The Psychedelic Podcast by Third Wave

Ancient Psychoactive Potions: Beta-Carbolines & Syrian Rue

Episode 190

Jonathan Lu & Shauheen Etminan, Ph.D.

Jonathan Lu & Shauheen Etminan, founders of Magi Ancestral Supplements, join Paul F. Austin to discuss the rich world of beta-Carbolines.

Jonathan & Shauheen are the co-founders of VCENNA, a drug discovery company that creates mental wellness solutions from psychoactive plants used ceremonially in Ancestral Eastern traditions. In this enchanting conversation, they share about their research and experimentation into Syrian rue and other near-forgotten plants, unpacking their rich historical and anthropological contexts. They explain the unique neurobiological and subjective effects of beta-Carbolines, including when combined with tryptamine-containing substances such as in an Ayahuasca brew. Paul F. Austin shares his own experiences with their formulation, Stard Deep Meditation Supplement.

Visit to learn more, and use code PAUL10 at checkout for 10% off their unique products.

Jonathan Lu is an engineer who has been studying 2000-year-old Chinese texts in search of compounds, formulations, and rituals that have been lost to history. Their team applies modern neurophysiological and computational tools to understand scientifically what our ancestors discovered millennia ago, and from which they developed the nootropic formulations for Magi Ancestral Supplements.

Jonathan is a proud father of three daughters and has visited 66 countries. He is a graduate of Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, and received a B.S. in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering from Cornell University.

Shauheen Etminan, Ph.D. is an intuitive activator and repeat founder with a passion for creating impactful products and platforms that embody wellness, abundance, authenticity, reciprocity, and inclusion. He has a track record of working in multiple industries including psychedelics for mental wellness and cognitive growth, which are aligned with his life story as a founder and mission as an autotelic entrepreneur.

Inspired by the exceptional contribution of the father of pre-modern medicine, Avicenna, Shauheen founded VCENNA after visiting the Persian polymath’s mausoleum in Hamedan. Shauheen and his team have been searching for the ancestral use of psychoactive plants for holistic wellness and otherworldly journeys in the East. By applying advanced scientific tools in chemistry, neurophysiology and psychopharmacology to the study of the Iranian inebriating elixir of truth, Haoma, his team discovered neurological health properties in beta-carbolines and developed Magi ancestral nootropic supplements.

Shauheen holds a MSc and PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Calgary. He is a secular mystic who practices Sufi Dervish whirling meditation.

Podcast Highlights

  • Jonathan & Shauheen’s ventures, VCENNA and Ancestral Magi.
  • Exploring forgotten divine potions, haoma, and soma, and the ancient and modern uses of Espand (Syrian rue).
  • Psychedelics, Buddhism, and meditation.
  • Exploring the physiological effects of beta-Carbolines.
  • Shauheen and Jonathan’s personal experiences with beta-Carbolines and psychedelics.

This episode is brought to you by Magi Ancestral Supplements! Among Magi’s beta-Carboline nootropics is my personal favorite minidose, Stard Deep Meditation Aid which has been shown by brain scans to help you achieve a deeper state of meditation.

Right now Magi Ancestral Supplements is offering 10% off for listeners of the Third Wave Podcast with coupon code paul10.  Visit to learn more about Stard and their other cognitive-enhancing nootropics.

This podcast is brought to you by Third Wave’s Mushroom Grow Kit. The biggest problem for anyone starting to explore the magical world of mushrooms is consistent access from reputable sources. That’s why we’ve been working on a simple, elegant (and legal!) solution for the past several months. Third Wave Mushroom Grow Kit and Course has the tools you need to grow mushrooms along with an in-depth guide to finding spores.

Podcast Transcript

0:00:00.4 Paul Austin: Welcome back to The Psychedelic Podcast by Third Wave. Today I’m speaking with Jonathan Lu and Shauheen Etminan, the co-founders of VCENNA.

0:00:12.7 Shauheen Etminan: The thing that really interests us the most, if we look at really the history of plant medicine, almost never was it just this one drug or one target, one compound approach. That’s the simplistic approach that it would be great if medicine and the human body worked that way. I can cure you just by affecting this one thing. All of historical medicine and plant use has always been mixtures of trying to figure out without understanding really the first principle science what combinations can most impact. And we now have the ability to use some of that first principle science to better understand, if not have a full knowledge, which we may never have about why these things work.


0:00:49.5 Paul Austin: Welcome to the Psychedelic Podcast by Third Wave, audio mycelium, connecting you to the luminaries and thought leaders of the psychedelic renaissance. We bring you illuminating conversations with scientists, therapists, entrepreneurs, coaches, doctors, and shamanic practitioners, exploring how we can best use psychedelic medicine to accelerate personal healing, peak performance and collective transformation.


0:01:25.0 Paul Austin: Hey, listeners, I’m so excited to have both Jonathan Lu and Shauheen Etminan on the podcast today. We talk about their supplement, Magi. Magi comes from the Persian word that represents the ancient magicians of old, and what Jonathan and Shauheen have created is an incredible legal supplement that is based in Syrian rue, an ancient medicine from the Middle East. We first met a couple years ago at a conference in Miami. About a year after that, I tried their supplement for the first time. It’s called Stard, S-T-A-R-D, and had an opportunity to see how it combined with a microdose of LSD to allow for that state of no-mind. We talk about this in the podcast. And what’s great about this Syrian rue supplement is that it’s completely legal. You can purchase it today and you’ll notice the meditative quality that comes from it.

0:02:28.9 Paul Austin: It’s really impressive. Just a little bit of background about Jonathan and Shauheen. Jonathan is the co-founder of VCENNA, a drug discovery company that creates mental wellness solutions from psychoactive plants to use ceremonially in ancestral eastern traditions. Jonathan is an engineer, and he’s been studying 2000-year-old Chinese texts in search of compounds, formulations, and rituals that have been lost to history. Shauheen is an intuitive activator and repeat founder with a passion for creating impactful products and platforms that embody wellness, abundance, authenticity, reciprocity, and inclusion. He has a track record of working in multiple industries amongst which psychedelics for mental wellness and cognitive growth is aligned with most because of his life story as a founder and his mission as an autotelic entrepreneur. Shauheen holds both an MSc and PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Calgary, and he is a secular mystic who practices Sufi dervishes, whirling meditations. But before we dive into today’s episode, a word from our sponsors.

0:03:36.5 Paul Austin: This episode is brought you by Magi Ancestral Supplements. Those of you who follow Third Wave know that I believe good sleep and meditation are core pillars of developing empathy and compassion with intention. And like many of you, I struggle with both. And that’s why I love Magi, who’s made the world’s first beta-Carboline based supplement in support of healthy sleep and deep meditation. What are beta-Carbolines? They’re an overlooked class of compounds in the world of psychedelics that are often overshadowed by tryptamines and phenethylamines. Usually they’re thought of as just a component of ayahuasca that makes DMT orally active, but they’re so much more than that. These have a rich plant medicine tradition for thousands of years in ancient Iran, where they were consumed in ritual ceremonies for meditative insights. They’re produced endogenously in the brain, and beta-Carbolines possess a wealth of cognitive health benefits, ranging from anti-inflammatory and stress relief to neuro protection and neurogenesis.

