What is ayahuasca?

Learn more about this powerful, ancient Amazonian plant medicine

What is Ayahuasca?

Ayahuasca is an ancient ceremonial brew that originated in the Amazon Basin more than 10,000 years ago. Some sources claim the origins of Ayahuasca are much older. The medicine has been cooked for centuries by indigenous groups in Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Brazil. The tradition was taken up by Mestizos in the last century, and in the last decade, it has gone global. The Medicine has declared her availability to all persons throughout the globe, though its legality varies around the world. It is legal in Peru, so guests have nothing to worry about in the way of legal repercussions.

Ayahuasca is a synergy of the Banisteriopsis caapi (Ayahuasca vine) and the Psychotria viridis (Chacruna) leaf, with admixture ingredients such as mapacho tobacco, various tree barks and the Sanango root.  The Ayahuasca vine’s active alkaloids include harmine, harmaline, and tetrahydroharmine, all of which are MAO inhibitors. These alkaloids allow the DMT in the Chacruna to be orally active and to induce the visionary properties of the Medicine. One would experience no affects from the Chacruna if it was ingested without the vine. The Ayahuasca brew has a wide variety of admixtures depending on the Shaman’s knowledge and experience, and on the treatment needed for the person/people receiving healing.

Making the Brew

To make the brew, the mature Ayahuasca vines are pounded and boiled with Chacruna leaves (underside of leaf shown here) and other admixtures over a very hot fire for approximately 8-12 hours. The Medicine is prepared with a great deal of care and intention. The finished product is the physical manifestation of the Spirit of Ayahuasca, hence Ayahuasca Medicine. It is a vehicle by which she enters the human body to purge and heal with the guidance and presence of the Shaman.

Ayahusca works in the spiritual, physical, psychological, emotional and mental realms of the human body to heal and purge toxins that have accumulated over our lifetimes.  Ayahuasca works idiosyncratically by deciding each person’s healing process individually.  We all are presented with what we need in each ceremony, and each participant’s experiences will vary from person-to-person and ceremony-to-ceremony.

As humans, we tend exist as a tangled energetic and physical mess. The Mother Vine will enter you and begin cleaning house, directed by the icaros of the Shaman and the presence of benevolent doctor spirits.

Drinking and Sitting with Ayahuasca

Working with the Medicine can be a very unpleasant and painful process resulting in a deep cleansing that can’t be achieved through western medical approaches. It doesn’t always manifest painfully, but most first-time drinkers can expect some form of discomfort during their ceremony.

As the Vine moves through the body, it can induce vomiting, defecating, physical shaking, cold and hot sweats, laughing, yawning and crying as methods for purging what needs to be expelled. She knows when issues and blockages are ready to be released and in what order. The Chacruna opens the participant’s third eye, making the visionary spirit world accessible when deemed appropriate by the Medicine. She is capable of producing beautiful celestial visions as well as dark, scary underworld experiences, or absolutely nothing visually… it all depends on what is needed for you at the time. It is very important to trust in the entire process, for the Medicine is ultimately here to heal and liberate us from our baggage, not to hurt or damage us. You will always receive what you need.

Guests will always have the safe guidance of the Shaman and trusted english speaking attendants available for assistance and support through difficult periods of the healing process, whether before, during or after your ceremony. Fear, anger, hatred, sadness, despair, heartbreak and whatever other emotional baggage a person harbors may be re-experienced during the Ayahuasca ceremony as the Medicine brings negative emotions to the surface to be released. Re-experiencing these painful or traumatic events and emotions is an essential part of the healing process in order to truly release them and clear space for the True Self to emerge in all its light and divinity. It is a cathartic process that can result in abundance, acceptance, forgiveness, gratitude, freedom, joy, and love.