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Your top 7 questions answered!

As many contemporary seekers turn to the internet for answers, it’s no surprise that certain questions about Ayahuasca dominate the biggest search engines. In this article, I delve into the curious case of Ayahuasca by addressing the seven most googled questions about this sacred plant medicine.

Whether you’re a seasoned explorer or a curious newcomer, this article will help you to clarify some mysteries surrounding Ayahuasca.

1. What is Ayahuasca?

Ayahuasca is a psychoactive brew traditionally used for spiritual and healing purposes for thousands of years by indigenous communities in the Amazon basin, particularly in regions of Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Brazil. The brew is typically made from the combination of two main plants: the Banisteriopsis caapi vine and the leaves of the Psychotria viridis shrub. The active compounds in Ayahuasca include DMT, a potent substance some people call the ‘God molecule’.

The word Ayahuasca is a Quechua word, aya meaning spirit or dead body, and huasca meaning vine. People often refer to her as the Vine of the dead and if you work with this powerful plant medicine you know why she has this name!

2. How long does Ayahuasca last?

Traditionally Ayahuasca ceremonies last for several hours, typically overnight, from dusk till dawn, and the main part of the Ayahuasca journey lasts about 4 to 8 hours. Usually it takes about 20 to 30 minutes to start to feel the effects of the Ayahuasca brew and many people experience what is called purging at the beginning of the ceremony. After the onset of the Ayahuasca brew most people have a peak experience with the most intensity. Then there is a slow decline when people start to feel feel more grounded and return to baseline consciousness, although residual effects may persist for several more hours.

Some individuals may experience an “afterglow” period following an Ayahuasca ceremony, characterized by feelings of peace, clarity, and mental calm. This period can last for several hours or even up to 4-6 weeks after the Ayahuasca experience.

3. Where to get Ayahuasca?

Ayahuasca is traditionally prepared and served in a ceremonial setting by experienced shamans in regions where its use is culturally and legally permitted, such as Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Brazil.

These ceremonies often take place in remote areas within the Amazon jungle or high up in the Andes where these traditions originate from.

Ayahuasca churches are organizations that incorporate the use of Ayahuasca as a sacrament within their religious or spiritual practices. One of the most well-known Ayahuasca churches is the União do Vegetal (UDV) and Santo Daime in Brazil. In the US the biggest and most popular Ayahuasca Church Soul Quest, promising to practice, live and impart the Universal teachings of Mother Ayahuasca in order to experience our divine nature.

And there are also traveling shamans and curanderos who bring their wisdom, tradition and the medicine all over the world. These events and retreats are more underground, often by invitation only ceremonial spaces.

Thanks to the psychedelic renaissance over the last decade the psychedelic wellness industry has also exploded and keeps growing, promising healing, happiness and love in the form of various retreats and trainings. However you need to keep in mind that not everything is gold that is glowing and it is vital to do your due diligence before you sign up for an Ayahuasca Retreat advertised on social media.

4. How to make ayahuasca?

Let me start with this: if you are asking this question you shouldn’t make it!

The only safe and responsible way to make the Ayahuasca brew is by a trained Ayahuasca Shaman. Making the brew is so much more than just putting the ingredients into a pot and cook it for a few hours.

It starts with finding the plants in the jungle and asking permission to take them to make medicine. How the Ayahuasca is harvested with what intention, who harvests the medicine, what is the energy, intentions of the person who is harvesting the Ayahuasca and the Chakruna?

Who is preparing and cooking the medicine? With what intentions? What kind of prayer songs are sung while preparing the medicine?

This might sound strange to you now but I assure you that these are important contributing factors that affect the Ayahuasca brew and the experience of the person who drinks from that medicine.

Because the consumption of Ayahuasca can have profound psychological and physiological effects, and it should only be done under the guidance of experienced practitioners in safe and supportive environment. The DIY preparation and consumption of Ayahuasca can pose significant risks to health and safety and I strongly recommend to avoid that for your safety!

5. Ayahuasca retreats

One of the most googles keyword in the plant medicine space is Ayahuasca retreats!

I think this makes total sense because when you feel called to work with the Mother Ayahuasca the first thing you will probably think of is to go on an organized Ayahuasca retreat. And this is not a bad idea!

Ayahuasca retreats are organized programs where you can participate in Ayahuasca ceremonies under the guidance of experienced facilitators or shamans. These retreats typically take place in more rural, natural environments and require you to take some time off from your everyday life.

Ayahuasca Retreats can provide you with facilitation and guidance, safety and support, indigenous, authentic experience, connection to like minded community, integration support and more if you choose the right place.

When considering participating in an Ayahuasca retreat, it’s vital to do your research, read reviews, talk to participants and choose a reputable and experienced facilitator or retreat center that aligns with your intentions and values.

6. Ayahuasca near me

Many use this key phrase on google to search for Ayahuasca Ceremonies or retreats and I understand that people want to save the cost of traveling when attending an Ayahuasca ceremony.

However, to choose an Ayahuasca retreat or ceremony based only on location is not the wisest choice. There are other things more important to consider such as: where is the medicine coming from and who prepared it, who is serving the medicine and leading the retreat or ceremony and what are their credentials, and how much experience they have? Also how many people are participating and how many facilitators are present during the experience? Is there a medical person on site? What is their client intake process? Do they provide after care and integration support after the Ayahuasca retreat or ceremony?

If you can find a reputable and responsible place like this near you, go for it and enjoy your experience.

But if your biggest reason for choosing an Ayahuasca retreat or ceremony is because it’s close to where you live, I encourage you to think again!

Here is a great webinar to support you to prepare for your plant medicine journey in a conscious and responsible way:

5 steps for responsible preparation for plant medicine journeys

7. What does Ayahuasca do?

Ayahuasca helps you to enter into an altered state of consciousness where you have expanded awareness and you can access important information in your unconscious to help you to heal and awaken. In other words She expands your awareness so you can make better choices and live happier life.

Ayahuasca magnifies the 5 senses and this heightened sensitivity allows you to perceive things as more meaningful. Ayahuasca supports you to confront unresolved traumas and complete emotional processing so you can find peace, set yourself free from the past and truly move on.

On the physical level Ayahuasca has a strong detoxifying effect called purging and this can manifest as vomiting, diarrhea, intense sweating or shaking and shivering, involuntary body movements, numbness, yawning and so on. This is one of the reasons they ask you to be on a strict vegan diet a week before the ceremony, to pre-cleanse and prepare your body to receive this medicine.

When working with this sacred plant you often experience a sense of unity and interconnectedness that can lead to profound spiritual insights and transcendental experiences.

Ayahuasca will definitely alter your perception of time and space and this allows you to process a huge amount of information and content in a relatively short time.

To learn more about what Ayahuasca really does if you work with Her in a conscious and responsible way read my book: Heart Medicine, Ayahuasca Assisted Therapy and the Integration Process.

It’s important to emphasize that the effects of Ayahuasca can be very different depending on factors such as dosage, set and setting and individual physiology. Ayahuasca should be approached with respect and humility and it is the most important that you do responsible preparation, have expert guidance and professional integration support after your Ayahuasca retreat or ceremony experience.

And remember always,

You are the healer and love is the medicine!

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