Good news for the London-based! This autumn the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew will host a series of mind-altering events. From 20 September till 12 October you can explore and learn everything about the medicinal and intoxicating sides of a wide array of plants and fungi.
Explore the secret history of opium (poppy) or discuss the medical benefits of psilocybin mushrooms with experts . Try to knit your own hemp fabrics. Or follow the deadly plants route through the gardens: you’ll be surprised by the amount of familiar names you’ll encounter!
Did you know there’s plenty more plants that can be turned into stimulant drinks next to coffee and tea? You can pick up such a concoction from the botanical bar. The Plant Connoisseurs Club provides ‘food’ workshops where you can sample ‘culturally significant plants consumed around the world’, like betel nut, kola nut, raw guarana and blue lotus tea.
Prefer to get your hands dirty? Sign up for the mushroom workshop. There’s also a pop-up library on poisonous and intoxicating plants in the Orangery restaurant and an exposition of plant-inspired art in the Shirley Sherwood Gallery.
In the Princess of Wales Conservatory films and documentaries are shown, for example about magic mushrooms, betel nut, coca and coffee. Every weekend there’s a lecture, for example ‘Cannabis: drug, herb, medicine, or sacrament?’ on 27 and 28 September.
Obviously in the Kew Gardens, the living plants are there for you to visit as well.
So, if you happen to be in London this autumn, be sure to check it out!
More info: Intoxication Season at Kew and full program: PsyPress UK