Understanding the Mysterious Ayahuasca

What is Ayahuasca?

Ayahuasca definition – a new term for most westerners, ayahuasca is a plant based mixture that causes individuals to have psychedelic reactions. The mixture is native to the Amazon and is made of a combination of plants including one named Ayahuasca with the scientific moniker of Banisteriopsis caapi. The Amazonian drink combines the ayahuasca vine with either the chacruna or chagropanga. The mixture induces some interesting behavior in the person who take it usually involving an altered state. Ayahuasca can be prepared in a tea or even smoked with the same effects to an individual’s body. The effects of the mixture can be felt within four hours of consumption. The drink has only recently become famous for its mysterious effect on the human body despite being used in South America for thousands of years. Before attempting to consume this drink, it is necessary to conduct some due diligence and find out exactly what it is and how it can affect you.

Traditional Use of Ayahuasca

The drink has been in use for many years in the Amazon with most experts estimating that it has been utilized for thousands of years and for a number of functions. The primary function of ayahuasca is the traditional sense was a tool for shamans and medicine men amongst the Amazonian tribes. The enhanced state of mind is said to allow these individuals to view the future or understand signs in nature with cultural significance. Similarly, the mixture was used by the medicine men to understand or divine what was causing a particular illness in an individual or harm to the society. Ayahuasca is a mind altering substance that is said to produce vivid visions and open up the mind in ways that are indescribable. In addition, the mixture was used to cleanse the body and purge it of any of the toxins that may have affected the individual’s progress in the society. Clearly, the plant mixture still bears cultural significance among South American Amazonian tribes due to its important spiritual role in the society.

How does Ayahuasca effects the human body? 

The most obvious impact of ayahuasca on the human body is to induce vivid hallucinations and an altered mind within hours of consumption. Westerners who have partaken in the mixture state that ayahuasca allowed their minds to open up enabling them to confront their greatest fears while also contemplating the universe. For most, the experience is described as a spiritual experience that allows an individual to truly understand themselves. However, there are other symptoms that are not as pleasant as vibrant hallucinations or altered conscious. People who consume ayahuasca are likely to suffer from vomiting or diarrhea due to the intense strength of the drink on the human system. Traditionally, this is viewed as a positive effect in terms of ridding the body of any unwanted components in the body.

Scientific Analysis of Ayahuasca

From a scientific analysis of the plant mixture, the main reason why the drink induces such serious effects on the human body is the high concentration of N-Dimethyltryptamine. Popularly known as DMT, the chemical is a natural element that is present in plants and animals. It is a powerful hallucinogenic that can be smoked or drunk as in the case of ayahuasca and affects the 5-HT2A receptor subtype. DMT is not toxic to human beings and often has short term effects on the user with most user reporting that the product did not affect them negatively in the long term.

Modern Uses of Ayahuasca

Despite the fact that the plant mixture is known to induce different states of consciousness, it has been explored as a possible medical treatment for some conditions. Among these conditions is depression where the tea is intended to help individuals in dealing with their emotions effectively. Because of the spiritual experience reported by most users of the tea, ayahuasca is being explored as a possible measure of dealing with addictions. The drink allows the subconscious mind to access ideas and understand how they are being affected by certain situations in their real lives. This ‘wake up’ call is crucial in changing the outlook of individuals suffering from some of these medical and mental conditions. The drink encourages self-awareness, self-understanding and self-acceptance which are important handling these issues. More research is needed in the future to determine the other effects that this plant mixture may have on the health of human beings.

Summary

Ayahuasca is a wonderfully mysterious natural plant product that remains part of South American heritage. It plays a role in the social and cultural groups of Amazon tribes with a particularly special place in the spiritual lives of these tribes. The popularity of the drink among westerners illustrates that it is becoming more common globally in terms of usage. Clearly, the drink has an impact on the human body which many drinkers describe as a positive experience. If it is to be implemented as a medical intervention into some conditions, it is necessary to conduct more conclusive research on the plant and how its long term use can affect the human body. The adventure lovers should try this drink if they come across it if only to have the spiritual awakening described by many past users.

