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Ayahuasca is a liquid infusion made from certain psychoactive plants such as Banisteriopsis caapi, originating from groups indigenous people in various South America countries. It contains DMT, is hallucinogenic, and is consumed for religious purposes.
Ayahuasca, a plant of the family Malpighiaceae, known by the names yage and caapi, is a jungle vine native to South America. Ayahuasca vine is commonly prepared in a brew with psychotria viridis by the native people of the Upper Amazon Rainforest area in South America. Ayahuasca brew is considered sacred by the native people and is taken for an array of purposes such as divination, shamanic, religious and other folk-medicinal purposes.
The mix of both the MAOI containing vine caapi and DMT containing leaf psychotria viridis is known by at least 40 different indigenous names, but it is most commonly known as Ayahuasca. Roughly translated, Ayahuasca means “vine of the soul” or “vine of the dead”. This name possibly came from the natives initial belief that in taking the Ayahuasca drink it would enable a person to feel a spiritual connection with their inner souls. Subsequently, it will also allow them to communicate with their dead ancestors.
The Ayahuasca drink is usually prepared by mixing together two or several other distinctive plant species that are usually found in the numerous rainforests of the Amazon. These plants are usually capable of producing very profound psychoactive effects when consumed in a traditional and formal ritual. The ingredients used and the preparation rituals can vary depending on the intended use of the drink, whether it be for healing or for other divination and shamanic purposes such as the casting of magic spells.
The ayahuasca plant, or scientifically named as Banisteriopsis Caapi is a woody liana vine usually cultivated by the shamans of the different tribes of the Amazon. This is also the usual common ingredient of the ayahuasca drink. The Banisteriopsis Caapi is known to have several species depending on the colors of the leaves and its known use among the natives. This is also the element of the ayahuasca drink to contain alkaloids (called MAOI) that “stimulate” the potency for psychoactive effects (DMT) of the other plants added to the drink.
The people who have taken Ayahuasca have reported to have seen visions of wild animals, geometric patterns, waves of colors and a blur of forest images usually of birds and snakes and oftentimes of their dead ancestors. People share mostly the same visions whenever Ayahuasca is taken as a group.
Ayahuasca is known to have been part of the culture and lifestyle of the native people of the South America for almost thousands of years dating back up to 500 BC. Scientific Researchers and historians were able to dig artifacts and tools related to the preparation and brewing of the drink, but were however not able to relate and attribute the “discovery” of the drink to a single person or group of persons prior to it being handed down to generations after generations and tribe after tribe.
As Ayahuasca is a hallucinogenic substance, its effect on the body is more on the mental aspect than the physical part. It is not known to be addictive and no one has died ingesting Ayahuasca to date.
You start to feel the effect of the Ayahuasca substance in about 15 to 60 minutes after ingestion. The peak of the effect will happen between 60 to 90 minutes after ingestion and might last another 2 to 6 hours. After effect can often last for about 1-8 hours tops. Of course, this will depend on the dose you have taken. A large dose will undoubtedly be more potent than the small dose. If a user ingests too much of the substance, he will just probably black-out and forget the entire experience. There have been no reports of anyone dying of overdose but theoretically and maybe in rare cases, allergic reaction to any of the ingredients from the substance can be fatal.
Physical Effects of Ayahuasca
Since Ayahuasca is a combination of substances, any effect it will have on the body will depend on the combination of substance used. It has been observed that it has purgative properties. It induces vomiting and sometimes diarrhea that will normally induce the body to clear itself with worms and other parasites. After the vomiting, the person usually feels he or she has been purified from inside out.
It has also been observed that most cultures that use Ayahuasca have some strict dietary controls before ingesting the substance. These diets are said to reduce nausea and the vomiting you experience. But the real reason is that it makes the body much easier for the substance to be ingested by the body. Aside from vomiting, other physical effects would be slight buzzing in the ear, tremors, profuse sweating, giddiness and slight increase in blood pressure and heart rate.
Mental Effects of Ayahuasca
It is described as a substance that creates the most profound of all psychedelic experiences. The substance has powerful hallucinogenic alkaloids that induce the experience. The use of other additives makes up different types of effects, but the most affected sense is vision during these psychedelic experiences. They describe their experiences as having long sequences of dream-like imagery. This can be translated to manifestations of spirit helpers, demons and deities, geometrical pattern and tigers, birds and reptiles. They believe that they can see events at a great distance. They also experience sensations of flying and even of their own death. With these kinds of experiences, it explains why they used it for religious purposes. There have been no known long term effect on mental health when it comes to continuous use of Ayahuasca.
It is also worth mentioning that there is a study that says Ayahuasca is very good at curing depression, addiction and anxiety disorders. The only great concern in the use of Ayahuaca is a hypertensive crisis brought about by the raising levels of tyramine in the blood. Hypertensive crisis might lead to hemorrhaguc stroke, rapture of pre-existing aneurysm, and myocardial infraction that can all result to death of the user.
See Effects section^
As most readers will be aware, ayahuasca, a brown-reddish drink with a strong taste and smell, is a shamanic drug originating in the Amazon. It is obtained from infusing the shredded stalk of the malpighiaceous plant Banisteriopsis caapi with the leaves of other plants, generally Dyplopteris cabrerana or Psychotria viridis. During the cooking process, which may last for hours, a plethora of chemical compounds from these plants enter the infusion. Banisteriopsis caapi's chief contribution is three alkaloids generically known as ß-carbolines, namely harmine, tetrahydroharmine and to a lesser degree harmaline, while Dyplopteris cabrerana and Psychotria viridis contribute large quantities of N,N-dimethyltryptamine, or simply DMT. The final chemical compositions of ayahuasca infusions show great variability owing to fluctuations in the alkaloid contents of the plants used in its preparation, the differing extraction times and different practices with regard to the greater or lesser concentration of the infusions once obtained.
Of the four main alkaloids which the drink contains it is DMT which is chiefly responsible for its hallucinogenic effects. DMT is a potent ultra-short acting hallucinogen present in numerous species of plant growing in temperate and tropical regions. Before its presence in ayahuasca was discovered it had in fact been identified, along with other indole derivatives in Anadenanthera hallucinogenic snuffs which had been used in South America since before Columbus. The compound is remarkable within the hallucinogen family because of its pharmacological characteristics; when administered parenterally it produces extremely strong effects which are felt almost immediately (intravenously) or within around ten minutes (intramuscularly), to disappear within the space of about half an hour or forty-five minutes. Surprisingly, when the drug is administered orally it provokes no psychoactive effects whatsoever, even in doses as high as a gram, appearing to be entirely destroyed in the intestines and at hepatic level by monoamine oxidase (MAO), an enzyme which is widely distributed throughout the body, and thus prevented from reaching systemic circulation and the brain. Because of DMT's inactivity when taken orally several other methods of parenteral administration have been used; Anadenanthera and Virola snuffs are taken through the nose and synthetic DMT has circulated in a free base form for smoking.
On a molecular level DMT interacts equally with serotonin 5- HT1a and 5-HT2a/2c receptor sites, just like LSD does. Unlike LSD, however, repeated administration of DMT does not lead to tolerance of the subjective effects, or at least it has not done so in studies carried out to date. Furthermore, DMT does not show cross tolerance with this classic hallucinogen; that is, an individual who has developed tolerance to the effects of LSD through repeatedly taking the drug will experience full hallucinogenic effects if administered a dose of DMT.
