A “magic medicine” for all types of diseases: Ayahuasca
The Magical Cure to some illnesses that science didn’t discover: Ayahuasca is an Amazonian plant medicine that has been used for centuries. Possibly thousands of years, by indigenous and more recently mestizo ayahuasca shaman across the upper Amazon throughout Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil. There are over 40 other names known for this sacred medicine, including caapi, natema, mihi and yage.
Shamanism is the oldest spiritual practice known to humankind with archeological evidence that it been practiced all over the world for at least 70,000 years. Shamanism is not a religion, but a method for making transpersonal connection with the sacred realms. It’s at the epi-centre of a new cycle of spirituality – one where there is no need for a priest, prophet or guru standing between you and your experience of the sacred realms. Each person becomes their own priest, their own guru receiving revelations from within themselves and higher transpersonal sources.
Shamanic healing techniques have been practiced within ancient wisdom traditions across the planet for many thousands of years and we are now experiencing a renaissance in this ‘spirit assisted healthcare’ reemerging in the modern world. Shamans view illness as disharmony in a person’s life on energetic and spiritual levels. This disharmony can lead to mental, emotional, and/or physical illness if left unresolved.
A shaman addresses the energetic and spiritual aspect of illness by making journeys into the astral or spirit world; a ‘non-ordinary’ reality parallel to our own physical reality. There the shaman meets transpersonal forces and benevolent plant, animal and human spirits. Who are just ‘off stage’ from the human drama, yet willing and able to constellate within and through us. It is these compassionate spirits who perform the healing work with the shaman only acting as a conduit.
Ayahuasca – A Mysterious Combination of Two Plants
Unlike all other sacred plant medicines, ayahuasca is made from two plants – the ayahuasca vine (Banisteriopsis caapi) and the leaf of the chacruna plant (Psychotria viridis). Both plants are collected from the jungle to create a potent mixture that offers access to the realm of spirits and an energetic world that that we are typically unable to perceive in our ordinary state of consciousness.
In chemical terms, the leafy chacruna plant contains the powerful psychoactive dimethyletryptamine (DMT). This, by itself, is not orally active because it is metabolised by the stomach enzyme monoamine oxidase (MAO). However, certain chemicals within the ayahuasca vine contain MAO inhibitors in the form of harming compounds that result in a psychoactive compound with an identical chemical makeup to the organic tryptamines in our brains. This mixture circulates through the bloodstream into the brain, where it triggers powerful visionary experiences and enables us to access otherworldly realms and our hidden, inner subconscious landscapes.
Traditional Use of Ayahuasca
Traditionally, the use of ayahuasca in Amazonian healing practices has been limited to the healers. They use it as diagnostic tool for a variety of tasks that reflect vastly different psychological and cultural values than we are familiar with in the West.
Ayahuasca Peru is also used to prescribe treatments to patients – through directing the healer to administer ikaros and plant remedies. But it is not the only plant spirit involved. Ayahuasca works with the healer in combination with a plethora of other plant-spirit doctors to provide treatment. Ayahuasca is a nexus within a much larger system of ‘spirit-assisted’ healthcare in the Amazon.
Traditional Amazonian healing offers solutions to illnesses and disorders that typically cannot be treated by conventional medicine.
Ayahuasca Peru is now being used as a medicine in itself, not just as a diagnostic tool and plant ally for healers. This represents a positive evolution. For the last 20 years, many foreigners and Amazonian people have worked with the medicine in ceremonies, led by trained healers, in order to face the causes of their conditions, illnesses and imbalances personally and to take part in the healing equation. Effectively, this means moving healing into a co-creative relationship between the healer, the plant spirits, ayahuasca, the participant and their own inner physician. The drinker is able to uncover and take personal responsibility for issues that had been hidden in their unconscious and resulted in energetic blockages – often the cause of the dis-ease, or emotional/psycho-spiritual imbalance.
However, drinking ayahuasca on your own without the presence, protection and skilled work of an experienced healer is not advised. It will not provide the level of safety, depth of healing and overall efficacy that can be achieved when Ayahuasca Peru healing is practiced by skilled healers working with a multitude of plant-spirit doctors in ceremony. In some circumstances, ayahuasca on its own will effect healing (although serious caution is required in terms of the set, setting, intentions and precautionary measures), however it will not enable the drinker to reach and heal the roots of issues.