You are open to the idea that hallucinogens can play a big role in opening up our minds and spirits to greater clarity. But you’ve heard horror stories about “bad trips” and other situations that make you hesitant to try a new spiritual experience.
We don’t blame you for being wary! In fact, doing a little research to better inform yourself is always recommended before diving into a new stage of spiritual development. You should be reading up on what to expect during an ayahuasca journey.
This article delves into the many positive, and some negative, ayahuasca effects that you should be prepared to encounter on your journey.
Keep reading to discover if an ayahuasca journey is right for you!
What is Ayahuasca?
Before we dive too deep into some of the effects of ayahuasca, let’s make sure we understand what ayahuasca is.
Ayahuasca is an entheogenic tea or brew that is prepared from a mixture of two plants. The brew is made from the Banisteriopsis caapi vine and the Psychotria viridis leaf. P. viridis contains DMT, which is a known hallucinogen. B. caapi contains MAOIs which work together with DMT to create a longer-lasting and more intense psychotropic effect.
Essentially, ayahuasca is a liquid consumed to induce a hallucinogenic or psychoactive experienced aimed at spiritual development. The consumption of ayahuasca dates back to pre-Columbian tribes in the Amazon Basin, although documented use of other entheogens can be found across the world’s history.
Ayahuasca was introduced to the New World by early European explorers that made contact with indigenous tribes. It is still widely used among indigenous tribes for its spiritual properties that play a central role in medicine, rites of passage, and other religious or shamanic ceremonies.
The popularity of ayahuasca use has blossomed in recent years as its physical and spiritual effects become more widely known and better understood. It is increasingly the topic of biomedical research.
What are the Positive Ayahuasca Effects?
Ayahuasca is used to bring about a spiritual journey or chance of growth and development. Although the journey is very individual, many people report feeling the following positive effects in the aftermath of their ayahuasca use:
- Euphoria or other mood-boosting effects
- Loss of ego
- Feelings of connectedness to a greater entity (e.g. the universe or spiritual being)
- Increased feelings of love and empathy
- Inner peace
- A greater acceptance of self and others
- Emotional healing
- Mental healing or reduction in mental health issues
- Physical healing, such as cancer remission
As ayahuasca use increases in the developed world, more research is being done into the effects of ayahuasca. Although there is no perfect way to quantify the spiritual effects, scientists have started to try to classify the physical and mental effects.
Some of these physical and mental effects include:
A Reduction of Parasites
Ayahuasca helps clear the human digestive tract of parasites in two ways.
First, ayahuasca possesses purgative properties that induce vomiting and diarrhea. This works to physically clear parasites, such as worms, from the gut and digestive tract.
Second, ayahuasca contains antiparasitic agents that kill parasites in the digestive tracts of humans. These antiparasitic agents also showcase antimicrobial properties and can reduce bacteria such as E. coli.
In developing nations where parasites can compromise nutritional health, reducing a human’s parasitic load can greatly increase overall health.
A Decrease of Depression
Ayahuasca has a positive effect on the frontal and paralimbic regions of the brain. These regions are associated with the processing of emotions, moods, and motivation. It causes an increase in blood flow to these regions.
The chemical DMT, which is found in ayahuasca, activates the serotonin receptors in these regions. This works to increase good feelings and may help with depression.
A Reduction in Cancer Symptoms
There are many claims that ayahuasca can be used therapeutically to treat cancer. Very few studies exist to back this up due to legal restrictions surrounding clinical trials.
However, science shows that ayahuasca could theoretically be used to treat cancer in the following ways:
- Ayahuasca increases the number of white blood cells. These cells are the ones that fight cancer cells.
- Ayahuasca may suppress cancer cell growth or help slow growth.
- Ayahuasca may directly kill cancer cells.
- Ayahuasca may block glucose usage in cancer cells and counteract the Warburg effect.
What are the Negative Ayahuasca Effects?
As with all hallucinogens, there can be some negative side effects experienced by the participants. The following negative side effects are sometimes reported:
- Fear or paranoia
- Feeling a disconnect with reality sometimes reported as losing one’s mind
- Imagined negative physical effects, such as feeling as though one is dying
- Difficulty walking due to disequilibrium
Ayahuasca has purgative properties. Participants in an ayahuasca journey should always be prepared for nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and other food poisoning-like symptoms.
After multiple times using ayahuasca, participants reported fewer negative side effects.
What are the Longterm Ayahuasca Effects?
A 2012 study looked at 127 people who used ayahuasca regularly – at least twice a month for 15 years – as compared to people who have never taken ayahuasca. The study concluded that there is no evidence that ayahuasca has a negative long-term effect on users.
In fact, ayahuasca users showed lower rates of depression, anxiety, hostility, and other negative traits. The group that used ayahuasca regularly performed better on neuropsychological and psychosocial tests. Overall, the study concluded that ayahuasca users have better general mental health compared to the control group.
Additionally, ayahuasca has no addictive properties that could cause longterm side effects from repeated use.
Schedule Your First Ayahuasca Journey!
Now that you know a little more about the many positive ayahuasca effects, you may feel ready to embark on an ayahuasca journey yourself.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns. We want your ayahuasca experience to be as meaningful as possible so we are available to help in any way we can.
When you’re ready, click here to view our upcoming ayahuasca ceremonies.