Week 3: Introduction to Entheogens, Sacred Plant Medicine & Psychedelics.

Plant medicine has been around for thousands of years and used to heal the human condition throughout the ages. The answers to most of our health concerns are all around us. It is our job to learn about the plants in our environment and how to use them to improve our health. In this introduction to plant medicine we will take a brief look at some of the plant medicines that we use on a daily basis to improve our health.

One area of plant medicine that has gained much more recent attention is psychedelics. As with most things in our modern culture things can be taken advantage of and the plant medicine world is no exception. In the right hands, with the right intentions and dosing plant medicine can be a powerful agent for change. In the wrong situation these powerful medicines can be detrimental to your mental health and spiritual growth. The first thing you need to know about this realm is that it is not a party drug. These are serious chemicals that can do real damage and should be treated with the upmost of respect and caution. If you do decide to go down this road you must know that it will not be easy, this is not something to add on to your vacation and it is absolutely not to be taken lightly. These are powerful mind altering medicines that if not taken or given responsibly can be very detrimental to your mental, physical and spiritual health. I can not stress enough the importance of taking this stuff seriously and respecting the power of the plant kingdom.

Micro vs. Macro dosing. There has been a lot of discussion about the importance and difference between micro and macro dosing. Research is showing that there may be more long term benefits, especially in the case of depression, anxiety, PTSD, and addiction, when a person micro doses the correct medicine over a longer period of time. The upside of micro dosing is that it usually does not disrupt your mental function to the point of interfering with daily activities. Macro dosing is taking the full recommended dose of medicine once you have fully prepared for the ensuing psychedelic experience. Macro dosing can be profound and life changing, it should not be taken lightly and only used for the treatment of critical mental health issues and only under the guide of a sacred plant medicine specialist or shaman. When macro dosing it is imperative that the patient do the required pre and post work for the medicine you are taking.

If you do decide to foray into the plant medicine realm, or you are working with a client who is considering it, there are a few basic rules that we think you should follow:

Know your plant medicine guide. Do your research on the person and place you are deciding to go. When possible go to the origins of the plant medicine to partake in traditional ceremony with a true plant medicine healer. Real plant medicine shamans are generational herbalists, meaning they and their families have been doing this work for generations. It can be hard to tell the difference from the traditional shamans and the pop up resort style places that have great marketing so we advise you take your time, do your research, ask around, and most importantly follow your instincts.

Research the plant medicine that you are called to do thoroughly and understand what effect it has on the body so you know you are taking the medicine that best fits your goals. Set goals and intentions for your journey and express those to your guide or other staff so that you can all work together to create the best setting and environment for your journey.
Understand the importance of dosing and setting.

The whole point of sacred plant medicine is to help you connect with the planet, understand your mind better and learn to listen to your intuition. So if at any time you feel as if you have had enough do not take any more, no matter what the preset plan was or what your guide is saying. You are ultimately responsible for you, and you are going to have to deal with the after effects so listen to your inner voice if you feel like enough is enough. Many of the new psychedelic centers that are popping up everywhere are serving medicine on a preset schedule as they are trying to see as many people as possible, do not feel obligated to follow the schedule as your needs may be very different from the person next to you.

Also please know that when you step into this realm with other people you are opening yourself up psychically and energetically to everyone in the room, you can and will pick up emotional and psychic baggage from the people you are around so if you are ever at anytime uncomfortable with who is around you remove yourself from the situation.

Pre and post work is critical to a positive outcome. In order to achieve the best results it is important to follow a clean diet and lifestyle at least two weeks prior to any macro dose session. This would mean an organic vegetarian diet for at least two weeks prior to your journey and refraining from the consumption of any other drugs, alcohol, medications, toxic relationships, or screen time

Here is a list of just some of the sacred plant based medicines that we are familiar with. There is a brief description of where they come from, what the journey may be like, and what you could expect to get out of these experiences. This is not a recommendation for you to try any of these. The purpose of sharing this information is only to educate you on the options that are out there so that as you work with clients who have undergone these experiences you will have a basic understanding of what they have been through.

