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What Is Ayahuasca and  

why are people turning to psychedelics for mental health treatments?

by | Mar 8, 2023 | Education

The Mushroom Folklore of Ireland


Psychedelic ayahuasca tea has been used ceremonially by Amazonian indigenous communities for centuries.

Some nations in South America, notably Peru, and Brazil, have legalized its usage. While the drink includes the hallucinogenic N, N-Dimethyltryptamine (also known as DMT), it is still prohibited in the United States.

Even though it’s banned in the United States, Ayahuasca has been growing in popularity, and curiosity has been piqued by the public statements of celebrities like NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Hollywood actor Will Smith. Let’s check out the benefits of Psychedelics and Ayahuasca and why people are turning to it.

Ayahuasca: what is it?

The Psychotria viridis shrub’s leaves and the Banisteriopsis caapi vine’s stalks are the foundation of Ayahuasca, a drink that also goes by the names the tea, the vine, and la purga. Certain religious groups in Brazil and North America, such as the Santo Daime, continue to utilize this drink as a holy beverage for spiritual and religious reasons, for which ancient Amazonian tribes initially used it.

Tears from the Psychotria viridis shrub and stalks from the Banisteriopsis caapi vine are boiled in water by an experienced healer, a shaman or curandero, who then pours the resulting brew into bowls for consumption during Ayahuasca rituals.

To get the most out of the Banisteriopsis caapi vine’s therapeutic components, it is cleaned and broken before being cooked. When the shaman decides the combined plants has reached the desired concentration, he strains out the water and sets it aside. Iterations of this procedure are taken until highly concentrated liquid results. After the brew has cooled, it is filtered to eliminate any remaining debris.

What Do The Effects Of Ayahuasca Look Like?

Ayahuasca is a hallucinogenic drink prepared from a variety of plants. Some say it’s good for your brain and overall health and happiness, but it also has some concerning side effects.

Ayahuasca users describe vivid hallucinations that may last many hours and include seeing patterns and colors. Several people claim to converse with the spirits of departed loved ones, friends, and others.


According to surveys of ayahuasca tea consumers, the beverage has a wide variety of effects on the body and the mind. In a study published in PLOS Global Health, researchers found that the most prevalent physical response was vomiting or nausea, with stomach discomfort and headaches as secondary consequences. Most subjects also reported experiencing mental effects, such as seeing or hearing things, feeling alone, or having nightmares, with almost all believing that they were ultimately favorable for their development. The research found that 2.3% of ayahuasca users required medical assistance after using the substance.

Benefits of Psychedelics That Make People Opt For It


Psychedelics may have some positive effects

Those who have used Psychedelics say it profoundly and permanently changed their lives for the better. Possible explanation: Ayahuasca’s influence on the brain. Ayahuasca has recently been the subject of scientific investigation for its purported health benefits, especially to the brain.


Possibility of enhanced mental health

Scientific studies have revealed that Ayahuasca use may positively affect one’s mental health, namely their ability to focus and be more attentive.

Ayahuasca was shown to be as effective as an 8-week mindfulness program in improving acceptance, a key component of mindfulness that profoundly impacts one’s mental health, in research involving 20 participants.

Similarly, other research has shown that Ayahuasca may help with mindfulness, mood, and emotional control. Immediately after Ayahuasca use, participants in a study of 57 persons reported considerably lower levels of depression and stress. Four weeks after Ayahuasca ingestion, these effects were still noticeable. In most cases, DMT and -carbolines found in Ayahuasca are thought to have been the reason for those effects.

Possible use in relieving symptoms of addiction, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder

As for mental health, Psychedelics have been studied for their potential to help with conditions including depression, PTSD, and addiction. A single dose of Ayahuasca significantly reduced depression severity compared to a placebo in research including 29 persons with treatment-resistant depression. More than that, a meta-analysis of six research found that Psychedelics were effective in alleviating symptoms of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, and mood disorders, as well as drug addiction.

Previous research suggests that Psychedelics may help those struggling with substance abuse issues, such as cocaine, alcohol, and nicotine addiction. According to one study conducted in 2013, a 4-day treatment program that included 2 Ayahuasca rituals helped 12 persons with severe psychological and behavioral difficulties associated with drug dependence.

Change Your Perspective

Psychedelics change people’s perspectives on themselves and their environment. Because of its unpredictable consequences, their usage is still frequently prohibited (and potentially dangerous). Although most reports on the effects of psychedelics are indeed based on petite sample sizes, the findings so far are so striking that it’s hard to see them as anything but encouraging. This is how people are turning to psychedelics and Ayahuasca to treat themselves. 


Mr. Mush Man Psychedelic Writer

Mr. Mushy Man: "A walking encyclopedia"

As an Earth grounded far-out experiencer, Mr. Mush Man is a prolific writer and researcher in all things "psychedelic." He enjoys long walks in the galactic void while learning about others' experiences.


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