For thousands of years, indigenous communities around the globe have used medicinal plants and fungi for healing, self-discovery and to connect with the divine. The ancient practices of these communities, known as Shamanism, focuses on the laws of nature and holds the point of view that everything on the Earth is sacred, that we are connected to all things, all organisms in nature, and that disease and dysfunction have their energetic origins in being out of alignment with energy and nature.
A key subset of these ancient natural medicines are entheogens, which have psychedelic properties that allow both the shaman and the patient to enter altered states of consciousness, in which they are able to perceive and interact with the spirit world. In these altered states, these plants or fungi are able to assist the patient in seeing and interacting with their core wounds, and in many cases to confront, overcome and heal those wounds.
Disparate cultures across the globe and living during different eras of history, were able to discover similar paths to healing with the plants and fungi that they found in their surrounding ecosystems. Here are some key entheogens that are used around the globe and are the main focus for the decriminalization efforts of the Entheo Society of Washington: