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Phytochemistry and Consciousness
Our minds did not develop in isolation. The complex nexus of signalling, perception, and communication that we call our nervous and endocrine systems evolved in the context of chemical conversations with plants and fungi.
From simple aromatic compounds that change our perception when we breathe them in to complex alkaloids that interact directly with our neurotransmitters, we will investigate the phytochemicals and mycochemicals that have the capacity to shift or mental and emotional states. We will discuss the biological, psychological, ecological, cultural, and historical dimensions of human relationships with these molecules and the plants and fungi that contain them, and explore the ways this knowledge can inform clinical herbal practice.
The late Dr. Oliver Sacks said that the two most important diagnostic questions were "Who are you?" and "How do you be?"
Somatic herbalism combines insights from psychology, neurobiology, and traditional western herbalism to help subtly shift the felt sense a person has of being embodied in this world in this moment. Learn how to help people find greater vitality and experience deeper presence by working with minute doses of herbal medicines and the body's own capacity to heal.