What is truly extraordinary about ayahuasca is that in a single preparation it combines DMT which is inactive when taken orally with the ß-carbolines referred to above. These tricyclic compounds, to which proserotonergic and prodopaminergic properties are attributed, lack hallucinogenic activity but in vitro they display a potent inhibiting activity with respect to the MAO enzyme, or to be more precise, the isoenzyme MAO-A. In line with the generally accepted hypothesis the ß-carbolines' inhibiting of this enzyme would prevent the oxidative deamination of the DMT, which could then reach and exercise its effects on the central nervous system. The experience which follows the ingestion of ayahuasca differs from the effects of parenterally administered DMT by being less intense and of greater duration; the onset of its effects is not instantaneous but occurs approximately an hour after ingestion and the effects usually last for a maximum of two hours, to disappear altogether after around three or four hours. In addition, adverse events such as nausea and vomiting, which are not observed in the parenteral administration of DMT and which are attributable to the action of the ß-carbolines, frequently occur. The inhibiting of the MAO brings with it an increase in endogenous catecholamine and serotonin levels which would modulate the effects of the DMT, either reinforcing them or, as has also been postulated, reducing them given that the DMT now has to compete for the 5-HT2 receptor with higher serotonin levels.
Design of the study and objectives
The study will be carried out at Hospital St. Pau in Barcelona and has been approved by the hospital's Ethics Committee and by the Spanish Ministry of Health, which is responsible for approving clinical studies undertaken in the country. A total of 18 healthy volunteers of both sexes will participate, all of whom are acquainted with the effects of ayahuasca, or if not, with other hallucinogens. The study has been designed to take advantage of the presence of local people who are aware of the effects of ayahuasca and are in principle willing to take part in a study of this nature. The inclusion of individuals with experience of these drugs was decided on at the outset; using subjects who were not familiar with them seemed to us ethically unacceptable, a criterion which would doubtless be shared by any ethics committee, granted that the use of such drugs is not entirely without risk. To minimalize the risk of adverse reactions appearing during the sessions special emphasis will be placed on the psychiatric examination of volunteers during the selection stage, and they will be put in contact with team members and able to familiarise themselves with the facilities in which the study will be carried out before the sessions begin. They will also be fully informed as to the nature and objectives of the study and will be required to give prior written consent to their participation.
During the course of the investigation two doses of ayahuasca (0.5 and 0.8 mg/kg of DMT) and one placebo will be administered. The study has been designed as a double blind, that is, neither the subject nor the researcher will know whether the drug administered is ayahuasca or a placebo, and if it should be ayahuasca they will not know the size of the dose. The double blind condition will be maintained until the information gathered is analyzed. The investigation will be cross-over and randomized, which is to say that the 18 participant subjects will receive the three preparations in totally random order, and a washout period of two weeks between experimental sessions will also be established.
Given the study's double blind nature the ayahuasca used will not be administered in its normal liquid form, as the preparation's appearance, color and flavor would prevent its being administered without the subject's knowledge. To achieve efficient masking the following process will be carried out: the ayahuasca will undergo a lyophilization process in which the water in the infusion is eliminated in a high vacuum chamber at low temperature, after which the solid obtained will be homogenised and analyzed. In this way the different alkaloid concentrations per gram of lyophilized product can be determined and the doses adjusted according to the main active element, DMT. Finally, a quantity of the lyophilized substance corresponding to 0.5 mg/kg and 0.8 mg/kg of DMT will be encapsulated for each subject; the quantity of ß-carbolines administered in each dose will also inevitably vary. Instead of obtaining natural ayahuasca, lyophilizing and encapsulating it, we initially considered the option of administering a synthetic analogue which combined variable quantities of DMT with fixed quantities of ß-carbolines. This would have permitted the elimination of the "background noise" of increasing levels of ß-carbolines and other undesirable effects predominantly attributable to these compounds, but would have yielded results that could not have been applied to the natural preparation, which is ultimately the subject of the study. So, the study's objectives are as follows: 1. Description of the pharmacokinetics of N,N-dimethyltrypt-amine and ß-carbolines, the main alkaloids in ayahuasca, after the oral administration of increasing doses of the preparation. 2. In vivo determination of MAO inhibition provoked by ayahuasca. 3. Quantification of ayahuasca's pharmacological effects on the central nervous system: neurophysiological and subjective effects. 4. General tolerability of the preparation. 5. Study of the concentration-response relationships (PK/PD).
