Friday, June 21st, 2024

Ayahuasca Use

Ayahuasca Use

Ayahuasca said eye-oh-waska, is an Amazonian mixture of plants that are capable of creating altered states of consciousness, usually lasting between 4 to 8 hours after ingesting. Ayahuasca use can range from mildly stimulating to extremely visionary and enlightening. Ayahuasca is primarily used by a medicine and as part of shamanic rituals or means of communication. Ayahuasca is most typically used in a ceremonial session under the careful watch of an experienced ayahuasca drinker.

The main ingredient of the Amazonian tea is a vine known as Banisteriopsis cappi. The vine is also called ayahuasca which means vine of the soul or vine with a soul. The other ingredient in ayahuasca is chacruna or chagropanga. These two plants contain a high amount of the psychedelic substance known as DMT.

Ayahuasca use has documented since the mid-1800s. No one knows for sure when ayahuasca was first used or how long. The first recorded Western contact with ayahuasca use was in 1851 by a man name Richard Spruce. Richard Spruce was a famous ethno botanist from England.

The effects of ayahuasca use produce a psychedelic and visionary state of mind and many people use it for many different reasons. Some of the effects of ayahuasca use are:

  • mild to extreme mood lift, euphoria
  • ego softening / ego loss
  • oceanic feeling of connectedness to the universe
  • feelings of love and empathy
  • a sense of inner peace and acceptance of self, others, and the world
  • profound life-changing spiritual experiences
  • emotional healing / mentally therapeutic
  • claimed physical healing (such as anti-cancer effects)
  • sedation
  • strong visions; some typically reported include snakes, big cats, insect-like aliens, female goddesses
  • meaningless visual “noise”
  • auditory hallucinations / sound distortions
  • altered sense of space and time
  • increased likelihood of embracing magical thinking, paranormal ideation

Shamans and medicine men use ayahuasca to communicate with nature to see what is causing a patient’s sickness on a spiritual level. In Brazil, ayahuasca is commonly used in gatherings by all of the participants. In the recent decades ayahuasca use has made its way into main stream western culture; from academic researchers to psychonauts. Psychonauts are people who practice responsible and knowledgeable use of any mind altering substance but especially use ayahuasca to confront themselves with the universe, their deepest fears, and to experience ecstasy from facing themselves as well as their deepest lying issues.

One of the negative effects of ayahuasca use is the purging. Ayahuasca use makes a lot of people vomit and many people who use ayahuasca get diarrhea. According to some tribes this is part of the healing process and is known as kamarampi or la purga. Tribes believe that ayahuasca use purges the body physically like this as a way to release negativity and purify the mind. Some other negative effects of ayahuasca use are:

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, body aches, sweats/chills (alternating), and other flu- or food poisoning-like symptoms, much less common after multiple experiences
  • fear and/or paranoia
  • feeling as though one is losing one’s mind
  • feeling as though one is dying
  • disequilibrium, difficulty walking

Ayahuasca use is not believed to be physically addicting but it can be fatal in some instance although the direct link of ayahuasca to deaths has not been established. It is said by some that mixing anti-depressants and ayahuasca use can be highly dangerous and fatal. There have been some reported deaths during ayahuasca ceremonies but not much is known about these.