Ayahuasca Ceremonies up to ‘1,000 Years Old’
Archaeologists have discovered traces of ayahuasca in a 1,000-year-old leather bundle buried in a cave in the Bolivian Andes, showing the psychedelic has been used in spiritual ceremonies for centuries.
Ayahuasca has gained popularity in recent years as a mysterious substance that can cure mental health ailments and addictions, as well as offer deep insights into reality itself.
University of California, Berkeley, archaeologist Melanie Miller, said: “This is the first evidence of ancient South Americans potentially combining different medicinal plants to produce a powerful substance like ayahuasca.”
Miller’s analysis turned up trace amounts of bufotenine, DMT, harmine, cocaine and benzoylecgonine.
Various combinations of these substances produce powerful, mind-altering hallucinations.
The discovery adds to a growing body of evidence of ritualistic psychotropic plant use going back millennia.
Miller added: “Our findings support the idea that people have been using these powerful plants for at least 1,000 years, combining them to go on a psychedelic journey, and that ayahuasca use may have roots in antiquity.”
Ayahuasca is made from brewing the vines of Banisteriopsis Caapi and the leaves of the chacruna (Psychotria viridis) shrub.
The leaves release DMT, and the vines release harmine – and therein lies the secret of the ayahuasca effect.