The ayahuasca ancestral medical practice is native to the amazon rainforest and currently used as a healing and religious tradition by more than 75 different ethnic groups in Ecuador, Colombia, Brasil and Perú, each one with different cosmovision and ways of preparation and application, but sharing many similarities like the combination of 2 plants: Ayahuasca (banisteriopsis caapi) and chacuruna (psychotria viridis).
Aya in quechua means “the spirit” and huasca “the rope”,so it
is the rope of the spirit,a link between the body and the spirit during the experience that allows the soul to go out of the body to other realms, keeping the connection between the
Ayahuasca (banisteriopsis caapi) vines contains beta-Carboline alcaloids like Harmaline and Harmine that acts as an MAO (mono amine oxidase) inhibitor allowing the alcaloid contained in the chacuruna (psychotria viridis), the DMT (N,N-dimethyltryptamine) to pass to the central nervous system and produce the ayahuasca effects, the DMT is a strong visionary compound that is also present in many plants and animals and some research like the doctor R. Strassman explains that possibly our own brain could produced it in certain circumstances by the pineal gland.
The IMAO active alcaloids contained in the ayahuasca vine also produce an increase of concentration of others neurotransmitters like serotonin with an antidepressant action, but also allows to other subtances contained in common food to pass to the central nervous system and is one of the reasons why a previous diet is a must.
diet is a pretty important part of the ayahuasca ritual, in some cases a custom diet must be taken for different purposes, even if you have a healthy diet, you must follow some dietary
restrictions prior to the ceremony for health purposes and to archieve the best of the healing process.
This way the ayahuasca produces modified states in consciousness that include visions,altered sensory experiences, deep trance states, lucid dream-like states and other effects that lead to the transcendental and life changing experiences that ayahuasca is well known for.
The ayahuasca is specially known for its healing properties in different health conditions but especially in emotional diseases and traumas like depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress, addiction and others related illnesses, so is becoming a matter of study for many researchers in those fields and being applied in rehab centers and other western medical facilities as central treatment or as a part of the process for others medical practices.
Ayahuasca is also known as a “the purge” and can produce temporary vomiting and diarrhea as part of the healing process.
Ayahuasca shows its potential as a powerful healing tool to solve traumas from the past, allowing to enter in the subconscious, releasing memories and emotions otherwise blocked, allowing to break patterns conditioned by these, improving the relations with our family, friends, networks and our whole environment as result, also giving a deeper understanding of ourselves and helping to improve in many areas from nutrition and self care to the emotional and professional areas, helping to recover the physical, psychological and spiritual balance.
With the right support and guidance of a shaman (medicine man or woman) during the process ayahuasca can produce deep transformational experiences that are the responsible of the big interest in this ancestral medicine in the indigenous context.
The ayahuasca can lead to spiritual experiences and this is part of the link between the religious connotations in many different ancient and modern cultures as a connection to what is perceived as sacred by different religions and beliefs.
Ayahuasca in the indigenous context is a sacred practice and a
central cosmovision element of many cultures from the rainforest with different names,variations and espiritual pratices, ayahuasca is considered a healer plant, a teacher plant and a sacred
plant that connects with the spirits of the animals and plants and other divine beings in their cosmovision to help them in healing, diagnose and divinatory rituals.
It was adopted and became central part of others more recent religious practices mixed with other religious elements,an example of this sincretism is the Santo Daime in Brazil with elements of Christian iconography and other modern neo-shamanism and new age movements originated in north america and Europe.
People with different beliefs, philosophies and religions usually find a connection with what is perceived by sacred according to the elements present in their practices, from naturalism and animism to christianity or mixed beliefs, the strong spiritual connection provided by the ayahuasca is prominently present.
Ayahuasca is not...
Ayahuasca is not a miracle cure that heals everything in one night, in some cases must be use with special care, in some others is not recommended and in some specific cases (like during the treatment with antidepressants) is definitely not indicated, due to the modern medications and health conditions a treatment should be supervised by an expert shaman with knowledge and with counseling about modern western medical conditions and proper consultation prior to the ceremony, this is part of the challenge of the ayahuasca arrival to modern society.
The current situation of the world and society, where emotional discomforts and illnesses are a result of a lack of connection and self realization, manifested in anxiety, depression and the loss of the physical and emotional balance is causing more and more people start to look on these ancient medicines that have been there for long time in the rainforest and many are finding relief, solutions and answers.