Eating Peruvian: The World Renowned Ceviche

Introduction

Peru is a nation that features some of the most amazing natural and man-made wonders in the world. Of the natural wonders, the country features the amazing Andes Mountains range while in man-made wonders, the country features Machu Picchu which is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. The wonders of Peru do not stop there, their cuisine is also interesting and unique to their culture. Considered to be the national dish of the country and consumed by almost everyone in Peru, the ceviche occupies a special place in most Peruvians hearts. Peru is considered to be a hub of delicious cuisine in South America and globally with some of its natural produce being popular all over the globe. Understanding the cultural evolution of the ceviche shows just how much this dish represents Peru.

What is Ceviche?

Like most other Peruvian dishes that are centered on seafood, the Peruvian ceviche or cebiche refers to a dish that consists of a raw fish salad. The salad is combined with seasoning, garlic, hot Peruvian peppers and soaked in lime. The raw fish is slightly cooked by the citrus juice in the lime giving it a slight delicate flavor that enhances the eating experience. Bitter orange also known as naranja agria can also be used to prepare the fish salad. However, the Peruvian ceviche does not necessarily use fish and can use other ingredients using the same preparation methods. The Peruvian ceviche is the most popular dish in Peru with most restaurants offering diverse recipes across the country.

Types of Peruvian Ceviche

Despite having the same basic recipe, there are some special variations that are found in Peru and include the following:

  1. Mixed seafood ceviche: This recipe typically has a variety of fish included rather than a singular type of fish in the salad.
  2. Black oyster ceviche: This recipe uses black oysters as the seafood for the salad and is especially loved in the north of Peru.
  3. Trout ceviche: This recipe uses trout and is largely consumed in the Andes due to the proximity to the fresh water bodies in the mountains.
  4. Tollo: This ceviche recipe basically uses shark meat to create the salad making it one of the most unique forms of ceviche in the world.

What makes Peruvian Ceviche unique?

The ceviche is distinct in that it is the national dish of the country and is considered to be part of the national heritage of the country. It is be an obvious conclusion that they are indeed the best at creating the delicious dish. While it has been adopted in many South American countries as well as being replicated in foreign markets, the Peruvian ceviches are recognized as the most delicious variations in the food industry. One thing that makes the ceviche stand out from the rest is the type of citrus used where Peruvians use the limon sutil which a lime variety that is unique in size and taste as well as having a slightly high acidic content. This feature is important as it affects how the fish cooks when marinated in the lime juice. Another unique feature is the pepper also known as aji that are used in the salad. Peruvian ceviches can contain the aji Amarillo or aji limo which are quite hot peppers. The unique use of Peruvian ingredients make the ceviche one of the most delicious dishes that you are likely to encounter from South American cuisine. While some variations of the ceviche serves it as a soup, the Peruvian ceviche is made to be a salad.

Traditional Preparation and Presentation of the Ceviche

Being a national dish with a national holiday, the ceviche has its own singular history in Peru. Traditionally, the fish is cured in the acidic juice for several hours taking on the flavor of the limes. However, the process has evolved to a much shorter period of margination so that the fish only has delicate notes of lime through it. In addition, the dish was often served with boiled corn, sweet potato (camote), lettuce and corn nuts that further enhanced the delicious flavor of the fish. This is a presentation that is distinct to the Peruvian culture. The liquid used to prepare the fish is sometimes served as a drink called the tiger’s milk which is another unique aspect of serving the Peruvian ceviche.

Does the ceviche have health benefits?

Aside from being a delicious and beautiful dish, the ceviche actually has some health benefits that increase its appeal as a national dish. First, the dish is low in calories. It is a common fact that fish is very low in calories yet high in protein. The fact that the fish and seafood is actually cured makes it pure and healthy for any individual. In addition, the juices used to soak the fish contain high levels of citrus and vitamins that are healthy for the human body. The entire dish features no added sugars or fats making it very healthy to eat. The Peruvian ceviche is a delicious, culturally significant and healthy food. For any visitors to Peru, ensure that you have some ceviche to further immerse yourself in this culture. It is known that no ceviche can compete with the Peruvian version!

