In a tentative win for kratom legality in Tennessee, Christopher Miller had his case retired by the DA. The story had gained a good bit of publicity after reddit commenters urged users to write in to the stations who were falsely referring to kratom as an opiate and a synthetic. Kratom, of course, is a botanical from the coffee family that has been safely used for hundreds of years as a folk medicine in Southeast Asia. It recently faced a ban via DEA scheduling, but in a literally unprecedented back-down the Drug Enforcement Agency was forced to yield to public comment, bipartisan support in both houses, expert opinion of biochemists, ethnobotanists, pharmacologists and even a world renowned drug addiction specialist at Johns Hopkins University, the ban did not go through. The first time the DEA has done such in their history.
This is not the first kratom case thrown out in Tennessee. Sarah Carpenter of Knoxville and David Bean in Nashville were represented by lawyer Robert Vaughn. In these two prior cases, as with that of Christopher Miller, the cases were thrown out (one nullified, one dismissed and Christopher Miller’s case retired). The Tennessee law that is believed to apply to kratom is actually a synthetics bill according to the title and the language in the body of the bill.
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[featured image by Seana K]
The origins of both medicine and religion have some similar roots. Many of them reach thousands of years back to Tengerian tradition of Shamanic myth, magic and medicine. The Tengerian Shamanic tradition of Siberia was also influential on the traditional Christmas celebration and the Santa Claus mythos connected to it, as we’ll see today.
Among these cultures are the northern Tungusic people, Lapps, Evenki and other Siberian tribes. The Evenki were predominantly hunter-gatherers and reindeer herders as were most living in the harsh region. The Evenki people’s word “saman” meaning “one who knows the spirits” is the root of the word describing the “medicine man” type religious healer in pre-modern cultures. An important part of the religious and healing ceremonies of the Tengerian Shamanic medicine man was the use of “fly agaric” the Amantis muscaria mushroom, better known colloquially as a “red-cap” or “toadstool.”
If you’ve seen pictures of giant red warty mushrooms in fairy tale drawings or little white spotted mushrooms in Byzantine art featuring Jesus then you’ve seen the amanitas mushroom. Interestingly enough, it’s not called a toadstool because toads are known to sit on it, rather because of a constituent that also happens to be found in “eyes of newts”(or Bufo Alvarius, the Sonoran Desert Toad) and other witchy sounding formulas.
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The blue lotus, (botanical name, Nymphaea caerulea) is a plant shrouded in three millennia of hazy mystery and equal controversy befitting such an intriguing subject. Through years of it’s being venerated and memorialized in art and architecture as much seems to have been hidden as revealed. Like the glorious golden globe, concealed by the field of blue petals until dawn’s light awakens it to seeming life to beam along with the sun. It’s unique role in the development of medicine, religion and culture wasn’t even begun to be fully unveiled until the 1800’s. It is perhaps here that the beginnings of at least the modern academic controversy hearken back.
Even it’s nomenclature is at times confused or in dispute. the blue lotus, is in fact, a stylized lily. It’s official name in Latin, Nymphaea Caerulea, in fact is part of our origin of the word cerulean. Indigo and several other hues of blue may have began in the form of adjectives in Proto-Indo-European. The word indigo, for instance hearkens from “nila” which meant blue (as in the color of the Nile).
The irrigation of the Nile and the early botanical marvel that was stylizing the white lily into the blue lotus are perfect symbols of the growth of civilization out of wilderness. The white lily was an unscented aquatic flower that opened and night and closed at dawn. Early Egyptian botanists were able to, from it’s literal roots create a blue-petaled flower which a strong, sweetly pungent scent that opened it’s blue petals at dawn to expose a yellow center (symbolizing the sun arising from the blue field of the sky daily).
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