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Amazonian Plant Medicine

Note: If you are looking to become generally informed about Ayahuasca, this is certainly not the place to do so. There are many other resources that can provide that (and much more), and I will link several at the bottom of this page.

Amazonian plant medicine is a category of medical systems that are just as complex and nuanced as any other. When people hear “Amazonian plant medicine,” most people think: Ayahuasca. Scientifically, Ayahuasca or Yagé is the medicine that results from the potent brew of the Ayahuasca vine (Banisteriopsis caapi) with the leaves of the Chacruna plant (Psychotria viridis). Ayahuasca, however, in many other contexts is known as a spirit—a conscious being—and lives at the center of very old, very complex, and very diverse medical and cultural systems. Due to growing popularity of Ayahuasca usage in the West, aspects of these systems and medicines from Amazonian land have become much more visible and accessible to folks around the world.


It is my belief that drinking Ayahuasca is not for everybody; it can be an extremely intense and challenging path of healing. But for those who are called to engage in this kind of healing work, it is a very sacred path to walk. If you do work in these ways, it is important to consider and prioritize your relationship with the people, communities, and land from which the medicine comes, as well as with the plants with whom you work directly. The privileging of this consideration can be a significant component of the deeper stages of integration for those who work intimately with Amazonian plants over time, but regardless, the question of relationality is relevant no matter what traditions or medicines we come across in our journey, Amazonian plant medicine or not.


If you are newly called to this work, it is also important to be informed about the experience of your healer(s) and facilitator(s), the ceremonial atmosphere provided, how the medicine is made, and any additional safety measures and structures of support available at the place you intend to receive healing from. Even more, it can be immensely significant to your healing and wellbeing to work with people and institutions that reflect and embody a deep-level integrity that resonates with your values.


Oftentimes, folks who sit in ceremony with Ayahuasca and/or diet have a challenging time integrating their relationships with these plants. If you are struggling with the process of integration, you are not alone. It can be helpful to have structures, community, safe space, and practices that support and nourish you on a soul-level. Time, too, can be a great friend.


If you are curious and would like more info, please feel free to reach out, or visit these organizations and resources:

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