Posts Tagged ‘Lebkuchen’

Cheer up with some gingerbread for Christmas

Monday, December 14th, 2009

pepperkake
The gingerbread cookies pictured are made with ginger, cloves and cinnamon. I didn’t use ammonium carbonate as a leavening agent for these, so no amphetamines were created “in furno” in this case. But I’m sure the cookies can cheer you up anyway!

A while ago I came across the article “Christmas gingerbread (Lebkuchen) and Christmas cheer–review of the potential role of mood elevating amphetamine-like compounds formed in vivo and in furno” (abstract from NCBI, free full text pdf download from publisher). The paper reviews a hypothesis proposed by Alexander Shulgin in a series of papers appearing in Nature in the 60’s. Shulgin noted that allylbenzenes and propenylbenzens found in many spices are “merely lacking ammonia to become amphetamines”. The author reviews the evidence that such substances may be converted in the body to psychoactive metabolites, but concludes that the evidence is equivocal at best. However, the author launches an alternative theory:
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