Ayahuasca: Wikis


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Ayahuasca being prepared in the Napo region of Ecuador.
Freshly harvested caapi vine ready for preparation
Banisteriopsis caapi preparation
Beaten caapi ready for boiling
Caapi cooking over an open fire
This entry focuses on the Ayahuasca brew; for information on the vine of the same name, see Banisteriopsis caapi

Ayahuasca (ayawaska pronounced [ajaˈwaska] in the Quechua language) is any of various psychoactive infusions or decoctions prepared from the Banisteriopsis spp. vine, usually mixed with the leaves of dimethyltryptamine-containing species of shrubs from the Psychotria genus. The brew, first described academically in the early 1950s by Harvard ethnobotanist Richard Evans Schultes who found it employed for divinatory and healing purposes by Amerindians of Amazonian Colombia, is known by a number of different names (see below).



Sections of B. caapi vine are macerated and boiled alone or with leaves from any of a number of other plants, including Psychotria viridis (chacruna) or Diplopterys cabrerana (also known as chaliponga). The resulting brew contains the powerful hallucinogenic alkaloid N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), and MAO inhibiting harmala alkaloids, which are necessary to make the DMT orally active. Though B. caapi is a central ingredient in traditional ayahuasca brews, harmala-containing plants from other plant-medicine cultures, such as Syrian Rue, can be used instead of the vine to make an ayahuasca analogue, yet it isn't considered ayahuasca, as Caapi vine is considered the main plant in the brew.[citation needed]

Brews can also be made with no DMT-containing plants; Psychotria viridis being substituted by plants such as Justicia pectoralis, Brugmansia, or sacred tobacco, also known as Mapacho (Nicotiana rustica), or sometimes left out with no replacement. The potency of this brew varies radically from one batch to the next, both in potency and psychoactive effect, based mainly on the skill of the shaman or brewer, as well as other admixtures sometimes added and the intent of the ceremony.[citation needed] Natural variations in plant alkaloid content and profiles also affect the final concentration of alkaloids in the brew, and the physical act of cooking may also serve to modify the alkaloid profile of harmala alkaloids.[1][2]

Individual polymorphisms in the cytochrome P450-2D6 enzyme affect the ability of individuals to metabolize harmine.[3] Some natural tolerance to habitual use of ayahuasca (roughly once weekly) may develop through upregulation of the serotonergic system.[4] A phase 1 pharmacokinetic study on Ayahuasca (as Hoasca) with 15 volunteers was conducted in 1993, during the Hoasca Project.[5] A review of the Hoasca Project has been published.[6]


  • "cipó" (generic vine, liana), "caapi", "hoasca", "vegetal", "daime" or "santo daime" in Brazil
  • "yagé" or "yajé" (both pronounced [ʝaˈhe]) in Tucanoan; popularized in English by the beat generation writers William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg in The Yage Letters.
  • "ayahuasca" or "ayawaska" ("Spirit vine" or "vine of the souls": in Quechua, aya means "spirit" while huasca or waska means "vine") in Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru, and to a lesser extent in Brazil. The spelling ayahuasca is the hispanicized version of the name; many Quechua or Aymara speakers would prefer the spelling ayawaska. The name is properly that of the plant B. caapi, one of the primary sources of beta-carbolines for the brew.
  • "natem" amongst the indigenous Shuar people of Peru.
  • "Grandmother"
Molecular structure of Harmine.
Molecular structure of Harmaline.
Molecular structure of Tetrahydroharmine.


Harmine compounds are of beta-carboline origin. The three most studied beta-carboline compounds found in the B. caapi vine are harmine, harmaline and tetrahydroharmine. Harmine and harmaline are selective and reversible inhibitors of MAO-A, while tetrahydroharmine is a weak serotonin uptake inhibitor. This inhibition of MAO-A allows DMT to diffuse unmetabolized past the membranes in the stomach and small intestine and eventually get through the blood-brain barrier to activate receptor sites in the brain. Without RIMAs or the MAOI of MAO-A, DMT would be metabolized in the digestive tract and would not have an effect when taken orally[7].


Ayahuasca is used largely as a religious sacrament. Those whose usage of ayahuasca is performed in non-traditional contexts often align themselves with the philosophies and cosmologies associated with ayahuasca shamanism, as practiced among indigenous peoples like the Urarina of Peruvian Amazonia.[8] The religion Santo Daime uses it.

