We’re delighted to welcome readers to this spring issue of HIMALAYA, full of an array of enthusing content! Volume 39.1 foregrounds a special thematic section on “Approaching Potent Substances in Medicine and Ritual across Asia”, guest co-edited by Barbara Gerke and Jan M. A. van der Valk. A truly interdisciplinary compilation of original research articles, perspective essays, and curated images, the pieces within draw us into the (al)chemical, medico-religious, socio-ecological, and politicaleconomic processes that render substances ‘potent’ across time and place. Indeed, the specifics of place often have a great deal to do with potency, as contributors collectively reveal through their historically deep, ethnographically rich, and theoretically robust explorations of materials (e.g., plants, stones, compounds) and the syncretic methods and meanings applied to them in different contexts, by different people, for different reasons. Together, these authors tackle questions of matter, materiality, and efficacy amidst the complex histories and politics of varying sensorial worlds in which conceptions of food, flavors, and medicine are differently shaped.