This Programme is directed by Amanda Feilding with Pablo Friedlander as collaborator and consultant. We are planning a series of interrelated, comprehensive studies on key traditional healing/teaching plants recognised as sacred and medicinal for millennia. The methods of research will include: 1) Ethnobotanical field-work, 2) biochemical analysis, 3) determining the molecular sites of action, 4) investigating the neuropsychopharmacological and physiological effects on cerebral circulation and brain function, using brain imaging, 5) assessing potential therapeutic and cognitive benefits, 6) qualitative data surveys, and 7) communication of results in a series of books, articles, scientific events, and documentary films. Investigated plants will include: 1) the ayahuasca brew (Banisteriopsis caapi with Psychotria viridis) from the Amazon; 2) cannabis; 3) psilocybin mushrooms; and 4) other ethnobotanical medicines from diverse cultures, such as the Trichocereus cactus of San Pedro from the Andes and peyote. The main aims of the Programme are to advance knowledge on how these plants and substances work, and to further the education of the public on the properties of medicinal plants with established and evolving uses in different cultures.
Pablo Friedlander, co-director of the Ethnobotanical Research Programme, is the president of the Foundation of Biospheric Activities, Argentina, a charity focusing on ecological restoration, intercultural research, and avant-garde arts. Following a Classics degree in Argentina and an MA and PhD at Barcelona University, Pablo became a published professor in Philosophy of Nature, Humanities and Ecology. Pablo is a fellow of the Institute of Ecotechnics, and Director of Ecological Restoration and Environmental Education projects in Central Argentina. He is the co-ordinator of International Education Program Academia Biospherica, and consultant to the Matutu Foundation (Brazil) and the Institute of Holistic Research of Montserrat (Cataluña).
The Beckley Foundation Ethnobotanicals Research Programme
Psilocybin for Depression
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