While non-native users know of the spiritual applications of ayahuasca, a less well-known traditional usage focuses on the medicinal properties of ayahuasca. Its purgative properties are highly important (many refer to it as la purga, "the purge"). The intense vomiting and occasional diarrhea it induces can clear the body of worms and other tropical parasites,[9] and harmala alkaloids themselves have been shown to be anthelmintic[10] Thus, this action is twofold; a direct action on the parasites by these harmala alkaloids (particularly harmine in ayahuasca) works to kill the parasites, and parasites are expelled through the increased intestinal motility that is caused by these alkaloids.

Dietary taboos are often associated with the use of Ayahuasca[11]. In the rainforest, these tend towards the purification of one's self - abstaining from spicy and heavily-seasoned foods, excess fat, salt, caffeine, acidic foods (such as citrus) and sex before, after, or both before and after a ceremony. A diet low in foods containing tyramine has been recommended, as the speculative interaction of tyramine and MAOIs could lead to a hypertensive crisis. However, evidence indicates that harmala alkaloids act only on MAO-A, in a reversible way similar to moclobemide (an antidepressant that does not require dietary restrictions). Psychonautic experiments and the absence of dietary restrictions in the highly urban Brazilian ayahuasca church União do Vegetal also suggest that the risk is much lower than perceived, and probably non-existent.[12]

The name 'ayahuasca' specifically refers to a botanical decoctions that contains Banisteriopsis caapi. A synthetic version, known as pharmahuasca is a combination of an appropriate MAOI and typically DMT. In this usage, the DMT is generally considered the main psychoactive active ingredient, while the MAOI merely preserves the psychoactivity of orally ingested DMT, which would otherwise be destroyed in the gut before it could be absorbed in the body. Thus, ayahuasqueros and most others working with the brew maintain that the B. caapi vine is the defining ingredient, and that this beverage is not ayahuasca unless B. caapi is in the brew. The vine is considered to be the "spirit" of ayahuasca, the gatekeeper and guide to the otherworldly realms.

In some areas, it is even said that the chakruna or chaliponga admixtures are added only to make the brew taste sweeter. This is a strong indicator of the often wildly divergent intentions and cultural differences between the native ayahuasca-using cultures and psychedelics enthusiasts in other countries.

In modern Europe and North America, ayahuasca analogues are often prepared using non-traditional plants which contain the same alkaloids. For example, seeds of the Syrian rue plant can be used as a substitute for the ayahuasca vine, and the DMT-rich Mimosa hostilis is used in place of chakruna. Australia has several indigenous plants which are popular among modern ayahuasqueros there, such as various DMT-rich species of Acacia.

Ayahuasca cooking in the Napo region of Ecuador.

In modern Western culture, entheogen users sometimes base concoctions on Ayahuasca. When doing so, most often Rue or B. caapi is used with an alternative form of the DMT molecule, such as psilocin, or a non-DMT based hallucinogen such as mescaline.[citation needed] Nicknames such as Psilohuasca, Mush-rue-asca, or 'Shroom-a-huasca, for mushroom based mixtures, or Pedrohuasca (from the San Pedro Cactus, which contains mescaline) are often given to such brews. The psychedelic experimentalist trappings of such concoctions bear little resemblance to the medicinal use of Ayahuasca in its original cultural context[citation needed], where ayahuasca is usually ingested only by experienced entheogen users who are more familiar with the chemicals and plants being used.

Introduction to Europe and North America

Ayahuasca is mentioned in the writings of some of the earliest missionaries to South America, but it only became commonly known in Europe and North America much later. The early missionary reports generally claim it as demonic, and great efforts were made by the Roman Catholic Church to stamp it out.[citation needed] When originally researched in the 20th century, the active chemical constituent of B. caapi was called telepathine, but it was found to be identical to a chemical already isolated from Peganum harmala and was given the name harmaline. The original botanical description done was the Harvard ethnobotanist Richard Evans Schultes.[citation needed] Having read Schultes's paper, Beat writer William Burroughs sought yagé (still referred to as "telepathine") in the early 1950s while traveling through South America in the hopes that it could relieve or cure opiate addiction (see The Yage Letters). Ayahuasca became more widely known when the McKenna brothers published their experience in the Amazon in True Hallucinations. Dennis later studied the pharmacology, botany, and chemistry of ayahuasca and oo-koo-he, which became the subject of his master's thesis.

