What is Ayahuasca?
Ayahuasca has caught the attention of many Westerners over the past years for its abilities to heal many of the mental health ailments brought on by living in a materialist-driven, superficial culture.
Indigenous to the Amazonian region in South America, Ayahuasca is an entheogenic blend made of the Banisteriopsis caapi vine and the Psychotria viridis leaf.
It has been traditionally used in spiritual ceremonies by indigenous shamans in the Amazon. Only in the past 15-20 years has it become well-known to Westerners, who now participate in both above-the-ground ceremonies (through the UDV church) and sub-culture ceremonies (most notably in the USA, where the UDV still has not obtained the right to administer ayahuasca in a traditional ceremony).
The history of Ayahuasca is as old as the Amazon itself. However, it attained its current level of celebrity from four influential cultural figures: Richard Evans Schultes, William Burroughs, and the McKenna brothers.
Burroughs wrote about ayahuasca in the Yage Letters, published in the late 1950s; the McKenna brothers wrote extensively about ayahuasca in True Hallucinations, published in the 1980s.
Both were informed by Richard Evans Schultes, considered by many to be the father of modern ethnobotany, for his study of indigenous people's uses of entheogenic plants, including ayahuasca.
Ayahuasca is the most legitimate psychedelic used today, largely due to its legal protection in both the Amazonian countries, and in many Western countries (because of the religious protections of the UDV)
Although DMT - the active psychedelic in Ayahuasca - is considered a Schedule 1 drug (hilarious because DMT exists in every living thing on Earth), when consumed in the ayahuasca brew, it is considered to be a vessel to a higher spiritual calling.
Recent research has also proven ayahuasca to help with PTSD, anxiety, depression, and many other Western-model mental ailments.