The aim is to study the pharmacokinetics of the four main alkaloids present in ayahuasca, that is their absorption, distribution and elimination through determining their plasma levels at regular intervals. So, having administered two single different doses the plasma levels of N,N-dimethyltryptamine, harmine, harmaline and tetrahydroharmine will be quantified.
The MAOI effect
On a peripheral level the pharmacodynamic effect studied will be the inhibiting of the monoamine oxidase enzyme previously referred to. Blocking noradrenaline, dopamine and serotonin's natural metabolic breakdown pathway leads to measurable variations of these compounds in plasma and, in the case of dopamine and noradrenaline, to variations in the relationships between the metabolites obtained through this pathway and those deriving from the action of another degrading enzyme named catechol-O-methyl- transferase or COMT. One of this study's objectives is the in vivo verification of the inhibiting of MAO associated with ayahuasca, the effect which is generally assumed to be responsible for DMT's activity when administered orally. An alternative method traditionally used to study MAOI activity consists of determining the degree of platelet MAO inhibition; in comparison with the determination of monoamines and their metabolites in plasma, this approach does not have the drawback of requiring a complex analytical technique. However, its use in the study of selective inhibitors of MAO has been called into question as the predominant isoenzyme in the platelets is MAO-B, which consequently would only be inhibited by drugs with either non-selective blocking activity or one specific to isoenzyme B.
Effects on the Central Nervous System
There are many problems inherent in studying the effects of hallucinogens on the central nervous system. Their eminently subjective nature hinders quantification and the fact that they are highly incapacitating makes it difficult for volunteers to undertake tasks or communicate with the evaluator. The evaluation of drugs' effects on the central nervous system is usually carried out via psychomotor performance tests and by using questionnaires to which the subject responds at regular intervals before and after taking the drug, or which may be completed by the evaluator according to the volunteer's responses.
These tests and scales have been used with numerous psychoactive drugs which, although potent, do not completely prevent the subject from performing tasks nor from interacting with the evaluator. However, given the profound alteration of consciousness experienced by the subject after a hallucinogen has been administered and the overwhelming nature per se of the effects of hallucinogens, asking the subject to actively collaborate by completing these scales is not feasible. Certain Visual Analogic Scales (VAS) which require minimal cooperation from the subject, and questionnaires which may be completed once the drugs' effects have worn off, are perhaps an exception.
Subjective effects study
The subjective effects will be studied through the use of scales which permit the ayahuasca's effects to be quantified. However, the subjects will not respond to the questions until the effects of the ayahuasca have worn off. One of the scales for use is the Hallucinogen Rating Scale developed by Rick J. Strassman, which has been translated by our group and whose validation in Spanish forms part of the study. The scale contains 100 items grouped according to six clinical factors which are characteristically affected by hallucinogens: cognition, volition, somaesthesia, intensity, perception and affect. According to its author, this scale describes the effects produced by DMT more accurately than pre-existing scales, which were compiled on the basis of data gathered after the administration of LSD.
This scale does not permit the time sequence of the drug's effects to be followed and it will not therefore be possible to establish correlations with plasma levels, but it does allow the overall quantification of these effects to obtain numerical values which in principle will be in relation to the dose of the drug administered. One of the study's objectives, therefore, is to verify the validity of a scale which, despite being designed for a specific compound (DMT) and a specific means of administration (intravenous) also aims to be of use with other hallucinogenic drugs and other methods of administration.
An alternative method which does not require the volunteer's cooperation and is therefore free from the limitations mentioned above is quantitative pharmaco-electroencephalography. This neurophysiological method, which is totally painless, non-invasive and causes minimal distress to the individual, permits the continuous registration of variations in the electrical activity of the brain cortex caused by drugs which act on the central nervous system. The electrical activity picked up by electrodes placed on the scalp is measured at regular intervals and can then be digitalized and submitted to a frequency analysis from which a series of variables is extracted. These then undergo statistical analysis to determine whether any of the 32 variables characteristically generated by the brain's electrical activity has been significantly altered with the administration of the drug, and whether the variation is dose- dependent.
