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Ayahuasca (aya-spirit/dead, waska-vine/rope) or Yage (ya-hey) are native Amazonian names for the jungle vine Banisteriopsis Caapi, and the medicinal tea prepared from it. It is also known as ‘spirit vine,’ a visionary brew that is prominent in the ethnomedicine and shamanism of indigenous Amazonian tribes that produces vivid hallucinations and profoundly personal visions.

The Ayahuasca ‘medicine’ is  widely used in combination with prayer, chants, and music for healing and spiritual exploration, allowing one to enter into the supernatural world, to heal, divine, and worship. This tea is also used to purge the body while purifying the mind.

The Banisteriopsis caapi vine is a Malpighiaceous jungle liana found in the tropical regions of Peru, Bolivia, Panama, Brazil, the Orinoco of Venezuela and the Pacific Coast of Colombia/Ecuador. The vine is the common base ingredient of the Ayahuasca tea. Most typically the vine is mixed with a tryptamine carrying plant. The foliage of Psychotria viridis (Chacruna) is the principal admixture of Ayahuasca potion.

Sections of vine are macerated and boiled alone or with leaves from any of a large number of other plants, including Psychotria viridis (Chakruna) or Diplopterys cabrerana (Chaliponga). The resulting brew contains MAO inhibiting harmala alkaloids and the powerful hallucinogenic alkaloid N, N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a psychedelic which is active orally only when combined with an MAOI. Harmala alkaloids in Banisteriopsis caapi serve as MAOIs in ayahuasca.

DMT is naturally released from the pineal glad and is involved in naturally occurring “psychedelic” states. Some are theorizing that the pineal gland is a gateway to the multiverse within ourselves and with the help of Ayahuasca we can travel and experience those multidimensions.

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