What is Ayahuasca?

Ayahuasca — also known as Yage, the vine, and la purga — is a brew traditionally made from the leaves of the Psychotria viridis shrub along with the stalks of the Banisteriopsis caapi vine, though other plants and ingredients can be added as well. Traditionally, a Maestro or curandero — an experienced healer who leads Ayahuasca ceremonies — prepares the brew by boiling torn leaves of the Psychotria viridis shrub and stalks of the Banisteriopsis caapi vine in water.

The Banisteriopsis caapi vine is cleaned and smashed before being boiled to increase the extraction of its medicinal compounds.

When the brew has reduced to the shaman’s liking, the water is removed and reserved, leaving behind the plant material. This process is repeated until a highly concentrated liquid is produced. Once cooled, the brew is strained to remove impurities.

Ayahuasca was used for spiritual and religious purposes by ancient Amazonian tribes and is still used as a sacrament by some religious communities in Brazil, Europe and North America, including the Santo Daime.

In Europe you will often find a brew made from Peganum Harmela (Syrian Rue) and Jurema (often Mimosa Hostilis) or Acacia (Acacia Confusa). We use Peganum with Jurema most of the time, but we also use Acacia.

The two ingredients in Ayahuasca are the MAO inhibitor and the DMT. DMT is the psychoactive component, In the digestive system an enzyme called MAO (Mono Amino Oxidase) metabolizes DMT (breaks it down) amongst a lot of other things. The MAO inhibitor in Ayahuasca temporarily stops that process. About 20 minutes after drinking the MAO inhibitor you are served the DMT holding drink. After anything from 15 minutes to an hour your will start feeling the effects, that will last up to 4 hours. We serve two rounds per ceremony, but sometimes people need more.

Traditionally, the Shipibo and other native people from the Amazonian area consider a body to be either in or out of balance. With Ayahuasca and other (non-psychedelic) plant medicine the balance is being restored.

In the west we focus mainly on the mental processes, the insights and trauma releasing that ceremonies bring. We’ve long lost the connection with healing plants and herbs in the world around us. One could argue that living in a 1st World country gets us out of balance mentally more than physically.

We are facilitators, not Maestros or Shamans. We hold space, listen, are present in the processes of participants and try to coach in the integration after the ceremony. We provide a safe and loving space for participants to surrender to the proces.

There is space for participants to experience the journey the way it presents itself to them. Whether it is a deeply contemplative journey or a trip through Disney Land, all is good. You surrender to the medicine and the magic begins. You get to look at your life and patterns in a way you haven’t done before. The experience is profound, insightful, magical, deeply emotional and healing. Trying to explain what, why and how doesn’t help. We are there for you to guide you through the experience, and everything you experience is valid.

Through the use of DMT one can reach deep layers of the subconscious mind, in which important information is stored. By drinking Ayahuasca, these layers can be examined, obstructing blockages or patterns can be broken or old trauma can be brought to the surface. Ayahuasca can speed up processes. Because of the deep contact with your subconscious mind, one can gain a deeper level of self knowledge. In this state of higher consciousness you can also experience surrender, acceptance and love, or get a spiritual oneness experience, feel that you are part of something larger than yourself. The journey can take you to places you never knew existed. It can restore the connection to your heart.

You don’t need to be ‘Ultra Spiritual’ to experience the greatness of the medicine. We don’t need to be Ultra Spiritual to guide you. The Medicine will speak for itself. We have faith in the Medicine and that it will bring you what you need most, even if that is what you wanted the least.

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