Ian Benouis

Sacred plants and Islam saved my life. The goal of the mystical experience is altered traits not altered states. Huston Smith. Nature loves courage. Terence McKenna. Ask the plants of the earth and they will teach you. Job 12:8. If you see the day of judgement coming finish planting a tree. Muhammad

The Inaugural Los Angeles Psychedelic Science Symposium was held June 22-23, 2018 at the UCLA Ackerman Grand Ballroom. 
Nisha Money, MD was the moderator and Ian Benouis, Matt Kahl and Brooke and Michael Cooley were on the panel. 

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As part of the team (I’m credited with hospitality and moral support) that helped in the creation of the movie From Shock to Awe I was invited to participate in the film’s premiere at the Illuminate Film Festival where it received an Honorable Mention for Social Impact in the category of Debut Feature Competition Jury Prize and it received the Mangurama Award for Conscious Documentary Storytelling.

botany, chemistry and cultivation of major and obscure psychoactive plants
history of modern ethnopharmacology and ethnomycology
peyote & solandra amoung the Huichol and the role of women in shamanism
ancient & contemporary Anadenanthera snuffs of the Atacama Desert
plant teachers of Amazonian shamanism and modern ayahuasca cults in Brazil
iboga ethnobotany and ibogaine in experimental research
training in field techniques used for ethnobotanical specimen collecting
native uses and preparations of entheogenic plants, past and present
practical methods for extraction, isolation and assay of active plant compounds
ayahuasca and admixture plants and novel ayahuasca analogs
ethnobotany, chemistry and cultivation of entheogenic mushrooms and fungi

At the end of April of 2016 I traveled to Peru with five other veterans on a mission to explore plant medicines to heal service trauma. This experience would be captured in the documentary Soldiers of the Vine. Before making the pilgrimage to the spiritual home of ayahuasca, the universe had some more classes in store for me on the plant medicine curriculum.

“On a balmy Texas Saturday, I sat among a motley crew of people watching three very disturbing facts show across the screen in front of us.

Veterans commit suicide at a rate two times higher than the general population. More U.S. Veterans have killed themselves than have died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Twenty-two U.S. veterans take their own lives every day.

We were watching the short film Soldiers of the Vine: Healing War Trauma with Plant Medicine. This documentary is a journey into the hearts and minds of six veterans as they travel to Peru seeking sacred plant medicine to heal their Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.”