Yopo is a plant medicine from the amazon that contains DMT. It is traditionally snorted. The journey lasts about 5 hours and may be accompanied by a purging period during the beginning of the journey. The journey tends to come with intense symbolic visuals that you will want to discuss with your guide afterwards. It is said this medicine has more of a masculine energy to it and is recommended for those looking to heal wounds from masculine energy (toxic masculinity) or give you the “kick in the pants” that you might need.

Changa is a plant based smokeable form of DMT. It is normally a 20-40 minute profoundly psychedelic journey with clear and detailed visuals. Typically it does not come with a purging experience but it can have some uncontrolled physical movement. In my experience I have found changa to have more of a feminine energy to it and is very useful for helping to connect back to the earth and heal our wounds related to female or motherly energy.

Ayahuasca is a drinkable form of DMT that lasts about 5 hours and may be accompanied with purging. It is a tea made from a combination of vines and roots from the amazon. Different guides or shamans dispense this medicine in different ways and some journeys may be a one time event while others can last over a few days. This journey tends to come with intense symbolic visuals that you will want to discuss with your guide afterwards. Ayahuasca tends to have more of a feminine energy to it and is very useful for helping to connect back to the earth and heal our wounds related to female or motherly energy.

Rapé is a proprietary blend of tobacco and other herbs that are snorted. It causes a 20 minute drunken sensation and is used to cleanse the sinuses and spirit.

Psilocybin or magic mushrooms provide a 5 hour journey on average. They can be made into a tea, powder, or eaten fresh. Micro-dosing (.5 grams or less) has been shown to be an effective treatment for anxiety and depression. Macro dosing 3-5 grams is an effective way to experience a sense of love and connection and is accompanied with many visuals including life like images and psychedelic & symbolic pattern work. Mushrooms tend to have more of a neutral energy to it and is very useful for helping to connect back to the earth and both masculine and feminine love.

Cannabis can be smoked, consumed orally or used topically. Depending on dosage, variety and style of consumption the effects can be stimulating or act as a depressant.

Iboga comes from thee root of a tree originally found in Africa. It is typically ground up and consumed orally. It has shown to have a profound affect on addiction and ptsd. When taken as a micro dose it may have a purging effect over the first 2 days at is is cleansing your body & mind. On a micro dose you may have more emotional reckonings than visual experiences. On a macro dose you will experience possible purging, emotional reckoning and visual hallucinations that are very real to life. Many people report seeing the people in their life that they have needed to make amens with or needed to get some closure from and they are able to have the necessary conversations in the psychedelic realm in order to feel as though one can move on in a healthy way. Iboga has a more masculine energy to it and is recommended for those looking to heal wounds from masculine energy (toxic masculinity) or give you the “kick in the pants” that you might need.

Kambo is a toad venom that is burnt into the skin. The introduction of this venom into the blood stream causes a purging of the body so vomiting is to be expected. The effects only last around 30 minutes and it is a very detoxifying form of plant medicine. Personally I have found it to be very similar to a liver gal bladder flush in that it removes old bile from the stomach and liver and causes the body to eject stones from the gal bladder into the stool.

San Pedro is extracted from a cactus. It can be consumed as a tea and gives the traveler a psychedelic experience similar to psilocybin lasting a few hours. Purging is a less common response to San Pedro.

BUFO is the venom from a Sonoran dessert toad that is dried and smoked. It provides a profound psychedelic experience but only lasts about 30 minutes. Purging is not a common effect but uncontrolled physical movement can be expected. In my experience the psychedelic visions can be both realistic and symbolic and there can be an ancestral theme to the overall experience. This medicine has more of a masculine energy to it and works to help you heal from ancestral wounds or epigenetic damage.

DMT is a molecule at the base of many plant medicine options. It has the unique ability to bind to receptors in our brains and not only temporarily change what we see but can have a long lasting impact on our perceptions and thoughts.

MDMA is a synthetic chemical that was created to mimic a naturally occurring molecule found in tree bark. It provides a wave like journey that may last up to 6 hours. Some purging may occur if to large of a dose is taken. There has been promising research in the use of this medicine to treat depression, anxiety, and PTSD.


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