In Brazil, a number of modern religious movements based on the use of ayahuasca have emerged, the most famous of them being Santo Daime and the União do Vegetal (or UDV), usually in an animistic context that may be shamanistic or, more often (as with Santo Daime and the UDV), integrated with Christianity. Both Santo Daime and União do Vegetal now have members and churches throughout the world. Similarly, the US and Europe have started to see new religious groups develop in relation to increased ayahuasca use.[13]. PaDeva, an American Wiccan group, has become the first incorporated legal church which holds the use of ayahuasca central to their beliefs.[citation needed] Some Westerners have teamed up with shamans in the Amazon rainforest regions, forming Ayahuasca healing retreats that claim to be able to cure mental and physical illness and allow communication with the spirit world. Anecdotal reports and scientific studies affirm that ritualized use of ayahuasca may improve mental and physical health.[14]

Several notable celebrities have publicly discussed their use of ayahuasca, including Sting (detailed in his 2003 memoir Broken Music), David Icke, Tori Amos, and Paul Simon (who wrote the song "Spirit Voices" about his experience with the brew in the Amazon).[citation needed]

Recent years have seen notable media attention to the position of the UDV church in the United States. After having their importation and use of Hoasca tea challenged by the U.S. Department of Justice, and then having the issue settled in their favor by the U.S. Supreme Court, the church gained some notoriety. This mirrors in some ways the experiences of UDV and Santo Daime churches in Europe, where legal authorities have taken interest in their activities in France, Germany, Holland and Spain.

Holland was an early Western context for the spread of ayahuasca use. Supporting a large Brazilian population, Santo Daime members in particular made efforts to spread the philosophy of ritualized ayahuasca use. In the mid-to-late 1990s one group, the Amsterdam-based Friends of the Forest, was formed by Santo Daime members to introduce ayahuasca to Europeans and others with "allergies to Christianity."[citation needed] They did this by introducing "New Age" rituals incorporating basic ritual structure, celebrating with songs in the Daime tradition (Portuguese waltzes), English language songs, ambient music and mantras and kirtan. They existed at least until the Dutch authorities raided a Santo Daime ritual in progress, and other ayahuasca-oriented groups sensed that an obvious public profile was not in their best interest. Amsterdam is also among the few cities in Europe where one can find, in addition to cannabis, psilocybin mushrooms and peyote, ayahuasca vine, chacruna leaves, and plants for ayahuasca analogues in the tradition of Jonathan Ott's so-called "ayahuasca borealis."[citation needed]

Ayahuasca tourism

"Ayahuasca tourist" refers to a tourist wanting a taste of an exotic ritual or who partakes in modified services geared specifically towards non-indigenous persons. Some seek to clear emotional blocks and gain a sense of peace. Other participants include explorers of consciousness, writers, medical doctors, journalists, anthropologists, ethnobotanists, philosophers and spiritual seekers. Ayahuasca tourism is greatest in Peru, and attracts visitors from all over the world, especially from Europe, USA, Australia, and South Africa, but also from other Latin American countries like Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Colombia and Mexico.


Usually a visitor who wishes to become a "dietero" or "dietera", that is, a male or female apprentice-shaman learning the way of the teacher plants, undergoes a rigorous initiation. This can involve spending up to a year or more in the jungle. This initiation challenges and trains the initiate through extreme circumstances involving a special diet and numerous different plant medicines to complement the Ayahuasca, the lack of western food and conveniences, the harsh environmental conditions of heavy rains, storms, intense heat, insects, and poisonous animals. The initiate is also tested for their unwavering commitment to Ayahuasca and the shaman who oversees the training.

Modern descriptions

Matthew Thompson gives in My Colombian Death (nonfiction, 2008) a detailed account of taking part in an extremely harrowing yage ceremony - an experience which gives the book its title. Thompson visited an indigenous shaman outside the town of Guarne in Antioquia Department, Colombia. After drinking a cup of yage, Thompson collapses and vomits and grows terrified, believing himself to be dying and then dead, and undergoing agonies of purgation and transformation:

I'm in the wrong body, the wrong form, the wrong thoughts, the wrong life. ... I'm the mask, painted and empty, nothing more than a vessel for other entities to see through. Talons curl into the eyeholes to twist and stretch me apart. My tongue is torn loose and my stomach ripped through my throat. Burning and liquefying. All is molten rubber, stinking and agonizing. I'm changing."[15],

Wade Davis (author of The Serpent and The Rainbow [non-fiction][16][17]) describes the traditional mixture as tough in his book One River: "The smell and acrid taste was that of the entire jungle ground up and mixed with bile." [p. 194]

