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The Plants of the Gods: Hallucinogens, Healing, Culture and Conservation

“Plants of the Gods: Hallucinogens, Healing, Culture and Conservation” is a new and unique podcast focusing on the hallucinogenic plants and fungi whose impact on world culture and religion – and healing potential - is only now beginning to be appreciated as never before.

Dec 9, 2020

Hallucinogenic snuffs – though most hallucinogens like magic mushrooms or ayahuasca are taken orally, the indigenous peoples of Amazonia have created two different and highly potent snuffs from Amazonian trees which they consume for a variety of healing and divinatory purposes. As with ayahuasca, the author draws on his personal insights and experiences with these plants and these peoples to describe the biocultural importance of these snuffs. 


Chagnon, Napoleon A. The Fierce People. Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1968. 

Plotkin, Mark J. Amazon: What Everyone Needs to Know®. Oxford University Press, 2020. 

Plotkin, Mark J. Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice: an Ethnobotanist Searches for New Medicines in the Amazon Rain Forest. Viking, 1993.

Prance, Ghillean T., et al. Ethnopharmacologic Search for Psychoactive Drugs. Synergetic Press, in Association with Heffter Research Institute, 2018. 

Schultes, Richard Evans, and Robert F. Raffauf. Vine of the Soul: Medicine Men, Their Plants and Rituals in the Colombian Amazonia. Synergetic Press, 2004. 

Schultes, Richard Evans., and Albert Hofmann. Plants of the Gods. Vandermarck, 1979. 


Episode Note from Dr. Plotkin:

In this video, I made the all-too-common anthropological error of describing the Taíno peoples of the Caribbean as extinct, through both extermination at the hands of colonists and assimilation. This characterization unfortunately overlooks the living culture continued today by a diaspora including Taíno descendant communities, representative organizations, and individuals. I am grateful to Taíno individuals and representatives of the United Confederation of Taíno People for making me aware of this misstatement.

United Confederation of Taíno People: Guainia Taíno Tribe: