Ayahuasca, also known as Yage, is an entheogenic brew (natural chemical substance used in spiritual context) made out of Banisteriopsis caapi vine, often in combination with the Chacruna leaf. The brew is used as a traditional spiritual medicine in ceremonies among the Indigenous peoples of Amazonian Peru , many of whom say that they received the instructions in its use directly from the plants and plant spirits themselves.
Ayahuasca has been a powerful and important medicine for tribes in the Amazon for thousands of years. Ayahuasca contains dimethyltryptamine (DMT). DMT is a psychedelic compound of the tryptamine family. It is a structural analog of serotonin and melatonin and a functional analog of other psychedelic tryptamines such as 4-AcO-DMT , 5-MeO-DMT , 5-HO-DMT , psilocybin (4-PO-DMT), and psilocin (4-HO-DMT). DMT is present in every living thing, it is in our brains and is released when we’re born, when we die and in dream state.
If you consume a DMT-containing plant by itself, it will remain inactive in your body. In order for the DMT to become active, it has to be mixed with a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). The story goes that the indigenous people of the Amazon were told by the spirits of the plants to use the Banisteriopsis Cappi Vine, which is an MAOI, and to combine it with a DMT containing shrub, Chacruna, which gives you the medicine, Ayahuasca. DMT is broken down by the enzyme monoamine oxidase through a process called deamination, and is quickly inactivated orally unless combined with a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). The traditional South American brew Ayahuasca, or Yage, is derived by boiling the Ayahuasca vine (Banisteriopsis caapi) with the leaves of a highly concentrated DMT source like the Chacruna plant. The Ayahuasca vine contains harmala alkaloids, highly active reversible inhibitors of monoamine oxidase, rendering the DMT orally active.
This is a summary of information from the book, Ayahuasca: Soul medicine of the Amazon jungle by Javier Regueiro along with excerpts from the Sacred Valley Tribe- Diego Palma.
Ayahuasca is the most commonly used name for this brew, derived from the Quechua language, "aya" means spirit or soul, and "huasca" means "rope" or "vine- liana" It is the Vine of Spirit.
Ayahuasca can help you to communicate with the world of the spirits. This brew is considered to be the foundation of the magical-spiritual connection of more than 75 ethnic groups of the Upper and Lower Amazonia.
In the tradition of the Shipibo shamans of the Amazon jungle, Ayahuasca is consumed – among other things – to diagnose and treat illnesses and malfunctions in general, to take important decisions, to ask the Gods for advice, to solve personal conflicts – between families and between tribes-, to communicate with the spirits of nature, to exercise one’s divine capacities and to elucidate mysteries, thefts, disappearances, to know if we have enemies, to know the infidelity of our spouse, to reinforce our sexual activity, etc.
Personal Experience of ChaskaNowi
Ayahuasca is one of the greatest gifts of life. This vine is a master teacher and can show us truths that are difficult to even comprehend. I believe the spirit of Ayahuasca is of higher intelligence and can save many people by reducing suffering and reconnecting us with our mother and home, Earth. Read more about my personal journeys here.
The Human Experience Podcast, Dr. Gabor Mate
Ayahuasca: Soul Medicine of the Amazon Jungle By: Javier Regueiro