From Magic Mushrooms to Big Pharma a college course explores natures medicine cabinet and different ways of healing

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2023-06-09 12:29:31  • 4 mins

Title of course:

From Magic Mushrooms to Big Pharma

What prompted the idea for the course?

Im from the foothills of the Appalachians in southern Ohio, where my Grandma Mildred would go out into the woods, which she called her medicine cabinet, to find herbs to use as medicine. I grew up to be an anthropologist, interested in how people around the world heal themselves. In the 1990s, I did my dissertation research in Ecuador and learned how Indigenous people in the Choco region used ayahuasca and other medicines from the forest to assist in the grieving process.

With the legalization of cannabis in many states and increased research on how nontraditional drugs can assist people with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and addiction issues, it seemed like an opportune time to create this course. Its part of a new interdisciplinary minor at Western Illinois University called Cannabis & Culture that offers students a foundation for understanding the social and cultural context, history and politics of nature-based medicine use in the United States and around the globe.

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