Writer Kira Salak describes her personal experiences with ayahuasca at Blue Morpho Tours in Peru in the March 2006 issue of National Geographic Adventure magazine[18][19] The article includes a candid description of how ayahuasca cured her depression, as well as provides detailed information about the brew. Here is an excerpt from the article about Dr. Charles Grob's landmark findings[20]:

The taking of ayahuasca has been associated with a long list of documented cures: the disappearance of everything from metastasized colorectal cancer to cocaine addiction, even after just a ceremony or two. It has been medically proven to be nonaddictive and safe to ingest. Yet Western scientists have all but ignored it for decades, reluctant to risk their careers by researching a substance containing the outlawed DMT. Only in the past decade, and then only by a handful of researchers, has ayahuasca begun to be studied. At the vanguard of this research is Charles Grob, M.D., a professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at UCLA’s School of Medicine.

In 1993 Dr. Grob directed the Hoasca Project, the first in-depth study of the physical and psychological effects of ayahuasca on humans. He and his team went to Brazil, where the plant mixture can be taken legally, to study members of a church, the União do Vegetal (UDV), who use ayahuasca as a sacrament, and compared them to a control group that had never ingested the substance. The studies found that all the ayahuasca-using UDV members had experienced remission without recurrence of their addictions, depression, or anxiety disorders. Unlike most common anti-depressants, which Grob says can create such high levels of serotonin that cells may actually compensate by losing many of their serotonin receptors, the Hoasca Project showed that ayahuasca strongly enhances the body’s ability to absorb the serotonin that’s naturally there [4]. 'Ayahuasca is perhaps a far more sophisticated and effective way to treat depression than SSRIs [antidepressant drugs],' Grob concludes, adding that the use of SSRIs is 'a rather crude way' of doing it. And ayahuasca, he insists, has great potential as a long-term solution in maintaining abstinence.

Chilean novelist Isabel Allende told The Sunday Telegraph in London that she once took the drug in an attempt to "punch through" writer's block[21]. The paper wrote:

But after forcing down the foul-tasting brew, she was catapulted to a place so dark her husband feared he had 'lost his wife to the world of spirits'. Her life flashed before her as the hallucinogen took hold. She faced demons, saw herself as a terrified four-year-old and curled up on the floor, shivering, retching and muttering for two days.

'I think I went through an experience of death at a certain point, when I was no longer a body or a soul or a spirit or anything,' Allende says matter-of-factly. 'There was just a total, absolute void that you cannot even describe because you are not. And I think that's death.'

Nevertheless, the process proved transformative. Allende emerged aching but lucid and was able to complete [a trilogy she was writing], now being adapted for film by the co-producers of The Chronicles of Narnia.

Related phenomena

There have been reports that a phenomenon similar to folie à deux had been induced most recently by anthropologists in the South American rainforest by consuming ayahuasca[22] and by military experiments for chemical warfare in the late 60's using the incapacitating agent BZ. In both incidents there were very rare claims of shared visual hallucinations.

Plant constituents


Traditional Ayahuasca brews are always made with Banisteriopsis caapi as a MAOI[citation needed], although DMT sources and other admixtures vary from region to region. There are several varieties of caapi, often known as different "colors", with varying effects, potencies, and uses.

DMT admixtures:

Other common admixtures:


DMT admixture sources:

Legal status

Internationally, DMT is a Schedule I drug under the Convention on Psychotropic Substances. The Commentary on the Convention on Psychotropic Substances notes, however, that the plant itself is excluded from international control:[23]

The cultivation of plants from which psychotropic substances are obtained is not controlled by the Vienna Convention. . . . Neither the crown (fruit, mescal button) of the Peyote cactus nor the roots of the plant Mimosa hostilis nor Psilocybe mushrooms themselves are included in Schedule 1, but only their respective principles, mescaline, DMT and psilocin.

A fax from the Secretary of the International Narcotics Control Board to the Netherlands Ministry of Public Health sent in 2001 goes on to state that "Consequently, preparations (e.g.decoctions) made of these plants, including ayahuasca, are not under international control and, therefore, not subject to any of the articles of the 1971 Convention."[24]

The legal status in the United States of DMT-containing plants is somewhat questionable. Ayahuasca plants and preparations are legal, as they contain no scheduled chemicals. However, brews made using DMT containing plants are illegal since DMT is a Schedule I drug. That said, some people are challenging this, using arguments similar to those used by peyotist religious sects, such as the Native American Church. A court case allowing União do Vegetal to use the tea for religious purposes in the United States, Gonzales v. O Centro Espirita Beneficente Uniao do Vegetal, was heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on November 1, 2005; the decision, released February 21, 2006, allows the UDV to use the tea in its ceremonies pursuant to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. In a similar case an Ashland, Oregon based Santo Daime church sued for their right to import and consume ayahuasca tea. In March 2009, U.S. District Court Judge Panner ruled in favor of the Santo Daime, acknowledging its protection from prosecution under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.[25]

