Ayahuasca: An Amazonian Healing Plant

WIKI - AyahuascaMichael Wiese, Guest 
Waking Times

It was my search for a cure for Parkinson’s that led me to the Amazon and Ayahuasca. I got a whole lot more than I had bargained for!

In searching the Internet I found that Banisteriopsis caapi was used in the 1920’s as a cure for Parkinson’s Disease but never made it to market because the pharmaceutical company could not figure out how to patent and profit from a vine. Further research revealed that this vine, combined with a psychoactive leaf (Psychotria viridis), were the two key ingredients in a healing brew that has been used for tens of thousands of years by Peruvian shamans. So I traveled to the Amazon to try the healing brew Ayahuasca (pronounced Aya-wass-ka) and made a film and published a book, The Shaman and Ayahuasca: Journeys into Sacred Realms, based upon this adventure.

Sitting in the darkness of the jungle through all-night shamanic ceremonies and trying to keep down the most foul tasting drink known to mankind is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, as well as the most rewarding. But it’s not for the faint of heart. Those with any mental instability should stay far away.

I have found the benefits from Ayahuasca to be profound. They have altered every area of my life. It is not called a “teacher plant” for nothing. Ayahuasca taught me through visions, voices, and telepathy. Imagine: rather than ask your doctor questions, you ask the medicine!

The first thing I learned was that plants have consciousness. We incorrectly assume that we are the only creatures with awareness.

Ayahuasca works not only on the physical level, but clears emotional and psychological blocks as well. It connects you directly with Spirit, and everyone participating in the ceremonial circle comes out of it realizing that we are all connected: that we are one.

Ayahuasca’s principle teaching is about ecology. You can have a direct experience that there is no separation between ourselves and our environment. What emerges is a relationship with the planet that is synchronous with the nature of reality. Ayahuasca’s agenda seems to be to help us restore balance on earth. It’s ironic that it may take a plant to save humanity from extinction!

Did the Ayahausca cure my Parkinson’s? Yes and no. The progress of the disease has certainly slowed down. At this rate, I’ll be productive for a very long time. My walking has improved, my voice is stronger, and I no longer have the expressionless face common to Parkinson’s. I can type again, and my mind and memory are clearer. I still shake on the right side from time to time and have difficulty turning over in bed.

The other benefits are vast and numerous.

One big change has been my relationship to plants in our large garden. This was primarily my wife’s domain but now I feel as if I have hundreds of new friends. I feel a deep connection to the plants, the birds, animals and insects. I will go out of my way to save any spider or fly that gets trapped in the house. I begin my morning meditation in the garden giving thanks for my life and everyone and everything in it.

During the intoxicating state of Ayahuasca I said to her, “What about when I come down and return to ordinary consciousness. Will I still be in contact with you?” She said “yes.” I’ve found that to be true. She continues to inform my creativity, is available to answer questions and continues to help with my healing.

Since taking Ayahuasca, I’ve been more productive than ever before. During a shamanic ceremony, my wife was told Ayahuasca would help us start a new publishing imprint. So we launched Divine Arts and within a very short time we’ve released five new books and have many more in development.

My relationship with my wife has deepened to an extraordinary level. We pretty much read each other’s minds. Life together is an adventure and great fun. We express our love to each other throughout the day and try to carry that over into everything we do, whether it’s arranging flowers, writing friends, or making films.

In my work, people, projects, financing, distribution all show up when they are needed. It feels as if we are doing what we are supposed to do and everything takes care of itself.

There is too little space here to go into Ayahuasca in any depth so I suggest if you are interested in learning more, read the book written by Peruvian shaman Don José Campos or watch the film. The Shaman & Ayahuasca book and DVD are available at Amazon or www.divineartsmedia.com.

About the Author

Michael Wiese (SAY Wee-see) is founder and publisher of Divine Arts Media, which publishes books on diverse topics with the common theme of integrating spiritual practice into daily life. Michael is an American director, producer, author, and publisher with over 35 years experience in film, television, pay TV and home video. He has launched video lines for National Geographic, The Smithsonian, NOVA, Audubon and PBS Home Video and written eight books on film. Learn more at www.DivineArtsMedia.com.

This article is featured as part of a partnership with AllThingsHealing.com.

AllThingsHealing2011-3-9-Widget-2120x60All Things Healing (allthingshealing.com) is an online portal and community dedicated to informing and educating people across the globe about alternative healing of mind, body, spirit and the planet at large. We are committed to bringing together a worldwide community of individuals and organizations who are working to heal themselves, each other, and the world. We offer 39 healing categories, 80 plus editors who are experts in their fields, a forum for each category, and an extensive “Find Practitioners” listing. Our Costa Rica Learning Center and Spiritual Retreat is coming soon. Join us!

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  • k man

    i have been through hell and back on several occassions through the use of psyco-active substances! Like LSD & Ketamine! my mind is just not yet far from normal even after 2 years having cut down my in take next to nothing. each day i am feeling finer and happier! the point which i would like to make would be would it be fine from someone like me to use this power planet? Seriously, i have experience extreme paranoia & anxiety! Would this power planet be any good for me? i have heard of it’s wonderful effects and would like to use a psyco-active substance like Ayahuasca but as a tool of healing and not for recreational use!!

    • Espion

      Ketamine Man, the synthetic drugs you have been using appeal to your ego, when you are ready to lose it Aya will show you the way home!

      • John Cook

        The interesting thing here is that Ayahuasca is Not a psychedelic. The other plant in the mix (Psychotria viridis) contains Di Methyl Triptamine (DMT). Which is a very powerful, Extreamly intense twenty or thirty minute experience if smoked or taken as snuff or purified and injected. But taken by mouth doesn’t work at all, Unless you take Ayahuasca with it.
        In pharmacists terms – DMT is a category of chemicals of the Amine type and our digestive system is intended to digest Amine by Oxidising them.. So for DMT to make it through to the blood stream we need a MAOI – Mono Amine Oxidase Inhibitor. There are other natural sources of the MAOI effect, Passion Flower herb or Syrian Rue seeds come to mind – I am curious about the different experience a shaman would have combining such alternative MAOI’s. with Psychotria viridis or other source of DMT.
        The point is that the actual engine of the Psychedelic experience is the very simple DMT molecule (which is found all through nature, from our pineal gland to one third of Australian Acacia species…) conditioned by, taken control of by the Banisteri pharmacology.
        That is why Ayahuasca is the only well known psychedelic that is Not a psychedelic. It is the personality people interact with, not the DMT – this is why Ayahuasca is different and greater than LSD. LSD alone has no Spirit.

        • Anonymous


          Thanks for this text.
          We have been working in the ayahuasca field for some years. We are dedicated to 1) the integration of ayahuasca, iboga and other traditional plants as therapeutic tools in modern society, and 2) the preservation of the indigenous cultures that have been using these plant species since antiquity on, their habitat and botanical resources.

          I hope you enjoy it!


          hugs from Barcelona

  • dimitri ledkovsky

    “…not for the faint of heart” nor for those with “any mental instability”. Raise your hand if you “think” you’re perfectly centered and absolutely “normal” in the head. Anybody raising their hand must be totally crazy.

  • Bonnie Lou

    I also consider all the plants in my garden as well as the wild plants, (which some call weeds) as my friends. I know all their names, in Latin, English and Italian, and have posted their pictures on facebook. And I didn’t even have to take Ayahuasca!

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