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“They are all DMT [a psychedelic compound] containing plants,” Craig (not his real name) tells me.
Later, he’ll mix acacia leaves with ayahuasca vines he’s bought off a grower on the East coast of Australia. He’ll brew it into a hallucinogenic tea, just like Indigenous people in Peru have been doing for centuries as part of their spiritual practice.
The ayahuasca brew often gives drinkers the runs or makes them vomit, before delivering a trip of epic proportions. Craig and his friends are evangelistic in their praise: they’ve overcome depression, quit smoking pot and learnt big life lessons through drinking the tea, they say.
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Then there are the wide-eyed travellers who return from a trip to South America and tell stories of rebirth and redemption. The word spreads, the industry booms and operators clamber to fill the demand. Rak Razam, a journalist with a focus on ayahuasca, describes the fledgling industry as offering “Contiki tours of higher consciousness”.
Taken out of context, or mixed with the wrong thing, the experience can be deadly. Last year a man was stabbed to death at an ayahuasca retreat by a man who had been drinking the plant brew. People familiar with the industry in Peru say there’s an inherent risk when outsiders go looking for spiritual salvation and struggle to separate shamans from opportunists.
But taken correctly, ayahuasca can have a profound impact on a user’s life, according to Dr Charles Grob, a professor of psychiatry at UCLA.
“For those who are well prepared for the experience and who do not have severe underlying vulnerabilities, [ayahuasca] can facilitate a very strong experience where powerful insights are derived, where individuals can step outside their normative sense of self and view their lives from another perspective.
If they’ve brought in questions to be answered, or concerns to be raised they may have considerable insight.” Buy 4 aco dmt online Australia, Port Macquarie, Nowra, Orange, Coober, Pedy, Albany, NSW, New South Wales, Queensland, Sydney, Melbourne
What happens when you take ayahuasca
Dr Grob says typically, taking ayahuasca will produce a “three to four hour visionary experience.”
But there isn’t really a “typical” ayahuasca experience.
“The impact is, as with all drugs is variable, depending on set and setting,” Dr Grob explains, “Set being the disposition of the individual, their underlying vulnerabilities, their intention, their seriousness of purpose.
“Setting is where they take it, who they take it with, the safety of the setting, the skill of the facilitators.
“In an optimum setting, where individuals are kept safe and carefully monitored, there’s a potential of experiencing a very intense visionary state, somewhat similar to a waking dream at times.
A pot containing the ingredients to make Ayahuasca.Image: Supplied: Jana Klintoukh
“With the best outcome cases, there can be persistent improvements in mood following the experience, lowering anxiety and a higher level of overall function.
“With some individuals who we met during our research investigations, it seems to have the potential capacity to lead to quite impressive and sustained transformations in personality structure and quality of life and in individuals capacity to function in an optimal manner.”
Dr Grob says for people with underlying mental health issues, ayahuasca often isn’t for them.
“It can be a very challenging experience for some and for those who are quite vulnerable and in inhospitable settings… it can be somewhat risky.”
Why the DIY guys do it
Craig takes ayahuasca about once a month. Some of his friends are first-time users; some use it on-and-off.
But the experience often comes with “purging” (AKA spewing or getting the runs). Buy 4 aco dmt online Australia, Port Macquarie, Nowra, Orange, Coober, Pedy, Albany, NSW, New South Wales, Queensland, Sydney, Melbourne
“One time when I drank it, I vomited back into the cup that I was drinking from,” Craig’s friend Gerard says. “I kind of felt the pressure to drink it… it’s not an easy thing to drink, it’s probably the worst thing I have ever tasted.”
But for Craig and his friends, the disgusting taste and gross aftermath is totally worth it. For all of them, they’re drawn to ayahuasca for self-improvement.
“I do it because I think it’s just good for my health, really…it sometimes helps me get a bit of perspective on how I’m living my life… and just reflect on how I can be a better person.”