Ayahuasca (eye-uh-WAH-skuh) is an Amazonian brew made from the Banisteriopsis caapi vine, and is native to Peru. It roughly translates into death/spirit vine. It dates back thousands of years and has been used as medicine by the Indigenous tribes of the Amazon and South America as well as a shamanic means of communication. It is performed by an experienced shaman in the form of a ceremony that includes drinking of the sacred brew and listening to ikaros. The word Ikaros is used to describe the songs used by shamans while performing the ayahuasca ceremonies.
The Ayahuasca brew is a thickish brown liquid that is brewed by boiling the shredded bark of the banisteriopsis caapi vine along with tryptamine-rich Psychotrochia viridis bush thus creating ayahuasca. Ayahuasca contains N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), which was listed as manufactured illegal drug. Although it was recently discovered that DMT is in fact a chemical located naturally in the brain and is in the bodies of every single mammal, it is still considered illegal by the DEA today.
How does Ayahuasca work? As I mentioned before, there are 2 plants involved when creating the brew or tea. The first plant contains the DMT, but if it were to to be drunk alone, the DMT in the drink would naturally be destroyed in the digestive system by a chemical in our stomach called mono amine oxidase. Thereby rendering the DMT and drink ineffective. However, the Amazon natives use a second plant which is called Psychotrochia viridis. An interesting fact is that this plant is one of those rare plants -also found in the Amazon that contains a mono oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). This prevents the breakdown of the DMT in the stomach and allows it to be absorbed into the body thus providing a psychoactive results.
I haven’t fully described what actually happens during the ceremony yet. To be fully clear, this experience is INTENSE and must not be taken lightly when deciding to undertake this very sacred brew. It is a highly hallucinogenic and spiritual experience.
It is known to induce or provide a visionary state of consciousness that has been known to cure alcohol and cocaine additions, provide psychological and spiritual healing, and provide profound insight. After drinking Ayahuasca, one would describe it as an intense journey that gives a positive integrative experience who’s benefits are long lasting with no negative side effects.
There is a word that is synonymous with drinking ayahuasca and it is called the purge. Purging (consists of vomiting or diarrhea) is inevitable but it is considered to be a spiritual cleanse and a vital part of the ritual. A few hours after, one will experience multi sensual hallucinations. According to Mind.Body.Green, “If partaking in such a journey, prepare to encounter the divine, the infinite, the mystery — whatever you choose to call it — that which is beyond the limited perspective of your mind”.
Now gaining popularity due to the long list of celebrities having recently experienced this South American ritual. It was first discovered by westerners in the 1850’s, despite being practiced for hundreds of years prior. It is indeed one the many gifts from peru that is shared with the world to help improve our states of consciousness and help confront both our minds and the universe.
Hope you enjoyed the read, stay tuned for more posts from Gifts From Peru.
To read more on Ayahuasca or to view some very intriguing artwork, visit Ayahuasca.com