Chacruna Institute is a registered California 501(c)(3) non-profit. We are a volunteer-led organization run by a team of experts and enthusiasts who give their time freely to bring education and cultural understanding about psychedelic plant medicines to a wider audience. We promote a bridge between the ceremonial use of sacred plants and psychedelic science and envisage a world where plant medicines and other psychedelics are preserved, protected, and valued as part of our cultural identity and integrated into our social, legal and health care systems. Help us to achieve our mission! Please consider becoming a monthly donor so that your impact spans the entire year. Support of any frequency or amount helps the cause.
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In this article, Filipe Ribeiro covers the conservation challenges surrounding kambô. The kambô frog’s secretions are used in traditional practice among several Indigenous peoples in the southwest Amazon. With the growing global demand for kambô, some have suggested that the Indigenous approach to collecting the frog’s secretions is harmful to the frog. Ribeiro urges the West to not rush to hasty and superficial judgments regarding traditional practices.
Jasmine Virdi interviews Jahlani Niaah, Rastafari scholar and community member, about the little-known and often misunderstood Rastafari movement. Within the psychedelic renaissance, the sacramental use of ganja by Rastafari is often overlooked. In this interview, Niaah provides a historical overview of the origins of the Rastafari movement, explaining certain key elements of Rastafari praxis, and about the sacramental use of ganja among the Rastafari.
Alex Beiner critiques a paper called Psilocybin: From Serendipity to Credibility in the journal ‘Frontiers in Psychiatry’ which was written by two psychiatrists, James Rucker and Allan Young, about the use of psilocybin by legal retreats. He centers the philosophical question of “who has the right control access to psilocybin?“, provides counter arguments to the current power structures, and offers an opportunity to create a truly unique, multidisciplinary and ground-breaking model of healing.
This paper provides a history of the process in which mescaline was synthesized, and 100 years of research involving it. Among these researchers were Ernst Späth, Arthur Heffter, Humphrey Osmond, Aldous Huxley, and Alexander ‘Sasha’ Shulgin. Today, there has been movement for researchers to conduct clinical studies with mescaline through the FDA.
Jasmine Virdi interviews Regina Célia de Oliveira, a Brazilian biologist and professor at Brasília University, specializing in the study of Banisteriopsis caapi and other plants that make up the ayahuasca brew. In this article, Regina shares about the different varieties of the B. caapi vine, the deeply sophisticated knowledge of traditional peoples about these vines, and the importance of protecting these plant species amidst ongoing ecological destruction in the Amazon Rainfor-est.
There is an alarming global decline in lncilus alvarius toad populations, the toads who secrete 5-MeO-DMT, because of multiple ecological reasons and the increased interest in toad ‘milking’ for psychedelic experiences. Anya Ermakova, Ph.D. educates the reader on the ecological impacts of these toad populations and provides alternative, synthetic options for psychonauts who would like to use 5-MeO-DMT.
Anya Ermakova, Ph.D compiled a list of the 20 best books about peyote and mescaline. These non-fiction books about Lophophora williamsii are written by scholars of history, anthropology, religion, biology, and ecology and conservation.
On August 25, 2020, a proposal presented in Colombia’s Congress to regulate coca and its derivatives, including cocaine, made history. This article dispels the equation of coca and cocaine; highlights the sacredness of the plant to Indigenous Americas; analyzes the underlying questions of the legislative proposal; and discusses the new economic models and regulation of coca.
One of the psychoactive mushrooms described by Gordon Wasson in LIFE magazine (1957) is today an endangered species. This article describes how mycologists located the fungus Conocybe siligeneoides in the Sierra Mazateca of Oaxaca (Mexico).
Mexico is currently debating ritual and traditional uses, as well as non-Indigenous and therapeutic uses of entheogens. During the past year, two legal reform proposals have been introduced to Mexico’s drug policy reform landscape. One of which is focused on the reclassification of psilocybin mushrooms and peyote, and the second is a request for legal consumption of the same sacred plants. This article describes the initiatives’ intentions, analyzes the proposals’ impact on the landscape for drug reform, and highlights the importance of a multicultural and human rights perspective, especially for the protection of Indigenous peoples’ rights.
In February 2021, the Church of the Eagle and Condor (CEC) and the Chacruna Institute joined forces to initiate the “Ayahuasca Religious Freedom Initiative.” On March 16, 2021, lawyers for the CEC and Chacruna Institute filed Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) requests on U.S. Customs Border Patrol and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. This article reviews the insights gained from the government’s disclosures, or lack thereof, to the Initiative’s public records requests.
For four years, Soul Quest and their lawyers petitioned for Religious Freedom Restoration Exemption against the DEA for interfering with ayahuasca ceremonies. On April 16, 2021, the DEA’s Diversion Control Division denied their petition to carry on its ayahuasca ceremonies legally. This article describes key takeaways on the DEA’s denial, the impacts for the larger ayahuasca community, and the road ahead.
There is incredible potential for the psychedelic renaissance to rehabilitate and revitalize the concept of love in psychotherapy and in our culture more broadly. Studying the emergence of love in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapies, from medicine-induced experiences of love, to the importance of the felt sense of love between therapist and client, is a means of bridging the divide between the discourse of therapy and the experience of this powerful healing energy.
On Earth Day, Thursday, April 22nd from 10:30am - 11am (PT), leaders of a new coalition, Plant Medicine Healing Alliance, will be hosting a press conference to speak upon their “dual mission of improving access to plant medicines while simultaneously promoting sustainable sourcing and respect for the human, plant, and animal ecologies where the medicine grows.” They will speak about the Indigenous history of sacred plant medicines, the medical perspective of the therapeutic potential of these substances to help people heal from PTSD, especially veterans, and they will ask the Portland City Council to decriminalize these plant and fungi medicines to allow for spiritual growth and access to the treatment that people need.