Ayahuasca is the greatest medicine in the Amazon rainforest. The taste is unpleasant but this hallucinogenic concoction has proven very helpful to people with hard-to-treat depression that has proved stubborn against antidepressants.
Conventional medical approach has yielded limited efficacy, and natural healing options like Ayahuasca have grown as an alternative to finding natural healing to mental and physical illness that afflict people.
Ayahuasca teaches us about our weaknesses and strengths by removing layers of psychosomatic blockages and reviving our perception and natural health. It pierces our nervous systems and revitalizes conduits of energy depleted by toxins, anxiety, confusion and stress.
What is Ayahuasca?
Ayahuasca is the most powerful psychotropic in the world. This psychedelic brew is used by Sharman initiation rites and healing rituals throughout the Amazon.
Experienced Sharmans prepare a deep-brown bitter brew with two native South American plants, Psychotria Viridis and Banisteriopsis caapi.
Psychotria Viridis includes the mind-altering element dimethyltryptamine (DMT), and the second plant, Banisteriopsis caapi (also called the Ayahuasca vine) is packed with substances such as monoamine oxidase that prevent DMT from breaking down before it reaches the brain or cross the gut.
Is it dangerous to drink Ayahuasca?
As part of the Sant Pau/Beckley research program, Jordi Riba studied the impact of Ayahuasca on the human brain and reports that the active principles from both plants clear from the human body after a short period, usually six hours.
If done by an experienced Shaman, it is highly unlikely to overdose on the drink. It is essential that the drink is prepared properly or it could have damaging psychological effects. Natives in the Amazon rainforest have consumed the drink since birth so they have a better handle on their emotions during the experience, unlike tourists from Europe and America who are often stunned from their hallucinogenic experience.
The clinical trials
The first global clinical trials on Ayahuasca took place in Brazil where 14 test patients who had treatment-resistant depression were given a single dose of Ayahuasca and 15 people with the same mental illness received a placebo.
Seven days later, patients who received Ayahuasca displayed visible improvements. There was a dramatic mood shift on a standard scale from severe to mild. Draulio de Araujo (who led the research) revealed that the major finding is that the Ayahuasca has a dominant effect as an antidepressant far above the placebo.
To trick participants, they gave one group who had never tasted a psychedelic drug a bitter-tasting drink similar to Ayahuasca. Prior to the dose, test patients answered standard questionnaires to access their depression. They spent 8 hours the next day in a supervised environment receiving either the portion or placebo. Both groups reported an improvement in their mood after two days. One week after, 64% of participants who were given Ayahuasca felt their depression lift by 50% and more.
How does the human body process Ayahuasca?
The brain’s connectivity changes 24 hours after a dose of Ayahuasca. During this period, areas of the brain responsible for maintaining and creating the awareness of self, connect deeper with areas that process autobiographical memories and emotions.
Delving further, Jose Huanaquiri, a Shaman at Refugio Altiplano explains that consistent users exhibit reduced posterior cingulate cortex which is the hub centre of the brain that represses and censors perceptions. It therefore leads to a defined pattern of cognition and thought that cause psychological issues like addiction, PTSD, depression and anxiety.
Overall, the main areas of application include the treatment of psychological trauma, depression and addiction. There is still so much that this treatment can do and more research needs to be carried out if we are to discover its full range of applications.
What are the benefits of Ayahuasca?
The World Health Organization estimates that over 350 million people globally, suffer from one brain condition or mental disorder and by 2030, depression is predicted to become the most critical problem in first world nations.
Ayahuasca limits the effect of depression in a patient from 2-6 hours after ingestion. It does this by altering concentrations of serotonin and by active working of its two major ingredients to induce spiritual experiences and revelations.
Natural healing for terminal diseases like cancer
Some Ayahuasca users, who attended an Ayahuasca retreat in Peru, testified that upon return they felt rejuvenated. Two of such people include Margaret De Wys and Donald M. Topping. Both, who had breast cancer and colon cancer respectively, attended Ayahuasca ceremonies in different places but experienced the same result. They are now cancer free and are just a small population of people who have witnessed the healing power of Ayahuasca.
More than just a brew of mixture, Ayahuasca is said to possess the spirit of the mother derived from all living things in the world. This vine of souls or spirit vine allows us reconnect with our spiritual self and appreciate the spiritual interconnection of all life on earth.
The Ayahuasca experience offers an insight into psychological understanding of life and a deeper understanding of all situations. You face your fears, issues and addiction, increase your awareness of everything that lives around you and enhance your thinking, perception, beliefs and self-reflection to change you from the inside out.
It’s clear to see that an Ayahuasca experiences offers a plethora of benefits that are physical, mental and spiritual. It is however not legal in most first world countries as all psychedelic brews are banned in the US. To experience the natural benefits of this bitter brew, take a trip to the great amazons for a life-changing experience that enriches your life.