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What is Ayahuasca and How Does It Work?

The Ayahuasca ceremony is a traditional ritual deeply rooted in the cultures of indigenous peoples of the Amazon, utilizing Ayahuasca brew as a means to achieve altered states of consciousness. These ceremonies are typically conducted by experienced shamans or spiritual guides and hold religious or spiritual significance. Ayahuasca is a substance that has been used in such ceremonies and rituals for centuries. Where does it come from? How exactly does it work? Let’s delve into it!

What is Ayahuasca?

In the language of the Quechua tribe living in the Andes, whose shamans use Ayahuasca for inducing trance states and healing the sick, it means “vine of the souls.” It is a brew made from a mixture of various plant species, such as the Psychotria viridis shrub (whose leaves contain DMT, or dimethyltryptamine) and the Banisteriopsis caapi vine (whose stems contain MAO inhibitors, allowing for the activation of DMT in the body). The plants are washed and mashed before use, aiming to extract the maximum amount of chemical compounds. The prepared ingredients are boiled, then strained several times to obtain a concentrated, impurity-free liquid.

The ritual aims to induce a trance resembling dreams or meditations and to aid in healing. The goal is to detach from reality and connect with spirits, which are believed to guide and answer participants’ questions during the ceremony. The person who ingests the brew experiences colorful illusions, images, and visions. Users believe that this reveals curses cast upon the ill, which may be the cause of their ailments. If the aim is healing, both the ill person and the shaman drink the brew simultaneously. When the session is organized for prophecy, clairvoyance, only the shaman drinks it. The Ayahuasca ceremony is regarded as tapping into a mystical source of knowledge.

Ayahuasca – Effects on the Human Body

The substances present in the brew alter consciousness and perception, changing the experience of emotions and external stimuli. After consuming the brew, one can expect a profound sense of euphoria. Ayahuasca affects the human body in various ways. Besides intense visions, users often experience deep introspection. This self-analysis of life and beliefs can lead to significant internal changes and is often described as therapeutic.

Benefits of Using Ayahuasca

Researchers studying the effects of this substance on the human body have noted many benefits arising from its use. As it primarily affects the neurological system, scientists have concluded that compounds found in the brew may regenerate brain tissue. An article summarizing research published in the “Frontiers in Neuroscience” journal in 2016 stated that DMT stimulates a protein that regulates the production of compounds protecting gray matter. In 2017, the “Journal of Psychoactive Drugs” argued that harmine present in the brew enhances memory and has anti-inflammatory properties. Ayahuasca also positively influences concentration and mood and can be extremely helpful in treating depression. Studies have suggested that the brew may also aid in treating alcohol or cocaine addiction (Current Drug Abuse Reviews, 2013).

Many individuals report spiritual and mystical experiences after consuming the substance, including a sense of unity with the universe, insights into personal life, and understanding of deeper truths. Users often mention increased self-awareness, understanding of their behaviors and relationships with others. People also report increased feelings of compassion and empathy towards others, as well as a deeper connection with nature and the environment. Due to its wide-ranging impact on the human body and psyche, this substance is increasingly being used in psychological and psychotherapeutic therapies.


Ayahuasca is part of a ritual deeply rooted in indigenous culture, used as a means of altering perception and consciousness. The scientific community is increasingly recognizing its beneficial effects in treating certain addictions. It also acknowledges the benefits observed in individuals with depression who took a controlled dose of this substance. As a result, it becomes a valuable addition to alcoholism treatment or psychological therapies. Are you wondering where you can experience such an innovative approach to overcoming addiction? Are you interested in alcoholism treatment with proven and effective methods? Visit our alcohol addiction treatment center and benefit from the knowledge of our specialist doctors.

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