Ayahuasca FAQ: Everything You Need to Know About Ayahuasca

Does Ayahuasca Have Any Health Benefits?

When we think of health benefits, we often think of things like natural anti-inflammatories like turmeric or ginger. We may think of leafy, green vegetables or matcha green tea. Buy, ayahuasca has its own set of unique health benefits, too. Namely, ayahuasca purges the system. Ayahuasca causes the body to purge out toxins… that means you’ll likely be vomiting and may have diarrhea. But, it goes beyond this physical purging. There’s a mental purge that happens, too. Through ayahuasca, you’re able to expand your consciousness and understand more abroad the profoundness of life nature, existence and more.

Is Ayahuasca a Drug? And Is Ayahuasca Illegal?

Many people mistakenly refer to ayahuasca as a drug, when in fact it’s not. Or at least it’s not a drug in the sense that it’s anywhere comparable to meth or heroin. It does produce effects on the body and mind, but so does caffeine, alcohol and any other “drug” from your local pharmacist. Ayahuasca is not so scary “drug” that is toxic to the body and causes all kinds of problems. In fact, it’s not even addictive.


Currently, ayahuasca is legal in Spain, Italy, Germany and Switzerland. And in fact, there are studies that are currently taking place in the Sant Pau Clinic of Barcelona to prove that ayahuasca is not dangerous. In the United States, it is still legal as of now. The pharmaceutical industry caught wind of the healing effects of ayahuasca and many companies actually tried to register ayahuasca to claim it for themselves. Fortunately, the indigenous communities of South America prevented this from happening as it is sacred to them and to be used for all of mankind; not just used to place an expensive price tag on.

What is Ayahuasca? How Is It Taken?

While many people think that ayahuasca is a hallucinogenic, it’s actually not. In fact, it’s even classified as an “entheogen.” Entheogens are not hallucinogenic (nor are they drugs) but rather induce inner visions. Hallucinogens are more about creating external visions, whereas ayahuasca creates sights from within. Additionally, ayahuasca grants you deep lessons about life. Ayahuasca is not known to be addictive. Therefore when you take ayahuasca, your body won’t be craving for more.


Ayahuasca is a combination of leaves and vines from the Amazon rainforest. It’s all natural and contains no added chemicals. This combination is actually a bit of a mystery as well. With over 80,000 species of plants in the Amazon, many scientists are baffled as to how the natives were able to pick out these two unique species of plants and combine them together in this way.


Ayahuasca contains MAO blockers (from the vines) which essentially allow your brain to be receptive to the DMT provided by the leaf part of the ayahuasca. DMT is a naturally occurring chemical that is known to cause powerful visions. Those are the two active components of ayahuasca and how you’re able to have such a powerful, healing experience.


Ayahuasca is brewed over a fire for roughly eight hours in a traditional setting. If you’re making it for yourself at home, you’ll probably be boiling it on your stovetop in a pot. The result of boiling the vine and leaf together is a somewhat thick liquid that’s the drunk by its participants. The shaman overseeing the ceremony will fill your cup with however much he or she thinks is a necessary dose for you. While you don’t have to participate in the ritual, it’s important that you are still in-tune with your mind and body in order to get the full experience. Ayahuasca isn’t a “party drugs”; rather it’s a guide that will help you learn more about yourself, others and the world.

How Should I Prepare For an Ayahuasca Ceremony?

If you’re going to participate in an ayahuasca ceremony with a trained shaman then you have to prepare very little. The shaman will lead the ceremony. However, you may be given instructions to fast and avoid dairy, meat etc in order to help the body purge better once it’s time to drink the ayahuasca. Another important thing to note is that you must stop taking any and all medications for at least two days before the ceremony to avoid any unwanted interactions.


If you’re taking ayahuasca at home we highly recommend taking less than the dose you would take with a shaman (about 50% your first time at least). Without anyone guiding you, it can be more challenging the first time you take ayahuasca. While you don’t have to do any heavy duty preparations, it is important that you avoid drinking alcohol and drugs at least a few hours before taking ayahuasca (preferable a couple days before, too. The longer the better).

What Can I Expect When I Take Ayahuasca?

When you take ayahuasca at an ayahuasca ceremony, you can expect the effects of the ayahuasca to last 6 to 8 hours, possibly up to 12 hours in prior preparation was taken. You may be given just one cup of ayahuasca or two cups depending on the shamas. It all depends on the state you're in and the shaman. Oftentimes, ayahuasca is repeated for 2 or 3 nights in order to get a complete purge and clear the mind multiple times.


Each and every case depends when you take ayahuasca. Not only does it depend from person to person, it depends from ayahuasca experience to experience. No trip with ayahuasca will ever be the same. You will always learn something profound and unique at each and every ayahuasca ceremony session. You can expect ayahuasca to affect your body physically, but also mentally and emotionally. This is the case in 90% of the participants. Even if you are a part of the 10% that doesn’t experience any visionary effects, you will still experience favorable effects like everyone else.

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