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What is Ayahuasca?

Ayahuasca is a psychoactive brew that’s been used for medicinal and spiritual purposes for centuries. Amazonian tribes prepared and consumed Ayahuasca because they felt that it brought them closer to their gods. Ayahuasca is a tea made from the leaves of the psychotria viridis shrub and the stalks of the banisteriopsis caapi vine. When these two plant materials are boiled together, the resulting brew is called Ayahuasca. It has the potential to greatly challenge and change your mental and physical state.

How does Ayahuasca work?

The psychotria viridis plant contains DMT, which is a psychedelic substance. Normally, when DMT is ingested, it gets digested by enzymes called monoamine oxidases, so it has no real effect. However, banisteriopsis caapi contains a potent monoamine oxidase inhibitor, allowing DMT to be absorbed into the bloodstream and travel up to the brain where it can cause psychoactive effects. 

How long does an Ayahuasca trip last?

The effects of Ayahuasca are usually felt about 30 minutes after consuming the drink. They usually peak at about one hour and last for about four hours in total. 

How does Ayahuasca make you feel?

Ayahuasca makes you feel very relaxed and activates certain parts of the brain to increase positive mental aspects. These aspects include acceptance, optimism, creative thinking and mindfulness. At the same time, it down-regulates ares of the brain that are involved with anxiety, grief, and depression.

Ayahuasca also stimulated the visual cortex and certain memory centres of the brain, making you see bizarre things and also bringing up memories which can be intense. It can feel as though you’re living in a lucid dream, or possibly a lucid nightmare!

Does Ayahuasca affect your digestive tract?

Ayahuasca is also a purgative that can make you vomit. A lot. It can even give you diarrhea. Obviously this is all usually uncomfortable, but while you’re tripping it can be doubly so. It is believed that the vomiting and diarrhea is your body expelling all toxins and cleansing itself. However, from a biological standpoint, Ayahuasca is really the toxin that’s making your body feel weird. 

Although Ayahuasca has been studied and shown to have many potential health benefits, it can be really dangerous. It’s important to consider all the risks. Despite these risks, it can help to fight things like treatment-resistant depression, drug addictions, and even post-traumatic stress disorder.

Does Ayahuasca have risks?

If you are already taking other medications, Ayahuasca might interact negatively with them. Also, if you have a predisposition to a mental illness, Ayahuasca can trigger a psychotic episode. Finally, and most seriously, Ayahuasca increases your heart rate and blood pressure. This means that if you have a heart condition, it is possible for the drug to cause enough strain to cause serious problems for your heart. 

Another danger with Ayahuasca is that this drug is becoming a trendy and popular experience, and as a result, many inexperienced people are trying to make money by selling Ayahuasca ceremony services. This is a really bad idea, and some people have died while using Ayahuasca in an unsafe environment. It is vitally important to use Ayahuasca with a guide who is educated and experienced. There must be someone who you trust to take care of you and give you medical treatment if you need it. 

Has any clinical research been done with Ayahuasca?

While there has only been one double-blind randomized clinical trial that investigated the effects of Ayahuasca on mental health, there have been a number of observational studies. So there wasn’t a formal clinical trial where there were subjects who were given a placebo. There are studies where a group of people do Ayahuasca for a particular condition and then afterwards they’re interviewed and assessed for improvement. 

There was a study that looked at 57 Ayahuasca ceremony attendees in the Netherlands and Colombia in 2014. The attendees’ symptoms of depression and stress significantly improved both immediately after and at the four week follow up. Another study in 2014 assessed the role of Ayahuasca in addiction treatment and found that in “carefully structured settings” Ayahuasca could help to significantly decrease the chances of relapse. 

What is an Ayahuasca retreat centre like?

If you go to an Ayahuasca retreat centre that’s doing things properly, then they will do an intake of your mental health to make sure you don’t have any health conditions and that you’re not on any medications. The reason for this is that some medications can cause potentially dangerous side effects while you’re under the influence of Ayahuasca. Most Ayahuasca retreat centres will not let you drink Ayahuasca if you’re on SSRIs, for example.

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