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.

What Is Ayahuasca
What Is Ayahuasca? – Here is the sacred liana, the mother plant around a tree

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.


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.

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