The relative simplicity of registering this electrical activity allows information to be obtained continuously throughout the experimental session. This permits the subsequent correlation of the plasma levels of the drug administered (pharmacokinetic variable), in this case DMT, with the effect it sets in motion on the cortex's electrical activity (pharmacodynamic variable) in an integrated pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic model.
Tolerability refers to the modifications observed in the subject's vital signs after the drug's administration and any event, either physical or psychological, regarded as unpleasant by the subject. The following vital signs will be measured at varying intervals during the experimental sessions: systolic and diastolic blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature; as all these variables can be modified by the different activation of the serotonergic pathways, variations in their rates and levels can be expected. All adverse events which may be produced will also be registered.
In addition, electrocardiograms and clinical analyses will be carried out between the experimental sessions to check whether these parameters have been affected by the administration of the ayahuasca.
Pharmacokinetic- pharmacodynamic modelling
We intend to approach the task of correlating pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics through using data on the evolution of the DMT plasma concentrations and information from the encephalography, in such a way that will enable us to describe the evolution of the ayahuasca's effects for each individual. This approach aims to go beyond classical dose-response curves, which are subject to great individual variability because of factors which may not be of a pharmacokinetic nature. Using this approach in the present study is particularly attractive because we are faced with a prototypical case of theoretic applicability in that the biophase (CNS) of the main active constituent (DMT) is clearly outside the denominated central compartment (plasma) so the maximum plasma concentrations and maximum central effect can be expected to be out of phase to a certain extent.
The many different species of the Banisteriopsis Caapi (known as yage or yaje in Colombia, caapi in Brazil, and ayahuasca in Ecuador plus Peru) are amongst the main plant ingredients that are used in the preparation of the famous ayahuasca drink. The drink was originally taken by the indigenous tribes of the Amazon.
The preparation of the ayahuasca drink involves choosing a variety and combination of plant ingredients. There is no exact right amount of the ingredients that one plans on using due to the different levels of potency that each plant ingredient may have. Over the years of study, there have been two known types that have been developed on the preparation of the ayahuasca drink. One is the Traditional Ayahuasca, and the other is the Ayahuasca Analogs.
The Traditional Ayahuasca is ideal for those who choose to gain spiritual and magical experience. On the other hand, the Ayahuasca Analogs is for those who choose to have a strong drug hallucinogenic experience.
Based on its name, the Traditional Ayahuasca is prepared using traditional ingredients as how they are actually prepared by the Shamans of the Amazon. The Ayahuasca Analogs use substitute ingredients or substitute plants that contain larger, if not the same amounts of the active entheogenic compounds that the traditional plants contain.
1. Banisteriopsis caapi (ayahuasca vine) mixed with Psychotria viridis (chacruna): Recommended for first time ayahuasca consumers and those with limited ayahuasca experience. Boil 40 grams of finely ground Banisteriopsis caapi with 30 grams of finely ground foliage (leaves) of Psychotria viridis.
2. Banisteriopsis caapi (ayahuasca vine) mixed with Diplopterys cabrerana (chaliponga): Recommended for advanced ayahuasca consumers. Boil 40 grams of finely ground Banisteriopsis caapi with 10 grams of finely ground foliage (leaves) of Diplopterys cabrerana.
1. Peganum harmala (syrian rue) seeds mixed with Mimosa hostilis (jurema): Recommended for advanced ayahuasca consumers. Boil 10 grams of finely ground Peganum harmala seeds with 5-10 grams of finely ground Mimosa hostilis bark.
2. Peganum harmala (syrian rue) seeds mixed with Psychotria viridis (chacruna): recommended for first time ayahuasca consumers and those with limited ayahuasca experience. Boil 10 grams of finely ground Peganum harmala seeds with 30 grams of finely ground foliage (leaves) of Psychotria viridis.