The team of chemists, pharmacologists and neuroscientists at Magi Ancestral Supplements have crafted a line of microdose and mini dose nootropics derived from beta-Carbolines using their patented plaque extraction technology. My favorite is their Stard deep meditation supplement, which I take 15 minutes before meditating, and it helps me to reach a deep trance state of meditation where an hour passes by like nothing, with none of the usual fidgeting anxious distractions or wandering that my monkey brain is prone to do. For me, I’ve even found supplementation with it to combine well with other traditional microdosing protocols like LSD or psilocybin. For a limited time Magi Ancestral Supplements is giving listeners of The Psychedelic Podcast a special 10% discount for any order on their website, visit, one word that’s ancestralmagi M-A-G-I dot com to view their product line and enter the coupon code PAUL10. PAUL10, to get a 10% off, they currently ship within both the US and Puerto Rico, and give these a try to take your meditation to the next level, that’s ancestralmagi M-A-G-I dot com, coupon code PAUL10.

0:05:47.9 Paul Austin: Alright, that’s it for now. Let’s go ahead and dive into this episode with Jonathan and Shauheen. I hope you enjoy this riveting conversation about Syrian rue.

0:05:57.0 Paul Austin: Hey, listeners, welcome back to The Psychedelic Podcast. Today we have Shauheen Etminan and Jonathan Lu who are joining us. They are co-founders of Magi, which is a really interesting company that we’ll talk more about today. And Shauheen and Jonathan and I, we all met at the Wonderland Conference, not in 2022, but in 2021. And then I saw them again at the Wonderland Conference in 2022, and I was like, “Wait, didn’t we have some really interesting conversations last year?” And so we ended up hanging out for the entire conference, more or less, including a whirling dervish experience from Shauheen at 4:00 AM after our after-hours Wonderland party. So we had a ton of fun. They’ve come out with a new product line called Stard. A new product called Stard, amongst a product line that’s focused on beta-Carbolines, which we’ll get into in this episode.

0:06:45.9 Paul Austin: It’s gonna be really fascinating because we’re both gonna touch on the sort of historical context, even an anthropological context, around beta-Carbolines, around Syrian rue, around Haoma, which you’ll learn about in this episode. And we’re also gonna talk about the sort of neurochemical, the biological, what’s actually happening in the brain and the body when we take these beta-Carbolines with or without psychedelics. So Shauheen and Jonathan, welcome to the show.

0:07:18.6 Jonathan Lu: Thanks very much, Paul.

0:07:19.5 Shauheen Etminan: It’s a pleasure.

0:07:21.0 Jonathan Lu: It’s always a pleasure to be here with you, and mutual friends in common.

0:07:25.9 Paul Austin: And mutual friends in common who happen to be listening into this in the background. We won’t mention any names Idelsa, but it’s good to have you with us. So the first… Whenever I have a couple people on the podcast who are here together, what I love to lead in for the audience is how do you know each other? What’s the sort of origin story of your relationship, how did you meet, and how is that relevant to Magi, the company that you’ve co-founded together?

0:07:54.0 Shauheen Etminan: Yeah, I can tell… I can start. Jon and I know each other from a Singularity University in Silicon Valley. Yeah, there was… I, at the time, back in 2018, I was working on a very different tech related startup. And Jon was our cohort basically one of the experts for the cohort and coaches. So yeah, we kind of we connected at that point, but mostly around psychedelics and neurohacking, basically biohacking and that relation is… We kept the relation until back in 2021 again, that at that time I was already working on basically VCENNA, which is our main company, our drug discovery company. And I reached out to Jon. I was very lucky that Jon was in between ventures and yeah, he just joined and we have been working since.

0:08:58.2 Jonathan Lu: Yeah, and the other thing of course that naturally appealed to me from Shauheen is that, as opposed to myself, that only studied the topic, but never really worked, and maybe I can borderline say that I consider myself a chemical engineer. He was a real chemical engineer, studied a PhD and is one of the world’s foremost leading experts when it comes to mass transfer, which is particularly important when it comes to the products that we are working on here, which are all derived from how do you take these compounds out of the plants?

0:09:22.9 Paul Austin: So, Singularity University, Shauheen you were working on a startup, Jonathan you were helping to advise and coach within that cohort, you come together and in 2021 you start Magi. What is… What is the overarching goal or a vision that… Or mission of Magi?

0:09:40.6 Shauheen Etminan: Yeah, we, the story of Magi is a little bit longer than that, but we started VCENNA as our drug discovery company, which the Magi is our supplement product that came to market kind of later, back in last year. But like many other companies that they just dived into this psychedelic space. And at the beginning it was very hot around drug discovery and medicalization. We kind of like spent about a year and I went through all the steps around drug discovery, toward a clinical trial, which kind of built our basis around pharmacology, neuroscience, data science and informatics, and kind of everything that you need for a drug discovery, except the fact that we were working on natural compounds and we were working on holistic wellness. So these are… These two parameters were what was not very easy to move it forward from the capital, basically raising capital and financing the company because natural products are not patentable.

0:10:49.9 Shauheen Etminan: And then the other thing is that, like, when it comes to holistic wellness, usually FDA likes like simpler or single molecule drugs to be pushed toward like clinical trials when we are working on multiple receptors and kind of, we call it polypharmacology, that’s always coming out as more risky for the investors. So it was kind of like around summer this at 2022, that we decided that like we kind of like halted our drug discovery for becoming basically a pharmaceutical drug. And then we brought our like year and a half, our two years of work toward launching this supplement called Magi. And maybe I’ll leave that to Jon to tell a little bit about Magi’s focus.

0:11:40.7 Jonathan Lu: So where we are with Magi was the same origin, the same objective for where we began with VCENNA, which was, as we looked across the industry and we saw a number of players starting to get into the market, really, there was not a lot of diversity among the different compounds that we were working on. Almost everything at the time was focused on some variants of LSD, psilocybin or MDMA and from our own just ancestral history, there’s this wide array and this very rich legacy of plant medicine using a number of plants, some very esoteric and forgotten, some that are fairly well known, but are forgotten what their use was. Where we saw this opportunity for us to bring not just natural plant medicine, but natural plant medicine using some of the unknown or forgotten plants and compounds that had been lost to the time from particularly Eastern Asian plant medicine. And that’s where the foundation of our drug discovery program came from. And then the foundation for all our scientific knowledge as we pursued that drug discovery program and realized that there were a couple compounds that if we put them in isolation, are unscheduled and we can bring to market much sooner as a supplement that brings some value to the customer rather than going through a seven year FDA clinical process to go prove if these are safe and effective for a very narrow window of medical definition.

0:12:52.7 Paul Austin: And what are those compounds?

0:12:54.9 Jonathan Lu: Those compounds are the ones that we have within our products that are at first, our first line is based on a class of beta-Carbolines, as you had mentioned before. Particularly those harmala alkaloids that are most commonly known as being the ingredients used from ayahuasca together with DMT but actually are richer in concentration from the plant that we are using, which is this ancestral Iranian plant called Espand.

0:13:21.8 Paul Austin: Tell us a little bit more about Espand and the sort of anthropological context in Zoroastrian or Persian history.

