Ayahuasca & Big Media


The New Power Trip: Inside the World of Ayahuasca , NEW YORK TIMES Fashion & Style, by Bob Morris, June 2014
On a recent Friday night, a dozen seekers in loose fitting attire, most in their 20s and 30s, climbed a flight of steps of a mixed-used community space in Bushwick, Brooklyn. After arranging yoga mats and blankets on the floor, they each paid $150, listened to a Colombian shaman and his assistant welcome them in Spanish and English, signed a disclaimer, and accepted large plastic takeout-style containers for vomiting.


The New Power Trip: Inside the World of Ayahuasca , MARIE CLAIRE, by Abby Aguirre, 2018
In our culture of downward-facing dog, juice fasts, and silent meditation retreats, a hard-core hallucinogen from the Amazon is fast becoming the next therapeutic fad. Abby Aguirre looks into the world of ayahuasca, and the women who swear it's enlightenment in a cup.


Ten Celebrity Ayahuasca Users, LA WEEKLY, by Katie Bain, 2013
Chance are pretty good that you've heard about ayahuasca by now. While well-known musicians and actors have been touting the therapeutic drug's benefits for decades, it's exceedingly trendy these days, and has been referenced in episodes of Weeds and Nip/Tuck and the movie Wanderlust.


Ayahuasca Can Change Your Life -- As Long as You're Willing to Puke Your Guts Out, LA WEEKLY. November 2013
Just before dusk, 18 strangers enter a yurt on a Midwestern homestead. Peruvian tapestries decorate the walls of the large, round structure, and rattles stand poised for a ceremony. The participants — professional men and women, ages 35 to 65 — put on comfortable clothing and set up sleeping bags, pillows and blankets. Everyone gets a plastic bucket, cheerfully colored in green, red or blue.


Finding Healing Through an Ancient Amazonian Brew, FOX NEWS, by Chris Kilham, 2012
For several months each year, Dr. Joe Tafur works in a family medical clinic in Arizona, practicing conventional medicine. The rest of the year, he’s south of the border in Peru at Nihue Rao shamanic healing center, witnessing healings and advising people undergoing the use of plant medicines and shamanic ceremonies. The medicine at Nihue Rao is an entirely different category of healing, coming from centuries of traditional native plant medicine and the ritual use of the psychoactive brew ayahuasca – a hallucinogenic potion made from two Amazonian rainforest plants.


Ayahuasca Journeyer Creates Memorial Song for Yellowstone Wolf, HUFFINGTON POST, By Zoe Helene, January 2012
"Ayahuasca was surprising. Instead of making everything seem far out and fantastical and full of extreme experiences and visions and colors and movement, Ayahuasca actually had the opposite effect on me—it has helped me feel more grounded and down to earth. It got me more living in my heart, and the heart is centering. The heart is the center." - John Sheldon


The Amazon's Mysterious Cure-All, THE ATLANTIC, by Annie Murphy, 2011
Like many of the traditional healers in this part of the Amazon, Cairuna—who is of the indigenous Shipibo people—serves as an intermediary between the physical and spiritual worlds, with the help of a hallucinogen known as ayahuasca, a plant-based concoction that has been used for centuries to treat a range of physical and spiritual maladies. Tourists, equally convinced that ayahuasca can alleviate everything from chronic pain to depression, have more recently turned its distribution into a thriving local industry. People “go back to work more calm and accepting—or they make huge decisions they weren’t able to before,” Witte says of those who come to visit Cairuna’s ayahuasca lodge. “People say it changes their lives.”


Seeing with Eyes Wide Shut: Ayahuasca Inner Visions, THE GUARDIAN, by Mo Costandi, 2011
Functional neuroimaging reveals the neural basis of the intense imagery induced by the "spirit vine". "In a hut, in a forest, in the mountains of Colombia, I am puking into a bucket. I close my eyes and every time my body convulses I see ripples in a lattice of multicolored hexagons that flows out to the edges of the universe." Vaughan Bell's description seems to be typical of the ayahuasca experience – at once unpleasant, frightening and enlightening.


Magnificent Visions, VANITY FAIR, by Ted Mann, 2011
Amazonian Peru, the author traces the source of the powerful Stone Age botanical hallucinogen ayahuasca. He meets crying shamans, drunken shamans, and even a gringo shaman, and learns about the epic quest it inspired in one devotee. Then he takes the ultimate step: drinking it himself. Whoa. . .


Amazon Awakening, NEW YORK TIMES, by Andy Isaacson, October 2010
Illuminated by a single candle, the shaman’s weathered face appeared kindly, like that of a sympathetic doctor, with painted red marks also suggesting a calm, fierce authority — both qualities that I would rely on during the dark and uncertain hours ahead. He sat on a wooden stool carved into a tortoise, and wore turquoise beads around his neck and a crown of crimson feathers. A table beside him displayed the modest tools of the ceremony: a fan of leaves, jungle tobacco, a gourd bowl and a clear plastic soda bottle containing an opaque, brown liquid.


Peruvian hallucinogen Ayahuasca Draws Tourists Seeking Transforming Experience, THE WASHINGTON POST, by Juan Forero, 2010
A Peruvian potion called ayahuasca is drawing foreigners searching for guidance, insight, relief from trauma or a spiritual high.


Drug Tourism: Down the Amazon in Search of Ayahuasca,TIME, by John Otis, April 2009
Although his parents urged him to study medicine, Jimmy Weiskopf dropped out of college and in the 1970s moved to Colombia, where he eventually began to focus on a different kind of elixir. The New York City native became an early advocate for the hallucinogenic plant mixture ayahuasca. For centuries, Amazonian Indians have been drinking ayahuasca, also known as yaje — a combination of the ayahuasca vine, tree bark and other plants — to achieve a trancelike state that they believe cleanses body and mind and enables communication with spirits. Weiskopf, who has published a 688-page tome about ayahuasca, was once among a tiny coterie of foreigners using the potion, but these days he has lots of company. (Read "Colombia's Drug Extraditions: Are They Worth It?")


Strange Brew, by Gina Piccalo, February 2008
A new generation of seekers is turning to a psychotropic jungle potion in search of enlightenment. In an affluent corner of Encinitas, just north of San Diego, a young medicine man named Lobo Siete Truenos sits cross-legged on the polished wood floors of a backyard temple. Here in this suburban sanctuary, behind the gates of a faux-Spanish villa, just past the manicured lawn and an artificial lagoon, he's carefully unpacking a collection of stones, feathers and oils that he'll use for an all-night spiritual odyssey that will kick off after sunset.


Peru: Hell and Back, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, by Kira Salak, 2006
Deep in the Amazon jungle, writer Kira Salak tests ayahuasca, a shamanistic medicinal ritual, and finds a terrifying—but enlightening—world within.