This sacred South American medicinal tea contains the potent psychedelic chemical N,N-dimethlytryptaime (DMT) induces intense visions, introspection, and mystical experiences.
The entire ayahuasca experience lasts for approximately 8 hours, often accompanied by vomiting and occasionally diarrhoea, which the natives call ‘la purga’ (the purge). This purging process is medically beneficial, as it clears the body of built up emotional trauma, worms and other parasites.
Check out these five mind-blowing facts about ayahuasca:
1. Research indicates ayahuasca has antidepressant qualities.
Blood tests of long-term ayahuasca users have shown an increased density of serotonin receptors compared to those who do not use ayahuasca. It should be mentioned that the SSRI class of antidepressants (Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, etc.) actually reduce the density of serotonin receptors in users over time, which can lead to chronic depression. Ayahuasca is non-addictive and is not neurotoxic, or poisonous to nerve tissue such as the brain or spinal cord, in any way.
2. Out of nearly 40,000 plant species in the Amazon, the Indians somehow knew to mix two very specific plants to make the medicine: the ayahuasca vine (Banisteriopsis caapi) and leaves from the shrub Psychotria viridis.
The ayahuasca vine contains chemicals known as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) that allow the body to absorb the DMT from the leaves. Without the MAOI, the DMT would be destroyed by monoamine oxidase in the gut and no effects from the DMT would be felt. Natives, who’ve been using the brew for hundreds of years, say the plants showed them how to make ayahuasca.
3. Ayahuasca tourism is growing as seekers from all over the world are traveling to the Amazon for healing.
In Central and South America, ayahuasca is legal and there are many retreat centers and eco-lodges dedicated to ayahuasca tourism and healing.
4. More and more veterans are trying ayahuasca and it’s healing PTSD.
Ayahuasca is known for sending users into a dream-like state where traumatic memories trapped in the subconscious are unlocked. The memories are reprocessed, detaching the fear and negative emotion, making ayahuasca a viable treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression.
5. Two major religions use ayahuasca on a regular basis as a sacrament they say connects them with God: the Santo Daime and Uniao De Vegetal (UdV).
Both religious groups won court cases in the U.S. giving them the right to consume ayahuasca on U.S. soil.