0:13:30.4 Shauheen Etminan: Yeah, this is getting back to around kind of the old religions in Iran. Kind of the timing is around like 1500 to around 2000 years before Christ. And that’s the time that there were these shamanic practices within the Iranian religion that the compound or it’s been mostly a mixture called Haoma has been used by just the caste of priests, not by general people, unlike ayahuasca, this is just was very limited to the priests and also some of the kings. And they were taking this psychoactive compounds for having access to the realm of unconscious or after death. And the main reason for that was to check on the truth of their religion and the rituals that they were just participating in. And then when you look into the history that has been brought into Zoroastrian Pantheon as well. So Haoma, if you look into Avesta or Gatha, has been reported that was being used as a very potent intoxicant.

0:15:00.0 Shauheen Etminan: And it also comes from Sanskrit and Soma, which comes now mostly from India that some there is relating these two to be the same. The name is gonna be the same, and the meaning means to press out. So the process was pressing out something from the active compounds from the main plant or any type of botanical identity that it had. And but the interesting work has been around about 40, 45 years ago there was a very big topic around what was the kind of the botanical identity of this intoxicant Haoma or Soma. And that was around the time that Gordon Wasson also published his book around Soma and then he kind of claimed that Soma was fly agaric or mushrooms, which is kind of, he defines it as Amanita muscaria. But, then later on around that time, Trans McKenna also talks about what was Haoma?

0:16:07.8 Shauheen Etminan: He thinks mostly again, like that around psilocybin as the main identity of this intoxicant. But again, at the same time there has been another ethnopharmocologist, his name is David Flattery, who is the author of the book Haoma and Harmaline. And then they have a whole book on this topic, which is a collaboration between him who traveled through Iran from 1960 to around 1963. And a linguist, a gothic linguist, which was basically the main book of Zoroastrian to kind of unlock what was the subjective experience of taking Haoma and then bringing that into some type of kind of deciphering from that subjective experience. The main distinction that they brought on was that Soma was very related to the flower of India versus Haoma, and then they focused fully on Haoma and Iran because most of the verbal poems and poetries that was left from that time, kind of was transcribed in about a thousand years later.

0:17:22.9 Shauheen Etminan: And they think that everything that exists in Gatha, in Avesta is more accurate around Haoma. If you study Haoma, at least you can get to more accurate chemistry. And yeah. And then they concluded that because of the subjective effect that was Peganum harmala, Espand or Syrian rue which is a very high potent source of beta-carbolines. It’s very interesting. It’s exactly like Banisteriopsis caapi wine which comes from the bark of this twisted tree from Amazon that is also a very high kind of container of alkaloids of harmala, but they call them banistrene in kind of in Iran they call it harmala and Harmaline. And it’s kinda in general, it has about five times more alkaloid content than Banisteriopsis caapi.

0:18:21.2 Jonathan Lu: Yeah. And also very importantly, it’s not endangered.

0:18:25.0 Shauheen Etminan: Yeah. And then the whole context goes around how was Haoma being used, which is the story is that Haoma was being used a lot by the priest and as well as the warriors for very different reasons. And even though, it has, again, it’s like a potion or it’s like an elixir, it seems that, based on my study, it seems that they were using it in different context. They were using it with different pharmacology. And then another distinction that comes in is that Zoroastrians are not relating themselves to any use of chemicals for their religion today.

0:19:02.0 Shauheen Etminan: And that’s why it’s been lost, because they believe that one of the reforms that Zoroaster brought into Zoroastrianism has become a philosophy and religion later on, was that he kind of, he asked them to stay away from overusing this compound. And then again, let’s say it continued to come into the time for a time like there are reports that they were using it. This is kind of a little bit before the Jesus Christ time. And then after that [0:19:35.0] Sasanian time that Zoroastrianism becomes kind of the state religion in the Iranian plateau.

0:19:43.5 Shauheen Etminan: And there are reports and there are all kinds of transcriptions around use of this, again, by the priest. And this goes all the way to when Iran is occupied by Islam. And after that time is kind of this is getting fully lost for multiple reasons. So this is but there are multiple referrals from these texts, from all the way from Gatha, which is the direct poems of Zarathushtra and then later on Aveta, which was added to main Gatha about the stories and referrals to getting intoxication for traveling to the realm of divine and then accessing to the unconscious.


0:20:34.8 Paul Austin: After hundreds of conversations with our listeners, we found that the single biggest problem when most people begin to explore the world of psychedelics is sourcing the medicine. So we’ve developed a creative solution. Third Wave’s Mushroom Grow Kit and video course. Just go to and use the code 3W podcast to get a $75 discount. I’ve experimented with a lot of different grow kits in the past and this one is seriously next level. We’ve partnered with super-nerd mycologists to make this the simplest, easiest grow kit possible. It’s small enough to fit in a drawer and most people get their first harvest in four to six weeks. You get everything you need right out of the box, pre-sterilized, and ready to use. Except for spores, which we can’t sell for legal reasons. And speaking of legal issues, growing your own mushrooms for “scientific purposes” is 100% legal in 47 states. You can have your private supply of medicine without the risk.

Our course also comes with a step-by-step high-quality video program showing you exactly what to do when you receive that mushroom grow kit. No blurry photos or vague language. You’ll see exactly what to do each step of the way. Yields range from 28-108 grams, so this more than pays for itself in one harvest. Plus, you can get up to four harvests per kit. This is the simplest way to get a reliable supply of your own psilocybin mushrooms. Again, just go to and use the code 3W podcast to save $75. The number three, the letter W podcast to save $75.

0:22:19.2 Paul Austin: So Jonathan, tell us a little bit about the subjective effects of Syrian Rue of Harmala of Haoma. Kind of bring us deeper into like if working with this, and, and Shauheen mentioned touching it a little bit, but if working with this, let’s say listeners are curious about this and we’ll get a little bit more into Stard and, and what that entails, but just what are the subjective effects of this? And just to clarify for the listeners, when we say that, when we talk about Haoma as an MOAI, it means that it does need to be combined with some sort of tryptamine in order to have a classic psychedelic effect. So I’d love to hear you talk a little bit about what does just taking the MOAI do and what happens when we combine that with a tryptamine compound. What impact, what effect does that have?

0:23:07.4 Jonathan Lu: Yeah, I love that question because that’s always been the classic belief that Yage or Banisteriopsis caapi, that the source of the Harmala alkaloids, it’s only there to potentiate the DMT and they don’t have an impact by themselves, which even in the Amazonian tribes, there are a number of them, I think particularly more in Columbia, that they actually didn’t use Chacruna. They actually only used Yage within their Ayahuasca brew. But to answer your question, what is the effect there? I think the best way that I can describe it is what was the original name of banisterine, before it was actually discovered to be the same compound as Harmine and Harmaline, it was actually called telepathine, and it was called that for, a natural reason is that from these high doses, the subjective experience from a lot of the indigenous shamanic use was around what they would call telepathy, but more, I think we would distill that to be more of visions that you would see when you’re in this dreamlike state that don’t necessarily originate from your own past.

