Benny Shanon, a professor of cognitive psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, releases a paper outlining a hypothesis that entheogenic plants including ayahuasca analogues formed an integral part of the religious rites of Israelites in biblical times.
Quote from the Abstract :
The ideas entertained here were primarily based on the fact that in the arid areas of the Sinai peninsula and Southern Israel there grow two plants containing the same psychoactive molecules found in the plants from which the powerful Amazonian hallucinogenic brew Ayahuasca is prepared. The two plants are species of Acacia tree and the bush Peganum harmala. The hypothesis is corroborated by comparative experiential-phenomenological observations, linguistic considerations, exegesis of old Jewish texts and other ancient Mideastern traditions, anthropological lore, and ethnobotanical data.