May be the key of the courage of the Zulu Warriors ?
Of course, the Zulu might never have vanquished the British at Isandlwana without the help of traditional Zulu medicines.
Some scholars have suggested that Zulu pharmacopoeia provided more of a psychological boost than any real physiological effect.
But recent scientific studies show that the medicines contained some very potent drugs.
For example, warriors were given a cannabis (marijuana)-based snuff to take during battle. Analysis of the snuff has revealed that it contained extremely high levels of THC, a powerful hallucinogen, and yet no detectable levels of the chemicals that cause the sedative effects of marijuana.
Also in the Zulu war medicine chest: the bulb of a flower in the Amaryllis family, called Boophane disticha, or the Bushman Poison Bulb.
Studies have shown that the bulb -- which was also used by southern Africans to help mummify bodies -- contains buphanidrine, an alkaloid, like codeine and morphine (although it is not related to them) with hallucinogenic and pain-killing properties.
According to botanist Ben-Erik van Wyk of Rand Afrikaans University in Johannesburg, South Africa, the dosage of buphanidrine necessary to reduce pain is very close to the toxic dose, "but in a very experienced traditional healer's hands it should be safe.
They usually assess the strength of a bulb by testing it on themselves."
In addition, warriors sometimes ingested a hallucinogenic mushroom containing a toxin called muscimol.
The chemical, present in fly agaric -- a mushroom that can attract and kill flies -- is said to induce a state of expanded perception in those who ingest it.
Warriors who consumed those mushrooms, researchers speculate, might have been utterly without fear, believing themselves impervious to British bullets.
Pascal the Rascal