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Many indigenous tribes also use it in ritual contexts.

Smoking pipes in Argentina have been dated to as early as 2,100 B. In Siberia, Finno-Ugrian tribes have likely been aware of fly agaric — the classic image of a magic mushroom, red with white speckles — since “time immemorial.” One of the oldest potential cases of medicinal drug use involves a 60,000-year-old Neanderthal.

It was so indispensable that some Native American groups traveled days or weeks each year to harvest a year’s worth of the holy cactus in the Chihuahuan desert of Mexico and Texas.

They note that we have adapted to metabolize the plants, while their defense chemicals have evolved to replicate and disrupt the function of our neurotransmitters, implying a “deep time” relationship.By examining the way humans have used them for millennia, we may gain a better understanding of how to benefit from them without the harm. X has watched his doctors morph into Italian chefs right before his eyes. Read More Clouds form in a multitude of different shapes and sizes, their infinite combinations and position across the sky offering a visual drama in response to the light conditions.“Considering the failures of the war on drugs,” Guerra-Doce writes, “perhaps our modern societies should look into the past and learn something from ‘the primitive.’” Mr. But despite their apparent randomness, a detailed naming convention is in place to categorize them.In the South American Andes, coca is the drug of choice, and has perhaps been so for 8,000 years.Chewing the leaves of this plant, from which we now derive cocaine, helps to stave off fatigue, hunger, thirst and altitude sickness.

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