A psychoactive substance, usually one derived from plants or fungi but also from the secretions of animals such as toads, that is ingested by a shaman or another participant in a ritual in order to produce visions or gain mystical insight.
We are suffering under misinformation about traditional entheogenic plants. These are traditional healing plants, respectfully used for religious and healing purposes for millennia, around the world. Although currently illegal outside of limited clinical and religious contexts, these plants aren't addicting, socially destabilizing drugs.
"Entheogenic plants" are different from, for example, amphetamine, cocaine, heroin, alcohol, tobacco. Contrary to political messaging, the science shows that these plants are not addictive - if fact, they help alleviate addiction, depression, and, when used with respect and care, can be deeply healing to individuals and communities. Here are a few facts about these plants, with their scientific references listed at the bottom of the page.
These plants and fungi have been revered throughout the world, but have become limited to humanity by millennia of colonization, authoritarianism, industrialization, and the disenfranchisement of humans from their ecological roots.
In addition, countless indigenous groups throughout the world, including Native Americans, the Olmec, Zapotec, Maya, and Aztec used peyote and psilocybe mushrooms. Mushrooms stones and art date back to 3000 BC in the Americas and as far back as 11,000 BC in northern Africa. The Aztecs would drink chocolate and eat mushrooms called "Teonanácatl" in Nahuatl (literally "god mushroom"—compound of the words teo(tl) (god) and nanácatl (mushroom)) with honey. The act of ingesting the mushroom sacrament is known as monanacahuia (to mushroom oneself). Entheogenic plants and fungi are known to increase an individual’s respect for the earth and the ecosystem and to heighten human awareness of their own condition within society, a fact that may have led to these plants and fungi being place on the Federal Schedule 1 list of banned substances.