What is Ayahuasca?
Ayahuasca is a medicine that has been used traditionally by indigenous cultures in the Amazon for likely thousands of years. Ayahuasca is made from two plants — the ayahuasca vine (banisteriopsis caapi) and the leaf of the chakruna plant (psychotria viridis). Both plants are collected from the jungle to create a potent mixture that offers access to the realm of spirits and an energetic world that that we are typically unable to perceive in our ordinary state of consciousness.
In chemical terms, the leafy chacruna plant contains the powerful psychoactive dimethyletryptamine (DMT), which, by itself, is not orally active because it is metabolized by the stomach enzyme monoamine oxidase (MAO). However, certain chemicals within the ayahuasca vine contain MAO inhibitors in the form of harmine compounds that result in a psychoactive compound with an identical chemical makeup to the organic tryptamines in our brains. This mixture circulates through the bloodstream into the brain, where it triggers powerful visionary experiences and enables us to access otherworldly realms and our hidden, inner subconscious landscapes.