A SUMMARY OF THE MOST USEFUL INFORMATION FOR THOSE WHO ARE GOING TO TAKE AYAHUASCA
Ayahuasca is a brew or infusion, a type of tea, from the Amazonian jungle. It is a traditional indigenous medicine and is 100% natural. Discovered by the traditional healers or shamans of the Amazon thousands of years ago it is made with a liquid decoction combining two plants: Ayahuasca and Psychotria viridis boiled together in water until it creates an infusion with a syrup like consistency (like a thick honey) and is frequently diluted in water to make it easier to drink and a little more palatable as it has a distinctive and some say bitter taste. Only a very small amount is needed, especially when taken for the first time, because the sensitivity that each person has to the brew and the plants can then be determined, and this sensitivity is impossible to know before the first experience.
The potent healing and visionary properties of this infusion have earned it the title “master” plant because it teaches, shows, clarifies; and “power” because it also cleans, heals and liberates.
Amazonian Indians (and there is much evidence of it in other traditional communities around the globe) have used it ‘forever’, to maintain full health and prevent disease. They take it every week or every 14 days to maintain a state of physical strength. It is also used to expand consciousness providing them with a broad and accurate knowledge about life, nature, existence, and even guides them in everyday decisions.
The affect is a cleaning up and clearing out of the being on a physical and emotional level, (in most cases it causes vomiting and/or diarrhea). It also clears the mind, giving the necessary clarity to become aware of and even begin to understand many issues we don’t yet understand that happen in everyday life, and being full of toxins was supporting this lack of mental clarity. It also has an antidepressant and anti-addictive effect. It is a ‘health bomb’ on every level and connects with spirituality stripped of religion or belief.
People with physical or psychological illnesses may also take it to support the overall health of the body, regardless of which disease or symptoms are presenting themselves. But most people who take it, in which ever part of the world they are, don’t do so for physical or mental illness, but to find meaning in life, direction for their journey, and to discover existential and creative responses to their everyday life and work. It is also referred to as “psychotherapeutic brew”.
Ayahuasca has so many applications, it is a wildcard choice since, in many cases, it resolves what other medicines or techniques cannot solve, and in other cases, it improves the bodies natural defences, it also supports and strengthens the body so it can resist many of the side effects of allopathic medicines. It works on physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual levels. It also integrates and strengthens other therapies, techniques or approaches that one is practicing. It seems to be compatible with any other technique that the person is using or practicing.
Some countries banned the use of Ayahuasca because governments (incorrectly) believe it is a drug. In other countries, it was legalised after doing lots of scientific research and studies among the consuming population, verifying the benefits it produces. In most countries such as Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, it is neither prohibited nor legal. It remains within is a legal void. In Spain scientific studies are ongoing and has far shown it is not harmful (Sant Pau Clinic, Barcelona).
In the US, pharmaceutical companies tried to register it in order to export it, but the indigenous communities have prevented this, proving that these plants are the heritage of nature, of the shamans who discovered and use it for themselves and all mankind.
This cooked thick liquid doesn’t have any added chemicals, and is best when prepared according the original and ancient formula. It comes from the Amazon rainforest where it is grown and cooked. It is listed as an entheogen, neither as a drug nor as a hallucinogenic substance. Entheogens are substances that bring about inner visions with deep meanings about life, existence and the origin of things. In the same way it has been found that entheogens don’t they have any of the harmful side effects often associated with other drugs nor do they create a need to consume them again. It isn’t dangerous for one’s health, but it is for disease, since it has great healing power.
According to indigenous tradition, when taking this medication, it’s important to create a ritual around the process to be experienced by participants. This ritual or ceremony, is created in carefully controlled environments that inspire respect, recognition and gratitude to Mother Nature and to honour the spirit possessing it. But you can also take it in religious or therapeutic contexts without any ritual, in this case it is still important to pay much attention to detail and keep in mind and honour the power process that it provides.
In either case, it is done in a respectful, safe and quiet environment with the easy access to all of the amenities needed to go through a process lasting several hours. The music and facilitator or shaman accompanying the process are also important and a necessary support for this experience.
It is not advisable to take it without the guidance and support of experienced people. But if you do so it’s preferable that you get advice before hand to enable you you to avoid unexpected situations. The key factor when taking it at home is the preparation of the space an amenities, the precise dose to be taken, and the optimal sequence in which to do things.
FOR THOSE WHO WISH TO TAKE IT WITH EXPERIENCED AND QUALIFIED GUIDED GROUPS: No preparation in the days before is necessary, but for those who feel that they want to, preparation can involve eating lighter food, without meat, no fried or processed foods or no dairy products. It is also very important to stop consuming drugs and psychiatric medicine for at least 48 hours before taking the medicine.
FOR THOSE WHO TAKE IT AT HOME: it’s not necessary to do any significant preparation nor to eliminate any food. But you are creating potential risk if it is mixed it with drugs or alcohol of any kind. A minimum of 4 hours before and after, the longer the better. The amount that can be taken in private may not exceed 50% of the dose taken with a guide.
One of the most important aspects is neither who nor where this medicine is given, but its quality, its origin and the fact it has no other added ingredients. The main characteristics of the plants used to prepare Ayahuasca is the age, because if the ingredients are too old and stale this will greatly influence the quality of the experience. It is essential to take it with others who know where it comes from and know who prepared it.
Authentic ayahuasqueros are those who go into the jungle to look for the medicine and thus know the origin, who prepared it and know what kind of plants were used. And very importantly, they test the Ayahuasca before offering it to others to determine the proper dosage.
A workshop or session with Ayahuasca lasts between 6-8 hours depending on the place and the program, but it also last more than 12 hours when performed in psychotherapeutic context including a prior preparation, and a follow-up integration.
It can be taken once or twice in a session, depending on the state of each person. The optimal experience is obtained with 2 or 3 sessions with gently increasing doses over the the 2 or 3 days and nights. It is therefore ideal to attend organised retreats with a team who are experienced and therefore better prepared to accompany the process.
The effect varies greatly according to each participant, over 90% of participants have physical and psycho-emotional effects, but sometimes no physical, emotional nor visionary effects appear during the session; but even when no perceived effect was felt during the session, in the following hours or days very favourable effects appear that each participant will experience this in their own unique and individual way.
Taking Ayahuasca is a wonderful experience whose is that no 2 experiences are ever the same. You cannot make predictions of how any experience will be. Every time you take it, it’s a surprise. Therefore it’s best to stop all expectations or preconceived ideas we have about the experience.
When you take Ayahuasca don’t do it as if it was a party with friends, or a social gathering, it is an act of individual reflection and inner self centering, connecting with all what enables you to live a fully happy.
Please don’t refer 100% to the testimonies of other people who have taken it before – as each case is different. But for most of those who have tried it, the experience is so liberating and healing that is often one of THE GREAT EXPERIENCES OF LIFE.
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Click here for a complete listing of information of all the 2016/17 Ayahuasca International Retreats Calendar . It includes subsequent links to information, prices and booking procedure for each retreat.