Botanical Medicine

Botanical Medicine

Herbalism also known as botanical medicine is a traditional medicinal practice based on the use of plants and plant extracts. The plant parts used in herbal therapy include seeds, berries, roots, leaves, fruits, bark, flowers or even the whole plants. A person who understands and knows how to combine healing plants for optimal effectiveness is known as an herbalist.

Disease in its holistic form is when a human’s state of being is debilitated and misaligned from its original organic state of being.

Herbalism is a holistic approach to health. Its aim is to rehabilitate and realign the human state of being so that it can optimally regulate and heal itself. It is a whole body approach that encompasses the physical, mental and spiritual bodies.

However, if all is mind then healing and rehabilitating from any disease must first begin in the mind: a healthy mind is a healthy body.

We believe our human bodies are electromagnetic organs, hence it makes sense that we need bio-magnetic matter to help our bodies regulate themselves back into ease when in disease. Natural herbs contain bio-magnetic organic matter optimally suited for this function.

The Kingdom Of Pineal believes that herbal plant medicines are a rehabilitative aid to access different states of consciousness, thereby aligning body, mind and spirit. When encountered in the best of conditions, these plants may be the most effective teachers and healers we have. They are direct conduits to the natural world from which all existence originates from.

There are many terms used to refer to herbal plant medicine, some of the more common terms are:

Entheogens
a term which means ‘generating the divine within’ and refers to any psychoactive plants when used for their spiritual effects.
Plant Medicine
which is the easiest term to use overall, being that it encompasses the spiritual healing and organic nature of the experience.

Although there are many variants of herbal rehabilitative medicines with various effects, the Kingdom of Pineal preferably observes and utilises two particular entheogenic herbal remedies: cannabis and psilocybin plants.

Cannabis

Physical and Spiritual Properties

Cannabis is a psychoactive plant that induces alterations in perception, mood, consciousness, cognition or behaviour for the purposes of engaging spiritual development and physical well-being.

It is our belief that spiritually, cannabis consumption stimulates the chakras and sensory perception since each chakra is associated with a particular sense.

The pineal gland (third eye chakra) which is the gateway to higher consciousness is particularly activated by cannabis. It does this by increasing one’s awareness of more subtle cues and enables one to tune in to the true vibration of any particular moment.

Cannabis opens up the possibility of group mind telepathy. It is not just that it lessens inhibitions, but more that it opens the mind to the mental vibrations of others and of the surrounding mood of the moment.

Cannabis tends to remove the doubt about the reality of these higher perceptions.

Cannabis can remove our internal barriers to magic and wonder which opens us up to other levels of perception and experience. It helps suspend the disbelief and overcome the doubt that the inner voice is your truest guide.

Cannabis has a low risk for physical addiction, however, as it is a sacred plant it must be used respectfully in moderation. Cannabis should only ever be used when its perceived effects are beneficial. It can be used for social, medical and spiritual reasons and sometimes these reasons are distinct but often they overlap.

The effects of cannabis can vary widely depending on several factors, including: the dose, strain, and potency, your method of consumption and how often you use it.

Biochemistry of Cannabis – Cannabinoids, Terpenes, and Strains

Cannabis is not just one flower but a variety of strains. Each strain of flower is related but also completely unique. They have fundamentally different smells, different appearances and different characteristics.

Like any flowering plant, cannabis has stems and leaf structures that flower. The flowers have the highest potency of active ingredients, also called cannabinoids and terpenes. The cannabinoid flowers are what contain medicinal properties.

In general, there are three groupings of cannabis strains based on cannabinoid content: THC-dominant, CBD-dominant and cannabis that has balanced amounts of THC and CBD. Within that mix, there are also minor cannabinoids like CBG, THCV and CBC.

Cannabinoids are active ingredient compounds that the cannabis plant makes. The cannabis plant is unique in that it is one of only a few plants that make cannabinoids. There are other plants such as certain salvia varieties that make very low levels of them, but none that produce as much as the cannabis plant.

The cannabis plant stores the cannabinoids in the resin glands on the surface of the flowers which are sometimes referred to as crystals. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the psychoactive cannabinoid ingredient of the cannabis plant. The THC active agent is what psycho-actively interacts and activates the human pineal gland when ingested. Apart from its psychoactive properties, THC also has potential therapeutic wellness and medicinal aspects.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is another major cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive, but it does contain high therapeutic properties.

