What is Ayahuasca?

What is Ayahuasca?

Ayahuasca is a combination of two primary ingredients: the Banisteriopsis caapi vine and the leaves of the DMT schrub either chagro “Diplopterys cabrerana” or chacruna  “Psychotria viridis”.

The unique blend of plants gives Ayahuasca its characteristic properties. When consumed, individuals often report intense emotional, psychological, and sometimes spiritual experiences. It’s not merely about seeing visions; it’s about understanding oneself and the universe in profound ways.

How is Ayahuasca prepared?

1. Harvesting with Respect:
Indigenous shamans traditionally harvest the plants with prayers and intentions, ensuring the spirit of the plant is honored.

2. Cleaning and Soaking:
The vine is meticulously cleaned and then soaked to soften.

3. Pounding:
The softened vine is pounded into fibers to enhance the extraction of its medicinal properties.

4. Layering:
The vine fibers and DMT leaves are layered alternately in a large pot.

5. Brewing:
Water is added, and the mixture is boiled for several days, under careful supervision of the Taita (shaman). While it is boiling Taita and cookers have to keep adding firewood which is a labor intensive process. Cooking sometimes take 3 day nights non stop

6. Straining and Reducing:
The liquid is strained to remove solid parts and then boiled further to condense it into the final, potent brew. It become so thick that it is called miel – honey due to its consistency.

I have a complete post on this subject here

Ayahuasca and Modern Times

As the world becomes more interconnected, ancient traditions like Ayahuasca are reaching far and wide. Many people from Western societies now journey to places like the Amazon and Colombia seeking the experience. Why? Modern life can be overwhelming, with its fast pace, technological obsessions, and increasing disconnection from nature. Ayahuasca offers an opportunity to reconnect, to introspect, and for some, to heal.

Ayahuasca and Science

In recent years, scientists and researchers have shown interest in Ayahuasca, studying its potential benefits. Some preliminary research indicates that Ayahuasca might help with depression, PTSD, and addiction. Its profound introspective experiences might facilitate self-awareness, which can be therapeutic. But remember, while these studies are promising, Ayahuasca isn’t a magic cure. It’s a tool, one element of a broader journey of self-discovery and healing.

The Cultural Significance

The indigenous communities of the Amazon have been the stewards of the Ayahuasca tradition. They believe the plant brew is a gift from the spirits, allowing humans to connect with nature, ancestors, and the cosmos. It’s essential, as outsiders, to approach this tradition with respect and gratitude. One must understand that Ayahuasca is more than just the brew; it’s a part of a rich cultural and spiritual tradition.

Preparation and Integration

One aspect often overlooked but absolutely crucial in the Ayahuasca journey is preparation and post-ceremony integration. Before attending a retreat, it’s beneficial to set clear intentions and prepare mentally and physically. This might include a specific diet, meditation, or refraining from certain activities.

Post-ceremony, integration is the process of making sense of and applying any insights or lessons learned during the Ayahuasca experience into one’s daily life. This period can be as vital as the ceremony itself. At LaWayra, we understand this and offer guidance throughout.

Here I wrote an entire post on integration.

Why LaWayra?

Choosing where to have your Ayahuasca experience is a significant decision. With the increasing popularity of Ayahuasca tourism, numerous retreats have sprung up. It’s crucial to select a place that ensures safety, authenticity, and genuine care.

Our approach at LaWayra is simple. We prioritize you. Being a family-run business, we treat our guests as family. The bond and trust developed during the retreat are invaluable, and we are there with you, every step of the way.


Ayahuasca is a profound, often life-changing experience, but it’s essential to approach it with the right mindset, respect, and in the right environment. If your heart is pointing you towards this path, ensure you’re well-informed and choose a place that resonates with your core values.

For those considering joining us at LaWayra, you’re not just attending a retreat. You’re becoming a part of our family. Dive deeper into our ethos by checking out our Google reviews or witness personal experiences on our Instagram.

And when you’re ready, book your transformative journey with us.

Warmly, Sam Believ

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