In recent years the true intentions of many sectors that have very diverse interests around the use of this powerful natural medicine have started to be revealed. They all coincide on the same point.

Tonnes of Ayahuasca are currently being distributed around the world,  producing real life changes in millions of people of all socio-cultural and economic classes. There are thousands of get togethers in which different groups meet each night to contact with something never seen or heard, and that brings them peace, cleansing, reconciliation, acceptance, love and understanding. In any meeting of friends you can carry out the test of mentioning the word AYAHUASCA to realise that the majority already know about it through hearsay, and that many of them have already tried it. It becomes a topic of conversation, for hours even when you talk about it with someone who knows nothing about it. As if something magical, attractive and charismatic were accompanying this Amazonian plant and the mere phonetics of its name. Just by saying: AYAHUASCA, something starts to happen. It is clear that something important is happening with this ancestral medicine, but also many say that behind all this there is something even more important and mysterious happening. Its name means SMALL DEATH. Thousands of indigenous tribes of the Amazon have been consuming Ayahuasca as an integral medicine and as an activator of intuition and consciousness for hundreds or thousands of years. For thousands of Aboriginal communities, the permanent consumption and use of Ayahuasca since childhood has been the backbone of their health and physical strength, and has even represented the element of social, cultural and spiritual cohesion of many communities. For more than 50 years, the Santo Daime religion has been distributing Ayahuasca throughout the world. Within a doctrinal environment, millions of parishioners in dozens of countries consume it weekly as a sacrament, and according to the scientific studies that have been done on these religious communities, it produces benefits in the body and soul, even more significantly than praying, reading the Bible or confessing. But there are also many other Brazilian religions that also sacralise and use it with more and more satisfied followers to such an extent that in Brazil its use within religious settings is legalised.

For a few decades psychologists, anthropologists, psychiatrists and doctors as well as a handful of scientists who never cease to be surprised by what they discover and to surprise us with what they tell us about the proven and demonstrated benefits that this vegetable mixture produces have launched research projects. Everything indicates that at any moment it could be used by large laboratories to produce the most potent drug. Many affirm that that will not become a reality because it would demonstrate the uselessness of thousands of medicines that produce gigantic economic gains to them. But the investigations continue, and every time they shed more light on the healing power of Ayahuasca. In the first phase of the only research carried out on Ayahuasca at the San Pau Clinic in Barcelona, a team of scientists led by Dr. Jordi Riba, after more than 15 years of research, showed that Ayahuasca DOES NOT DAMAGE PUBLIC HEALTH. That is to say that there is no danger in its consumption. But now they are going a little further, getting into the benefits it produces on health and the effectiveness it has for the treatment of some diseases.

From about 20 years ago, shamans,  with great success, have left the jungle or adjoining villages to bring Ayahuasca to the cities where there are many people looking for new health and well-being or spirituality options. These people are open to natural medicine and are also predisposed to be guided by teachers in the healing process and in the changes they want for their lives. Groups of up to 300 or 400 people in the same night and at the same place in hundreds of cities in Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela and Bolivia are taking the same medicine, guided by a group of indigenous who claim to have the authorisation of their elders to use it. In these countries, unlike Brazil, they prefer to respect the shamanic tradition and the experienced grandparents who have the knowledge and wisdom to handle it. They have the power to give it and to authorise those they consider appropriate to give it to others. The idea is held that everyone who is going to give Ayahuasca must be initiated and authorised and that if this is not the case, an error or a lack of respect is being made towards those who believe they are the owners of Ayahuasca.


We can not fail to mention that the discovery and use of this shamanic medicine has spread throughout the Amazon, and that includes many countries and thousands of indigenous ethnic groups so it is impossible to know who discovered it and therefore who is the owner of said discovery. Which community can say “WE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO DISCOVERED IT, WE ARE THE OWNERS OF AYAHUASCA”? Surely they will be people who want to manage the power of using this medicine with arguments that many people accept as valid. From there have arisen many beliefs and myths, for example that Ayahuasca can only be drunk with a shaman and in the jungle. But scientists are showing that patients who drink Ayahuasca in a clinic or hospital (where they are doing the research) have the same effects as if they were in the jungle and with a shaman. That is to say that this natural medicine acts far above whoever gives it and the place in which it is taken. Many of our retreat participants assure that they have very similar experiences when they drink in our venues in Europe to those they have had in the jungle and from the hands of shamans. IT IS NOT THE SAME THING TO HAVE POWER ABOUT THE USE OF THE AYAHAUSCA AS IT IS TO USE ITS HEALING POWER.

On the other hand it is vital to remember that, in addition to producing both physical and spiritual effects (which is why it has moved both the scientific and religious community so much), it produces chemical effects that are attracting millions of curious psychonauts who are daring experimenters of biochemical modifications of their own organisms. And finally, I will not forget to mention the psycho-emotional effects which have also moved thousands of therapists around the world to use it in different ways, accompanied by many different techniques to offer it as a method of healing psychological and emotional problems. This natural brew is the most powerful drug for neurosis, therefore improving relationships, calming the devastating effects of depression and anxiety, among many other benefits. This opens up a wide range of psycho-therapeutic treatments. In the case of our organisation, which has been operating for almost 20 years, from the beginning we decided to include the four trends in the interest it generates: the shamanic one (but without the obsession of respect towards traditional purism), the scientific one (but without putting proof before mystery), the explorer (but without distracting ourselves in the phenomenology of astral travel) and the psycho-therapeutic (but without depending on any technique or treatment or any rigid approach).

