Jonathan Ott, a wise ethnopharmacologist who learnt from the pioneering researchers

Jonathan Ott, a wise ethnopharmacologist who learnt from the pioneering researchers

Shamanism is much more accessible to the Western mind when understood through ethnopharmacological, scientific means. Hence the importance of having the great American ethnobotanist Jonathan Ott at this conference: organic chemist, mycologist, humanist and writer specializing in psychoactive plants and their cultural uses throughout history, besides being one of those who coined the term “entheogen”.

Ott was a student of the pioneering researchers in shamanic ethnopharmacology: Albert Hofmann (discoverer of LSD and psilocybin), R. Evans Schultes (father of shamanic ethnobotany) and R. Gordon Wasson (modern discoverer of psilocybin mushrooms and the importance of shamanism), who spread its use in ancient religious rituals linked to cultures such as those in classical Greece.

In this video, Ott describes Albert Hofmann’s contribution to the investigation of the complex pharmacological properties of several natural substances and their derivatives such as ergot, the LSD precursor:

In his years of scholarship and promulgation, Ott has:

  • published numerous scientific articles and thirteen books, among which stands Pharmacotheon, an encyclopedic work on entheogenic plants, which followed Pharmacophilia, an essay on the philosophy and practice of inebriation.
  • organized more than twenty seminars and conferences on entheogens in countless countries.
  • been elected a Fellow of the Linnean Society in London in 1985, one of several scientific associations to which he belongs, as he is considered a scholar in the field.

For years now, he has lived in southeastern Mexico, where he is dedicated to cultivating and investigating visionary plants. He lives off the grid in Rancho Xochiatl, 30 hectares complete with its own water system, in the cloud forest of the Sierra Madre Oriental.

Jonathan’s presence at the ethnobotany session of the primary track of AYA2014 to share his extensive knowledge of ayahuasca is a great honor for all involved. Get your tickets while they last here.

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