Religious use in Brazil was legalized after two official inquiries into the tea in the mid-1980s, which concluded that ayahuasca is not a recreational drug and has valid spiritual uses.[26]

In France, Santo Daime won a court case allowing them to use the tea in early 2005; however, they were not allowed an exception for religious purposes, but rather for the simple reason that they did not perform chemical extractions to end up with pure DMT and harmala and the plants used were not scheduled. Four months after the court victory, the common ingredients of Ayahuasca as well as harmala were declared stupéfiants, or narcotic schedule I substances, making the tea and its ingredients illegal to use or possess.[citation needed]

International research

The Institute of Medical Psychology at the University Hospital in Heidelberg, Germany has set up a Research Department Ayahuasca / Santo Daime [27], which in May 2008 held a 3-day conference under the title The globalization of Ayahuasca - An Amazonian psychoactive and its users[28]. There are also the investigations of the human pharmacology of ayahuasca done by the team of Doctor Jordi Riba, in Barcelona, Spain [7],[29],[30],[31],[32],[33],[34],[35],[36],[37], and the work of Rafael G. dos Santos and collaborators, in Brazil [38],[39],[40],[41]. And there are also the studies (i.e. Hoasca Project and others) by Dr. Charles Grob and collaborators (e.g., Dr. Callaway and Dr. McKenna), already cited, done in Brazil, United States and Finland. In Brazil, the University of São Paulo is doing a study led by psychiatrist Dartiu Xavier da Silveira to establish the risks of ayahausca.