This fusion and harmonious integration of work with shamans, with doctors and psychologists, with therapists and healers, in a fluid and spontaneous environment, has allowed us to create an open and dynamic method that is having great acceptance in thousands of people who prefer; to seek spirituality that is not dogmatic or religious; healing without dependencies on therapists or techniques; an inner search without external teachers; and a connection with the healing energy of nature without paying homage to the shamanic traditions. This concept, based on freedom and detachment, is becoming a worldwide movement of people who neither live in communes nor have a guru to follow or admire, nor who must comply with any rite or dogma. We are before a type of people who want something very specific.


The journey that Ayahuasca has made from aborigines to scientists, from shamans to therapists, from the jungle to the cities, is a journey of deep penetration into the foundations of a system that does not work and that is breaking down everywhere. Ayahuasca is coming to give us answers, ways out and solutions. But above all, a hope that is activated when we focus on what is beyond the known or socially accepted as “good”. Biological evolution is a constant adaptation to new conditions, but the evolution of consciousness starts from a maladjustment to what does not work, which is precisely what opens us to the new. All seekers are somewhat maladapted; in that although we live with the system, we give ourselves permission to investigate the mystery to get out of numbness and awaken our consciousness to new understandings.

Many people of the world Ayahuasca community have demonised the expansion of Ayahuasca, and especially if money or economic benefits are involved. But the data speaks for itself. There are already clinics with state permission to use Ayahuasca, there are luxury hotels and resorts that use it as part of their health and wellness proposals; there are travel agencies that are dedicated to organising groups exclusively to the jungle to take Ayahuasca. Peru has become the world capital of Ayahuasca. Millions of tourists visit this country to have this transcendental experience. A couple of Canadian businessmen have settled in Iquitos, Peru to produce more than 5 tons of ready-to-drink Ayahuasca, and supply it to hundreds of Ayahuasca Centers in Peru and other countries. It is clear that we are facing something very big, but not economically, since the movement of money that it could generate is thousands or millions times less than drugs. But the movement that is being generated in other ways is truly of note. And by observing it, it can give you clues about what is happening in humanity and in the world in which we live.


In the traditional shamanic environment many things are moving because the management  of Ayahuasca is no longer in their own hands. Losing control over the use of Ayahuasca has generated mixed feelings because they are coming to the conclusion that Ayahuasca is going beyond them and where they want or can go. That this medicine, called “SACRED” for them, is something that comes from humanity and is for humanity. For those who felt that they owned or held the right to use this plant, they now have the opportunity to open themselves up to the true intention of the spirit of Ayahuasca and the jungle which are showing us that they want to help all of us who open ourselves up to it from the heart, and that we can access it without the need for authorised intermediaries. Ayahuasca also works in the hands of white people and without any shamanic tradition. Every time I go to Colombia I love drinking with the Taitas, it’s the best of luxuries for me. But that does not mean I discredit the possibility of drinking with therapists, facilitators or beginner Ayahuasqueros. In fact I drink with them all and I also drink in solitude in my own home. In the therapeutic, medical and psychiatric fields, something worthy of admiration is taking place. There are many health professionals who recommend drinking Ayahuasca, and in fact they have tried it before recommending it. Many psychologists, doctors or psychiatrists have come to our retreats bringing patients with large and complex problems and who in one night of Ayahuasca have been able to see how the most convoluted mental knot can loosen and even untie, or how the most annoying physical symptom can disappear. More and more health professionals are approaching our organisation to join our project. The great project we started working on a year ago is the opening of a medical clinic in Switzerland, where we will assist patients with Ayahuasca and other natural medicines.

In the realm of spiritual seekers, something that bothers them is moving them, because it is changing the paradigm of how the path of awakening consciousness should be. Many affirmed “you do not have to take anything to elevate consciousness”, “without a teacher to guide you, you can not get very far”, “it can not be that the solution is so accessible to everyone”, “awakening is not something that is so easy that it can be achieved in one night “. But when all these seekers have the experience they realise that everything that has been done up to now, and that they thought was the right thing, had been a mere preparation to make the real leap towards awakening.

It is evident that the illuminating and healing power of Ayahuasca is manifesting beyond what is said, thought or discussed. The expansive rhythm and the wave of consciousness that awakens follow their course, and seem unstoppable in spite of everything.


Ayahuasca is demonstrating to all those who manage, use, investigate or consume it, that it is far above all of them and their interests, and that, in spite of them, will continue its path of expansion throughout the world, reaching all kinds of people who genuinely seek to heal using natural remedies, solve their problems more quickly, calm their ailments in a stable way, find peace in their hearts, and reconcile with life and others … really; there are more and more of these people.

For that reason, perhaps, all of us who use, consume and share Ayahuasca are being guided by something that unintentionally unites us, and that is beyond our comprehension.

It is probable that the premonition that Taita Domingo had, when before he died he told me: “Ayahuasca will cross the oceans and will go around the world”, will come true.

Read our slogan: “Ayahuasca, the movement of consciousness for a global consciousness”.

For this reason, “We dedicate ourselves to putting Ayahuasca in its place”, wherever there are people who feel that they would like to have experience in a particular way, at which the centre of everything is the opening of the inner Being to love.

Alberto José Varela

[email protected]

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