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This article collects evidence from psychopharmacology, scripture, and archeology to explore several preparations for consumption described in the Old Testament: Manna, Showbread, the Holy Ointment, and the Tabernacle Incense. The Ointment and the Incense are herbal preparations used by the priestly caste to facilitate a direct experience of the Israelite God. A wide variety of psychoactive components are found in these preparations, including GABA-receptor agonists and modulators, opioid receptor agonists, and other agents. They are normally broken down by the body’s enzymes, and therefore orally inactive, but the Holy Ointment also contains inhibitors specific to the enzymes in question. The preparations indicate that the ancient Israelites had a profound understanding of synergism, and the way they are consumed and the taboos around them are highly suggestive of their use as psychoactive agents.

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