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What Is Ayahuasca Like? Here’s What You’ll Gain from Attending an Ayahuasca Retreat

what is ayahuasca like

What if a cup of tea could change your life? If it could set you on the right path or even help you have a conversation with your version of god?

Would you drink it? It’s okay if you’re nervous – but if you said yes, you need to know more about what is Ayahuasca like.

We’ve got a beginners guide for you, including what it is, a bit of history, and why people use it below.
What Is Ayahuasca?

If you’ve never heard of it before, Ayahuasca is a plant-derived drug used for sacred ceremonies in South America. It’s given as a tea and contains DMT, which exists in the human brain as a neurotransmitter.

The tea itself is used to induce hallucinations, but not the kind where you see dancing animals or changes in colors. They’re the type that causes introspection and personal growth (in theory).

Not everyone experiences hallucinations the same way, but most people don’t have “bad trips”. The high itself lasts about eight hours, from sober point to sober point, but it’s most intense for the first three hours.

Sometimes people have a physical reaction to the drug, and vomiting or diarrhea can happen. It’s called “la purga” or the purge, and the ancients/natives believe it’s a good part of the cleansing process.

The plant name itself translates into the vine of souls – and sometimes “the foul tasting tea”. It’s not something you drink for the taste, but rather for the advances and healing it can help you make in your life.
The History of Ayahuasca

People have been using this vine for thousands of years. We know it was used before we even have records of it, so we are looking at the beginning of civilization!

Our first true proof of usage dates at 2000 BCE, by the Ecuadorian Amazonian tribes.

Historical usage is spread throughout the Amazon basin, and even makes its way to Brazil.

It wasn’t until the mid-1800s and 1900s that scientists started looking into the vine, in a western way. Now it’s understood to be a safe experience, as long as the user doesn’t have any intensive health issues.

The vine doesn’t grow in the US, nor is it technically legal. There are some places in the states (like our church Soul Quest Ayahuasca Church of Mother Earth) where you can experience it, due to religious freedom laws.
What is Ayahuasca Like? Why Do it?

A lot of people struggle with their path in life. Either they have emotional/energetic blockages from past trauma or they’re too wrapped up in the day to day to see what’s happening long term.

Ayahuasca can help clear all that – from the blockages to the general noise of life. If you’re looking for something to help you get back on the right path or figure out what that path is, a retreat may be for you.
1. It May Change Your Life

It’s not uncommon for those that go on Ayahuasca retreats to have visions of their own death or revisit near-death experiences. While this sounds scary and confusing, it can clear up a lot of what you’re missing in life.

Like the saying by Chuck Palahniuk, that goes “It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything”. If you feel like you need a refresh or a restart, look into our retreats.

These realizations (and others) may change your life. You could realize the relationship you’re in isn’t right for you at all, or that you’re in the wrong career.

The realizations you have are personal to you, but as long as you don’t ignore them, they should help you reshape your life for the better.
2. It’ll Refresh Your Spirituality

Whether you believe in a Christian God or the power of the universe, doing Ayahuasca will put you back in touch with the powers that be.

It won’t necessarily enable you to speak to your god or overarching power, but it can straighten things out (in your head) that you were confused on.

It may mean you leave the church your at or make you realize you need to go deeper into figuring out what you believe.

You may even find that you don’t know what you believe, which is scary – but it opens up a world of options.
3. It Can Heal Past Experiences

We all experience some sort of trauma in life. Whether we were abused as children or have PTSD from an event or military stint.

Part of the reason these things are so traumatic is that we never fully process them.

The brain processes memories in two ways. There’s the amygdala which processes emotions related to memory. When things are intense and traumatic, most of us only ever process the events in this way.

That’s when we get symptoms life flashbacks or fear of working on issues. Since the memory is pure emotion, it feels overwhelming, like it’s going to flood our system.

It’s not until we can process the memory through the hypothalamus, which essentially takes the emotion-only memory and adds logic/thinking to it, that we can recover.

When you take a substance that changes your brain function (temporarily) like Ayahuasca, then you can go through this essential process.

It may not “heal” you, but it can help you get to a place where the idea of processing your trauma isn’t terrifying.
The Experience of a Retreat

The best part about this experience, other than the healing potential, is this isn’t something you go through alone. Professionals lead you every step of the way, from feeding your meals to helping you recover the next day.

If you want to experience what is Ayahuasca like, check out our retreat offerings, or attend an info session.