This article is a submission for the Ayahuasca Awareness Program, an initiative by the Spirit Vine Center in Brazil. The program aims to help increase awareness of the potential of ayahuasca by sponsoring free ayahuasca retreats every month for people who feel the call for spiritual development with ayahuasca and other methods.

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Mama Yaje: Healing for your soul

According to the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), Ayahuasca, known as the “vine of the soul,” is a shamanic tea made from medicinally brewed plants and used for spiritual awakening, detoxification and psychosomatic cleansing; it amplifies psychological feelings and perceptions. Ayahuasca originated in the Amazon jungle and is used by shamans for inner healing, divination and to achieve higher levels of consciousness. The medicine connects one with nature and opens paths to experience transformation and wisdom.

My experience of Ayahuasca has been very profound. The initial intake of the tea induces vomiting and/or diarrhea, which is also known as the “purge” and serves as a gateway to intense psychedelic insights, visions and connections with the divine source of everything. It allowed me to face some of my greatest fears. I released anger, resentment and hatred that I had held in my heart for years.  I became the homeless man underneath the bridge; fire was important for keeping me warm and protected; water brought me life and nourishment; the moon and stars were part of every fiber of my being. I became these very elements and surrendered my soul to the experience.  The medicine was also nurturing and loving, similar to the way a mother ideally loves her child. I understood in that moment the things that were necessary to my life and survival, which are the things most of us take for granted. This experience taught me that we are all one; we are not separate; and we are one consciousness… one love. We are spiritual beings with tremendous power. Through the experience Ayahuasca offered, I embraced greater compassion and love in my heart for every sentient being.

The shaman performing the ceremony is given insight from the medicine on how to treat the patient using many different prescriptions of herbal medicine, songs and chants.  If you get “stuck” in an experience, the shaman performs the necessary protocol for helping you move past the block. Ayahuasca allows one to take a deeper look into reality creating inner space of awareness that one wouldn’t normally consider. It provides profound insights and visions to higher spiritual realms while expanding one’s consciousness. This grandmother medicine, as it is called, is a spiritual master teacher that reveals great knowledge. In working with any master teacher there is a high degree of respect, right intention and openness that must be given in order to receive the real benefits of transformation; and the benefits are tremendous.

A study was conducted and published in 2013 by Dr. Gerald Thomas on Ayahuasca  as assisted treatment for addiction. These benefits range from personal behavioral changes, the release of habitual behavior or addictive patterns as well as spiritual development and growth. Other benefits include improvements in emotional, mental and physical health; self-acceptance, the release of guilt and shame as well as depression. Ayahuasca therapy has also been effective in treating cancer patients.

Ayahuasca also helps one to let go of karmic baggage from past experiences and to be present in the moment.  Ayahuasca has been beneficial for those who suffer from PTSD, addiction and depression, allowing the medicine to go to the root cause of the problem and to create a rewiring in perception through which the person can heal. The Ayahuasca experience inspires and empowers us towards change from which self-healing and genuine transformation may spring forth. Ayahuasca is one of the greatest life changing experiences one can encounter and endure.

Lekeisha SimpsonAuthor: Lekeisha Simpson

Graduate of Jackson State University. U.S. Army Veteran, Permaculture Design Certified (Earth Activist Training), Avid Gardener and Writer.


Ayahuasca-Assisted Treatment for Addiction. Gerald Thomas, MD. Current Drug Abuse Review. 2013
Gabor Mate` on Psychedelics and Unlocking the Unconscious, From Cancer to Addiction Gabor Mate` MD. Alternet, 2013.
Consideration of Ayahuasca for the treatment of Post Tramautic Stress Disorder. Jessica L. Nielson, PhD, and Julie D. Megler, MSN, NP-BC MAPS Bulletin, Winter 2012 Mulitdiscinplary  Association for Pyschedelic Studies

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