0:24:01.3 Jonathan Lu: So we often think about, the therapeutic values of dreaming or a lot of the therapeutic values of going on a psychedelic journey from being able to re-experience our own common experiences but the subjective experience that we find from, dosages with a level of harmine or harmaline or any of these harmala alkaloids is that you actually start to begin to see some of these visions that you don’t know where they originate from. And oftentimes there are some common motifs and what I love about what Shauheen just said here is we oftentimes think about the shaman. If you were, I love, as an instructor of language here would appreciate a good way to understand the context behind what, a word means is you Google it and you google the word shaman, in what are like the top hundred hits.

0:24:48.3 Jonathan Lu: It’s always gonna be an Amazonian kind of medicine man type look. Whereas, you know well the origin of the term shaman actually comes from Siberia of an Asian use. And, we don’t often think about the shaman as being, the wise old Daoist monk that’s up in the, a hermit living in the cave with a long goatee or the Zoroastrian priest, meditating in front of a fire. But in these were very much a shamanic use and all with a very common intent of trying to elevate our own consciousness, elevate our own level of achieving transcendence, largely through experiencing in a dreamlike state, what is it ike to die and what is the other world that’s waiting for us like, so that we don’t have to have this fear of our life and we can live our lives to our fullest.

0:25:30.9 Paul Austin: So let’s focus on the word Magi since we we’re getting into etymology. Now, you know Magi, these were these ancient Zoroastrian priests, right? They were called Magi. We know that Jesus in sort of the biblical story was visited by Magi, and that the word magic comes from Magi. So I’d love either of you to talk a little bit about that relationship from an etymological perspective between Magi, the word magic and the use of Syrian Rue or Haoma, is there some sort of anthropological connection there? Yeah, any, any sort of thoughts, perspectives on the overlap of Magi, magic and Syrian Rue, these beta-Carbolines would be fantastic.

0:26:15.9 Jonathan Lu: Yeah, I’d love Shauheen to answer the majority of that there. The only thing I just wanna preface with is, as you brought up Jesus, of course, the gift of the Magi, what that word is most well known from, these three guys from, I think it was Arabia, Iran, and India, Melchior, Balthasar and Gaspar, what were they bringing to the birth of the Lord the Savior? Well, two of them were psychedelic plants, Frankincense and Myrrh and I can’t tell you how much I wish that one of them also was Espand, but, I’ll leave it at that end. Invite Shauheen going into more of the history of who were the Magi and how they’re so important from the development of the Fertile Crescent.

0:26:52.0 Paul Austin: And Shauheen. Before you get into that, just, just a quick note. We had an interview years ago now with a guy named Danny Nemu where we went deep into drugs in the Bible. So if listeners are sort of like, oh, that’s super interesting, just search Danny Nemu N-E-M-U and we went deep into Frankincense and Myrrh and other drugs in the Bible. So Jonathan, thanks for that mention.

0:27:15.3 Shauheen Etminan: Yeah, so Magi, the word, the etymology of the word, if you get to Persian word, or I guess at that time, this is Avestan word. It comes from the word Magi or Magus, which is the… Basically, it’s the plural of Magus, which in today’s Farsi it’s called moɣ. So if you look into some of the poems or poetries that are coming from Rumi and Hafez, there is a lot talking about like basically this group of wise people, wise men, and women that they were referred to as moğân in Farsi, which is the, again, the plural of Magus, which is Magi. And the reason that like Greek called the Zoroastrian priest magi and the word magic came from because they had this wisdom of let’s say, “Prediction.” The way that they came to predict the nativity of Jesus to Bethlehem was about the same prediction that they have from the stars.

0:28:31.3 Shauheen Etminan: And somehow, if you look into some of the old texts, they were thinking that Magi were like kind of these sorcerers is that they knew how to get the knowledge from numbers, you know from astrology and all of those. And that’s where the word Magi comes. It means kind of like the Zoroastrian priest of ancient Iran, or even like before, Zoroaster. So basically the Magi, if you look into Avesta or the believers, the first believers who helped Zoroaster to bring his revelation to become a kind of like a widely accepted philosophy and later on become a religion. And back to Haoma… So if you look into some of these texts, the quality of this state that they experience this kind of like outwardly journey is all coming into a dreamlike state, which this dream-like state is what you also get on the effect of beta-Carbolines.

0:29:45.1 Shauheen Etminan: So that is one of another reasons that we think that this among different hypothesis of what Haoma’s main compound was beta-Carbolines are have a very high probability. And again, looking back into, let’s say Ayahuasca, what this combination of these two compounds do is that most under tryptamine is you get this interconnectedness of different part of your thoughts and brains and high flush of thoughts that allows you to think and open, get open and have breakthroughs epiphanies coming up. But the part that you are really getting to embark on something that you have no idea about is more like the dream that when you fall asleep, the dream that comes from the unknown. So that is the part that, Ayahuasca also comes from the harmine, Tetrahydroharmine, and Harmaline and those compounds.

0:30:43.6 Shauheen Etminan: So we can say that in Ayahuasca, they’re like these two are kind of supporting each other for a very immense psychoactive journey versus when back in Iran like the main compound could have been only the beta-Carbolines. And sometime now if you look into what’s, for example, is left from that today, they may have also mixed it with Ephedra, which is again a very high source of amphetamine that potentiates in another way, potentiates Haoma. There are also like Mang is just the name of one of our other compounds for lucid dreaming, which Mang was a combination of these compounds and tropane alkaloids, which… Those are kind of like very dissociative and just imagine how strong of a potion that could have been. But back again to this effect and effect of beta-Carbolines.

0:31:44.6 Shauheen Etminan: This is like the whole thing is all around this dreamlike state. So it’s kind of like you are dreaming when you’re awake, and that is where your conscious mind and kind of like unconscious mind come together. And as Jon said, “The whole point around images that you have no idea, like flash of images that you have no idea.” Or the download of information immediately that are referred to as kind of like cross things through the plains of consciousness that you immediately get to know something, which is very similar to the story of revelation of Zarathustra and the other effect that works around the phenomenology of Haoma in the ancient texts.

0:32:27.0 Jonathan Lu: Yeah. And I’ll say also very similar to the last also elixir of Kykeon from Eleusis in Greece. There are why we think we do now understand what was in Haoma originally. There was something that’s kind of beautiful around the mystery of not knowing what was in this magic potion. But certainly, these were all used from the same intent across numerous religions, across numerous different epochs of time.

0:32:55.8 Paul Austin: Yeah. We’re just conscious this has emerge from how can we utilize these different potions and of course in today 2023, potions are not necessarily what we’re looking for. We’re looking for FDA approval of single molecules, which is why you shifted from I think VCENNA and drug development into more focusing on sort of non-scheduled substances that can be brought about. I’d love for you to sort of root this just in something a little bit more practical for the audience that’s listening around, let’s say they’re interested in working with this molecule, right? They’re interested in working with this plant, the beta-Carbolines, the Haoma, the Syrian rue, Stard, whatever you want to call it.

