In this episode, we talk with Jeremy Narby, PhD about his new book Plant Teachers, which compiles traditional indigenous and contemporary scientific knowledge about ayahuasca and tobacco. In this far-reaching conversation Narby talks about the different types and uses of Ayahuasca, creating partnership between scientific and indigenous knowledge, respecting the positive and negative powers within plant medicines, advocating for indigenous Amazonian people, and much more. This conversation was recorded in our live Psychedelic Salon, which happens every Monday and Thursday, and that you can access from our Patreon and Discord pages.
Jeremy Narby, PhD, is co-author of Plant Teachers with indigenous elder Rafael Chanchari Pizuri. This brief, information-packed book presents a cross-cultural dialogue that explores the similarities between ayahuasca and tobacco, the role of these plants in indigenous cultures, and the hidden truths they reveal about nature. Juxtaposing and synthesizing two worldviews, Plant Teachers invites readers on a wide-ranging journey through anthropology, botany, and biochemistry, while raising tantalizing questions about the relationship between science and other ways of knowing.
Narby became an early pioneer of ayahuasca research while living with the Ashaninca people of the Peruvian Amazon in the 1980s. He studied anthropology at Stanford University and now lives in Switzerland and works as Amazonian projects director for Nouvelle Planète, a nonprofit organization that promotes the economic and cultural empowerment of indigenous peoples. Jeremy is also the author of the award-winning book The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge, which was originally published in 1998.