Blog

Plant Medicine Amongst Different Cultures

psychedelic medicinePsychedelic substances were used long before people were tuning in and dropping out on LSD in the 70s, and people weren’t using them to get high. Before they were put in a negative light by the FDA, and deemed as dangerous as cocaine and heroin, psychedelics were derived from natural sources and considered sacred by the cultures that used them.

Plants that contain psychotropic properties have played a large role throughout many cultures over the course of thousands of years. It seems that man has used psychedelic substances from the earliest times, with accounts of their consumption spanning some 10,000 years through history.

From peyote and Ayahuasca to psilocybin and Ibogaine, plant medicine has played an integral part of both spiritual and mental healing for centuries…and done so throughout the world.

Ayahuasca

Native to the jungles of the Amazon, Ayahuasca is made from the vine of the Banisteriopsis caapi. Ayahuasca (which translates to “vine of the soul”) is made into a tea that’s used ceremonially for a diversity of different reasons. The primary psychoactive ingredient of this tea is a plant known as chacurna (Psychotria viridis), which contains high amounts of DMT.

Shamans use Ayahuasca to look deeply into someone’s spiritual nature to see what is causing their illness. When taken ceremonially, Ayahuasca helps people to overcome their deepest fears as well as conditions such as depression and addiction. It has become more and more popular amongst Western culture as people begin to look deeper into their own minds to find healing on deeply fundamental levels.

While no one knows just how long Ayahuasca has been used, it’s believed its use spans back more than 2,000 years. Its effects can range from mild to intense hallucinations and often invokes both vomiting and diarrhea. Because of this, it’s known as “la purga” because it purges the body of physical and psychological toxins. After taking Ayahuasca many people report feeling completely refreshed and renewed.

Ibogaine

Ibogaine’s roots are with the Bwiti of West Central Africa. Ibogaine has been used for thousands of years in both rites of passage ceremonies and as a powerful healing agent. To the Bwiti, Ibogaine is central to not only their religion, but to their daily lives and rituals as well.

Ibogaine is still used in tribal ceremonies to this day, but is now gaining ground for the powerful way it helps treat addiction. Ibogaine works in the brain to reset neurotransmitters to their pre-addicted state while healing on both a physical and deeply psychological level. Like other psychedelics, Ibogaine works directly with serotonin and dopamine levels to restore wellbeing and incite peace of mind.

The intense hallucinations one experiences when taking Ibogaine offer insights into the past where memories and traumas that have led to one’s current condition are uncovered through a dreamlike state. Ibogaine is powerful plant medicine that serves not only to treat even the most extreme cases of addiction, but to help one release past memories and traumas so one can live more fully in the present moment and work towards a successful and satisfying future.

Psilocybin Mushrooms

The use of hallucinogenic mushrooms has been happening since ancient times with their use found amongst many different cultures throughout the world. Ancient cave paintings dating back to 5,000BC depicting mushrooms have been found in the Tassili plateau of Algeria, while the Aztecs of Central and South America not only carved mushroom stones, but also built temples to mushroom gods.

Psilocybin is the psychoactive ingredient found in mushrooms that is responsible for its hallucinatory effects…and healing properties. Psilocybin has been shown to treat depression as it works similarly to antidepressants in the neural pathways in the brain. Like many other psychedelics, mushrooms activate serotonin in the brain and can have an extremely positive effect on different neurological conditions. Mushrooms have also shown to be extremely helpful for people who suffer from cluster headaches.

Peyote

It’s believed that Native Americans have been using peyote for some 5,500 years. It’s been used since the earliest recorded time and has long been a sacred part of their life. As a fundamental part of their culture, peyote has been used in ceremonies and religious practices for some 2,000 years. Peyote is revered amongst the Natives for its spiritual, psychoactive, and medicinal properties.

Peyote contains powerful psychoactive properties and is a strong psychedelic substance. It’s known to promote deep insight that lasts for 10-12 hours and contains a variety of different therapeutic properties. Not only does peyote produce a deep visionary state, but has also shown to help with addiction, depression, and anxiety. It is another substance that works with serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain, and specifically activates the exact receptor as serotonin helping one to feel more pleasure and decrease feelings of depression and other conditions where serotonin levels are unstable.

Psychedelic plant medicine has been used for thousands of years, with different substances invariably having one thing in common. They all seem to stimulate the parts of the brain that help manage pleasure and perception and when respected can offer healing at some of the most essential levels possible. The psychedelic plants that are used amongst various cultures around the world as medicine are central to healing and play an important role in not only the past, but the present and future of natural medicine as well.