How did ancient people in the rainforests of the Amazon know which ethnobotanicals to combine for contacting the spirits? According to tradition, the ayahuasca tea recipe was taught by the plants themselves to the shamans. Its use for healing the body and the spirit dates back to before the dawn of recorded history.
The two main ingredients of the spirit beverage are the Peruvian Banisteriopsis Caapi vine and Psychotria Viridis, also known as Chacruna. Both of these vines are native to the rainforests around the Amazon river in Colombia, Peru and Bolivia. In order to brew the psychotropic herbal tea, the two plant ingredients are chopped and boiled together. Alternatively, Diplopterys cabrerana (also known as Chagropanga or Chaliponga) are sometimes used instead of the Chacruna.
For best result it is recommended to use organic botanicals which have not been treated with chemicals.
Traditional people regard ayahuasca tea like a religious sacrament, used by their priests (shamans) within the context of holy ceremonies for healing or contacting the spirit world for the purpose of healing, worship or divination – understanding signs or foretelling future events. The ancients say that the sacred vine Banisteriopsis Caapi literally is intelligent, containing ancient knowledge which it can reveal to those who ingest it properly.
Also called yage (or yaje) ayahuasca is a means for shamans and others to become transported into a world that is unseen or unavailable to ordinary mortals. The teacher plant is used today for treating psychological and emotional problems. It has been known to be effective in ridding people of addictions.
One of the pioneers credited with bringing knowledge of the traditional usage of ayahuasca and other entheogens to the modern world is Terence McKenna. The late American author, lecturer, philosopher and ethnobotanist wrote and spoke widely about entheogens and psychedelic substances derived from plants.