3. Peganum harmala (syrian rue) seeds mixed with Diplopterys cabrerana (chaliponga): recommended for advanced ayahuasca consumers. Boil 10 grams of finely ground Peganum harmala seeds with 10 grams of finely ground foliage (leaves) of Diplopterys cabrerana.
4. Banisteriopsis caapi mixed with Mimosa hostilis: recommended for advanced ayahuasca consumers. Boil 40 grams of finely ground Banisteriopsis caapi with 5-10 grams of finely ground Mimosa hostilis bark.
After choosing and obtaining the ingredients for the ayahuasca brew, next step is to dry and grind the plant materials to a very fine powder substance. A coffee grinder or blender may be used, but traditionally the Incans and the natives of the Amazon use the traditional mortar and pestle to reduce the finely chopped vines, seeds, leaves or plant materials to its powdered state. It is recommended that the powdered plant materials be brewed immediately in order for the brew to maintain its potency. It is also important to make sure that the water to be used for boiling the ayahuasca drink is pure distilled water with a pH level between 4.0 and 5.0. This is because some mineral water may reduce the potency of the ingredients. Some add some type of acid to reduce the pH level of the water, like the juice of a lemon.
The cooking of ayahuasca drink requires constant stirring and monitoring of the brew. With this, don’t start the boiling process if you are not ready to watch over your brew. The drink requires several separate boiling sessions until the plant materials do not change the color of the water. The first batch of boiling should take about 1 to 2 hours, then strain the ingredients out of the brew, save the water, prepare a new set of water for boiling and then continue the process until the color of the water will no longer change. Afterwards, gather the entire collection of the boiled brews and then slowly reduce the mixture to a quantity that you can drink.
The most common plant constituents of Ayahuasca (Banisteriopsis caapi & Psychotria viridis) are not specifically scheduled in the United States. Neither is the ayahuasca brew specifically named as a scheduled substance. However, P. Viridis contains DMT which is DEA schedule 1. The DEA has recently been making the argument that a plant or brew is illegal if it contains DMT or any other controlled substance.
Major court decisions in the United States in 2006 and 2009 have left the religious use of ayahuasca more or less legal for the protected groups, the UDV and Santo Daime (see UDV Wins Supreme Court Case and Santo Daime Wins Court Decision). It is likely that the Drug Enforcement Administration will continue to fight to get those rulings overridden. As of March 18, 2009, it is still presumptively illegal in the United States to use ayahuasca unless one is a member of the two churches that have successfully sued the U.S. government.
As of May 3, 2005, France added Banisteriopsis caapi, Peganum harmala, Psychotria viridis, Diplopterys cabrerana, Mimosa hostilis, Banisteriopsis rusbyana, harmine, harmaline, tetrahydroharmine (THH), haroml, and harmalol to the list of controlled substances. See France Control Ayahuasca Plants and Chemicals. Earlier, in Jan 2005, a Paris court of appeals determined that Ayahuasca is not considered a preparation of DMT and is therefore not a controlled substance.
Ayahuasca is practically legal to possess and buy. In Amsterdam and across the country, ayahuasca is sold in smart shops. It is also used by some churches in the Netherlands, whose use has been protected by decisions in the country's highest court. (unconfirmed) (last updated Nov 6 2011)
October 1999: Santo Daime Church service raided and 2 leaders arrested.
