Miroslav Horak

Miroslav Horak

Miroslav Horak (1981, Zlin, Czech Republic), social and cultural anthropologist, environmentalist and philologist. He specializes in ethnobotany and phytotherapy. Currently works as a research assistant at the Department of Languages and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Regional Development and International Studies, Mendel University in Brno. In his research on drug addiction treatment in cross-cultural perspective, he compares therapeutic programs in Peru, Nicaragua and the Czech Republic. He focuses on spirituality in addiction treatment, retention of inpatients in therapeutic communities and their motivation. For this purpose, he has implemented a number of projects. Traditional medicine of the Amazon is a subject of his professional interests since 2007. He is the author and editor of several books, eg. The House of Song (2013), A Reader in Ethnobotany and Phytotherapy (2014) or Etnobotánica y Fitoterapia en América (2015).

His publications are available online at: https://mendelu.academia.edu/hmiro

Ayahuasca in the Czech Republic

Ayahuasca is a preparation used in “traditional Amazonian medicine”. This lecture focuses on its utilization in the Czech Republic and possibilities of its utilization for therapeutic purposes in local conditions. The presentation contains a classification of rituals and the characteristics of their organizers and participants. Following on-line questionnaire survey, the field work among ayahuasca users was done from November 1, 2015 to December 31, 2016. The research sample consists of 46 persons (23 women and 23 men) who at least once took part in some type of ritual. There were the semi-structured interviews with an average length of 50 minutes recorded with informants. These interviews were sub-sequently analyzed by the Grounded theory method. The results confirm that rituals are adapted according to the needs of the users. They use ayahuasca not only because of healing, but also for spiritual and religious reasons, curiosi-ty/experiment and personality development. In local conditions, the therapeutic potential of ayahuasca lies primarily in the treatment of lifestyle diseases.