Ayahuasca 101, Tripping Out On Nutmeg, Magic Mushrooms & More With Dennis McKenna.

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Body, Diet & Nutrition, Mental Health, Mind-Spirit, Podcast, Podcast-new

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Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

When it comes to plant based medicine, my guest on today's podcast is widely considered to be a groudbreaking pioneer.

His name is Dennis McKenna.

Dennis's research – spanning back to the 1970's – has focused on the interdisciplinary study of Amazonian ethnopharmacology and plant hallucinogens. During the early 1970's, he developed a technique for cultivating psilocybin mushrooms with his brother Terence McKenna and they later published what they had learned in a book entitled Psilocybin – Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide.

Dennis has conducted extensive ethnobotanical fieldwork in the Peruvian, Colombian, and Brasilian Amazon. His doctoral research (University of British Columbia, 1984) focused on the ethnopharmacology of ayahuasca and oo-koo-he, two tryptamine-based hallucinogens used by indigenous peoples in the Northwest Amazon. He is a founding board member of the Heffter Research Institute, and was a key organizer and participant in the Hoasca Project, the first biomedical investigation of ayahuasca used by the UDV, a Brazilian religious group. He is currently Assistant Professor in the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota.

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-The strange magazine, still published, that Dennis's father used to read –  a magazine that first got Dennis interested in the “paranormal” and psychedelics…

-How DMT works, and ways that you can induce the same psychedelic sensation that DMT induces without actually using something like ayahuasca…

-Ways that you can induce deep sleep without relying upon compounds such as Valium or Ambien…

-Why one common spice that you can find on the counter at Starbucks can send you on a hallucinogenic trip…

-The difference between an ayahuasca experience in rural South America vs. an urban New York loft…

-Why Silicone Valley is obsessed with LSD microdosing as a creativity-enhancing “smart drug”…

-How psilocybin works to enhance your connection with nature and how you may be able to activate this via other mechanisms…

-How one can safely “source” these kind of plant-based medicines in their local community…

-And much more…

Resources from this episode:

Fate magazine

Deltasleeper device

10 ways to activate the pineal gland

The ajna light

Passionflower extract

Nutmeg essential oil

Kava kava extract

Syrian rue extract

Hefter.org and MAPS.org

LSD Microdosing: The New Job Enhancer In Silicon Valley And Beyond?

Pre-frontal cortex tapping

erowid.org for online drug information

Alexendra Tannous's Sound Meditation video

The WholeTones Sound of Healing CD's

Psilocybin – Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide

The Invisible Landscape: Mind, Hallucinogens, and the I Ching

-The Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss

-Botanical Medicines: The Desk Reference for Major Herbal Supplements

Do you have questions, comments or feedback for Dennis McKenna or me? Leave your thoughts below and one of us will reply!

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27 thoughts on “Ayahuasca 101, Tripping Out On Nutmeg, Magic Mushrooms & More With Dennis McKenna.

  1. Nathan says:

    Many thanks for a great episode, lots of useful resources and an awesome interview.

    One thing though. The URL for the Heffter Institute is incorrect – it is heffter.org (with 2 ‘f’), not hefter.org (which is just a holding page). Wouldn’t want people to think it no longer exists!



  2. THAT WAS AWESOME!! I know this information is very delicate and layered in specifics, coated with contexts and it was presented so very well , in patience, gratitude and so graceful. You are a terrific, intelligent interviewer and Dennis-well, Dennis is more spectacular than most people are aware of and your ability to connect and join in communication was just beautiful. Thank you for a terrific trip.

  3. Dana says:

    I am wondering what the mushroom you guys mentioned once or twice is that starts with an R- I tried to skip around and relisten but I can’t find it!

    Thank you

  4. Magnus says:

    Hi Ben,

    Question for Dennis:

    Just wondering if he has experienced both LSD and 1P LSD and if so what he found the difference to be in terms of subjective experience.



  5. Bilbo says:

    Good interview Ken!