However, in addition to the cannabinoids (THC, CBD, CBC, CBG, THCV,) cannabis strains also vary in terpene content. Terpenes are the compounds that the plant produces, giving each strain its unique flavour, smell and characteristic.

As with all flowering plants that produce these types of compounds, they have medicinal and wellness properties associated with them. For example, some cannabis plants contain a terpene called linalool in its flowers. Linalool is also found in lavender and is known to have potential sedating properties. Understanding the synergy of terpenes, both with one another and with cannabinoids, is one of the most active areas of interest in learning about cannabis-based potentials.

Cannabis also has many different plant pigments that give various strains different colours like purple, green or even blue. Different strains of cannabis will have different effects.

Both Cannabis plant seeds and leaves have extremely potent medicinal properties due to their high nutrient content.

The Endocannabinoid System

Human bodies respond to cannabinoids because they have a natural built in system of receptors called the endocannabinoid system. This built in endocannabinoid system within humans is akin to links or docking sites all throughout the body and brain for cannabinoid-type substances to connect and interact with.

The endogenous cannabinoid system, named after the plant that led to its discovery, is perhaps the most important physiologic system involved in establishing and maintaining human health.

Endocannabinoids and their receptors are found throughout the body: in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands and immune cells. In each tissue the cannabinoid system performs different tasks, but the goal is always the same: Homeostasis, the maintenance of a stable internal environment despite fluctuations in the external environment.

A lot of important processes in our human biochemistry like sleep, depression, appetite and cardiovascular regulation, are at least partly controlled by the endocannabinoid system and the cannabinoid-type substances that we make naturally in our bodies.

As you can tell, cannabis has a profound influence on the human body. This one herb and its variety of therapeutic compounds seem to affect every aspect of our bodies and minds. Effectively the endocannabinoid system is a physiologic system and a central component of the health and healing of every human and almost every animal.

Cannabinoids promote homeostasis at every level of biological life from the sub-cellular to the organism and perhaps to the community and beyond.

Here’s one example: autophagy, a process in which a cell sequesters part of its contents to be self-digested and recycled is mediated by the cannabinoid system. While this process keeps normal cells alive, allowing them to maintain a balance between the synthesis, degradation, and subsequent recycling of cellular products, has a deadly effect on malignant tumour cells, causing them to consume themselves in a programmed cellular suicide. The death of cancer cells, of course, promotes homeostasis and survival at the level of the entire organism.

Endocannabinoids and cannabinoids are also found at the intersection of the body’s various systems, allowing communication and coordination between different cell types. At the site of an injury, for example, cannabinoids can be found decreasing the release of activators and sensitisers from the injured tissue, stabilising the nerve cell to prevent excessive firing and calming nearby immune cells to prevent release of pro-inflammatory substances.

Three different mechanisms of action on three different cell types for a single purpose: minimise the pain and damage caused by the injury.

The endocannabinoid system, with its complex actions in our immune system, nervous system and all of the body’s organs, is literally a bridge between body and mind. By understanding this system we begin to see a mechanism that explains how states of consciousness can promote health or disease.

In addition to regulating our internal and cellular homeostasis, cannabinoids influence a person’s relationship with the external environment. Socially, the administration of cannabinoids clearly alters human behaviour, often promoting sharing, humour and creativity. By mediating neurogenesis, neuronal plasticity and learning, cannabinoids may directly influence a person’s open-mindedness and ability to move beyond limiting patterns of thought and behaviour from past situations.

Reformatting these old patterns is an essential part of our human evolutionary cycle.

Cannabinoid Receptors

Cannabinoid receptors are present throughout the body, embedded in cell membranes and are believed to be more numerous than any other receptor system. When cannabinoid receptors are stimulated a variety of physiologic processes ensue. Researchers have identified two cannabinoid receptors:

  • CB1, predominantly present in the nervous system, connective tissues, gonads, glands, and organs;
  • CB2, predominantly found in the immune system and its associated structures. Many tissues contain both CB1 and CB2 receptors, each linked to a different action. There is consensus study that suggests that there may be a third cannabinoid receptor waiting to be discovered.

Endocannabinoids are the substances our bodies naturally make to stimulate these receptors. The two most well understood of these molecules are called anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). They are synthesised on-demand from cell membrane arachidonic acid derivatives, have a local effect and short half-life before being degraded by the enzymes fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL).

Phytocannabinoids are plant substances that stimulate cannabinoid receptors. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the most psychoactive and certainly the most famous of these substances, but other cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabinol (CBN) are just as important as they contain a variety of healing properties.

