Review: Master Plants


Words || Ashley Regan

Master Plants refers to a specific group of plants that have great medical strength which teach. Since the beginning of human history, man has benefited and learnt from plants. I learnt about the significance of plants through I book I picked up when I was travelling through Peru. 

Such a topic is extremely interesting and entices you to engage, the only safe way to ingest is with the guidance of an experienced Shaman. Shamans know all the plants personally over dozens of years’ experience interacting with them. Based on the participant’s needs and wants they can adjust the ceremony to suit. As both the location and time of day dramatically effects visions, e.g. during the day focuses more on the surroundings, and taken at night goes into ones inner being. 

Tobacco – the Food of the Spirit

Misunderstood and undervalued plant in modern society. Tobacco is a sacred plant to many ancient cultures that could cure diverse diseases and infections. Today tobacco is confused with cigarette, which is created from at least 50 harmful substances, it is not a medicine that cues but is now a business that brings disease to humanity. In the past, like sex, like animals and plants, tobacco was a scared object, but now the sacred has been pushed aside and defiled. Shamanically, Tabaco is the food of the spirit it is always used in ceremonies to allow participants ease into the spirit world.

Coca – the Healing Plant

Is a sacred leaf which absorbs nutrients from sunshine. Today in many South American countries the traditional social and customary uses are the same mainly as a way to mediate hunger and altitude sickness. But also aids circulation, improves digestion, is and anti-diarrheic, a powerful natural slimming aid and anti-stress tonic. However Westernisation has prostituted the leaf as cocaine. This sacred plant used for millenniums by the Andean communities for alimentary and medicinal purposes had become a curse due to cocaine that is not representative of coca or its traditional uses; it took on a modern, urban form to suit current needs. People that feel they are missing something in western developed life think the drug gives them a sense of being. Their existence is far from the Andean vision that integrates nature with everyday life, and aspect that does not really turn into postmodern debates about drugs. 

Ayachuasca – the Cleansing Plant

A vine, but there are multiple types. This plant gives clarity in thinking and grants usefulness to the things of the world. Opens the doors of the imagination to enter into a spiritual, magical and religious world. Creates and encounter between the conscious and the unconscious, leading to a state of dialectic clarity that allows and examination and a dialogue that help the examiner to get to the bottom of problems and conflicts affects the individual. First time is overwhelming due to the great quality of visions and spirits. Some Peruvian ingenious groups in their language name the plant “rebirth”. Because to take Aycahuasca is to die. A kind of death of the ego, to change oneself into a better version. For a native who lives within nature, where the cycle of life and death is very dynamic, change is something normal. Western expels are accustomed to a static, constant, changeless ststae and that brings about corruption. In order to have a ‘real’ connotation, the meaning of the visions should be examined in the context of everyday reality. 

San Pedro – the Plant of Vision

The cactus is heavily connected to Andean spiritual world. In order to not offend the spirit of San Pedro only the Sharma can prepare the plant for consumption. The plant is boiled for hours. Participants drink the water. Generally the effects on normal people are psychologically pleasurable starting with sensations of excultation and euphoria with fantastic. The Sharman ingests the same time as the participant. Whilst the participates sees marvellous visions of intermixed structures, shapes and very vivid colours. The Sharman inquires about the meanings of such visions and how they relate to the issues that are concurrent in the participant’s life. Without preparation or guidance, the participant can experience a total imbalance. Its teachings are not direct, rather depends on and interpretation of a conscious mind. Beyond its use in Shamanic ritual, the cactus cues headaches, strengthens hair, easies kidney pain and abdominal pain, housewives hang the plant around the home to warn off curses, to name a few.