: A substance that causes cancer.
  • Cardioactive: A drug that acts on the heart.
  • Cardiotonic: A drug that has a beneficial action on the heart.
  • Carminative: A drug that releives flatulence.
  • Demulcent: A drug that is soothing and protective internally to irritated tissues.
  • Diaphoretic: A drug that produces perspiration and increases elimination through the skin.
  • Diuretic: A drug that causes increased urination.
  • Emetic: A drug that induces vomiting.
  • Emollient: A substance that softens, soothes and protects the skin
  • Emmenagogue: A drug that induces menstruation.
  • Expectorant: A drug that promotes removal of excess mucus from lungs and air passages.
  • Febrifuge: A drug that reduces fever.
  • Flatulence: Farting.
  • Hemostatic: A drug that reduces or stops bleeding.
  • Hypertensive: A drug that raises blood pressure.
  • Hypotensive: A drug that lowers blood pressure.
  • Hypnotic: A drug that induces sleep.
  • Nervine: A drug that tones and strengthens the nervous system.
  • Orexigenic: A drug that stimulates the appetite.
  • Parasiticide: A drug that destroys parasites.
  • Pectroal: A drug that strengthens and improves the function of respiratory tract.
  • Refrigerant: A drug that lowers body temperature and relieves thirst.
  • Soporific: A drug that promotes sleep.
  • Spasmolytic: A drug that counteracts or relieves convulsions or spasmodic pains.
  • Stomachic: A drug that relieves stomach pain.
  • Sudorific: A drug that induces sweating.
  • Teratogenic: A substance that causes mutation of reproductive cells.
  • Vasoconstrictor: A drug that causes contriction of blood vessels.
  • Vasodilator: A drug that causes dilation of blood vessels.
  • Vermifuge: A drug that expels worms or other intestinal parasites.

  • The importance of sitters and emergency medical information cards
    It is often important for the sake of saftey to have a sitter monitor your condition durring bioassays. Sitters are of paramount importance when you are trying a drug for the first time or when you are taking doses much larger than you are used to. Sitter selection must be done mindfully- it should be someone you can trust who you DO NOT find particularly annoying. If possible the sitter should have experience with drugs in the same class as the substance you are testing (hallucinogens, stimulants, sedatives, etc.) so they know first hand what general effects should be expected as well as ways to 'talk you down' if required. It is also very adventageous to have a sitter with knowledge of first aid including the basic resuscitation techniques such as CPR and emergency breathing.
    Emergency medical information cards:
    If things go particularly bad it may be required to summon the aid of emergency medical technicians (the ambulance) or go to the hospital. If such a situation arises they will need PROMP answers to medical questions, this is where your card comes in. Your emergency card should be complete enough to answer most of the EMT or doctors preliminary questions. Information that must be included is your name, your date of birth, your guardians name and contact info if you are underage, your next of kins name and phone number if you are an adult, the drug you took, how much you took, route of drug consumption (smoked, eaten, injected, etc.), any medications you are on, any medications you are allergic to, whether or not you have blood borne infectious diseases (hepatitis, HIV, etc.), your general practitioners (doctors) name, and any other relavent medical info.
    If the EMT has this card they will be better able to provide promp and correct treatment. Here is an example of a very basic emergency card for someone who chose to consume a high dose of extract enhanced Salvia divinorum:

    * NOTE: Relative strength of extract enhanced herbs is often misreported. Internet hype often says if you take the extract from 9 grams plant material and add it to 1 gram plant material the product is '10X'. This is a common practice but is incorrect, lets say your product from that operation weighed 1.25 grams- the correct relative strength would therefore be 8X. If the product weighed 2 grams the correct relative strength would be 5X. If your using extract enhanced herbs make a note of which calculation of relative strength was used, this information will help prevent accidental over/under doses because one persons 10X might be the same strength as another persons 5X due to differences in relative strength calculations. If your making extract enhanced herbs label them with the correct calculated relative strength whenever possible. Remember, we are going for ACCURACY.