Interestingly, the cannabis plant also uses THC and other cannabinoids to promote its own health and prevent disease. Cannabinoids have antioxidant properties that protect the leaves and flowering structures from ultraviolet radiation – cannabinoids neutralise the harmful free radicals generated by UV rays, protecting the cells. In humans, free radicals cause ageing, cancer and impaired healing. Antioxidants found in plants have long been promoted as natural supplements to prevent free radical harm.

Pineal Holy Communion – Growing Cannabis

Cannabis plants grown using organic methods within organic conditions, under the Sun, Moon and Stars naturally produce the most optimal healing and interactive properties.

The plants hear the wind in the trees and the songs of the birds and crickets, as well as all the other sounds of nature. Both the plants and the people working in the garden feel the beneficial effects of being in the natural environment. As such, the whole process from seeding to nurturing, to cultivating and eventually communing or ingesting the cannabis plant is a spiritual process and practice.

As firm believers in astrology and of aligning our activities with the lunar and planetary rotations, we refer to the phases of the moon when planting our crop. The moon’s phases create the ocean tides, so their effect on water is not in doubt.

Plants like humans are composed mainly of water. When the moon is waxing—increasing in size—it pulls the energy from the ocean and the earth upward and stimulates fertility and vitality in the soil and in the seeds planted.

From new moon to full, each day the moon is visible for an additional 45 minutes, bringing more light to the darkness. The stars also have their celestial light which energetically interacts with night life on this earth.

Each of the twelve signs of the zodiac is assigned a quality of earth, water, fire or air. The first two are fertile signs and the others are sterile. This means plants can grow in earth and water, but not in fire or air (with a few exceptions), traditional farmers have used astrologic guidelines for planting and harvesting for millennia and know that observing these guidelines improves yield and potency.

We generally start harvest according to a fire or air moon or at the full moon when the Sun is in Libra (Sept 23-Oct. 22), although ideally we should in fact “ask the plants when they are ready to come in” so the actual harvest date of each plant is psychically determined.

The main garden itself should be laid out in the pattern of the interlocking triangles of the Sri Yantra, with the plants’ positions at the nodal points and along the lines. The whole is aligned with North-South longitude. This is a form of geomancy, (or Tantra) using a sacred diagram as part of a ritual along with chanting a mantra of intent to infuse the plants with spiritual energy.

Prior to popping the seeds, they must be placed in a copper bowl for a moon cycle to absorb the moon’s energy. When the seeds have finally cracked open, they are then planted in 3 gallon pots for sprouting all the while chanting a mantra of intent with the seed/plant.

Chanting mantras of intent throughout the planting process is imperative: we call this spiritual act Cannabis Holy Communion.

Conclusion

As the world continues to sort through the emerging science of cannabis and cannabinoids, one thing remains clear: a functional cannabinoid system is essential for health.

From embryonic implantation on the wall of our mother’s uterus, to nursing and growth, to responding to injuries, endocannabinoids help us to survive.

Not only can cannabis treat and cure disease, it can also help us prevent disease and promote health by stimulating an ancient system that is hard-wired into all human beings’ anatomy via the endocannabinoid system. Small doses of cannabinoids from cannabis can signal the body to make more endocannabinoids and build more cannabinoid receptors.

This is why many first-time cannabis users don’t feel an effect, but by their second or third time using the herb they have built more cannabinoid receptors and are ready to respond. More receptors increase a person’s sensitivity to cannabinoids; smaller doses have larger effects, and the individual has an enhanced baseline of endocannabinoid activity.

We believe that small, regular doses of cannabis might act as a tonic to our most central physiologic healing system. Cannabis is by far the most useful remedy to treat the widest variety of human diseases and conditions, a component of preventative healthcare, and an adaptive support in our increasingly toxic, carcinogenic environment.

This was well known to the indigenous medical systems of ancient Africa, India, China, and Tibet.

Psilocybin – Magic Mushrooms

Psilocybin is a naturally occurring psychedelic organic compound produced by more than 200 species of fungus. The most potent are members of the genus Psilocybe plant family, but can also be found in other genus plants.

When ingested by humans, psilocybin is quickly converted by the body to psilocin, which has mind-altering effects which include euphoria, visual and mental hallucinations, changes in perception, a distorted sense of time and perceived spiritual experiences. Adverse effects can include possible nausea and panic attacks.

Fungus plants containing active psilocybin are known as “magic mushrooms or shrooms”.

