Frequently Asked Questions

Ayahuasca Safe?

People frequently wonder if ayahuasca tea is safe. One of the most common side effects of using ayahuasca tea that occurs is vomiting, although in religious and spiritual ceremonies this is often equated with releasing negative elements from your life.
If people were to ingest an excessive amount of ayahuasca tea it could lead to serotonin syndrome, which will be detailed below. There have been a few reported deaths related to participation in an ayahuasca ceremony, usually because of undiagnosed heart conditions, interactions with other drugs, or the use of substances like recreational drugs or nicotine. There have been limited reports of potential allergic reactions because of ayahuasca tea as well.
In general, there isn’t a definitive answer to is ayahuasca tea safe. Proponents would say yes, but the scientific research is very limited, so while there may be benefits to its use, there is no guarantee that it’s safe.

Why people interested in doing something like this?

People in the Amazon
have been using it for various purposes, for potentially thousands of years, but more recently Western Culture has found it most popular for psychological breakthroughs to heal
 or help depressive states,
Help heal your Shadow (the negative enduring aspects of your early life or childhood),
Rewrite neural pathways.
Ayahuasca also has significant potential for healing physical benefits as  we can attest to.

Why would you want to experience ego dissolution?

I find this quite hard to describe to people but, I will try. The basic premise is that by achieving ego dissolution then you are able to step out of your own mind and observe it from an arms distance. This detachment from your ‘self’ is what is called being the observer. This alone is often not understandable to people who have not experienced ego dissolution however, and so I will attempt to talk in depth about a particular example from my own experience of ego dissolution.
Overcoming Anxiety:
I have a mild to medium level of anxiety at given times throughout my life. It is characterized by a lack of confidence and sometimes an inability to make decisions.
By allowing some ego dissolution into your life you introduce the ability to conceptually ‘stand outside yourself’ and observe your mind undergoing such bouts of anxiety. As such you can more objectively see the situation and more easily drag yourself out of it. In my case I can more easily recognize patterns and nip them in the butt more quickly avoiding a drawn out anxiety and possible depression.
Another way to say this is that the ego dissolution gives me an eagle eye view of myself. I can see all the pieces and how they relate to one another and hence can understand it as a whole instead of being on the ground and not being able to see the forrest for the trees.
Understanding the nature of the ego:
Importantly, the ego, as I mentioned, is involved with ideas around your identity. When you are ‘in’ your ego as opposed to being beside it you are consumed by the issue and you feel as if it is all of you, as if it defines you completely.
When you are an arms length from it you can understand that you are not only made up of the ideas and concepts that your ego has about you. If you were you wouldn’t be able to stand beside and observe those ideas and concepts. Having this kind of perspective to look over at your ego makes you understand that you are not defined solely by it. Somewhere during this process I also understood that your ego is able to be manipulated in certain ways with the aim of reducing anxious thought patterns.
I believe my anxiety was formed over time, not given to me at birth in a ready made state with all of its anxious thoughts. And it is my belief that if I learned something then I can also un-learn it.
Whether or not you can completely remove the anxiety or not is not necessarily what I’m saying and in fact is not necessary. You just have to be able to see it for what it is.
One of the things Freud says about the ego is that it is a kind of mediator between your true self and the world itself. I think that over time my ego learned (perhaps ‘reacted’ or ‘formed’ is a better word) to have these anxious thought patterns through my environment as I grew up.
I think the ego is, in part just as Freud described, a kind of navigator of our true selves in the world. As it goes along it is influenced by the experiences we have in the world and is ‘engrained’ with the resultant thought patterns.
I also think that these patterns, once formed, are hard to overcome. Like water traveling down a hill our thoughts follow a path of least resistance. As such, once a negative thought pattern has been created it’s more likely to be reinforced in the future by future thoughts.
The ego seems to have a ruminating nature as well. It tends to bring up old incidents or reminders of things frequently. In this way, a negative experience can be brought up over and over again to your ego and reinforce this pattern. It is my opinion that one of the things an ego is for is to help you navigate the world. As such reminding you of things in which you found danger in in the past may be a way of avoiding it in the future.
Under these circumstances, being able to stand beside your ego and not be ‘in’ it allows you to see the ego for what it really is. That being, that it is not the entirety of you but, just a part of you. Understanding it’s programable and reinforceable nature means that you can start to create new habits and thoughts and if you are able to reinforce them over time they can become stronger and stronger. I think that you can rewrite neural pathways this way.

Does ayahuasca have DMT in it?

