Plant medicine has proven to be safe and effective in addressing common mental health challenges (anxiety, depression, addictive disorders, PTSD, amongst others), as well as improving well-being and performance in healthy individuals, benefiting from improvements in cognition, mood, behavior, brain function, and social connectedness.
Jonathan de Potter is a thought leader in the space, and facilitates life-changing plant medicine journeys to help people explore their inner world, discover their truth, and live to their full potential. He discusses the current science behind plant medicine, and how it may help you or a loved one improve your life or overcome a current personal challenge.
What Do You Define Plant Medicine As?
This door was first opened for me about 5 years ago now and I was actually an atheist at the time.
The reason I use the term ‘plant medicine’ is because I think it’s a more accurate description for things like Ayahuasca and Psilocybin.
There’s Much Skepticism Around Certain Drugs. How do you address that?
Plant medicine traditions have been broadly wiped out across the world. When we work with clients there are many different backgrounds they could be coming from. We always work with clients in a way that allows the subjectivity of the experience to unfold.
This work is fundamentally all about reconnecting people with their inherit divinity and allowing them to reach higher states of consciousness. We do this so that they can discover these universal truths with themselves. Whether we’re talking about universal love, the interconnectivity of all things, God consciousness, and many other mystical, spiritual, powerful experiences.
The work is about integrating that into our daily lives. How we treat ourselves, how we treat others and how we can live with more joy, peace, and love through having this improved understanding.
** Prefer To Watch? Check Out Our Livestream On Plant Medicine for Personal and Spiritual Growth With Jonathan Potter Here!**
The Goal with Plant Medicine
It’s very easy to have a powerful transcendent psychedelic experience on universal love. But what we’re actually trying to do is sustain a higher level of consciousness.
We try to help people understand their mental and emotional blind spots. We all have patterns in our mind that we might like to rewire and we have a lot of negative stored emotions. When you know these things, we can really accelerate that process with plant medicine. Plant medicine isn’t the silver bullet.
Science tells us that plant medicine can help us reconnect with our joy for life. Number two, it can help us deepen our spirituality and number 3, it cannot help us remove our feelings of negativity and toxicity. That’s the work that needs to be done.
How Plant Medicine affects peoples’ overall health?
The way that I generally speak about this is in relation to mind, body, and spirit.
Starting with the mind, it really does create new neurons in the brain and reconnects regions of the brain with neuroplasticity.
If you look at a scan of a typical western brain, what you see is there’s a small subset of neuron pathways being overused. That’s because most of us have been traumatized and are overwhelmed by the complexities of everyday modern life. As a response to the overwhelm, we tend to become quite patterned in the way that we see the world and the way that we engage with the world. The more that time goes on, the more that gets entrenched in the brain.
It also has been shown to improve creativity. Through this work we can become much more aware of the patterns of our minds and begin not only the thought quality but reduce the thought quantity.
In terms of the body, there’s a mind-body connection, also called intuition. Reestablishing a deep connection there is super important.
As you establish that mind-body connection you don’t find your mind drifting off to past and future so much. You’re more here in the present moment.
Through working with plant medicine we can in fact change our gene expression and I think that’s just the beginning of what’s possible there.
There’s also stories related to cancer and autoimmune disease. We’ve even had clients that come back and have had better eye vision.
From a spiritual perspective, there’s a removal of energetic disseminate. We all have disseminate energies that have been stored in our bodies that we want to be releasing out through this work.
Often through these experiences such as out of body experiences, we deepen our understanding of the relationship between self and the universe, and are given some guidance in terms of purpose, gifts, strengths and skills, etc.
What happens During the 7 Week Process and the Retreats
7 Week Process
We go deep with them with where they’re at and where they would like to be, so we can assess if we are a good fit to serve them. We typically help people who are doing pretty well and help them do even better, rather than help people suffering with addiction, anxiety, depression, etc.
Once we establish that we are a good fit for each other we bring them through a safety screening so we can understand all of their medical history and be sure that this is going to be perfectly safe for them.
Then we match them with a coach or a therapist depending on what they’re working on, and they will head on to one of our retreats.
We typically do 3 or 4 ceremonies with the plant medicine over the space of the retreat and we keep group sizes to 6-10 to make it more intimate.
There’s yoga, meditation, vegetarian meals, plenty of time for resting, reflection, and journaling.
There’s downloads included with the retreat that they can do after their experience to help integrate this into their life.
Integrating the Changes into Everyday Life
People often find that by even going on one retreat it strengthens their meditation practice. With plant medicine you can really remove some of the blockers that most beginners experience.
In terms of continuing to explore this work after their first experience, it really depends on the individual.