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The Psychedelic Journey of Marlene Dobkin de Rios
Ayahuasca is an alkaloid-rich psychoactive concoction indigenous to South America that has been employed by shamans for millennia as a spirit drug for divinatory and healing purposes. Although the late Harvard ethnobotanist Richard Evans Schultes was credited in the early 1950s as being the first to document the use of ayahuasca, other researchers, such as the distinguished anthropologist Marlene Dobkin de Rios, were responsible for furthering his findings and uncovering the curative capabilities of this amazing compound. The Psychedelic Journey of Marlene Dobkin de Rios presents the accumulated experience of de Rios’s 45 years of pioneering field studies in the area of hallucinogens in Peru and the Amazon. Her investigation into ayahuasca--which she undertook in collaboration with more than a dozen traditional Mestizo folk curanderos, shamans, and fellow ethnobotanists--focuses on the use of this revolutionary plant in the treatment of recalcitrant psychological and emotional disorders. She also shares some of her theories that prove that the ancient Maya used psychedelic plants as part of their religious rituals, thereby demonstrating the impact of plant psychedelics on human prehistory. In addition, Dobkin de Rios examines altered states of consciousness derived from the use of biofeedback and hypnosis and discusses her current work on the deleterious effects of drug tourism in the Amazon.