It is said and widely believed that the recipe for brewing ayahuasca tea was given to the Amazonian natives of Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and Colombia by the plants themselves.
There are probably as many different recipes for ayahuasca as there are shamans, ayahuasqueros and curanderos who brew it, but basically it is made from the Ayahuasca Vine (Banisteriopsis caapi) and Chacruna leaves (Psychotria viridis).
Here is one ayahuasca tea recipe…
Combine 1 kg (2.2 lbs.) of fresh Ayahuasca Vine with 50 leaves from the Chacruna plant, and boil them in 25 to 30 liters (6.5 – 8 gallons) of water for two hours. Pour off and retain the water into another container and add more water to the plant mixture and boil for another 2.5 hours. Repeat the same process one more time. Finally, combine all the extracted materials and allow to simmer until only 1.5 liters (1.6 quarts) of Ayahuasca tea is left. It takes about 12 hours to complete the whole procedure.
Ethnobotany experts such as Dr. Dennis McKenna say that the context for an ayahuasca ceremony is as important, if not more so, than the details of the recipe for brewing ayahuasca tea. Therefore, it is highly recommended that those people inexperienced in ayahuasca journeys do not attempt to guide themselves on their first voyage. Rather, it is much better to rely on the expertise of a shaman, ayahuasqero or curandero who is more adept at communicating with the spirits of the plants.
Are Shamans Guided by Plant Spirits?
Regarding the legend that the ayahuasca recipe was revealed to indigenous people of the Amazon by the spirits of the plants, this idea may not be as far fetched as it seems. There are other instances of humans being guided by plant spirits regarding how best to care for agricultural crops. In the southwest of the United States, the Hopi nation say they were instructed by plant spirits called Kachinas about how to grow corn in a region where almost no rain ever falls. With the help of the Kachinas, the Hopi have survived for thousands of years. Thousands of miles away, in the north of Scotland, a much more recent story has come on the very same theme. The Findhorn Community is renowned for the marvelously large vegetables and flowers they grow despite their cold, dark climate and poor soil. Their secret is to follow instructions for plant care given by plant spirits known as divas. The explanation may sound far-fetched, but the results speak for themselves. From the rainforests of South America to the desert of North America to the wilds of Scotland, three very different cultures have managed to thrive thanks to the assistance provided by plant spirits. Looking at the convincing evidence, it is unlikely that these occurrences are merely coincidental.
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