Everything You Need to Know About Ayahuasca

The Top 12 Incredible Life-Changing Benefits of Ayahuasca

Whenever you read about ayahuasca you usually see words such as ‘life-changing’, ‘transformative’, ‘healing’ and ‘enlightening’. However, these terms are pretty vague in their meaning.

So what are the effects of ayahuasca on people? What are the real benefits that people often experience after drinking? What are the health benefits of ayahuasca? How about therapeutic use of ayahausca? What are the mental health benefits?

These answers variy from person to person. It’s impossible to predict what any one person will have happen during their ayahuasca experience. However, I’ve facilitated hundreds of people on ayahuasca retreats since 2012, and based on all the many comments and testimonies I’ve heard, I want to outline some of the most common benefits that I’ve heard people report over the years. You can find other articles on our sites describing ayahuasca effects and potential benefits of this amazing medicinal plant.

 1) Deep Cleansing and Purification

Most people who take part in several Ayahuasca ceremonies will experience some heavy purging. You could say an ayahuasca purge is a bit like a car service for a human being. An ayahuasca purge usually involves a lot of vomiting (and sometimes a lot of shitting) but you’re not just ejecting physical stuff. Other forms of purging can include crying, laughing, shaking, coughing and sweating. The ayahuasca purge clears you of all the toxic energy and emotions that have clogged up your whole being over a lifetime, often with you unawares. For some people this can be one of the strongest emotional processes they experience often helping with some mental health issues. Many report taking ayahuasca as a psychological and spiritual process helping to resolve a range of health issues.

I know the idea of purging sounds a little gross, and it’s true that purging is never fun or pleasant; however, it’s ALWAYS extremely worth it. Often after purging you feel like you’ve been given a brand new body and you feel a profound sense of well being that often lasts for many weeks, months or even years afterward.

Just like your car feels like new after a good service, your whole being can feel new after a good ayahuasca purge!

2) Physical, Mental & Emotional Healing

Unlike with most plant psychedelic medicines, the chemistry of ayahuasca has no known healing properties (though scientific benefits are being researched and some scientific evidence is becoming available); however, there are countless numbers of people who have experienced incredible ayahuasca healings after drinking the ayahuasca tea. These healings broadly fit into different categories – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual healing, although they are all usually interconnected in some way.

People have successfully used ayahuasca to cure all kinds of physical ailments including chronic and terminal illness such as tumors and cancer. There is not much in the way of hard scientific data to verify this claim, but if you speak to absolutely anyone who has significant experiences with ayahuasca, they will most likely tell you that they’ve personally witnessed a high number of incredible healings take place.

Ayahuasca is even more effective at healing mental and emotional issues. Most people have experienced some form of trauma in their lives such as physical, emotional or sexual abuse, or the loss of a loved one, and ayahuasca is often incredibly effective at helping them get over whatever issues that still remain.

It’s not uncommon to hear people claim that just one ayahuasca ceremony was far more effective and beneficial to them than 10 years of psychotherapy! 

3) Healing Depression & Anxiety

One of the most common conditions that ayahuasca is very effective at healing is depression and anxiety. I’ve personally spoken to several people who had suffered from severe depression (often for many years) until they experienced Ayahuasca. It’s not uncommon for people to have their depression lift (and never return), after just two or three ayahuasca ceremonies.

In my opinion, the root cause of most depression is a lack of spiritual connection or meaning in peoples lives, a problem that is sadly so prevalent in consumerist western society. By reconnecting us with the spirit world, and our true self, Ayahuasca helps to heal us of the sadness and despair that afflict so many of our lives.

There have a been several scientific studies done over the years that show that ayahuasca has strong antidepressive effects.

 4) Recovery from Addictions

Addiction is an illness that affects many people and there are many forms of addiction. Healing from addiction is a very common reason why people seek out ayahuasca.

It’s not uncommon for people to recover from all kinds of different addictions after experiencing Ayahuasca. Drug and alcohol addictions have been very effectively treated with Ayahuasca and there are even some centers such as Taki Wasi that specialize in helping people heal their addictions using Ayahuasca and other Amazonian plant medicines. From personal experience the nervous system goes through significant changes during an ayahuasca retreat and ceremony.

 5) Gratitude and a Deeper Appreciation of Life

I believe that one of the greatest gifts from Ayahuasca is a deeper appreciation of life. I’ve heard countless people state that ayahuasca made them feel more gratitude for their lives.

The connection that ayahuasca often helps you to feel makes you far more deeply appreciative of nature, life, the universe and how it’s all interconnected. I nearly always finish each ayahuasca ceremony with an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my life, and for all the people who are in my life.

Several scientific studies have also concluded that people who regularly feel gratitude are generally much happier and healthier than most other people. This has been written about in books such as “Thanks!: How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier

6) Deeper Understanding of Yourself

The imperative “Know thyself” has been impressed on to spiritual adepts since at least the time of Socrates in ancient Greece. It is the foundation of any kind of meaningful and lasting personal development work.

A good place to start is to keep asking the question  “Who Am I?”. However, you can spend an entire lifetime trying to answer that question and still feel like you’re not getting any answers.

I can’t say that Ayahuasca will answer the question for you, but it can be great at helping you to get deeper into the nooks and crannies of your own mind and will often reveal many things about you that you may not have been consciously aware of. Ayahuasca often helps to strip away all the many layers of bullshit that often cloud our judgement and prevent us from knowing our true selves.