0:33:37.1 Paul Austin: What are some protocols to be aware of, to understand how might it be combined with, let’s say, a microdose of LSD or a microdose of psilocybin, or even a full dose, right? We know of psilohuasca. Is something that has become more and more of a thing. So I’d love to hear you talk a little bit about the modern use of this. How do you intend for it to be utilized? And when we for example, take it with a microdose of psilocybin or a microdose of LSD, how does the MAOI or the beta-Carboline potentiate the tryptamine or the Losigamone?

0:34:11.0 Jonathan Lu: Yeah. For that last question there, I would certainly love to hear from a little bit from your own experience but we know we can table that for a little bit. For the classic use is, if we look around the ceremonial shamanic use of deeper insight in more of something like a psychedelic journey, I mean, there it is, just combine it together with a tryptamine. Particularly something that is activating something that’s more of what like Shauheen describes as this kind of flush of thoughts together with a more dream-like element. The MAOI impact to help prevent its own breakdown, that certainly is one of the benefits of it. But when you look at the different receptors that these beta-Carbolines hit themselves, they’re very unique. And particularly there’s one that’s known as the imidazoline receptor that has been very understudied, that we believe is really the key towards consciousness.

0:34:58.4 Jonathan Lu: It’s one that’s highly implicated as an analgesic towards pain sensation and towards the perception that we have. So that’s where we get some of the impact of just taking it by itself and then certainly amplified when combined together with tryptamine in a fairly high dose. Now as a microdose or even as what we might call like a mini dose, where it is perceptive, certainly not psychedelic. This is where we formulated our products towards. There are some very specific use cases where we have designed them towards and Stard, as you’d mentioned, our marquee product is really the most unique one that’s out there, where there’s really nothing else that’s like it in terms of what we would use it for. And that use case is inspired by the original shamanic use of the Magi, which was meditation. I love that even Roland Griffiths talked about how meditation, and he said something like meditation is the gateway drug towards psychedelics. ‘Cause this is really just the most basic way we have of understanding ourselves.

0:35:54.1 Paul Austin: And I find that it, kind of on that Roland Griffiths quote, I think it’s the opposite. Psychedelics are the gateway drug into meditation. In other words, a lot of people who work with psychedelics, especially at an early age, right? When they have this experience, and I’m one of these people, when we have these experiences, we go, how do we stabilize at that level of “enlightenment” and we come to realize that meditation is the most consistent practice that we can integrate that helps to do that. There’s a guy named Mike Crowley, who you might know, who I’ve still gotta get on the podcast at some point, who wrote a book called The Secret Drugs of Buddhism, around how these thought leaders now on sort of Buddhism and meditation that we know, Jack Kornfield, Sharon Salzberg, Tara Brach, there’s many, many others that have become quite prominent. That many of them started their path with psychedelics in the ’60s.

0:36:42.5 Paul Austin: They had these awakening, enlightening experiences and they found that the Buddhist philosophy, the meditative philosophy, was the best way to sort of elongate or stabilize these same levels of enlightenment. And I think the product that you’ve created, we’ll focus on Stard in particular, which I wanna hear you talk a little bit more about the details of Stard in terms of what’s the sort of formulation, what are the ingredients, how much do we take? Blah, blah, blah, blah. But my experience with Stard, I did it on two separate occasions. I took two pills with a microdose of LSD. What I found is that it was quite harsh on the gastrointestinal system. I remember I texted Shauheen, this was about two months ago now, when I was having the experience and I was like, “Do you purge a lot on this?”

0:37:31.1 Paul Austin: Because I literally, I couldn’t leave my home for the first three, four hours of the experience ’cause I kept having to use the toilet. TMI. But it just kept flushing out more and more and more and more. And I thought it was because I had eaten grocery store sushi the night before, but it turns out it was actually the MAOI, the Stard, that was having an impact on my system. Now what I found is after that initial, let’s say three, four hours, when I was in the clear, I went to the beach, I did a deep meditative walk, and then I did a sun gazing meditation as the sun set, and I found that the state of mind that I was able to open up with Stard in combination with the microdose of LSD just allowed for… There’s a lot of spaciousness, but it’s like I could focus all of that openness on a single thing.

0:38:24.8 Paul Austin: So normally when we’re focused, we’re on a single thing, we can’t quite have as much of a spacious purview. And when we’re too spacious, we’re too purview, we can’t necessarily dive in. And what I found is when microdosing was started, it allowed me to both be incredibly expansive and to have a level of focus that I could really open up ideas and then go into them and explore them in a way that felt methodical and rational.

0:38:50.1 Paul Austin: So I had those… So I did it with two, with a microdose of LSD. I did 10 micrograms of LSD and then I did it with a microdose of psilocybin and one, and I found one to be a better balance ’cause there were no gastrointestinal issues with one of the Stards. And that combined with psilocybin, I didn’t, it wasn’t quite as potentiated, so I didn’t go as deep into a meditative state, but it’s still allowed for that expansiveness and the sort of no mind state that Buddhists often describe. And so what I found when just microdosing LSD or when just microdosing psilocybin, there could be sometimes a tendency to feel a little too stimulated or feel a little too emotional. And what I found the MAOI, the Syrian rue to do is that the beta-Carbolines has really helped to create some balance within that so I could again, have the level of alertness that comes from this microdose, but have it be balanced with the spaciousness of the meditative MAOI or the Stard.

0:39:47.7 Jonathan Lu: Yeah, that’s great. Thanks for sharing that, Paul. I think you hit exactly what is the ideal experience that we were trying to do when we created Stard, which was as opposed to many call it more stimulating microdoses that people would take for productivity. You know, this is not something that you’ll take for I guess productivity in the traditional sense of how we think about, I wanna go crank out five hours of deep work. It’s something that you would take to go crank out five hours of deep inner work which is really much more of the un-focus rather than that focus in kind of meditative language. It’s really ideal for something more of like an open awareness meditation where you can have this understanding of the expansive nature rather than something that’s more of like a very strong fixed awareness meditation.

0:40:28.4 Jonathan Lu: And as a privy to that there, it’s probably good to talk about why do we name it Stard and Shauheen, what does Stard mean at kind of a micro and a macro level?

0:40:37.1 Shauheen Etminan: Yeah. So this unfocused zone that Jon referred to is actually the definition of the Stard. Stard actually is a Pahlavi word that come… It’s this very interesting word that defines a subjective experience. It’s a subjective mind state, said like it’s an old word that means to spread out to broader consciousness, to scroll out your mind. And, under the Stard, this is exactly the… This open awareness, basically just sitting and observing without actively having your monkey mind just going around. So this is the idea behind the Stard, just to allow you to observe and not actively think.

0:41:20.7 Shauheen Etminan: And, that is just like, it aligns very well with the definition of the ancient subjective mind state too. But very interestingly, there are works, specifically around like use of… These are the work around like the Imidazoline receptor on animals on rodents that shows this kind of like when they’re injected, it’s just like basically just like a tracer for Imidazoline receptor to rodents.

0:41:57.3 Shauheen Etminan: The impact on the rodents was this hypnotic mind state that the animal experience and that kind of like it relates also somehow to the effect that we see and we’ve seen we think that Imidazoline brings into the experience. Both Harmine and Harmaline have like very high affinity for Imidazoline receptor, while they’re mostly known as MAOI. So that is where we think that there is much more work to be done.

