It seems that trends go in cycles and ayahuasca is having its moment in the sun again. Interest first surged in the 60s and has picked up again once again as more people seek to experience it for themselves.
Pronounced “ah ya wah ska”, this potent drink causes hallucinations. Allegedly, it causes spiritual awakening and deep introspection.
Perhaps this is why people are searching for it. It seems like an option that allows people to get in touch with their soul and find emotional guidance.
But are there other positives, possibly medicinal, besides visions and emotions? Let’s learn about seven alleged and little-known ayahuasca benefits that might have a big impact on your life.
What is Ayahuasca?
Before we talk about what benefits you might get from taking ayahuasca, let’s look at what it is. Ayahuasca tea has a long history in many different cultures and is used for various rituals.
The drink itself is made from a combination of two psychedelic plants, Psychotria viridis and Banisteriopsis caapi. The stems and bark of the two plants are boiled together to produce the tea.
This drink was traditionally used by the native peoples of South America in religious ceremonies. Because of the religious nature of the ayahuasca tea, it’s legal for spiritual purposes in the United States but not for recreational use.
Ayahuasca Side Effects
Taking ayahuasca produces different hallucinogenic sensations. Ayahuasca effects are reported as but are not limited to:
- Emotional awakening
- Spiritual introspection
- Excitement and positivity
- Mood stabilization
- “Out of body” sensations
- Increased heart rate
As you can see, there are many different experiences you can have when taking ayahuasca. Everybody is different and you should always be mindful when ingesting any new substance.
As far as how long does ayahuasca last, it depends on your dosage and on the purity of the product. Users report side effects lasting from four to eight hours.
Now you know what it is and what it can do. Let’s take a look at some little-known benefits attributed to ayahuasca.
1. Manage Depression
Ayahuasca affects the parts of your brain that manage moods and emotions. It also helps stimulation your serotonin, the feel-good hormone, receptors.
When you drink the brew, blood starts pumping to the areas of your brain that process your emotions. A chemical in ayahuasca, DMT, also turns on your serotonin receptors so that even if you don’t have much, it’s more effective.
Short term, this might be able to help people suffering from anxiety and/or depression.
2. Boost Creativity
This is one of those claims that might not work for everyone. It’s easy to see how a plant that can produce elevated moods and hallucinations can help inspire creative types.
If you’re a writer, artist, musician, or another creative type, an ayahuasca ceremony might open up any creative block you had. Even if you didn’t paint, dance, sing or write before, you might find yourself inspired to take up a creative pursuit after drinking the tea.
3. Reduce Inflammation
Studies show that ayahuasca might have physical therapeutic benefits. While more research is needed, there are elements of the chemical makeup that point to potential medicinal use.
Ayahuasca has shown in certain trials that its chemical properties reduce oxidative stress, lowering free radicals, and reduces inflammation. More trials are being conducted and hopefully, there will be a medical breakthrough to help those who are suffering from chronic pain.
4. Control Addiction
The Ayahuasca’s effects on a user aren’t just physical. People report a profound change in their thinking and in the way they feel about life.
Because it has the ability to break habitual thoughts and patterns, researchers are looking into using it to combat drug addiction. It’s not widely used as a treatment for substance abuse just yet, but there seems to be hope on the horizon.
5. Help Heal PTSD
PTSD hurts so many people, especially veterans and those who have suffered a deeply traumatic event in their life. Taking ayahuasca might be a treatment option in the future.
Because of the way it interacts with the mind, ayahuasca can help those processing subconscious feelings and thoughts associated with PTSD. Users have reported gaining a new perspective on their situations and feeling as if they can better cope with heavy emotions.
6. Spiritual and Conscious Awakening
Many users report feeling emotionally, spiritually, and mentally awakened after their ayahuasca experience. Because of the journey one goes on when taking it, shifts in perceptions occur that can lead you to have a different, more positive outlook.
Along with any visions you might see, the chemicals in ayahuasca work with your brain chemistry. Some people report feelings of euphoria or emotional cleansing.
Often these feelings of inner awakening happen during sacred ceremonies, rituals, or retreats. Look into further details regarding the spiritual use of ayahuasca if you’re curious about trying it out for yourself in a safe, controlled environment.
7. Purging Parasites
This last benefit isn’t as fun as getting out of a creative rut or boosting your mood. You might find that it’s physically restorative all the same.
Ayahuasca can cause you to purge. Just like it increases serotonin in your brain, it also does so in the gut, which leads to evacuation.
The chemical anti-parasitic and anti-microbial agents in ayahuasca then clear your gut of anything harmful without hurting you. It’s definitely not a pleasant experience but those who have gone through it claim they feel like brand new afterward.
These are just a few of the upsides to trying this psychotropic drink. Whether in a clinical setting or a religious ceremony, there are many ayahuasca benefits you can use.
Because everyone’s physical and chemical makeup is different, no two experiences will be the same. If you’re going to try ayahuasca tea, make sure you do so in a respected ceremony or in a clinical trial to ensure you’re getting a safe product.
Are you interested in other ways to get in touch with your higher consciousness? Read our guides to spirituality and improving your life and feel inspired today!