Vietnamese tree intoxicants/halucinogens

I have a co-worker from Vietnam, and his english isn’t great but he seemed to be telling me that in his village back home there used to be a tree that they would make some kind of drink that would make you either drunk or hallucinate (I’m not sure what he meant). When he pronounced the name of the tree it sounded like “Gao Jiao” to me, I of course don’t know what tones it was in.

The thing that REALLY makes me think he was pulling my leg about it was I tried to ask him more details about it recently, and of course he had no idea what I was talking about. :rolleyes:

Any ideas?

And here I was expecting to find out what hallucinogen to feed my tree, so it’ll start waving its branches around like the ones in the Wizard of Oz.

I’m reaching, but the Mreah Prew Phnom tree, which is mainly found in Cambodia, (close enough?) is harvested for Sassafras oil in order to make MDMA. No idea if it’s in any way psychoactive on it’s own though. Probably not, because that’s what they used to make root-beer with.

That’s really interesting, but I don’t think in his remote village they were refining the tree that much, I think he said it was the bark that they did something with. Is there wormwood in SE Asia?

My guess is Acacia, some varieties grow in Vietnam, not sure if the DMT containing varieties do.


Could it be Kratom?

I would bet that is it, but none of the names for Kratom sound anything like “gao jiao”, but maybe that’s just his rural village’s name for the plant, who knows. Thanks!