Ayahuasca – a plant for the healing soul
Ayahuasca – a plant for the healing soul and an agent to help in integrated healing. A brew made from the leaves of Psychotria Viridis and stalks of the Banisteriopsis caapi vine, Ayahuasca is a beverage that welcomes you to the spiritual reality. This entheogenic drink is used by the indigenous tribes of Amazonia for their spiritual and religious purposes. It is also popular as a sacred beverage by some spiritual communities in Brazil and North America, including Santo Daime. People leading a traditional lifestyle proclaim the benefit of new beginnings and healing. For the treatment of addiction and depression, studies have shown that ayahuasca therapy is miraculously effective. As this ancient beverage is coming more and more into the awareness, it won’t be a surprise that it gets worldwide accepted for psychedelic therapies.
Are you looking forward to experiencing one Ayahuasca ceremony, and want to know how the therapy works? Or you just want to know what the studies show about Ayahuasca medicine?
Let’s dive deep into the study of Ayahuasca and its benefits on the mind, spirit, and body.
How is the Brew prepared?
The brew is prepared by boiling leaves of Psychotria Viridis shrub and stalks of Banisteriopsis caapi vine in water. These ingredients are cleaned and ground before boiling so as to increase the essence of their medicinal compounds. The water is then strained to leave the plant material behind. A highly concentrated liquid is produced after the repetition of the same process before cooling the brew down to extract further impurities.
This brew is often and traditionally prepared by an experienced healer who leads to Ayahuasca ceremonies.
What does the brew do?
The psychoactive properties contained in the two main ingredients of Ayahuasca helps in producing a powerful psychedelic brew. It affects the central nervous system and leads the mind to an alternate state of consciousness.
Psychotria Viridis contains Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a psychedelic substance and Banisteriopsis Cappi contains monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), which synergizes with DMT to ignite a psychedelic experience. As a result, the Ayahuasca medicine helps to align the mind, body, and spirit with the future, present, and the past.
What are the things to keep in mind?
Apart from the traditional use of Ayahuasca, it is also considered as a brew that heals the mind from past traumas. However, there are certain things to keep in mind before consuming the psychoactive drink. For people taking the Ayahuasca medicine, the trip may lead them to another state of consciousness that at times may last longer. Thus, it is extremely important that this brew is taken only under the surveillance of an experienced shaman. Also, before consuming it, one must refrain from substances like cigarettes, other forms of drugs, antibiotics, alcohol, caffeine, and sex. This is because, before consuming the brew, the body must be purified, considering it is a religious and spiritual ceremony.
Ayahuasca usually takes anything between 20-60 minutes to show its reaction and the effect can last up to 6 hours. People taking this brew might experience different sides – either positive or negative – a state of extreme enlightenment/happiness or a state of panic or anxiety attack. It is also normal to experience symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea as a part of the body cleansing process.
How does Ayahuasca affect the mind and the body?
- Effect on the mind
Both the main ingredients of the Ayahuasca Medicine– DMT, and MAOIs are psychoactive in nature and may protect and restore parts of the brain. Some studies show that the intake of DMT can lead to the high production of antioxidant proteins and anti-stress. Studies also show that harmine and other substances present in B. Caapi lead to the generation of neurons in an adult brain that helps the survival of nerve cells and maintains a connection between them.
After consumption, people may also start to hallucinate which can be used for emotional and spiritual healing. People tend to feel more relaxed, accepting and at peace with their current situation in life as it helps people reach a deep meditative state when the effect of the Ayahuasca medicine is not at peak. Ayahuasca can also help people recover from past traumatic events in their lives and restructure their personal lives. It can also be used to remove stress and depression and to improve the regulation of moods and emotions that treats anxiety and mood disorders.
- Effect on the body
Most people who participate in Ayahuasca ceremonies experience an extreme urge to vomit multiple times or to defecate. This brew also induces different emotions like laughing, shaking, sweating, coughing and crying. This process often aims to remove all the toxins from your body and unpleasant emotions that have been clogged up in your whole being
Even though the idea of vomiting and defecating sounds a little gross, it is extremely important to this process as it will help one feel a profound sense of well being as all the toxins are removed. And this often lasts for weeks, months or several years thereafter as a matter of fact.
How does Ayahuasca help to heal?
A number of people have experienced miraculous healings after drinking the ayahuasca tea. The kind of healings we are talking about are – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual healings, which are interconnected in a way that curing one automatically cures the others. Through this brew, shamans have cured various physical ailments or chronic illness such as tumors and cancer. As of now, there is no specific scientific data to support this, however, this is based on the experience of people who have gone through the ayahuasca ceremonies and seen themselves healed in some way or the other.
They have stated that this brew is more effective at healing emotional and mental issues. Each person must have experienced some form of trauma or set back in their lives such as an accident, death of a loved one, physical, sexual or mental abuse, or any other unpleasant event. It is said to believe that ayahuasca has an incredible effect on them to get over the toxic feeling that stays in them. The Ayahuasca medicine is also useful in healing people from drug and alcohol addiction that has become extremely common worldwide nowadays.
It is also known from people that ayahuasca ceremonies have taken them to a state of extreme gratitude for their lives. It helps them to connect with people, nature, life, and universe. It helps them understand how it is all interconnected. And people who constantly feel gratitude for their lives, or for people in their lives, or for anything, tend to be happier and healthier than people who are not.
This, in turn, automatically heals the physical and mental wellbeing of a person.
Ayahuasca also helps people to become conscious of the environment and extremely aware of themselves. In short, it helps them feel more connected to their own self and helps them to find a purpose for their lives. This process of awakening helps them create more joy and a sense of purpose in their lives.
Ayahuasca Ceremony – A Conclusion
Ayahuasca ceremonies may go up to days, however, people who have experienced this process, say only one ceremony was enough for them to heal themselves completely as compared to multiple sessions at the psychotherapy.
However, one thing to keep in mind is that the Ayahuasca medicine is not a miraculous or the only go-to medicine for any addiction, healing or chronic illness. Because everyone is different and everybody’s body reacts differently. So not everybody gets healed by this brew in the same way, and they may or may not get their desired result as fast as they expected. It is important that before going through the Ayahuasca process, one keeps his expectations and desires at a bare minimum and not as the only pit stop for their solution.
Also, if a person is on any medication, chances are that Ayahuasca may interact with that making it unsuitable for people with certain health conditions. It also has the potential to have an extreme negative toll on the body, because in some cases, the substance has also led to death: if you have serious heart problems, for example, you should not take Ayahuasca. Hence be sure to do your research well before participating in the Ayahuasca ceremony, and double-check your physical conditions with the Ayahuasca healer. Even if the ceremony is carried by an experienced shaman, remember that everyone can make mistakes.
In my own experience, I took Ayahuasca in Italy, with the Santo Daime religious group.
Before the ceremony, different healers made me go through a psychological test (to check ‘mental idoneity’), as well as having to answer to many questions about my physical health.
During the ceremony I puked only once, which means I did not have so much need of inner-self-cleaning.
All was great, I healed a lot, and to be honest, I will repeat this experience as soon as possible. But, this time, I will want to take Ayahuasca in South America, in the jungle, to have an even stronger experience with local shamans and spiritual tribes J
Hope this article has provided you with enough and trusted information if you are looking forward to experiencing this psychedelic therapy, just like me! Leave us your comments below for those who have experienced or would want to experience this incredible medicine.
If you found this article interesting and want to go deeper into this topic, I would suggest you a great books from one of my favourite teachers and healer:
Have you ever tried Ayahuasca, or have friends who did it? How was your or their experience?
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