In the world of mind-altering experiences, an ancient vine from the Amazon used by shamans, called Ayahuasca (also known as yagé), has emerged as the new “it” form of ritualized transcendence as reported by the New Yorker. But Ayahuasca, which is a really brew of various plant infusions prepared with the Banisteriopsis Caapi vine, is not your average party psychedelic: from being able to commune with people who have passed away to locking into the aspects of your own life that require deep work, the vine is purported to heal he or she who drinks it, from the inside out. And from lay-folk to celebs around the world, people are starting to come out of the Ayahuasca closet. “Ayuhuasca is the new juice cleanse,” says Kat Stoefel, in the lead of a recent New Yorker piece… “like yoga and juice fasting before it, Ayahuasca has gone from being an ancient spiritual practice to a hippie hobby to an expensive form of self-improvement for women in Brooklyn.”
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To help you decide whether you should jump on the bandwagon, here are 12 reasons why others are already hooked on Ayahuasca:
1. Because it allows for a non-traditional form of spiritual exploration.
Ahayuasca has DMT (N,N Dimethyl Tryptamine) which is the most potent vision-inducing agent known to science. And we all know that spiritual exploration starts with some kind of a trip.
2. Because it can truly heal you.
Thousands have reportedly been healed of serious illnesses and even resurrected from the grave! From physical to mental disorders and including addictions, the healings are real. Researchers are still trying to find out exactly how this happens.
3. Because it provides heightened self-awareness…some say you can see yourself with unflinching clarity.
Some say they have heard the voice of a higher power pointing out their flaws. That puts you at an advantage, since admitting one´s shortcomings is hard to do, when you´re sober.
4. Because it can introduce you to your “Spirit Animal.”
Wouldn´t it be cool to find out whether you are a giraffe, an owl or an elephant at heart? Spirit animals can help us feel more in tune with the earth and guide us to make the right decisions in life.
5. Because it’s both terrifying and enlightening.
Can you imagine seeing yourself inside a dark tunnel, pursued by wild animals, flames ablaze, no way out? Then feeling yourself rise into the clouds amidst butterflies? That is how one National Geographic writer got rid of his depression through shamanistic rituals.
6. Because the artwork associated with it is ca-razy!
Reminiscent of the 60´s and 70´s, if you missed that period in time and you don´t dare try the juice, then you can imbibe the artwork! It´s Hunger Games meets Game of Thrones!
7. Because you can (literally) purge your demons.
If you want a spiritual and a physical cleanse, Ayahuasca will cleanse you inside out. After drinking the potion, and before having visions of your childhood in which you can make things right this time around, you could very possibly throw up, which some take as a sign of cleansing.
8. Because even the Mental Health community may benefit from it.
Scientists are seeing a correlation between the use of Ayahuasca and behavioral changes: depression is lifted, addictions are overcome and past hurts healed. It is very possibly cheaper than long-term therapy too and definitely more interesting.
9. Because even the cool kids are turning to the magic of the jungle.
Indie artists such as Devendra Banhart, the Bees and Klaxons have turned to Ayahuasca for inspiration, and Jamie Reynolds of the Klaxons says the potion practically forced them to churn out their second album.
10. Because the stories about Ayahuasca experiences are almost always fascinating.
Journalist Rak Razam traveled to Peru for a shamanistic experience. A film crew taped his physical journey and a scientist measured his brainwaves during his mental and spiritual trip. According to Razam, he met God. Can you top that?
11. Because it’s a solid reason to go to Peru.
If visiting the Machu Pichu or eating spectacular ceviche or causa isn´t a good enough reason, then visiting Peru to experience the miraculous effects of Ayahuasca might be!
12. Because it can foster creativity.
Pop singer Ben Lee came out of the Ayahuasca closet and swears on the boost of creativity brought on by his experiences with the drug.