March 2001: Trial of Ayahuasca Church leaders ends in March
May 15 2001: Dutch Court Hears Arguments on Cannabis Use by Sainto Daime
May 21 2001: Dutch Court Decides in Favor of Head of Ayahuasca Church
Summer 1999: Santo Daime Church raided (no source)
According to the Spanish Scientist Josep Maria Fericgla, in 2012, Ayahuasca is not controlled under Spanish law. See http://josepmfericgla.org/2012/infor...e-la-ayahuasca. This is not an official government statement of policy, just one person's analysis of the complex issues of having a natural extract that contains a controlled substance. In April 2000: Santo Daime Church members arrested, Daime (ayahuasca tea) seized. Six Spanish and two Brazilian members were arrested. The members were eventually released in May of 2000. (thanks m) (last updated May 16 2012)
Ayahuasca, as it contains DMT, a class A drug, has been established as prosecutable, according to an August 8th 2011 ruling (case number T20100950) at Bristol Crown Court. More at: more at Bialabate.net (thanks Bia)(Last updated Sep 6 2011)
The preparation and use of the Ayahuasca drink has been traced in the culture and lifestyle of the different tribes of the Amazon Rainforests in South America dating way back up to 500 BC but may have been around even before that.
The ayahuasca drink was said to have been prepared in many different ways and the ingredients used also differ depending on the desired results that they wanted to induce; usually for divination, folk-medicinal and other shamanic purposes. These plants themselves contain “spirits” that helps the drinker open up their souls to the natural spirit world.
It is commonly known that the Shamans, or the tribes’ spiritual healers and leaders, are those who usually cultivate the ayahuasca plants and prepare the ayahuasca drink at the same time. They said that the ayahuasca drink was mainly taken to separate the soul from the physical body with either one of the following as their intentions:
1. To visit the gods and/or deities of the heavens and the natural spiritual world. They do this to speak with the gods and obtain counsel and guidance for their tribes and be able to gain knowledge of the god’s wishes and intentions for the people of the tribe. It is said that most Shamans are required to intensively study the ayahuasca brew in order to attain this level of experience.
2. To visit Hell and/or the demons of the Underworld and fight or frighten them and completely cast them away from their villages/tribes. They also visit the Underworld to reclaim lost souls or stolen souls of their sick loved ones or dead ancestors.
3. To bewitch or attack their enemies by letting their spirits travel from tribe to tribe and inflict pain. One experience was written wherein the Shaman transforms into the spirit of a bird at night to kill an enemy during its sleep. It is also said that after taking the ayahuasca drink, they are able to conjure the spirits of the wild animals and the spirits of their dead warrior ancestors to kill their living enemies.
4. They also reported that drinking ayahuasca has brought them to places unimaginable such as paradise and distant and great cities beyond their lifetimes; thus enabling them to attain a certain level of creative artistry that helps them to produce different works or art, music, etc.
5. Some also reported that they drink ayahuasca to see an enactment of unsolved crimes or to see in their visions the people who have inflicted them with sickness and/or pain.
6. Novices and apprentices of the Shamans took and drank different concoctions of ayahuasca to give them wisdom of the natural world by giving them visions of wild animals, forest activities and flowers and plants that will help them interpret life and dreams.
The oldest artifact to have been uncovered related to the preparation and use of the ayahuasca drink is a ceremonial cup, carved out of stones and engraved with ornamentations, was found in the Pastaza culture of the Ecuadorian Amazon dated from 500 BC to 50 AD and is now being kept at the Ethnological Museum of the Central University of Quito in Ecuador. This particular ceremonial cup may be an indication that the ayahuasca drink was discovered and consumed even way back to at least 2,500 years ago and its ancient origin was most probably concentrated in the lower Amazon area.
Other archaeological evidences such as pottery vessels, anthropomorphic figurines, snuffing trays and tubes more or less establishes the theory of the presence of plant hallucinogens in the Ecuadorian Amazon in the 1500 – 2000 BC but nothing specifically to point to the use of the ayahuasca drink. Due to the lack of enough data and evidence, no one can say for certain where the preparation and use of the ayahuasca drink originally started. When the ayahuasca drink was introduced and came to attention of the Westerners during the 19th century expeditions, the said drink was already widely spread among the different tribes of the Amazon.
Even if the drink was found to have at least over 40 different indigenous names, the preparation, ingredients and rituals behind it were more or less almost the same although out.
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