For the shamans of the Amazon, ayahuasca is a natural medicine of ancestral use. It is also known as the rope of the spirits and a few years ago it started to become fashionable in the West as part of that spirituality that we have turned into a trend.
The Ayahuasca is part of archaic Peruvian traditions. Conjugated through a millenary ritual, this combination of hallucinogenic plants is capable of producing knowledge to those who consume it, or at least, that is the myth that surrounds it.
While being on your trip to Peru and if you ever considered trying Ayahuasca and emerging yourself in this mind blowing travel you may need to keep communication or a translation app.
Now let’s find out all the important facts about this famous mystical drink that have been an revealing tool for people around the world to know their real path and in some sense gave them a propose in their life or at least it’s what its believe:
Cultural Heritage of the Nation
It was in 2008 when Peru’s National Institute of Culture (INC) declared the traditional knowledge and uses of this plant a National Cultural Heritage. From the institution, they emphasized that its effects are contrary to those produced by hallucinogens.
The Peruvian government declared the traditional knowledge and uses of Ayahuasca a Cultural Heritage because it is a basic pillar of the identity of native Amazonian communities.
The Ayahuasca, despite a possible controversy due to its hallucinogenic effects for some people, is only legal in Peru as long as it is used as part of a spiritual ceremony and under the strict supervision of a shaman.
What is Ayahuasca ?
Ayahuasca is becoming very well known, and ayahuasca tourism in South America and principally in Peru. The number of ayahuasca ceremonies has doubled in recent years. Everyone wants to reach a higher consciousness and get a glimpse of the vast unknown universe inside them.
The compound known as ayahuasca or yugé, is a hallucinogenic drink prepared from the decoction of two exclusive plants from the Amazon jungle.
The ayahuasca vine (Banisteriopsis caapi) and a shrub called chacrina (Psychotria ciridis), which contains the narcotic dimethyltryptamine (DMT) that provides the psychologically active agent, are mixed and cooked to obtain this popular potion.
Ayahuasca is called by some the ‘Spirit Molecule’, and by others ‘The God Molecule’. It is believed that it helps people to discover the divine within us all.
DMT has been the spiritual medicine of indigenous tribes in South America, particularly in Peru and some other South American countries like Ecuador, Brasil,etc.
It is a medicine of the jungle. It is a combination of several ingredients, all plants that grow in the jungle, and DMT ayahuasca is a blend of this combination of plants
Spiritual life contains DMT, the God Molecule or Spirit Molecule because it puts the person in an altered state of consciousness, a hallucinogenic entheogen.
Many people tout the healing effects of ayahuasca DMT, from the physical, emotional, mental and, most importantly, from the spiritual level, from where the illness begins.
If the disease is addressed from within, deep inside, the physical manifestation of the disease often disappears. If old resentment and anger is let go, health in mind, body and spirit takes its place.
What to Expect on your Ayahuasca Trip
We are all different, and plant medicine reacts differently in each person’s chemistry, mental constructs and emotional environment. What can you expect? It is a very individualized experience for each person.
There are as many paths to God as there are individuals on the planet; likewise, there are as many possibilities for an Ayahuasca experience as there are individuals on the planet. Your Ayahuasca experience will be unique and it will be yours.
As with meditation, some people are very visual (clairvoyant) types of people and will see colors, patterns and visions.
Some people are sensitive and will feel emotional and mental changes, or feel magnetic forces; they seem to “know” (clairsentient). Some people “hear” voices, explanations or sounds (clairaudient).
For others, it is a combination of all of these. All report experiencing physical changes, and this is to be expected when asking, “what can I expect?” The ayahuasca spirit and all medicinal plants are healing vessels and each individual perceives what they do with different senses.
General Effects on Ayahuasca
Ayahuasca is widely used for healing and religious ceremonies. In recent decades, there is a growing interest in the substance because of its potential in the treatment of mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and addiction.
Some felt they were lost, but came to their senses after using ayahuasca. Others felt they were too busy with their personal problems, but Ayahuasca awakened them to feel alive again.