As with cannabis, magic mushrooms alter sensory perception. However, the effect is more striking. Magic mushrooms are usually dried and then eaten, steeped as a tea, or ground into powder that’s cooked into chocolates or placed in capsules. They can take 1 hour or more to kick in. The whole experience typically lasts 4 to 6 hours.

Psilocybin decreases activity in areas of the brain responsible for constraining your experience of the physical world and keeping it orderly. When this process slows down or deactivates, your perception of the world around you dramatically shifts.

As a result: stationary objects might appear to move or melt, humans might appear deeply distorted. Your perception of time and yourself changes.

For some, these effects can lead to spiritual epiphanies and philosophical breakthroughs and for others, they can cause discomfort or fear.

The human psilocybin experiences urge us to think for ourselves and to question everything we think we know. They reveal how society distracts us from deeper truths. Perhaps for the first time, we admit we lack answers to fundamental questions.

Who am I? What are my values? What do I really want? What brings me joy? What is my contribution to the world?

When we examine our beliefs, we face the unsettling possibility that our life has been built on falsehoods. Disillusionment leads many to embark on a spiritual search. In the Kingdom of Pineal we call this the “Quest-i-on”.

With magic mushrooms as our guides, we dive into our own hearts and rediscover childlike attitudes of openness, curiosity and wonder. A new born enters this world as a clean slate without preconceived notions. He or she welcomes new information and perspectives.

Our journeys train us to be like a child who sees through new eyes. With a flexible, soft and supple mind, we lower expectations and start to appreciate our blessings. We empty ourselves and return to being receptive vessels, this is the potential power of magic mushrooms.

Psilocybin DMT Awakening

DMT is a molecule found to be endogenously synthesised with the bodies of animals and humans and has profoundly powerful effects when administered. When activated it has the ability to induce out of body experiences and is thus given the title of “the Spirit Molecule”.

We believe that DMT is said to be the essence within all living beings that best physically expresses the nature of consciousness.

Communing with psilocybin allows us to practice dying before we die. We drop attachments to old ways of thinking, acting and relating. In some of our journeys, we experience transformative states of ego dissolution. The edges of our bodies melt into our surroundings. Thoughts disappear. In the absence of a concrete sense of self, joy radiates.

We are one with the Universe, Heart of the Infinite Source, Infinite Light, Eternal Love and Collective Consciousness. Bodies return to dust, but Life continues beyond our death. This medicine gives us the ability to feel and release fear.

During our journeys, we are like snakes shedding worn out skin or caterpillars in metamorphosis preparing to emerge as butterflies. Every time we commune with the mushroom, our faith in the process of transformation grows.

We forgive rather than punish our demons. By relinquishing control, we feel light and free. Tensions dissolve, our faces glow, we feel reborn and even when happiness appears, we continue the practice of non-grasping.

As we mature, we become aware of our self-centredness. We humble ourselves before life does to avoid the dangerous trap of perceived invincibility. We abandon the need to prove ourselves or be better than others. We take ourselves less seriously and laugh at our folly. We are quicker to say “I was wrong,” and “I’m sorry,” and “please forgive me.”

When others harm us, we pardon them and thank them for allowing us to practice patience. We listen fully instead of thinking about how we are going to respond. When we let go of small mindedness, our hearts become more magnanimous, nurturing and joyous. We cultivate respect for all beings.

Mushrooms remind us that life is a vast interconnected web. All around us, countless beings move and breathe, grow and evolve and compete and cooperate with each other. Trees, insects, birds, rivers and oceans are as much part of life as we are. Our journeys allow us to feel connected to all beings.

We believe psychedelic plant medicines are humanity’s most reliable partners in our urgent struggle to replace toxic systems with regenerative ones. They are teachers -- mirrors that allow us to take an honest look at ourselves. They give us opportunities to relinquish old habits, restore relationships and meet death with joy.

As our minds expand, we think less about what we can get and more about how we can serve others.

Mushroom journeys fill our hearts with gratitude. They show us that though we are insignificant specks of dust, we are also perfect manifestations of the infinite and eternal. Every moment since the beginning of time has led to our present existence.

A wise wizard once stated, "Wisdom tells me I am nothing, Love tells me I’m everything, and between the two my life flows."

Every mushroom journey reaffirms this paradox.

It is important to note that all psilicybin ceremonies must be conducted by a knowledgeable shaman, so as to avoid “unpleasant trips”. This powerful medicine must always be treated with the utmost honour and respect.