0:42:31.6 Paul Austin: And it’s interesting that you bring up hypnosis. I just met a hypnotist, like a world famous hypnotist at an event this past weekend, and he had done psychedelics many years prior, but hadn’t revisited them in a considerable period of time. But we were talking about what is this relationship between hypnosis and psychedelics and how can one potentially help to benefit the other, right? Because when we’re put into these states of hypnosis, which now that you bring it up, like I could see how that, there would be a relationship there. These hypnotic states allow to access deep elements of our subconscious or unconscious that wouldn’t normally be feasible with just a microdose. Particularly like when we’re doing these, this high dose work with ayahuasca or psilocybin, as anyone here who has done a high dose, knows, there’s a lot that comes to the surface from the subconscious and the unconscious.

0:43:17.0 Paul Austin: We open up that, that reducing valve, so to say, to have access to a lot more. And I feel like combining then Stard with a microdose allows us to access deeper levels of the subconscious or the unconscious to integrate. And more so than just a plain microdose would necessarily, so Shauheen or Jonathan, I’d love for you to talk a little bit about, and you were already kind of getting into this, Shauheen, but maybe flush it out a little bit more.

0:43:49.9 Paul Austin: Tell us about the relationship of, when we work with these beta beta-Carbolines, what’s going on physiologically in our body, what’s going on in our brain? Do these help with neuroplasticity like tryptamines and lysergamide? Do these help with, greater sort of, neuronal dendritic sprouting or connection between the two hemispheres of the brain? Tell us a little bit about what we know from a physiological or neurobiological perspective of Stard, beta beta-Carbolines, Haoma, all these, this sort of thing.

0:44:22.7 Shauheen Etminan: Yeah, physiologically here, I mean, the interesting thing when you think about most of our neurotransmitters, and even particularly some of our serotonergic neurotransmitters, I mean of which, harmine, harmaline, tetrahydroharmine, they actually do all have an affinity for 5-HT2A, 5-HT2C as well. We have more of those neuroreceptors in our gut than we do actually within our brain. And we don’t just think with our brain, we think with our whole body. So some of the GI issues you brought up, I mean, those we’ve seen from about, maybe 10, 15% of people, will have that reaction to haoma alkaloids. That’s a actually a very natural thing under, most any type of a psychedelic experience, because of just the agonism or even the activation and modulation of these different neuroreceptors.

0:45:04.6 Shauheen Etminan: So, what we do see is for what these different compounds do. I mean in if in some of their historic usage, they have been used as a panacea across things as broad as actually curing gastrointestinal disorders to, curing kidney disorders, as an insecticide as we start to study a little bit more about what actually they do, there are some very distinct properties that harmine, harmaline, Tetrahydroharmine, harmala, and all the other different agents have. How we formulated our products, all of them are based on an of an extract of Espand, but in different dosages and ratios of those specific key alkaloids in order to give us the desired effect. And in many cases, also combined with other plants or other compounds either affect bioavailability or because there is a synergistic effect that we’ve got a number of new compounds that are coming out, fairly soon that can give you, more towards the many, if not even kind of a macro dose immediate effect, rather than something that’s a little bit more calming and grounding and unfocused, like Stard.

0:46:06.2 Paul Austin: Do you wanna share a little bit more about what those are? Are these the Chinese ones that you mentioned? Because we talked about, we talked about, what is it again? Espod?

0:46:17.1 Shauheen Etminan: Espand. Yeah, Syrian rue.

0:46:18.2 Paul Austin: How do you, how do you spell that?

0:46:21.5 Shauheen Etminan: Is E-S-P-A-N-D.

0:46:23.1 Paul Austin: Okay. So E-S-P-A-N-D, which would also be called Syrian sue, right? We’re talking about the same thing here. Espand is Syrian rue, right? Which is where we’re getting this extract from. That’s in Stard. The beta-Carbolines come from Syrian rue, the Espand. You, and because you had mentioned this at the beginning of the interview as well, Jonathan, that there were two, so we talked about Espand. What was that second one, that maybe we didn’t yet have a chance to speak about? Is it Chinese in nature? Is it Siberian in nature? What is it? Where does it come from? Tell us a little bit more about that.

0:46:54.3 Jonathan Lu: Yeah, we have a number of them. Many of them are also from the, Iranian plateau as well. But, for instance, one of the, or I should say two plants that we’ve been doing a number of experiments with are, I don’t exactly know what the, the non-Chinese names are, but Changshengda and one that’s called Shetucao, which is literally like a, a snake grass. We’ve characterized a little bit, uh, what the…

0:47:17.8 Jonathan Lu: The neurological impact is of these. To say that we honestly know exactly what happens when you combine them would be like saying we actually know how even Tylenol works. Just our fundamental scientific knowledge, we’re getting better and better, but just affecting one receptor doesn’t just change your body. So many different things are happening. So our effect is why we use some of the scientific quantification to understand what’s happening within the brain and the body. There’s nothing that can replace just the human experience. So as opposed to a guy like Sasha Shulgin that was going to his lab and actually mixing up these different chemicals to try himself, our approach is, well, what are the different plants that we combine in different dosages and in different ratios in order to see what those effects are? And that’s how we bring our products to life.

0:48:03.1 Paul Austin: And are these Chinese plants psychoactive or are they just MAOIs or what’s the sort of, can you tell us a little bit more about?

0:48:09.1 Shauheen Etminan: No, they are psychoactive. They’ll range anywhere from affecting galantamine and anamide, GABA. Some of them affect even dopamine and serotonin directly themselves. The thing that really interests us the most, if we look at really the history of plant medicine, almost never was it just this one drug or one target, one compound approach. That’s kind of the simplistic approach that it would be great if medicine and the human body worked that way. I can cure you just by affecting this one thing. I mean, all of historical medicine and plant use has always been mixtures of trying to figure out without understanding really the first principle science, what combinations can most impact. And we now have the ability to use some of that first principle science to better understand, if not have a full knowledge, which we may never have about why these things work.

0:49:00.4 Paul Austin: And that brings us back to the potions conversation, right? Because obviously from an indigenous or from a historical perspective, potions were always used. We know this with ayahuasca. We even know this with psilocybin and cacao with the ancient Aztecs. We know this with Kykeon in ancient Greece. We just talked about the potion that the ancient Zoroastrian priests use as well. So potions are really the ancient historical context that need to be brought into the present moment. And what I’m hearing from you is we’ve had the sort of shamanic relationship or lineage with a lot of these psychoactive plants, but we haven’t necessarily understood the scientific part of it. In the ’50s and ’60s, these weren’t really known of, so to say, so there wasn’t like a ton of clinical research done on them, but we now can actually go and do further dives and further research into the efficacy of these and what they might be most useful for. And I assume that these are also unscheduled just like the beta-Carboline Syrian rue is unscheduled. Is that correct?

0:49:58.5 Jonathan Lu: Yeah, absolutely. Unscheduled and part of our work is to figure out what is the right dosage. And just because it’s unscheduled doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s safe. So also part of what we have to figure out as we go through our deep pharmacological investigation is to make sure that the dosages that we’re putting forth, while this may not be regulated by the FDA, does fall within a safe limit.