See also




  • Stephan V. Beyer, Singing to the Plants: A Guide to Mestizo Shamanism in the Upper Amazon, University of New Mexico Press (2009) ISBN 978-0826347299
  • Harris, Joel R. Into the heart of the Amazon in search of Truth.2008 ISBN 978-1440418488
  • Thompson, Matthew. My Colombian Death. Sydney: Picador, 2008. ISBN 978-0-330-42392-2
  • Razam, Rak. "Aya: A Shamanic Odyssey." Icaro Publishing, 2009. ISBN 9780980648706.
  • Adelaars, Arno. Ayahuasca. Rituale, Zaubertränke und visionäre Kunst aus Amazonien, ISBN 978-3-03800-270-3
  • William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg Ginsberg, Allen. The Yage Letters. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1963. ISBN 0-87286-004-3
  • David Icke. (2003) Tales From the Time Loop. Wildwood, Mo.: Bridge of Love Publications. ISBN 0-9538810-4-0
  • Marlene Dobkin De Rios. Visionary Vine: Hallucinogenic Healing in the Peruvian Amazon, (2nd ed.). Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland, 1984. ISBN 0-88133-093-0
  • Marlene Dobkin de Rios & Roger Rumrrill. A Hallucinogenic Tea, Laced with Controversy: Ayahuasca in the Amazon and the United States. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2008. ISBN 97-0-313-34542-5
  • Graham Hancock, Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind. London: Century, 2005. ISBN 1844136817 [2]
  • Stephan V. Beyer, Singing to the Plants: A Guide to Mestizo Shamanism in the Upper Amazon University of New Mexico Press (2009) ISBN 978-0826347299
  • Ross Heaven and Howard G. Charing. 'Plant Spirit Shamanism: Traditional Techniques for Healing the Soul'. Vermont: Destiny Books, 2006. ISBN 1-59477-118-9
  • Bruce F. Lamb. Rio Tigre and Beyond: The Amazon Jungle Medicine of Manuel Córdova. Berkeley: North Atlantic, 1985. ISBN 0-938190-59-8
  • Luis Eduardo Luna. Vegetalismo: Shamanism among the Mestizo Population of the Peruvian Amazon. Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International, 1986. ISBN 91-22-00819-5
  • Luis Eduardo Luna & Pablo Amaringo. Ayahuasca Visions: The Religious Iconography of A Peruvian Shaman. Berkeley: North Atlantic, 1999. ISBN 1-55643-311-5
  • Luis Eduardo Luna & Stephen F. White, eds. Ayahuasca Reader: Encounters with the Amazon's Sacred Vine. Santa Fe, NM: Synergetic, 2000. ISBN 0-907791-32-8
  • E. Jean Matteson Langdon & Gerhard Baer, eds. Portals of Power: Shamanism in South America. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1992. ISBN 0-8263-1345-0
  • Terence McKenna. Food of the Gods: A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution.
  • Ralph Metzner, ed. Ayahuasca: Hallucinogens, Consciousness, and the Spirit of Nature. New York: Thunder's Mouth, 1999. ISBN 1-56025-160-3
  • Ralph Metzner (Editor) Sacred Vine of Spirits: Ayahuasca: Park Street Press,U.S.; 2 edition (Jan 2006). ISBN 1594770530, ISBN 978-1594770531
  • Jeremy Narby. The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, 1998. ISBN 0-87477-911-1
  • P. J. O'Rourke, All the Trouble in the World. New York: The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1994. ISBN 0-87113-611-2
  • Jonathan Ott. Ayahuasca Analogues: Pangæan Entheogens. Kennewick, Wash.: Natural Products, 1994. ISBN 0-9614234-5-5
  • Jonathan Ott. Pharmacotheon: Entheogenic Drugs, Their Plant Sources and History (Paperback). Natural Products Company; 2 edition (February 1993). ISBN 0961423498. ISBN 978-0961423490
  • Ott, J. 1999. Pharmahuasca: Human pharmacology of oral DMT plus harmine, Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 31(2): I7I-177.
  • John Perkins. The World Is As You Dream It: Shamanic Teachings from the Amazon and Andes. Rochester, Vt.: Park Street, 1994. ISBN 0-89281-459-4 [3]
  • Daniel Pinchbeck. Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism. New York: Broadway, 2002. ISBN 0-7679-0743-4 [4]
  • Alex Polari de Alverga. Forest of Visions: Ayahuasca, Amazonian Spirituality, and the Santo Daime Tradition. Rochester, Vt.: Park Street, 1999. ISBN 0-89281-716-X
  • Gerardo Reichel-Dolmatoff. The Shaman and the Jaguar: A Study of Narcotic Drugs Among the Indians of Colombia. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1975. ISBN 0-87722-038-7
  • Richard Evans Schultes & Robert F. Raffauf. Vine of the Soul: Medicine Men, Their Plants and Rituals in the Colombian Amazonia. Oracle, AZ: Synergetic, 1992. ISBN 0-907791-24-7
  • Benny Shanon. The Antipodes of the Mind: Charting the Phenomenology of the Ayahuasca Experience. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. ISBN 0-19-925293-9
  • Peter G. Stafford. Heavenly Highs: Ayahuasca, Kava-Kava, Dmt, and Other Plants of the Gods. Berkeley: Ronin, 2004. ISBN 1-57951-069-8
  • Rick Strassman. DMT: The Spirit Molecule: A Doctor's Revolutionary Research into the Biology of Near-Death and Mystical Experiences. Rochester, Vt.: Park Street, 2001. ISBN 0-89281-927-8
  • Sting. Broken Music. New York, NY: Bantam Dell, 2003. ISBN 978-0-440-24115-7
  • Michael Taussig. Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man: A Study in Terror and Healing. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986. ISBN 0-226-79012-6
  • Bartholomew Dean 2009 Urarina Society, Cosmology, and History in Peruvian Amazonia, Gainesville: University Press of Florida ISBN 978-081303378 [5]
  • Joan Parisi Wilcox (2003). Ayahuasca: The Visionary and Healing Powers of the Vine of the Soul. Rochester, Vt.: Park Street. ISBN 0-89281-131-5
  • Jaya Bear "Amazon Magic: The Life Story of Ayahuasquero & Shaman Don Agustin Rivas Vasquez". Libros Colibri (January 2000). ISBN 0967425506. ISBN 978-096742550


  • Bruce Balfour Prometheus Road, ISBN 0-441-01221-3
  • Alice Walker "Now is the Time to Open your Heart", ISBN 0-8129-7139-6


  • Alistair Appleton, The Man Who Drank the Universe, 30 min. 2005
  • Dean Jefferys; Shamans of the Amazon, 52 min. Australia 2001
  • Jan Kounen, Autres mondes
  • Glenn Switkes, Night of the Liana, 45 min. Brazil 2002
  • Armand BERNARDI, L'Ayahuasca, le Serpent et Moi, 52 min. France 2003
  • Anna Stevens, Woven Songs of the Amazon, 54 min. 2006
  • Rudolf Pinto do Amaral & Harald Scherz, ["Heaven Earth"], 60 min. Peru/Austria 2008
  • Keith Aronowitz "METAMORPHOSIS" 95 min. / 2009 Official website
  • Madventures Season 3 Episode 1: Riku & Tunna venture deep into the Amazon to find themselves and drink ayahuasca with a shaman.
  • Piers Gibbon, Jungle Trip - Channel 4 UK from Google Video
  • Richard Meech, Vine of the Soul: Encounters with Ayahuasca, 58 min. Canada 2010
  • BBC - Bruce Parry's Amazon, Peru, 2008, Episode 2

