What is Ayahuasca?
It’s a South American brew made up of two plants (yes, only two).
These plants embark on a magical dance in a cauldron for over 12 hours to produce an effect on humans like nothing you could possibly imagine.
One of the plants contain DMT ayyaaa (dimethyltryptamine), which is the psychoactive ingredient, and the other has MAOI (monoamine oxidase inhibitors).
The MAOI allows the DMT to,
“diffuse unmetabolized past the membranes in the stomach and small intestine, and eventually cross the blood–brain barrier . . . to activate receptor sites in the brain.”
If there was no MAOI in the brew, the body would be unable to absorb the DMT and nothing would happen.
How was it discovered?
In a jungle with over 150,000 plant species, trial and error just does not seem like a logical solution to find a visionary plant mixture.
The pair of plants look nothing alike and don’t even grow near each other in the jungle. I can’t even begin to imagine how anyone stumbled across this recipe.
Without one or the other the brew has no effect whatsoever. But combined, the most magical inner fireworks (or nauseating nightmare) will ensue, and most likely, if you listen carefully, some very deep and at times very basic life lessons will be revealed to you that can both rock your world and set you on a new path.
How long has this been going on for?
Anthropologist Jeremy Narby (1998, p. 154) states that Ayahuasca,
“belongs to the indigenous people of Western Amazonia, who hold the keys to a way of knowing that they have practiced without interruption for at least five thousand years.”
Wow. Five thousand years?
That is simply mind boggling, taking us way back in human history.
The Amazonian tribesmen (and women) were literally tripping out in the jungle while the Egyptians were… getting high on similar compounds (blue lotus flower) in Egypt. But we’ll save that story for a different article.
It has taken some time for it to catch on in our modern day, but Ayahuasca use has been gaining momentum recently (looking like a small J curve, if you’re into stats) and is increasing exponentially.
Over the last 30 years or so it has catapulted itself out of the Amazon, reaching all over the globe and drawing people to the rainforest.
Unfortunately, doing Ayahuasca is pretty much illegal in North America and one could face jail time for being in possession of it, even though it has no recreational or abusive properties. There is a big grey area in terms of the legality of using Ayahuasca for religious purposes, however.
In south America there are Christian-based churches that use Ayahuasca as the holy sacrament and, once joined in prayer, chant songs and have holy visions. I’m not making this up.
This is happening right now and is spreading to North America. Ayahuasca plants and bottles containing Ayahuasca have been confiscated from Ayahuasca church members repeatedly by various authorities.
The UDV (The União do Vegetal) recently went to court in the USA, with the judge concluding that there is no issue with their using Ayahuasca as a religious sacrament.