In most ayahuasca ceremonies, nausea and vomiting are a common side effect. Some even experience diarrhea. Apart from these, there are obvious physical side effects. Some ayahuasca users experience profuse sweating and chills.
Their heart rate and blood pressure rise. These effects of ayahuasca, which are probably due to DMT intoxication, are subject to risks of hypertension, agitation, dizziness and muscular incoordination.
Ayahuasca can also affect one’s emotional state. As some put it, ayahuasca causes one to reflect on one’s experiences and relax from one’s normal way of thinking.
It gives one the strength to think about their traumatic past and confront the things they usually push out of their conscious mind. It can stir up your traumatic past and cause distress. It can also increase fears and cause anxiety and paranoia.
Prior to the Ritual of Ayahuasca
The preparation of ayahuasca is not given the same day of the ceremony, there must be a previous preparation for the plant to do its work at the time and not have a bad time.
This previous preparation consists of a basic diet: no red meat or processed foods; no alcohol or recreational or pharmaceutical drugs and avoid during the last three days the ingestion of any animal. After the ceremony, the diet will be followed for the next three days.
Following the diet is vital since the concoction purges and cleanses you and the more “contaminated” your body is, the more you will feel the jolt of the purge, in short, the objective of the diet is that the purification process that your body will have is less stormy in terms of the physical blow that you will feel.
Ritual and Preparation of Ayahuasca
The ritual consists of each person finding their own space, if possible as far away from each other as possible.
The shaman or healer will begin to read the protocol of the ceremony and to give the indications of the case, one of these is to maintain silence and not to disturb the others since it is a very strong personal introspective experience.
From there, each member of the group will approach to consume the concoction and in doing so will have to ask the plant for what they wish to find. Some people vomit, others cry and some sleep.
The most important instrument during the session is the “ícaro” a kind of mantra or medicine chant that the healer performs, this ayahuasca chant is a connection with the participants and guides them towards a learning and healing process.
Ayahuasca can be an excellent option for detoxification from other drugs. Although we are cautious in recommending alternative medicine, we have received comments about the existence of some retreat centers that take in foreigners with drug problems to help them with their dependency.
Diet Preparation for Ayahuasca
In preparation for your ayahuasca ceremony, it is suggested that you follow the ayahuasca diet guidelines. It is not necessary to be on the ayahuasca diet to have a good experience, but it helps prepare your body to receive ayahuasca.
It depends on how clean you have already eaten and how healthy you are. If you are already a healthy eater, you will probably be fine and have a good experience. The ayahuasca diet is simply a suggestion to prepare you for the ayahuasca ceremony.
There is a specific way that the shaman suggests to prepare for the ayahuasca ceremony.
Shamans suggest that, if possible, to use the ayahuasca diet for 2-4 weeks before the ayahuasca ceremony. If you do not have 2-4 weeks to prepare, try to be disciplined for 2-3 days before the ayahuasca ceremony.
These medicinal plants seem to “know” when you have been bad or good in your diet, and your experience will reflect what is in your body. Make sure your body is a clean vessel in which this medicine can work the way it is intended.
For the most part, the ayahuasca diet is like an alkaline diet, which excludes acidic foods.
Duration of Ayahuasca
- Total duration: 4 – 8 hours
- Beginning: 20 – 60 minutes
- Next: 30 – 45 minutes
- Plateau: 1 – 2 hours
- Decreasing: 1 – 2 hours
- Side effects: 1 – 8 hours
Safety First on Ayahuasca
One reason there have been complications for some people with ayahuasca ceremonies is that some shamans mix other substances into their medicine, such as datura (which can give nightmarish experiences and cause death) or high amounts of nicotine (to open the body more to the medicine) ), or other substances that change the nature of the medicine to some extent.
When deaths are related to ayahuasca, usually the person ingesting the ayahuasca has mixed it with other substances.
There are no known deaths from ayahuasca DMT, ayahuasca or the Spirit Molecule/God Molecule, unless pharmaceutical or recreational drugs are mixed, or health problems, such as respiratory disease or heart disease, are aggravated. Blood pressure may also increase. However, death has not been associated with ayahuasca DMT regardless of dosage.
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