0:50:20.3 Paul Austin: Shauheen, anything to add to that?

0:50:21.8 Shauheen Etminan: Yeah, just maybe for the audience who are listening, like the way that we are doing our drug discovery is that we have access to these plants, then we extract their alkaloids to very pure alkaloids, and then we recombine them. So it’s not a full spectrum extract. We know exactly what compounds come from, let’s say this plant, like we have optimized everything around our extraction, and then the recombination is based on the data that we get from so many biomarkers, which are brainwave, heart rate, sleep pattern, and there are so many that kind of like through our drug discovery, we have been developing. So the world of sleep has been, like we have done a lot of work. That’s how we came up with Stard and with Mang, which is for lucid dreaming. Our other formulation, Emertod, which is mostly around this physiological, is around neuroprotection and neurogenesis. This is another effect of Harmine, which has been studied for many, many years to treat neurodegenerative diseases, like it’s a microdose. And then we have another product, which is for deep sleep, which is currently called Haoma.

0:51:37.1 Shauheen Etminan: We’re changing the name. And as Jon said, like we’re actually coming up with like kind of like two or three macro doses that like they’re more perceptive. You feel it, and then there are different applications for that. And with those, like this is kind of like, you just take it once, and then it’s more like a stronger effect that you have to like go through, experience, and then integrate. One thing which is like you brought, Paul, which was very interesting, it was around like taking psychedelics. And then when we are talking psychedelics, we are talking about like this, everything that comes out from our psyche, from our subconscious and unconscious, and then reintegrating that into your life. I’m just like, I’ve been studying mostly recently, like just like the work that Jung has done, and it’s just like so amazing. Like he has gone beyond the point that most of like people like Freud has gone, just to see like how this whole world of alchemy or archetypes, you know, like of somehow defining or modeling unconscious. So it’s fascinating that like usually unconscious is not that easy to be integrated because it’s fully unknown, versus the subconscious is like something that you have either seen or, you know, in your childhood, it’s a trauma that you have at least some indication about somehow to ingest and process it to your today’s life.

0:53:01.4 Shauheen Etminan: But again, what is very fascinating about this beta-Carboline is like, it opens something to you that maybe you understand about the wider consciousness, about wider universe, and things that you have never had any information about. And yeah, so this is the part that Claudio Naranjo for your audience, if they are interested to read his book, The Healing Journey, like he has an experiment, like he’s a Chilean psychotherapist who came to Berkeley later on. And then he has the basically he has this psychiatrist who has injected Harmaline, basically, I guess he has injected 10 methoxy Harmaline into, I know, intravenously into his patients. And then the book has a chapter is called Harmaline and Collective Unconscious, that he has reported the three of the reports, like a very detailed report of three of his patients about what they see and about this instantaneous knowledge that they have gained and seen and realized about themselves. That is very fascinating, as very different from the use of let’s say, psilocybin, LSD, and other tryptamine effects.

0:54:18.4 Paul Austin: Follow up question. And I’m glad you brought up Claudio Naranjo. I actually had the… He passed away I think a few years ago. But I had the honor of seeing him talk at an ibogaine Conference in 2016. The first ever psychedelic conference I attended, and he happened to be there talking about ibogaine. ‘Cause he was one of the early pioneers of ibogaine for addiction and transpersonal, and all these sorts of things. So, his book is called The Healing Journey, there’s a chapter in there about haoma, and the unconscious. Jonathan, anything to add to that about kind of Yung-Ying psychology, subconscious, unconscious, the use of these medicines for that work?

0:55:00.9 Jonathan Lu: Yeah. Being completely out of my field here. The only thing whenever I read about Huxley’s concept of the reducing valve, and Yung and collective unconscious. Even to the more of our modern approaches for the concept of things like the cortical cholesterol network or the default mode network. I always look at these as, these are all just different languages we’re using to try and describe the same thing, which is to try and understand this mystery within our own brain. And maybe Andrew Gallimore is right with his Alien Information Theory, I can neither disprove or prove any of these here, but these are all different ways we have of just trying to explain the complexities of our brain that all these psychoactive compounds for… 6,000 years we as humans have… At least 6,000 years we as humans have been trying to experiment to try and better understand ourselves.

0:55:46.7 Paul Austin: So, let’s talk a little bit about both of your experiences with this. Shauheen, you were born in Iran, you now live in Canada, you’re in Vancouver. Just tell us a little bit about when did you first hear about haoma, when did you first start utilizing it yourself? And you also are… I don’t know if this is the correct terminology, but you are a whirling dervish or you practise whirling. As part of that, have you ever combined haoma with a psychedelic and then done a whirling dervish thing? And what was that like if you have?

0:56:20.0 Shauheen Etminan: No, I haven’t mixed the two and yeah, I kind of like…

[overlapping conversation]

0:56:26.7 Paul Austin: But they consider that religious or not… Like it’s better to keep them distinct or separate or you just not necessarily done it?

0:56:34.1 Shauheen Etminan: Not necessarily. Just like the whole notion of whirling is more like an invocation. You just have to, it’s like prayer too. Is not just a higher state of consciousness that you’re experiencing. It’s a practise of balance, it’s kind of like putting yourself out and then your mind also, like just taps into another level that is… Jon, it’s very interesting because we have been kind of trying to unlock the brain on their whirling by collecting brain data waves. And we’re gonna just have some works published soon around that too. But just to answer your question, no, I haven’t mixed, but back to just learning about haoma and where it comes from. I had no idea about any of these when I was back in Iran.

0:57:29.0 Shauheen Etminan: And my connection to psychedelics come from to kinda like around 2017, we are just doing an Ayahuasca ceremony in California. And then from there, yeah, I kind of like work mostly on extraction of plants, working on plant medicines. Mostly, around alkaloids or what are the alkaloids chemistry, etcetera, and then psilocybin was very interesting to me. But I guess just working around haoma, and what was those plant medicine that Eastern Plant Medicine came through basically research and readings that later on, like 2020, 2019 and later on. But my own experience, I have tried different psychoactives and I think after a while, as you know, you kind of you learn how the subjective experience is and then after a while it might just fade off. But at the same time you always have the experience and knowledge of how it was, and then you try to even bring that subjective experience and kind of making it as part of your regular life too.

0:58:46.1 Shauheen Etminan: Yeah, I can say that, let’s say maybe 2022, I just did psychedelics twice because of our work, and we are doing a lot of things at the same time. But in terms of these lower doses, so we have been doing a lot of experimentation specifically back in 2021, which was a very hard year for Jon and I to work and produce at the same time. Due to do kind of like we went, embarked on a 21 week of experimentation that we had to just do everything in a very controlled basis for our experimental design. And then just collecting even data when you aren’t that subjective effect is such a good experience is not that easy. I feel very sick, Jon is usually more alert and he can do writing. I just try to lie down and just be the observer mostly. But I think our combination plus the other people who have participated and tested our product, gave us a lot of information for us to be able to come out and bring these mark products to the market.

0:59:52.3 Paul Austin: Jonathan?

