Andrew Weil

Ethnomycologist, naturophat

Botany- and medicine student Andrew Weil continues working, after receiving his Harvard diploma, at the Harvard Botanical Museum as a research associate (ethnopharmacology) for fifteen years. During these years his interest is especially drawn to the medical aspect of psychotropic drugs. This results in 1971 in a first book: The Natural Mind, which is about the human drive towards altered states of consciousness.

In continuation of this he travels, as a fellow of the Institute of Current World Affairs, all over the world to collect information about the medicinal use of (psychotropic) plants. This is how he winds up in 1972 in the by then famous Mexican ‘magic mushroom village’ Huautla de Jimenez where he participates, under the guidance of a curandera, in a Velada.

Nowadays Weil is known as one of the leading proponents of ‘integrative medicine’: a combination of mainstream medical treatments and alternative treatments. He works at the University of Arizona as director and founder of an integrative medicine program and on the website of his advice organization in this area, Weil Lifestyles LLC, he gives lots of tips on how to live as healthy as possible.

Weil receives recognition for his numerous contributions to the field of ethnologic mycology, botany and medicine in 1995 when a psilocybin mushroom is named after him: the Psilocybe weilii. Name-givers are Dr. Gaston Guzman, Fidel Tapia, and mycologist Paul Stamets.

Weil has always been open with his views on the War On Drugs. In his book From Chocolate to Morphine, he writes: ‘Drugs are here to stay. History teaches that it is vain to hope that drugs will ever disappear and that any effort to eliminate them from society is doomed to failure.’