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Opinion

Graham Hancock Describes The Effects Of The Hallucinogenic Brew 'Ayahuasca'

Author Graham Hancock discusses the origins and effects of the psychotropic brew Ayahuasca, a traditional spiritual medicine used by the indigenous peoples of Amazonian Peru.

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"An exploration of the far side of reality."

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Ayahuasca is something I have never done, so if you're able to do it I would love you to describe your experiences with it. - Ok, it's interesting I mean Ayahuasca is now becoming quite a you know a feature in pop culture, you have various pop stars and artists who are taking Ayahuasca. It's been around for thousands and thousands of years. The archaeological evidence traces the uses of Ayahuasca in the Amazon back more than 5 thousand years. It probably goes back a whole lot further than that. It means the vine of souls in the Quechua language of the Andes, that's what Ayahuasca actually means, the vine of souls of the dead, and it's particular property is it's ability to connect us with the realm of the dead and with deceased and very often its the case when we lose someone close to us we have unfinished business with them.  And one of the things that Ayahuasca can do is enable you to reconnect with that person int he realm of spirits. The other thing, it does many things but first and foremost let me describe the process. It's made of two jungle plants the Ayahuasca vine and a bush that is called Shakrona in the Amazon. The botanical name is Psychotria Viridis and the leaves of that bush contain dimethyltryptamin DMT, the most powerful hallucinogen known to man. Now normally DMT can't be absorbed orally there's an enzyme in the gut called monoamine oxidase that neutralizes DMT. So if you try to drink DMT in any form the monoamine oxidase in the gut will shut it off and this is where you know we have to reckon with the very clever ethnopharmacology of the Amazonian peoples because the other elements of the brew the Ayahuasca vine itself contains a monoamine oxidase inhibitor. It switches off that enzyme in the gut and allows the DMT in the leaves to be absorbed orally, producing a journey an exploration of the far side of reality that can last up to four hours where as DMT in it's pure form smoked is a rocket ship to the other side of reality that will just take you there for like 12 minutes, and then you're back in this space. Ayahuasca allows a much longer much deeper much more reflective journey, a journey over which you have some control if you don't like where you're being taken you can object and stop the journey or at least pause it, there's much more negotiation with Ayahuasca. Tastes bad, horrible taste one of the most ghastly tastes on the planet nobody need imagine that anybody is drinking Ayahuasca for kicks, it makes you vomit, it gives you diarrhea. - Oh my. - It also on sort of a physical level is very tough but it also plunges you into this seamlessly convincing parallel universe where you do encounter what appear to be other intelligence's. Now, some scientists would say that they're just fantasims of our own mind its just our brain on drugs and maybe they're right, but I don't agree with them. I think that what's happening is that the receiving wave lengths of the brain is being re-tuned by DMT and we are gaining access to other levels of reality.