 7) Experience Higher Levels of Consciousness

One of the great benefits of drinking ayahuasca is the expanded awareness you’ll almost certainly experience during a ceremony and sometimes you may experience much higher levels of consciousness.

As Einstein said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it”I believe that ultimately all the problems of our world are created by a lack of consciousness. When you’re operating from higher levels of consciousness then you don’t need to be told the right way to live. You don’t need to be told not to pollute, not to steal, not to be selfish or arrogant, and not to be a complete asshole etc. Those things become naturally abhorrent to you. Once you experience higher levels of awareness and consciousness then you will unlikely ever be quite the same person again.

8) Enhanced Creativity

Many creative people (or even people who didn’t previously consider themselves creative) have found their creativity to be greatly enhanced after experiencing ayahuasca. Often musicians write better music, artists paint better, and writers write better.

If you feel that somewhere deep inside you there’s a creative spark that needs igniting you will probably find that ayahuasca will help with that.

If you Google “ayahuasca artwork” you can find many examples of amazing paintings that have been inspired by ayahuasca.

 9) Finding Your Life Purpose

A common reason for people to attend ayahuasca retreats is to find their purpose or a new direction in life. As people begin the process of awakening they often start to feel very unfilled with their current jobs and careers, yet still feel they don’t know what they actually want to do with their lives. Most spiritually aware people feel it’s very important to have purpose and meaning in their lives.

From my experience of talking to countless people after ceremonies, I’ve seen that Ayahuasca seems to help many people get a lot clearer about their life purpose. It is extremely common to see people make some very radical changes in their lives after they’ve experienced ayahuasca. Quite often people finally leave careers or jobs they’ve always disliked because suddenly they become crystal clear about what they need to do to create more joy and meaning in their lives.

10) Deeper Connection to Nature

If you’ve seen the movie Avatar and were moved by the way the N’avi people were deeply connected to their natural environment then you may be interested to know that this kind of connection does not only exist in the movies. While under the influence of Ayahuasca many people report experiencing a profound connection with nature that often changes their lives and the way they see the world. And this connection does not necessarily disappear when the effects of the medicine wear off.

It’s also one of the reasons why I encourage people to do an ayahuasca retreat in the jungle if they are able. Spending 1 or 2 weeks deep in the jungle really helps people to disconnect from a hectic world full of distractions around every corner. Even without drinking ayahuasca many people report that being in the jungle helps them feel a much deeper and closer connection to the natural world.

11) Freedom From Conditioning

We are all products of our conditioning to some extent. Some of the many things that condition us to varying degrees include our family, friends, education, religion, news media and even entertainment. These can all have a powerful influence on the type of people we grow up to be, and in many ways, our conditioning is what molds our entire perception of reality. Some forms of conditioning can be positive but others can have deeply negative effects on our life.

Overcoming negative conditioning is a huge challenge for many people, who often aren’t even aware it’s a problem. Ayahuasca often allows us to see how we’ve been conditioned, particularly the aspects of our conditioning that are harmful to our spiritual growth. Only through greater self-knowledge and awareness can we then start to break the chains of conditioning that are holding us back from being all we can truly be.

12) Overcoming Fear

Virtually everybody is plagued by fear to some extent. Some forms of fear can be healthy but other types are hugely detrimental to our lives and the process of becoming all that we can be. I’m sure I could list dozens of common fears but a few that immediately come to mind include:

  • Fear of intimacy
  • Fear of failure (or success)
  • Fear of what others think about us
  • Fear of the unknown
  • Fear of loneliness
  • Fear of death.

The list is almost endless, plus of course, you have various phobias that many people experience such as spiders, heights, public speaking, closed spaces etc. I’ve heard it said that humans are basically monkeys with anxiety!

Whether we like it or not, fear plays a huge, and usually very controlling, role in our lives.

Ayahuasca is not a magic pill for overcoming all our fears but it can certainly help to ease them and make them seem less of an obstacle. People who suffer from anxiety often see huge reductions in the amount of anxiety they feel after drinking ayahuasca.

At its root, virtually all fear is ultimately fear of the unknown. We never fear what we know and understand intimately. Drinking ayahuasca is basically plunging deep into the unknown and it helps you befriend and feel comfortable with the unknown.

Is Ayahuasca Miracle Medicine?

While there’s no doubt that Ayahuasca can have seemingly miraculous effects on some people, it’s important to stress that Ayahuasca is definitely not a panacea or miracle cure-all. Not everybody gets healed by Ayahuasca, and not everybody gets exactly what they want.

If you decide to work with ayahuasca then it’s essential that you keep your wants and your expectations to an absolute minimum. People with high expectations often do not find what they are looking for.

Sometimes our challenges and illnesses are there to serve a powerful lesson in our lives and in order to cure the illness we have to understand the lesson first. I believe that ayahuasca will not get in the way of our most important lessons, or allow us to cheat! She may provide hints and clues, but sometimes it’s necessary to figure out the lesson for ourselves.

Experience Ayahuasca For Yourself

If you’re feeling the call to experience then it might be time to book yourself on to an Ayahuasca retreat.

In my opinion, a retreat is the best way to experience Ayahuasca for the first time in a traditional ayahuasca ceremony. This is because you’ll get to do several ceremonies over the course of the retreat. I always recommend that people do a minimum of three ceremonies within a short period of time when they first drink ayahuasca. Also, you’ll get better care on a retreat because there will usually be experienced facilitators you can talk with if you’re having a difficult time, as well as plenty of other people who are likely also drinking for the first time as well.