An Introduction to Ayahuasca

Since Ayahuasca has been such a big part of my own personal healing and transformation I would like to shed some light on what Ayahuasca is all about. In time I will share more detailed and in depth descriptions of my own journeys on my website. I advise everyone to do their own thorough research before deciding if this sacred medicine is right for them.

What is Ayahuasca

The name Ayahuasca is mainly used to describe the psychoactive medicinal brew or tea that is made from the Ayahuasca vine, Banisteriopsis Caapi, and is often referred to as “the Vine of the soul”. Other popular names include Mother, Grandmother or Grandfather. To some of the indegenous people of the Upper Amazon, Ayahuasca is referred to as “the mother of all medicines” and “the mother of all plants”. In this region Ayahuasca has been used for centuries as a brew that enables access to the visionary and mythological world as well as used for physical, mental and spiritual healing.

The indeginous people of the Amazon has worked with the plants for as long as we know

Most people who have experienced Ayahuasca (myself included) will refer to Ayahuasca as a feminine Spirit or entity who guides, teaches, and heals. She is perceived as a communicating being who also acts as a mediator between the human and plant worlds and in this way opens up a world of healing for us humans.

The Ayahuasca brew

There are many ways to prepare the Ayahuasca brew, but the main ingredient is the vine which is usually mixed with other admixture plants such as Chacruna or Chaliponga. It is possible to add other plants to the brew and ayahuasceros might work with specific plants for their healing properties. On a personal level I prefer to work with Caapi and Chacruna. Making the brew is a delicate process that take days and include a lot of sacred rituals along the way. Ihere are quite a few articles online that goes more in depth with the specific properties and constituates of the different plants, if this is something that interests you.

Preparing the Banisteriopsis caapi

Why do people drink Ayahuasca

In the old Amazonian traditions it would only be the curandero, the shaman, who would drink the medicine and through his or her singing they would help diagnose and heal the people that came to them for help. In modern times the method of working with the medicine has changed so that the curandero is now serving the brew to people who are interested in working with the plants themselves. It is in this form that most Westeners meet the medicine.

People will have many different reasons to why they feel called to connect with Ayahuasca, but a common denominator is the desire to receive guidance from the plants. This could be in order to heal parts of themselves by connecting with deep (known or unknown) childhood wounds, to change selfdestructive thought patterns or behaviour or to gain wisdom in one form or other from the plants.

I was personally running around in circles and something was not working for me at all. I had tried to change my selfdestructive behaviours so many times, but I seemed to be stuck in a loop

It is very individual what will happen once a person ingest the Ayahuasca brew but for most people it will be an experience of entering an altered state of mind, where communication with plants and spirits might take place. In this state a person might get the opportunity to explore aspects of their inner depths or shown things that is relevant for their current personal growth.

It is also very likely that a purge of some kind will arise, with the purpose of releasing something in the body or mind. A purge can take many forms such as vomiting and diarrhea or crying, sweating or shaking. It is all part of releasing things that does not serve the individual and a very natural aspect of working with the medicine.

“Sinfonia Shamanica” by Anderson Debernardi


There are no easy ways to change the things in our lives that we wish to change. It is hard work. It takes dedication, patience and forgiveness towards ourselves. Again and again we will be faced with the same challenges until we learn to change things step by step. Little by little.

The real work begins when you come home

Drinking Ayahuasca is by no means a quick fix and things will not change from one day to another. The medicine can maybe help you see things in a new light or even see things you did not see before. The medicine can perhaps guide you in the right direction, but afterwards it is all up to you to take the steps needed. This is very important to keep in mind before entering the world of plant medicine – there are no easy quick fixes.

Ayahuasca Contraindicators

It is important to mention that Ayahuasca is most definitely not for everyone as there are a long range of contraindicators with the brew. Anyone who considers going on a journey with this medicine should do their own thorough investigations to decide if this is the right path for them.

Always make sure to do your own thorough research

First of all diving into the universe of Ayahuasca can be very intense and overwhelming and one needs to be mentally prepared for what might come up. Deep traumas could reveal themselves and it is possible that further therapy is needed to integrate the experience afterwards.

A person’s physical and mental wellbeing are important aspects if considering drinking Ayahuasca. If one has serious medical conditions, high blood pressure or heart, liver or kidney diseases they should not consume this medicine. The same goes to some mental conditions as they can contraindicate very strongly with Ayahuasca.

Lastly there are numerous pharmaceuticals that contraindicate with the brew and this should be taken very seriously.

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