Updated: Sep 21, 2020
The internet is flooded with stories of westerners travelling to Peru for experiencing ayahuasca, a psychoactive vine. Ayahuasca ceremonies conducted by the Shamans are part of a 50,000 years old tradition of the amazon rainforest region.
A psychedelic drug which is a brew made from the Psychotria viridis shrub with the stalks of the Banisteriopsis caapi vine which is a source of DMT ( dimethyltryptamine), ayahuasca is said to offer a deep healing, enlightening and even a near ego death experience through a multidimensional journey of imagination during the ceremony.
Though psychedelic drugs are banned in many countries, ayahuasca ceremonies are legal in the South American country Peru.
Psychedelic drugs are not a new thing for this Internet generation. LSD, Marijuana, Psylocybin mushrooms or most popularly magic mushrooms are very common to the internet audience.
Ayahuasca, however, is taken through a traditional practice in the presence of the Shamans.
People who experience attending ayahuasca ceremonies shared their experience as a deep holistic healing, enlightening and soul purifying. Some go through a very scary, distressing experience during the ceremony.
Contrary to other psychedelic drugs, ayahuasca provides a long term healing effect at least for 6 months.
What is Ayahuasca?
“Aya” means “spirit/soul” and “Waska” means “rope”. “Ayahuasca” means “line of the soul”. Ayahuasca is a psychedelic drug made from the leaves of Psychotria Viridis along with the vine of Banisteriopsis Caapi. Two days are required to make the drug ready.
Ayahuasca ceremonies are conducted by Shamans or Curandero. A traditional healing practice, ayahuasca treatment ceremonies are being followed for at least 50,000 years in the amazon rainforest region. Shamans are the people who conduct the ayahuasca ceremonies.
Ayahuasca, which is believed to be a spiritual healing vine has been used for religious and spiritual purposes for a long time by the tribes of the Amazon rainforest. This vine is still used as a sacred drink by many communities in North America and Brazil.
How Ayahuasca is prepared?
The Shamans who conduct the ayahuasca ceremonies prepare the drug. The preparation of the brew starts with boiling the leaves of Psychotria Viridis along with the stalks of the Banisteriopsis Caapi vine in water. This process is done repeatedly until the required concentration achieved as per the Shamans. The vine of the Caapi is cleaned and smashed prior to boiling for improving the extraction process.
Once the required concentration is received, the water is removed and reserved. This process is repeated until a high concentration of the liquid is received. After cooling, the brew is strained to remove impurities that may be present.
Things to be kept in mind prior attending an ayahuasca ceremony:
There are numerous facilities in Peru, Brazil and Costa Rica which host multi-day ayahuasca retreat ceremonies. Tourists travelling to these countries can easily visit any of such facilities to have an experience of the ayahuasca trip.
Ayahuasca ceremonies are advised to attend under experienced Shamans. There are many fake and unexperienced Shamans out there. The vine will put you in a subconscious state and a fake shaman may take the advantage of it. It's better to stay under the same roof where your fellow guys are and to be under a required number of Shamans. The vine may lead you to a very scary trip, which can only be handled by an experienced Shaman.
It's better to avoid having salty, sugary and spicy food at least one month prior to the ceremony. Otherwise you may spend the whole of your ceremony just by purging all these toxins out from your body. The potential benefits from the ceremony might not come in because all the time you were in purging mode, draining out the toxins from your body.
Ayahuasca will lead you to a scary, traumatic recalling or a deep enlightening trip. Meditate every single day from at least one month prior to your ceremony to avoid the fear.
Ayahuasca ceremony, doses and the experience at an ayahuasca ceremony:
Ayahuasca ceremonies are generally conducted at night. The process starts with cleaning the atmosphere by the Shamans then offering of the Ayahuasca to the participants.
An ayahuasca ceremony is conducted with 20/30 participants guided by 5-6 Shamans most of the time. These ceremonies are sometimes of 2-3 days and sometimes hosted for 9 days to 1 month.
The doses of ayahuasca are given in three steps in general throughout the ceremony. A lower dose is given at the first ceremony in order to establish a connection with the divine medicine and to stay away from any scary experience that the participants may be thrown into prior contact with ayahuasca. The doses are stepped up from the second ceremony. Participants are slowly made connected with the mother ayahuasca. A dose at the optimum amount is given to each of the participants in the third ceremony followed by the healers drinking it. It takes nearly 40 minutes to feel the effect of the medicine.
A person may feel the effects of ayahuasca 20-60 minutes after taking the medicine. The trip may last for 4-6 hours depending on the amount of doses.
The drug purifies the soul as well as the body of a participant. Some experience effects like vomiting and diarrhea. This is actually the process of purging the toxins out from your body. People over the internet have shared numerous experiences of them taking ayahuasca. Some go through a scary, traumatising experience. Traumas that might have related from the very childhood days of someone might be experienced during the trip. A multidimensional existence is felt by many participants opting for this. Throughout the process, people have shared their experience of being guided by a feminine voice which is believed to be the goddess “mother ayahuasca”.
People have shared their experience as a deep healing, enlightening and anxiety relieving. The shamans sing some traditional songs during the ayahuasca which is a process of connecting oneself with the ayahuasca. This process lends someone into a multidimensional zone where they see their emotions in discrete patterns.
The experience can be very scary sometimes and for this experienced Shamans are needed to handle any such adverse situations.
Benefits of Ayahuasca: A study shows that 30% of the European population are on any kind of psychedelic drugs. Ayahuasca is scientifically proven as an antidepressant drug. The effects of one ayahuasca ceremony lasts for approx 6 months.
Ayahuasca is said to be an anti addiction drug and is very helpful to get free from alcohol addictions.
Theas ceremonies offer a deep enlightening experience. People having childhood traumas, bad memories feel a deep healing experience after taking ayahuasca. Their souls as well as bodies get purified.
As per researchers, ayahuasca may be very helpful for the treatment of those with PTSD and treatment resistant depression.
Negative effects of ayahuasca: Ayahuasca may lead you to a very traumatising experience. Some get a feeling of attachment of a negative entity. These trips can be very scary for someone who has any childhood wounds, negative experience or trauma etc which can come live.
Many incidents are available online when a person is taken advantage of by fake shamans at their vulnerable stage.
Conclusion: A psychoactive healing drug ayahuasca, which is part of a 50,000 years old tradition of the Amazon rainforest has many benefits against modern world medical issues like depression and anxiety.
Ayahuasca has very powerful hallucinogenic properties which have both side of effects.
More research is needed to determine whether it can be used as a regular medicine or not.