Reciprocity is the concept of supporting the origins of psychedelic practices, especially indigenous communities. Psychedelic reciprocity acknowledges that access to psychedelic substances would not be possible without the deep roots of indigenous cultures. Furthermore, reciprocity brings awareness to the historical disenfranchisement and resulting economic disparity created in these communities.

Psychedelic reciprocity strives to provide allyship and appreciation rather than cultural appropriation. The tenets of reciprocity suggest a deep respect for the sacred and spiritual roots of indigenous plant medicine. Psychedelic reciprocity aims to understand the cultural, historical, and current issues of the indigenous peoples whose sacred plants and stories have laid the groundwork for modern psychedelic medicines.

Reciprocity also requires giving back. Giving back financially to those communities that have inspired (and provided the foundation for) a psychedelic retreat’s experience is a great example of reciprocity.

Understandably, there is often some mistrust from native peoples surrounding attempts at reciprocity. And it’s important to note that reciprocity must be a mutual practice. The terms of reciprocity should not be entirely determined by the entity “giving back” to a community—the community should be part of these conversations. Also, reciprocity requires that those who provide psychedelic tourism take a hard look at how their tours can impact traditional plant medicine communities.

Reciprocity Initiatives

Reciprocity is rooted in the understanding that the history and context of using medicines sacred to indigenous cultures requires careful balance. A balance constantly sought by companies who provide access to psychedelic medicines. These companies must constantly work to protect the indigenous roots of these plants, while trying to bring access to more people who can benefit from them.