Peruvian Food: The Spicy Side of Various Dishes You Cannot Ignore

Every country in the entire world has a specific aspect in which they are good at. Some are good at making shoes, clothes, exotic cars, watches, jewels, perfumes, while others are good at making savory dishes. One of the exciting places you need to visit in your next vacation is Peru, considering how hospitable the people are, coupled with the taste of their local dishes. You may want to dispute the fact that your country has the best recipes when it comes to intercontinental dishes. You can stay headstrong on your opinions not until you are proven wrong with a taste of Peruvian food. Perhaps, you have just had at first contact with a Peruvian dish, and you are still in wonder of how tasty these dishes are. You don’t have to look further as there are other dishes that can change your opinion, letting you admit that Peru has the finest dishes in the entire world. On this note, here are seven Peruvian dishes you must not miss in your next summer vacation to Peru. Moreover, some of these food items shall be represented in their local names along with their translations.

  1. Ceviche

This is one of the best food combinations that tourists cannot do without after a first-time encounter. The unique taste about this dish has been splendid, because of the procedures being used for its preparation. As a matter of fact, this dish has remained one of the favorite recipes that keep tourist asking for more. The reason is that the fish, before the completion of the cooking process, is soaked in lime, oil, and spices for several hours before turning the fish in for cooking. The interesting aspect about this dish it that it is accompanied with sea bass (corvina), starchy boiled corn (choclo), sweet potatoes (camote) and dry-roasted corn kernels (cancha), giving it that irresistible taste that makes you not to get enough of it at each encounter.

  1. Aji de Gallina (Creamy Chicken)

If you are looking for a dish that has all the chicken flavor, then Aji de Gallina is your unmistaken choice. With a blend of cheese, ground walnuts, and Aji Amarillo, you rest assured of enjoying a good blend of recipes all included in the shredded chicken that comes out with an irresistibly yummy taste. Moreover, you can enjoy this dish with a plate of boiled rice or potatoes, depending on your preferences.

  1. Cuy (Guinea Pig)

If you want to shift your focus on a dish that is highly rich in protein, then Cuy is what you should settle for when you arrive in Peru. In this case, you can have the mixture of Guinea pig and potatoes which are roasted in a fire to give you that taste of a roasted food. To enjoy your delicacy in the coolest fashion, you are enjoined to eat your dish by hand as you dip your meat portion into Aji sauce, treating yourself to a remarkable taste of an animal that qualifies as a pet in most homes.

  1. Anticuchos de Corazon (Grilled Heart)

You shouldn’t expect to eat the heart of an animal, considering the name given to this dish. However, the name is just a demonstration of the taste of the grilled meat or chicken that gets to you after every bite. You can enjoy this dish with potato or onion slices depending on how you want to be served.

  1. Arroz con Pato (Rice with Duck)

If you want to get a mouthful of what a duck tastes like, this is the exact food you should opt for in your vacation. The rice is treated with a combination of dark beer, cilantro paste, and herbs to give it that natural look of a vegetable-rich food. Moreover, the part that you will also love the most is when you are about to savor the thick thighs or the chest of your crisp-seared duck. If you can’t have duck, you can be given chicken or turkey in replacement so that you don’t miss the taste of grilled food.

  1. Pollo a la Brasa (Roasted Chicken)

If you are a lover of poultry, you should expect to get a taste of this nicely prepared recipe. With a mixture of garlic, natural herbs and Aji spices, you can enjoy the tasty feeling of chicken roasted into that irresistible diet that will take your breath away at every single bite. Moreover, you can also enjoy this dish with a  Peruvian black mint sauce.

  1. Alfajores

It is not all the time you have to maintain a strict routine of tasty food in large chunks. There are options with which you can choose your dishes from. Interestingly, Peru also has nice cookies that can treat visitors to the best food tasting vacation, more than any other places that you have ever visited. This shortbread is made up of cornstarch, butter, and caramel to enhance its remarkable taste which will keep you wanting more and more after every bite.

On this note, all of these food items await those that are ready to visit Peru. Moreover, there are other Peruvian food that this article cannot cover, as they are in their countless number, as you are interested in trying out delicious dishes. These foods are made in such a way that you might be tempted to stay back in Peru to get more or think of a relocation. Peruvian dishes can keep visitors spellbound with just a bite for a start.