Fictional films


  1. ^ Callaway JC (2005). Various alkaloid profiles in decoctions of Banisteriopsis caapi. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 37(2): 151–155
  2. ^ Callaway JC, Brito GS & Neves ES (2005). Phytochemical analyses of Banisteriopsis caapi and Psychotria viridis. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 37(2): 145–150.
  3. ^ Callaway JC (2005). Fast and slow metabolizers of hoasca. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 37(2): 157–161.
  4. ^ Callaway JC, Airaksinen MM, McKenna DJ, Brito GS & Grob CS (1994). Platelet serotonin uptake sites increased in drinkers of ayahuasca. Psychopharmacology 116(3): 385–387.
  5. ^ Callaway JC, McKenna DJ, Grob CS, Brito GS, Raymon LP, Poland RE, Andrade EN, Andrade EO (1999). Pharmacology of hoasca alkaloids in healthy humans. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 65(3): 243–256.
  6. ^ McKenna DJ, Callaway JC, Grob CS (1998). The scientific investigation of ayahuasca: A review of past and current research. The Heffter Review of Psychedelic Research 1: 65–77.
  7. ^ a b RIBA, J. Human Pharmacology of Ayahuasca. Doctoral Thesis: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 2003.
  8. ^ Dean, Bartholomew 2009 Urarina Society, Cosmology, and History in Peruvian Amazonia, Gainesville: University Press of Florida ISBN 978-081303378 [1]
  9. ^ Andritzky, W. (1989). Sociopsychotherapeutic functions of ayahuasca healing in Amazonia. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. 21(1), 77-89.
  10. ^ Hassan, I. 1967. Some folk uses of Peganum harmala in India and Pakistan. Economic Botany 21: 384.
  11. ^ Ott, J. Jonathan Ott. Ayahuasca Analogues: Pangaean Entheogens. Kennewick, WA: Natural Books, 1994.
  12. ^ Ott, J. Jonathan Ott. Ayahuasca Analogues: Pangaean Entheogens. Kennewick, WA: Natural Books, 1994.
  13. ^ LABATE, B.C.; ROSE, I.S. & SANTOS, R.G. Ayahuasca Religions: a comprehensive bibliography and critical essays. Santa Cruz: Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies - MAPS. 2008.
  14. ^ See research by Doctor John Halpern in New Scientist
  15. ^ http://www.timeoutsydney.com.au/books/extract-from-my-columbian-death.aspx
  16. ^ There is a 1988 American horror film, directed by Wes Craven and starring Bill Pullman. The film is very loosely based on a non-fiction book by ethnobotanist Wade Davis. Statement by Mr. Davis: ''Davis has frequently voiced his displeasure with the final film. "When I wrote my first book, 'The Serpent and the Rainbow', it was made into one of the worst Hollywood movies in history. I tried to escape the hysteria and the media by going to Borneo."
  17. ^ http://www.ed.psu.edu/icik/2004Proceedings/section7-davis.pdf
  18. ^ Salak, Kira. ""HELL AND BACK"". National Geographic Adventure. http://www.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/0603/features/peru.html. 
  19. ^ Salak, Kira. ""Ayahuasca Healing in Peru"". http://www.kirasalak.com/Ayahuasca.html. 
  20. ^ Grob CS, McKenna DJ, Callaway JC, Brito GS, Neves ES, Oberlander G, Saide OL, Labigalini E, Tacla C, Miranda CT, Strassman RJ, Boone KB (1996). Human psychopharmacology of Hoasca, a plant hallucinogen used in ritual context in Brasil. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 184(2):86-94.
  21. ^ Isabel Allende: kith and tell - Telegraph
  22. ^ Ayahuasca: Human Consciousness and the Spirits of Nature, edited by Ralph Metzner, Thunder's Mouth Press, NY
  23. ^ MAPS: DMT - UN report
  24. ^ Erowid Ayahuasca Vault : Law : UNDCP's Ayahuasca Fax, Jan 17 2001
  25. ^ Ruling by District Court Judge Panner in Santo Daime case in Oregon
  26. ^ More on the legal status of ayahuasca can be found in the Erowid vault on the legality of ayahuasca.
