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From ancient Greece to the Amazon rainforest the use of psychedelics for healing or spiritual practices is so tightly woven into history that we could consider experimentation a defining characteristic of humanity. For thousands of years, cultures that developed independently around the world have found comfort and enlightenment in plants that temporarily free them from mental and circumstantial barriers.
In the days of Achilles and Alexander, the Oracle at Delphi derived her entranced visions from the fumes which flowed from beneath the Temple of Apollo. Scandinavian warriors made use of psychoactive mushrooms to induce a crazed and emboldened battle readiness that instilled fear in their enemies. Though less well known, even the Bible contains ancient traditions borrowed from Egypt which combines psychoactive substances like frankincense.
While today psychedelics have largely been stigmatized, they have been an integral part of multiple civilizations.
Here are five Indigenous cultures that use psychedelics for ritual healing:
The Mazatec and Magic Mushrooms
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