Ayahuasca: The Visionary Brew

Ayahuasca is a hallucinogenic brew, named after the ayahuasca vine, which has been traditionally used by the people of the Amazon for healing and spiritual guidance. Ever since its “discovery” (by the West) in the 1950s, ayahuasca has slowly spread in popularity all across the world, boasted in large part by the pioneering psychonaut, Terrence McKenna.

The ayahuasca vine itself does not contain the hallucinogenic compound responsible for effects that the brew can have on one’s consciousness. Rather, it contains the compounds which stop the body from breaking down the dimethyltryptamine (DMT) provided to the brew by other plants.

DMT is one of the most potent hallucinogenic substances known. It is on a different level entirely than other well-known hallucinogens such as LSD or psilocybin. It can so radically alter your sense of reality that those who have used DMT often report that they have entirely left their body. They lose all sense of space and time and may feel like they have been gone for several years, when in reality the experience lasts only several minutes.

The amazing thing about ayahuasca is that it takes this completely overwhelming experience and stretches it out over several hours. It still remains an intense experience, but much more manageable, offering the user more time to actually think and reflect about what is going on.

Ayahuasca, because it allows DMT to become active in the body, is very visionary. Users generally report seeing patterns, visions, and even other worlds entirely. The images may be beautiful, but they may also in some cases be frightening. Despite this, ayahuasca experiences are, by and large, reported to be extremely positive. People attest to not only deep spiritual and emotional healing, but sometimes physical healing as well.

This is definitely saying something, as the physical experience of taking ayahuasca is usually a very unpleasant one. The brew smells and tastes awful, and it may bring on nausea, vomiting, and even diarrhea. It is advisable for those seeking an ayahuasca experience to research carefully about where, when, and how they are going to take it.

A shaman who knows what they are doing is crucial to the process. Not only are they important for brewing the ayahuasca correctly, but they are there to guide you through the physical as well as any emotional or spiritual difficulties you may have along the way.

Taken in a proper setting and with the right kind of guidance, ayahuasca can lead you to deep spiritual answers, messages from spirits and departed loved ones, and even a kind of personal enlightenment.

The Amazonian shamans who use this brew sometimes claim that the recipe was given to their ancestors by spirits or even by the plants themselves. Considering the astounding number of different plant species available in the Amazon forest, it may in fact be hard for some to believe that the recipe could have been stumbled upon accidentally.

No matter what you believe about its origins, there is no denying that ayahuasca has amazing and important things to teach us about the human mind, and maybe even about the human soul.

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