The Ayahuasca Trip - A Journey Through Your Heart And The Universe
Ayahuasca, also known as yage (the “vine of death”), is a spiritual medicine that has been used by Amazonian tribes for centuries. Indigenous South Americans, primarily from Peruvian Amazon, believe that it enables shamans to treat mental and physical ailments while receiving messages from ancestors and the spiritual world.
The hallucinogenic tea is meant to provide people with enlightening experiences that help them heal from previous traumas and change their lives for the better. Its use has become popular among Westerners, who claim that their ayahuasca experiences have cured them of everything from depression, to PTSD, and to cancer.
The ayahuasca plant is a mixture of the plant called Psychotria viridis (chacruna) or chagropanga, or mimosa tenuiflora rootbark. It’s also usually mixed with a dimethyltryptamine (DMT) plant species, which can produce vivid mystical experiences which often lead to euphoria and hallucinations that can include geometric patterns, extraterrestrials or even God. The entire experience usually lasts for 2-6 hours of peak effects, with 1-8 hours of lingering effects, depending on the dosage and one’s metabolism.
Traditionally, you are meant to attend an ayahuasca ceremony led by an experienced shaman who guides you through the experience. In South America, the shamans (or healers) who lead ayahuasca ceremonies are known as curanderos, ayahuasqueros, or vegetalistas. They may be descendants of qualified shamans, or may just have access to the drug.
Vomiting or diarrhea is commonly experienced after ingestion (also known as “purging”) which is considered by many to be an essential part of the experience, as it allows you to release negative energy and emotions. Some medications have dangerous interactions with ayahuasca use and this website was developed to provide people with information on what to avoid.
San Francisco-based life-hacker Tim Ferriss, who became famous for his book 'The 4-Hour Workweek,' says he uses the drug regularly. In an article in the New Yorker, Ferris said he’s used it many times, despite one extremely negative experience that he described as “the most painful experience I’ve ever had by a factor of a thousand.” He said he felt like he was “being torn apart and killed a thousand times a second for two hours.” The experience was followed by a series of seizures and afterward he thought he had completely fried his brain and promised to never do it again. But after several months of reflection, he realized that nearly all of the anger he had held onto for decades had been completely released.
Others have described their experiences as 'spiritual awakenings' that allow them to see their true purpose on earth while revealing hidden mysteries of the universe and providing insight on how to be the best person they can be. Increased abilities to practice mindfulness have been reported and it’s been reported that its use can also promote neurogenesis, which is the growth of new brain cells.
However, the drug hasn’t been an entirely positive experience for all. Due to the dangerous interactions with other drugs or unknown heart conditions, some deaths have been attributed to ayahuasca use. Others have reported suffering psychotic breakdowns after using the substance and this website, which paints a rather negative view, shares stories of those who have lost their minds or their lives to the drug. While these cases are rare, extremely upsetting experiences are quite common. Profound healing means working through intense pain, and some have even reported experiencing their own death.
While the experience of ayahuasca can be dark, its increased use in western society signals perhaps a greater spiritual awakening taking place across the globe. People are being drawn to profound healing, and by healing themselves, they can increase their support for others by becoming better friends, family members, and community leaders. Not all of us need to experience ayahuasca to become better people and experience healing. The powers of yoga and meditation have proven to have similar effects on the mind and have healed people from depression and other traumatic experiences. The world can be a crazy place sometimes, but if we all make a conscious effort to be the best people we can be, we can support each other on our journeys. And maybe if we’re lucky, one day, the world will become a lot less scary.