When Your Friends are the Problem: Plant Medicines, Commercialization, and Biocultural conservation

May 25, 2022
8:55 pm

Currently one of the most significant threats to the survival of traditional plant medicine knowledge comes paradoxically not from its enemies (from climate change to extractive industries), but from its friends, a growing number of people worldwide that want to experience plant medicines, build business, and source new medicines and therapies from them. A huge wave of interest is building, a wave so big it might go beyond what the fragile cultures and ecosystems of origin can sustain. There simply aren’t enough plants, shamans, payés, taitas, padrinhos and mestres in all of the jungle to attend to all the people all over the world who could potentially want to seek healing from ayahuasca, to name just one sacred medicine that is under pressure.