Ayahuasca (pronounced ah-yah-WAH-ska) or Yagé (ya-HEY) are native Amazonian names for the jungle vine Banisteriopsis Caapi and the medicinal tea prepared from it and other plants. Ayahuasca derives from the Quechua words aya-spirit/dead, waska-vine/rope and can be translated as “vine of the dead.” Ayahuasca is used throughout the Upper Amazon and is traditionally combined with Chacruna (Psychotria viridis).

At Flower of Life, we only use the Ayahuasca vine and Chacruna leaf in our brew to ensure you are working with Ayahuasca in its truest sense. It had become an unfortunate practice at Ayahuasca centers to make brews with different admixtures to give people intense “Ayahuasca experiences” but this experience is not in the true nature of the medicine. Lakshmi’s Flower of Life retreats are not Ayahuasca tourism. As such, we provide the traditional brew that will enable access to the visionary world of the mother plant that provides deep personal insight and healing.

The ceremonies are held by thoroughly experienced ayahasquero (shamans) who have dedicated themselves to working with the brew for decades. The training process of an ayahuasquero includes years of dieting medicinal plants while avoiding any foods with salt, sugar or excess oils. During these “dietas” the shaman is also isolated from people, usually for weeks while they attune themselves to the plants. Through this process they receive the plants wisdom and/or healing songs. These songs of healing are known as “icaros”. It is with these songs that they protect and bring healing upon those who participate in ceremony.

It is very important that each person that comes to work with Ayahuasca is dedicated to his or her own healing and is willing to make the commitment that it requires before, during and after the retreat. The changes that take place during a retreat do not end when the workshop is over, and require deep intentions and dedication after leaving the jungle to actualize lessons, manifest visions and support one’s personal evolution.

Ayahuasca can be a very powerful tool in a person’s healing journey, whether this be physical, mental, emotional or spiritual; however, each experience is completely singular to the person working with Ayahuasca.  Individual circumstances can vary greatly and for this reason, there are no guarantees that any certain degree of healing will be achieved or any condition cured.