SACRED PLANT MEDICINES
Hauchuma, also known as San Pedro, is an entheogenic cactus native to the Andes Mountains in South America. It’s been used in shamanic healing ceremonies for thousands of years.
Shamans used San Pedro as a sacrament to enhance perception and connect with the spirit world. Plant medicines like San Pedro have been used around the world by indigenous people to awaken intuition, expand consciousness and assist in diagnosing illnesses. During ceremonies, both shaman and patient consume San Pedro allowing shamans to “see” imbalances in the mind-body-spirit.
During colonial rule, the Catholic church labeled Hauchuma as “diabolic” and a form of devil worship. Religious oppression forced Hauchuma to go underground as natives that did not conform to Christianity were persecuted. However, many healers continued to practice shamanism and preserve this rich healing tradition in secrecy.
The spiritual properties of Hauchuma were widely known by the Spanish. After the Spanish conquest, Hauchuma was renamed ‘San Pedro’, after the apostle Saint Peter. Saint Peter was a Christian saint said to hold the keys to Heaven’s gates. Renaming Huachuma after Saint Peter signifies that Spanish colonists were fully aware of the plants’ ability to open the doors to sacred realms.
From an ayurvedic perspective, I would classify San Pedro as a rejuvenating tonic, as it strengthens tissues, enhances digestion, increases stamina, and energizes the body. It grows abundantly in the high altitudes of the Andes mountain. These environmental conditions allow Hauchuma to gather and contain the Sun’s prana. Hauchuma posses powerful solar energy with the ability to burn through spiritual ignorance and illumine the mind.
Mescaline is the active psychoactive chemical in San Pedro and other native ceremonial plants such as Peyote. Mescaline has a wide array of suggested medical usage, including treatment of alcoholism and depression. Because Mescaline is a Schedule I controlled substance there are very few studies of the potential therapeutic benefits. Similar to cannabis, these strict governmental regulations have limited the availability of this plant medicine to researchers and accessibility to patients.
It's my firm opinion that these governmental regulations on traditional sacred medicines are another form of oppression and spiritual persecution. Luckily, San Pedro grows abundantly and is used widely for landscaping purposes. While it's illegal to consume, it's perfectly legal to grow San Pedro in your backyard.