  27. ^ 'Research Department Ayahuasca / Santo Daime' at the University Hospital in Heidelberg, Germany
  28. ^ Conference schedule "The globalization of Ayahuasca" (May 2008, Heidelberg, Germany)
  29. ^ RIBA, J. & BARBANOJ, M.J. Bringing ayahuasca to the clinical research laboratory. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 37 (2): 219-230. 2005.
  30. ^ RIBA, J. & BARBANOJ, M.J. Ayahuasca. In: PERIS, J.C., ZURIÁN, J.C., MARTÍNEZ, G.C. & VALLADOLID, G.R. (eds.). Tratado SET de Transtornos Adictivos. Madrid: Ed. Médica Panamericana, 2006. pp. 321-324.
  31. ^ RIBA, J., RODRIGUEZ–FORNELLS, A., STRASSMAN, R.J. & BARBANOJ, M.J. Psychometric assessment of the Hallucinogen Rating Scale. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 62 (3): 215-223. 2001a.
  32. ^ RIBA, J., RODRIGUEZ–FORNELLS, A., URBANO, G., MORTE, A., ANTONIJOAN, R., MONTEIRO, M., CALLAWAY, J.C. & BARBANOJ, M.J. Subjective effects and tolerability of the South American psychoactive beverage Ayahuasca in healthy volunteers. Psychopharmacology (Berl), 154 (1): 85-95. 2001b.
  33. ^ RIBA, J., ANDERER, P., MORTE, A., URBANO, G., JANE, F., SALETU, B. & BARBANOJ, M.J. Topographic pharmaco–EEG mapping of the effects of the South American beverage ayahuasca in healthy volunteers. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 53 (6): 613-628. 2002a.
  34. ^ RIBA, J., RODRIGUEZ–FORNELLS, A., & BARBANOJ, M.J. Effects of ayahuasca sensory and sensorimotor gating in humans as measured by P50 suppression and prepulse inhibition of the startle reflex, respectively. Psychopharmacology (Berl), 165 (1): 18-28. 2002b.
  35. ^ RIBA, J., VALLE, M., URBANO, G., YRITIA, M., MORTE, A. & BARBANOJ, M.J. Human pharmacology of ayahuasca: subjective and cardiovascular effects, monoamine metabolite excretion, and pharmacokinetics. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 306 (1): 73-83. 2003.
  36. ^ RIBA, J., ANDERER, P., JANÉ, F., SALETU, B. & BARBANOJ, M.J. Effects of the South American psychoactive beverage Ayahuasca on regional brain electrical activity in humans: a functional neuroimaging study using low–resolution electromagnetic tomography. Neuropsychobiology, 50 (1): 89-101. 2004.
  37. ^ RIBA, J., ROMERO, S., GRASA, E., MENA, E., CARRIÓ, I. & BARBANOJ, M.J. Increased frontal and paralimbic activation following ayahuasca, the pan-amazonian inebriant. Psychopharmacology (Berl), 186 (1): 93-98. 2006.
  38. ^ SANTOS, R.G., MORAES, C.C. & HOLANDA, A. Ayahuasca e redução do uso abusivo de psicoativos: eficácia terapêutica? Psicologia: Teoria e Pesquisa, 22 (3): 363-370. 2006.http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0102-37722006000300014&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=pt.
  39. ^ SANTOS, R.G. AYAHUASCA: Neuroquímica e Farmacologia. SMAD - Revista Eletrônica Saúde Mental Álcool e Drogas, 3 (1). 2007. http://pepsic.bvs-psi.org.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1806-69762007000100007&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt.
  40. ^ SANTOS, R.G., LANDEIRA-FERNANDEZ, J., STRASSMAN, R.J., MOTTA, V. & CRUZ, A.P.M. Effects of ayahuasca on psychometric measures of anxiety, panic-like and hopelessness in Santo Daime members. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 112 (3): 507-513. 2007.http://www.maps.org/w3pb/new/2007/2007_Santos_22932_1.pdf.
  41. ^ SANTOS, R.G. & STRASSMAN, R.J. Ayahuasca and Psychosis (eLetter). British Journal of Psychiatry (online), 3 December 2008.http://bjp.rcpsych.org/cgi/eletters/190/1/81-a#22556.

External links

Ayahuasca churches
Ayahuasca Components and Information
Native Centres in the Amazon

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