  6. Todd says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed the podcast even though the content is not something that I’ll ever likely follow up on. It’s a pleasure to know that people like Denis exist — you can tell immediately that he is a kind and genuine person.

  7. Chris says:

    Glad you are pulling in these “fringe” topics, Ben. You are one of the few fitness gurus that I have stumbled upon that is exploring these topics. Can I suggest “DMT: the Spirit Molecule” by Dr. Rick Strassman? Great book that talks about this topic a little more in depth. Kundalini yoga and meditation along with psilocybin use are great ways to “open” the third eye or pineal gland. However, caution needs to be exercised when dealing with the pineal gland as its activation can create psychologically destabilizing effects, which is where gurus or masters were traditionally of great assistance. Believe it or not I have had experiences where meditating on the third eye has had dramatic anti-inflammatory effects on my body so you have a tie-in to physical fitness applications. Keep exploring!

  8. Ian McT says:

    Finding out that DMT has now been proven to be produced in the pineal has blown my mind!

    For so long this was just conjecture!

    I’ve been trying to track down the academic article that discusses this subject.

    Could anyone be so kind to point me to nicholas cozzis research??

  9. Nathan Wecksker says:

    Amazing questions and discussion on the topic! Also one of my favourite Dennis interviews and I’ve heard many…

    As for DMT it’s a mind bending bungy jump into the abyss!

    Check out Changa, it’s more controlled and Ayahuasca like. Can vape it too…

  10. Mark says:

    “Total cost of the Ajna Lamp is USD $3333”

    i mean..really?? Are you serious to propose such a rip-off to us?

    $333 for the “hardware”, $3000 for the software. Besides the fact that the website looks like it was designed for Netscape in the year 1998 this is really ridiculous,.

  11. Will Shriner says:

    That Ajna Light sounds amazing, but $3000 is ridiculous. Software developers need to develop a smart phone app that uses your camera flash to do the same thing. Now I want 10% royalty rights. Haha.

    1. Richard says:

      It’s not just ridiculous, it’s totally ridiculous. It’s basically a glorified strobe light marketed to people who’ve never heard of a light and sound machine, one such model being the David that Ben has.

      It kind of irks me that they act like they’ve discovered the wheel, whereas L & S machines have been around for over thirty years, start at not much more than $100 depending on the model, and the LED containing goggles shining the light within an inch of your eyes not only provides better brainwave entrainment but can offer an unparalleled psychedelic light show, depending on the program.

      Most of the machines now have dozens of programs, software that allows the user to create their own programs, and binaural beat sounds.

      If you really want to activate your pineal gland, and blow your mind in the process, some of the newest machines have glasses designed to be used with eyes open and contain red, green and blue LEDs that when mixed offer millions of color combinations.

  12. Daanish says:

    I’ve never listened to one of your podcasts even halfway through, mainly because they’re just too long. It would be very helpful if you could give us timestamps of the highlights.

    1. It's a great idea. We may do this!

  13. Tommie Slade says:

    what was the name of that coffee with theanine?

  14. Cathy Cooke says:

    Love this podcast! Way to bring in the important stuff that most people are too afraid to talk about.

    I would love to know if you guest knows about decalcifying the pineal gland, or getting rid of mercury in the pineal gland in a safe way? I hear that ayuhuasca is good for this, but I question the safety of using it if you have a lot of mercury in the pineal gland and your ability to detox it safely. I suspect you could do some more damage.

    1. I'll ask Dennis and find out.

    2. Meg says:

      You can gently detox mercury by using hawaiian spiralina and juicing with cilantro. The spiraling gets it out of the brain and the cilantro picks it up and carries it all the way out of your body. Chlorella isn’t a great detoxifier because it tends to grab the heavy metals and then drop them elsewhere in the body before getting them all the way out of your system.

    3. Tracy says:

      Hands Down the best therapy on the planet:

      Super Sauna Sessions: whole-body detoxification and energy therapy for clearing and energizing (Photon Genius sessions).

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