Yes, yes it does. It is contained in the Chacruna Plant which is one of the ingredients in the Ayahuasca Brew. The Ayhuasca Vine itself, also an ingredient, does not contain DMT but does contain an MAOI which allows the DMT to be orally active.
The Ayahuasca Brew, consumed during Ayahuasca Ceremonies does indeed contain DMT. The Ayahuasca Vine, one of the ingredients of the Ayahuasca Brew, does not contain DMT.

Why does ayahuasca make you sick?

The vomiting in particular comes from its action on the area postrema, the part of the brainstem that controls that urge to throw up. In this brain region, ayahuasca acts on 5HT3 serotonin receptors—which are also in the gut—potentially contributing to nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

What are the side effects of ayahuasca?

The unwanted effects of Ayahuasca are potentially, purging, risk of stroke, in some rare cases psychosis and in extreme situations death. I should note, the more severe side effects are able to be quite easily mitigated with some research and basic precautions for the majority of people. Read on for more info on all of these and some of the benefits as well.

What does Ayahuasca do to your brain?

The DMT contained in the Ayahuasca brew makes you hallucinate.
It’s not known exactly how the DMT interacts with your brain to achieve the visions . It is thought however, that the DMT reduces the activity of the Default Mode Network in your brain.
Once you have drunk the Ayahuasca Brew the DMT within it passes into your bloodstream through your stomach and eventually passes the Blood Brain Barrier.
Once in the brain it attaches to the Serotonin Receptors (chemically it’s very similar to Serotonin which is an important chemical in the brain well known for its relationship to depression) and causes you to have visions. This is about all we know confidently. After this it gets theoretical.
One idea which I can see some merit in is that psychedelics may cause the Default Mode Network (DMN) of the brain to reduce it’s activity. It is believed that the DMN is the seat of your ‘ego’ and as such if it’s activity is reduced it’s possible to experience ego dissolution and the sense of ‘we are all one’ which are both common on Ayahuasca.
This ‘reduction of activity’ is important to understand, not so much because psychedelics act within your ego but, more so because psychedelics reduce the effect of the ego such that other parts of the brain can be allowed to operate unhindered by the egos’ influence.
The other part can be understood as your ‘true self’ or more commonly people probably say your ‘consciousness’. I don’t mean this in the dictionary definition sense but in the Spiritual sense. Think Buddhism not Psychology.
When the ego has it’s strength diminished then the consciousness is allowed to shine more. In psychedelic communities, this effect is what’s known as ‘The Observer’. As Aubrey Marcus and Erick Godsey would say, our ‘self’ contains both the ego and the observer.

Why should you not eat very much?

During an Ayahuasca Ceremony it is likely you will purge. Purging consists of either throwing up of need to ‘go no. 2’ but could even be both. Sounds gross right but don’t worry it’s not that bad if you’ve been on the diet and even when you do you feel great about it – you are purging ‘negative energy vibes ‘so you do feel good once it’s done.
If you were to eat a lot prior to a ceremony you are likely to throw it up and hence you ideally want to restrict food intake for 6-8 hours beforehand.
It’s important to note that while it’s normal to purge, you don’t want to spend more time purging than you need to. It’s better to purge at a minimum and keep as much time for having hallucinations or communicating with Mother Ayahuasca. Another reason to restrict your eating the day of.
The Ayahuasca Diet:
OK, so you are going to restrict your eating the day of but you are still allowed to eat something. For example, usually Ayahuasca Ceremonies are held at night and hence We usually eat breakfast and a light lunch. In saying that We eat according to our particular diet.

What are the benefits of Ayahuasca?

The benefits of Ayahuasca can be physical, mental and spiritual and are highly related to the level of ego dissolution you experience during the ceremony.
Ayahuasca can heal physical stress within the body or tell the Shaman how to fix (sometimes with other plants) the physical ailment somebody has.
Mentally Ayahuasca presents insights to you that can help people to heal from psychological issues (depression and PTSD for example).
It can also put you in touch with spirits and some say ‘god’ or other worlds and dimensions giving you faith in Spirituality.
On top of this a common occurrence on Ayahuasca is Ego Dissolution whereby, you are made aware of the presence and boundaries of your ego such that you can choose to utilize it or not.
The benefits of this I have discovered, from my own personal ego dissolution experiences, is more awareness of myself in relations with people, more empathetic, more able to ‘calm the mind’ which helps in meditation and more able to overcome previous bad habits (smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol etc).
Your ego (aka The Mind) is engaged almost all of the time and as such having distance from it can allow you to bypass many of it’s worse habits.


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