Ayahuasca. Photo by Zoe Helene
Ayahuasca, traditionally administered in special healing ceremonies by highly trained shamans known as ayahuasceros, is sometimes referred to as a hallucinogen. But it is no such thing. For while a hallucinogen produces visual phenomena rooted in the individual psyche, ayahuasca opens up channels to the spirit world, and the drinker/participant bears witness to that landscape. Best to name ayahuasca a sacred plant medicine. For among those with whom the ceremonial healing use of ayahuasca is a way of life, the brew is referred to as “La Medicina,” the medicine.