One of the most popular plant medicine experiences–and it’s just kind of out–is Ayahuasca. It’s a South American brew, a tea, that has hallucinogenic properties largely coming from DMT–a compound produced in certain plants. The Ayahuasca vine allows the DMT to pass the blood-brain barrier.
Using Ayahuasca is a seven-hour experience. They call it psychedelic, but these are loose categories.
Ayahuasca vs. Other Psychedelics
I mean, there’s a difference in the psychedelic experience of psilocybin and Ayahuasca. I would say that the Ayahuasca experience can be a lot more metaphysical. It’s a lot less predictable, deeper, and stronger in ways that aren’t easy to articulate. We’re talking about complicated complex phenomenological experiences, but people have been using Ayahuasca for healing for a long time.
Traditionally shamans used Ayahuasca to be able to diagnose the diseases and problems of people in the tribes so that the tribe’s people wouldn’t drink it. The shamans would drink it, so they could see in the spiritual realm where others were broken. Then the shamans help them heal–usually with song and medicine rattles, sometimes potions, and things like that.
As of late, people have been drinking Ayahuasca to see…maybe for a lot of reasons.
But, you know, the healing context to experience the brokenness for themselves and begin to heal in those spaces while actively on Ayahuasca, as well as do the integration work afterwards, is complicated.
So, it’s an interesting thing to think about like I’ve talked about in previous videos, the sort of realms, like the realm of the imaginary or the archetypal realm, and even an angelic realm–who knows what these realms are and where they are.
But when you drink Ayahuasca, you get access to those dimensions of being whether they’re being produced by the brain or they actually exist somewhere…You’re there.
Ayahuasca and the Psyche
And so, if you think about that, Ayahuasca is giving you access to what we call the realm of the psyche. I don’t limit that to the brain.
I call the realm of the psyche like, “What’s going on in there?”
And you can also maneuver in there, change things, ask for things, and get clarity about what’s in there. And so what Ayahuasca is doing is giving you a kind of access to yourself and maybe to other realms that you normally don’t have.
In that sense, anything can happen. People have reported cancer being cured. Others say their PTSD, depression, and anxiety were cured. In addition, people go from being atheists to believers.
When you get that kind of access anything can happen and that’s what’s phenomenal about Ayahuasca.
Dangers of Ayahuasca
It’s also what’s dangerous about Ayahuasca…Anything can happen.
You might get access to something that further traumatizes you–that means you might get stuck. It could be painful; you could get PTSD.
So it’s a very deep, powerful experience but it’s one that we should approach with reverence and caution, which is, you know, not the American way.
I like to be kind of a voice that says, “Hey, let’s take this slow, let’s figure out what this is. Let’s figure out how to integrate this into our culture in a healthy, reverential way.”
As opposed to: “Hey let’s just go drink this as tea…it’s going to cure everybody.”
So it’s a fascinating subject. It breaks into many domains. It’s interesting to think about it in terms of recovery–that you could use this powerful, hallucinogenic brew to heal from a lifelong addiction.
It’s happened many times. I know plenty of people personally that have done that. It’s not addictive. So, there is absolutely no risk in terms of being addicted to Ayahuasca. It’s not an experience a person is going to want to have every day and you know, build a tolerance to it.
So the risk factors are more around PTSD. The benefits are unpredictable but there is certainly a potential.
Schedule a 30-min consultation with Yeshaia