The two main ingredients, the caapi vine and the viridis leaf, present an elegant balance. The vine, known in indigenous communities as the 'Vine of the Soul', contains a set of inhibitive chemicals which include tetrahydroharmine, harmine, and harmaline. These chemicals are considered beta-carboline harmala alkaloids and Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs). MAOIs prevent the breakdown of monoamine neurotransmitters. The vine, then, opens the door for the primary psychadelic neurotransmitter found in the viridis leaf, known as N,N-Dimethyltryptamine or 'DMT', by deactivating the enzyme responsible for its neutralization. Without the vine's presence, the DMT would simply be absorbed and discarded by the liver. The two plants working in tandem provide - as the indigenous believe - open communication with plant spirits and teachers.
"So here are people without electronic microscopes who choose, among some 80,000 Amazonian plant species, the leaves of a bush containing a hallucinogenic brain hormone, which they combine with a vine containing substances that inactivate an enzyme, which would otherwise block the hallucinogenic effect. And they do this to modify their consciousness."
The most articulate and eloquent among us would not be able to explain the mind-expanding, blissful, soul-enlightening, emotional, and impactful experiences that one can receive in a safe, professionally conducted ceremony from the Ayahuasca medicine. Some individuals may experience deep, profound visions and hallucinations involving all senses. Others may not experience any visual aspects, feeling only waves of emotion and physical sensation.
It is common to experience physical and emotional purging as the medicine works to provide spiritual, physical, and mental healing. Individuals may vomit, cry, experience diaherrea, temperature fluctuations, feelings of ego-death, and other potentially shocking side-effects.
To read more about scientifically researched health benefit, visit our page on 'Ayahuasca's Medicinal Benefit'.
"Ayahuasca brings us to the boundaries not only of science but also of the entire Western world-view and its philosophies.”
“Life lived in the absence of the psychedelic experience that primordial shamanism is based on is life trivialized, life denied, life enslaved to the ego.”
“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”
- The Red Book: A Reader's Edition by Dr. Carl Gustav Jung“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.”