Ayahuasca Planta

What is Ayahuasca?

What is Ayahuasca?

The increasingly popular Ayahuasca or Yage is an ancient brew, used for millennia by the indigenous peoples of South America. The South American countries where the plant grows and the concoction is made, are: Peru. Brazil, Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela. Being of all these, the Peruvian Amazon as the place chosen to carry out an Ayahuasca retreat.

It is a concoction made from the combination of:

Banisteriopsis caapi (Ayahuasca or Yage), is a vine that contains tetrahydroharmine and harmine, alkaloids of the beta-carboline class, which act as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI) and allow the primary psychoactive component dimethyltryptamine (DMT) to become active and act in the body without any barrier.​ And

Psychotria viridis (Chacruna), a bush that contains the molecule DMT (known as the molecule of God). Which is the cause of the visions and revelations that a person has in an Ayahuasca ritual.

According to researcher Rick Strassman, the pineal gland of all mammals is capable of naturally producing DMT to produce mystical and psychedelic experiences. However, the amount of DMT produced by a person is minimal. In the case of the special concoction called Ayahuasca, the catalyst also called Ayahuasca makes it possible for our body to be able to withstand large amounts of DMT for prolonged periods, which allows people who perform Ayahuasca ceremonies to experience deep mystical and spiritual states.

The Ayahuasca preparation receives different denominations in Peru:

  1. Ayahuasca in Quechua (official language of the Incas)

It means “rope of the spirits” due to its etymology aya (spirit) and huasca (rope, rope). In the native towns, Ayahuasca is the rope, which allows the spirit to leave the body without it dying.

  1. Nishi Cobin in Shipibo (one of the 47 Peruvian Amazon dialects)

In the Shipibo language, it means! drink of wisdom! or! drink of the wise!

These are two of the most popular names in Peru.

The ancestral uses of Ayahuasca.

The Amazonian indigenous have used Ayahuasca in their ceremonies and healing rites since ancient times. The healings performed with Ayahuasca range from detecting physical illnesses to solving emotional and spiritual problems. Amazonian priests also use this sacred plant to connect with their divinity, their inner being, mother earth and the universe.

Intangible Heritage in Peru

In the context of its traditional use, and protecting it under art. 2 of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO, on June 24, 2008, the Peruvian government declared the traditional use of Ayahuasca Cultural Heritage of the Nation through National Directorial Resolution No. 836/INC:

IT IS RESOLVED: To declare Cultural Patrimony of the Nation to the traditional knowledge and uses of Ayahuasca practiced by the native Amazonian communities, as a guarantee of cultural continuity.

The measure was taken after the request of the indigenous communities after a documentation work entrusted to the researcher Rosa Giove Nakazawa. Other countries, such as Brazil, Ecuador and Bolivia, carry out procedures to grant it the same recognition.

Modern Ayahuasca rituals

Today there is a great diversity of Ayahuasca rituals and retreats that use the concoction according to cultural dynamics and the traditions of the Amazonian peoples. Ayahuasca ceremonies are even held in Andean cities such as Písac, the Sacred Valley or Cusco and European cities like Barcelona and New York. However the most authentic and adequate place to experience Ayahuasca, is the amazonian jungle.

Legislation of Ayahuasca at the international level

The alkaloid DMT (N, N-dimethyltryptamine), one of the components of the Ayahuasca brew, is included in List 1 of the United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971 and is therefore controlled. However, the plants and preparations that contain DMT, as well as the Ayahuasca decoction, are not subject to control according to a specific letter from the Secretary of the Council of the International Narcotics Board (INCB) of 2000 and the Annual Report 2010.

No plants (or plant materials) containing DMT are currently under control under the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Therefore, preparations, decoctions and concoctions made from these plants, including Ayahuasca, are not under control. international and are therefore not subject to any article within the 1971 Convention.