0:59:53.3 Jonathan Lu: Yeah, I came at it much more from, I’m a tried and true engineer despite that I consider Shauheen to be much more of a chemical engineer than myself. My interest has always been trying to understand and measure to try and quantify what are the different experiences that we have. And when I first got interested in this year, my first business that I had started after leaving corporate America was around early childhood development. As 85% of the brain is developed by the time a toddler is age three. And so, many of these interventions that we try and interfere or try and improve, they come in a much later state. So, I spend a lot of time in the world of developmental neuroscience. And when I started to explore psychedelics more, it was really much more from the… Okay, we, we all have these common experiences that we often talk about. Is there actually something scientifically we can measure from that?

1:00:38.7 Jonathan Lu: And then from my own personal experience as the best way to really do any type of measurement is to experiment them on yourself. Like what is actually happening to your own brain, body, physiological symbols, at least that we can measure to try and have some type of correlation to understand subjectively, does this match up with what’s happening within my brain and body. I wasn’t a lifelong psycho, not by any means, and I’m not so sure, I would even still consider myself a psycho, not now. It really began to much more with a, a scientific curiosity that as I began to experiment more, I came to manifest and realize like how much trauma I’d just been holding onto and, and repressing from myself going back to my childhood and how much resentment, and I’d say I inadvertently found myself into a therapeutic solution. Thanks to my scientific curiosity of just trying to understand, experiment myself.

1:01:27.3 Paul Austin: So for listeners, since we’re nearing the end of the episode now, for listeners who are you know they’ve tuned in, the historical context is fascinating. We’ve talked about the neurobiology of this. We’ve talked about some of the other outside of haoma and Syrian rue and you know, the beta-Carboline, which is in Stard. We’ve also talked about the, the Chinese psychoactives that you’ll bring to market relatively soon. Just if listeners are like, Hey, this sounds interesting. It sounds like something that I really like to explore with Stard, which is one of the main supplements, the one that I talked about, the one that you all have tried. What are, what are some expectations maybe like if they’re saying, Hey, I’d like to try this for a month with a microdose. What should they pay attention to? What are maybe some great things to try out as part of that to explore what this substance can do? Just for listeners at home who are like, eh, I’m considering this and I’d like to look more into it. What should they be? What should they be aware of?

1:02:23.9 Jonathan Lu: The use case, I think or intention if I were to use a synonym for use case, I think is, is absolutely critical. And this goes the same with anything, whether you’re taking a really mindblowing psychedelic dose or more of a microdose. In the case of Stard, the clear intention is around helping to amplify or deepen a state of deep meditation. So getting to a consistent practice around mindfulness not only around your just intentions itself, but even setting the schedule of having a constant time of day. So Shaheen and I differ in this and that I’m one that, for me, I meditate first thing in the morning, 15 minutes every day, and Shaheen is more of a night meditator. No matter when you do it, it doesn’t really matter. But having that as part of this intentional mindfulness time that I, you’ve carved out for yourself, that’s when you’ll get the most benefit out of something like Stard if you were to use it as directed, I mean, if you are to then take a much higher dose than as recommended and combine it with a tryptamine…

1:03:17.0 Jonathan Lu: There’s a very different use behind it, which I, I think your listeners can understand well and probably have a lengthy experience about how to cultivate that intention. But each one of our products, if you were to use, I would say, has to be combined together with what is your objective here and what are you trying to get out of it, even if it’s something intrinsic of exploration and meditation or through dreaming with our Mang, is a dreaming product.

1:03:40.7 Shauheen Etminan: Yeah, and I would add to that, like if they take Stard only for meditation and let’s say as, as we have dose per capsule or you know, per dosage, usually the effect is with it, it just takes about one hour. It start about like from like 10 minutes and may lasts for about 30 minutes to about 45 minutes. The effect is, yeah, some people, they feel it very strongly. Some people they just like, it’s just like very slight effect. And this is just with one, one dose of our Stard. And then again if they wanna just take it to the next level, maybe they can just take two capsules, you know, again, a sitting meditation and, and see how it goes. But it’s not, I don’t recommend you to take it and then think that you can work, because that’s not like a psilocybin microdosing, it’s not gonna contribute directly to your productivity.

1:04:41.1 Shauheen Etminan: It makes you a little bit numb which is like the other side. And then if they want to combine it with any type of tryptamines, then again, as Jon said, like we always suggest to go very thoughtfully with intention, and then they can take, let’s say, with their right dose, which is like the, those that they know and are aware of, they can take between one to three capsules of our Stard. And then that is kind of like, that adds a very perpendicular direction to their subjective experience, which is kind of like again, which is like a tryptamine effect, which is just think more like the flush of thoughts are going very fast. And then this direction of unknowns is also added, which is more like an ayahuasca experience.

1:05:35.2 Paul Austin: So have have an intention, understand the use case of it more for meditation than productivity. Maybe start with one, go up to two. You could even try it with maybe an LSD microdose versus a psilocybin microdose. And I would say stick to a consistent protocol. So if working with this, instead of just doing it once, really try to deepen that meditative practice by doing it, let’s say for a month, two or three times a week in combination with a microdose to see how it helps you to deepen that overall practice of meditation. Now, final question is listeners are interested, they’re curious. Tell us a little bit like where they can find out more information. What’s the website? We already talked about the name of the product, which is Stard, S-T-A-R-D, but if they wanna find out more information, where can they go to to check this out?

1:06:28.2 Jonathan Lu: Head to A-N-C-E-S-T-R-A-L magi, You can also follow us on our different socials where we regularly post different content related to either the historical nature, the scientific nature, or even just the personal nature of some of these different medicines. And there on our website you’ll find a wide variety of information, not just around the overall products itself, the usage, some of the historical context and, and importantly the science behind what we’ve studied to bring some of these to market. And of course, for any listeners of our followers of Third Wave, we have a coupon code in honor of our esteemed toastier, Paul10.

1:07:12.5 Paul Austin: P-A-U-L 1-0, which will get you 10% off, right?

1:07:17.6 Shauheen Etminan: Right. Yeah. And be on the lookout for some of the new compounds that we, or the new products that we’ll be bringing out to market that we are hoping that we can launch within the next month.

1:07:27.6 Paul Austin: Oh, wow. So this is coming out really soon, so by the time this podcast is out, it’ll be, it’ll be on the horizon very soon. So check those out. Shauheen. Jonathan, this has been fun. I’m glad we got to do, I learned a bunch from this interview. It’s probably one of those interviews that our listeners might have to listen to one or two times or three times to really get a feel for it, and a sense for it. Paul10 is the coupon code. Gentlemen, this has been an honor. Thank you for joining us on the Psychedelic Podcast.

1:07:56.8 Jonathan Lu: Thanks for having us, Paul.

1:07:57.9 Shauheen Etminan: Thanks for having us, Paul. Honor has been all ours.

1:08:05.6 Paul Austin: Hey, folks, this conversation is bigger than just you or me, so please leave a review or comment so others can find the podcast. This small action matters way more than you can even imagine. You can also go deeper into this episode at, where you’ll find full show notes, transcripts, and all the links that were mentioned in this conversation. To get weekly updates from the leading edge of this third wave of psychedelics, sign up for our newsletter at You can also find us on Instagram at Third Wave is here, or subscribe to our YouTube channel at thirdwave.