Are you wondering what’s the best substitute for ayahuasca? Do you want to know if there are other plants that work like the ayahuasca brew?
Many have traveled to South American countries to encounter Mother Aya. Others even joined the Santo Daime religion in the Brazilian Amazonian estate to experience ayahuasca before it became popular worldwide. At present, ayahuasca is more accessible compared to the trend years ago. In fact, it is even available in some states in the United States.
Check here for Top 2 Recipes on How to Make ayahuasca at home with exact and detailed instructions.
However, some are still struggling to access the ayahuasca potions that everyone has been drooling over. And that’s when ayahuasca analogues or ayahuasca analogs come into the picture!
What Are Ayahuasca Analogues?
Ayahuasca is exotic in the Amazonian forest. The South American Indians were the first to discover the wonders that natural products or plant medicines like ayahuasca can do.
Decades ago, one had to travel to Amazon to experience making the experience very costly to most.
Terence McKenna suggested a solution by using synthetic duplicates compounded with the right percents of DMT and beta-carbolines because it delivers the same results. Apparently, ayahuasca liana is a plant that contain DMT and MAOIs (Monoamine oxidase inhibitors), and several plants have those ayahuasca type enzyme inhibitors.
McKenna missed an easier solution because the “synthetic duplication” wasn’t really necessary as there are many less tropical plants containing alkaloids like Banisteriopsis caapi and Psychotria Viridis (P. viridis) in ayahuasca. Those plants deliver the same entheogenic experience as the ayahuasca potions and that is the idea behind the “ayahuasca analogue.”
Ayahuasca analogues or ayahuasca analogs contain a combination of plants that have the same effect as ayahuasca brew. If you need a reference book for this, you can check out “Ayahuasca Analogues Pangean Entheogens”(1)https://www.amazon.com/Ayahuasca-Analogues-Pangean-Entheogens-Jonathan/dp/0961423455 by Jonathan Ott. It is easy to comprehend and very helpful.
Jonathan Ott books, in particular, the “Ayahuasca Analogues”, is the first book to explore the details of the human pharmacology of ayahuasca, fabled jungle ambrosia and more. It carefully reviews the ethnobotanical, chemical composition, and pharmacognostic literature on the Amazonian Amrta.
It is also one of the few books that include a review of the literature of plants containing ayahuasca-type enzyme inhibitors, DMT, and related entheogenic tryptamines. If you need more information about ayahuasca analogs or you are looking for an author or books for reference, do not miss Jonathan Ott. There are a lot of positive reviews about his book, so you will surely love it.
Ayahuasca vs Anahusca vs Pharmahuasca
Ayahuasca is a South American entheogenic brew made from a combination of Banisteriopsis caapi(2)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banisteriopsis_caapi vine and the Psychotria viridis(3)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychotria_viridis shrub. B.caapi contains several alkaloids that act as MAOIs which are required for DMT to be orally active. P. Viridis is added because ayahuasca needs a primary psychoactive DMT.
You can buy pre-mixed and ready to drink Chacruna (Psychotria viridis) and Banisteriopsis Caapi paste here.
Ayahuasca has become very popular in the past years because many have been looking for allopathic medicine and pharmaceutical options to heal physical, emotional, and mental sickness. Many who suffered from depression and anxiety turned to plant treatments for healing.
Anahuasca or ayahuasca analogues are combinations of plants that deliver the same results as the ayahuasca brew. However, the spirits and entities involved in the ayahuasca experience are absent in the harmala/mimosa experience. This is among the significant distinction between ayahuasca and ayahuasca analogs, according to those who have drunk both versions.
There are participants from Love Heal Forgive Retreats who were given the opportunity to work with both the ayahuasca analogues version and the traditional ayahuasca brew and they confirmed that there was a huge difference and there some similarities as well.
Meanwhile, pharmahuasca(4)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharmahuasca is a pharmaceutical version of the entheogenic brew ayahuasca. It also refers to a similar combination that uses a pharmaceutical MAOI instead of a plant. For pharmahuasca, 50 mg N,N-DMT and 100 mg harmaline is the recommended dosage per person.
Aside from that, the harmine and harmaline combinations of 50 mg both and 50mg N,N-DMT have been tested with success.
When working on pharmahuasca, here is the rule of thumb, fewer β-carbolines(5)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beta-Carboline, results in less nausea and more DMT delivers more spectacular visions. Usually, the constituents are put into separate gelatin capsules. The harmine and harmaline are swallowed first and the capsule with DMT is taken 15 to 20 minutes later. Purely synthetic MAO inhibitor like Marplan is suitable to replace harmaline and harmine. However, one should take extra caution because it is an irreversible MAOI.
What Are The Analogue Plants
Ayahuasca analogs are the antithesis of “recreational” drugs. However, it’s impossible to predict, how one individual will respond to it initially.
The term “ayahuasca analogs” or “ayahuasca analogues” appears to have been coined by Dennis McKenna. American ethnobotanist Jeremy Bigwood was the first person to test pharmahuasca (100 mg each of harmaline hydrochloride and N, N-DMT) on himself. He reported DMT-like hallucinations. Meanwhile, chemist and chaos theorist Mario Markus used Heffter technique (self-experimentation) to perform extensive experiments into the optimal proportions for mixing the alkaloids.
Analogues are plants or chemicals used in place of the traditional constituents of the ayahuasca brew. Usually, they are used to replace B. caapi vine and DMT-containing admixture plants. The most popular analogues are Peganum harmala and Mimosa hostilis.
If you want to experience what ayahuasca analogs bring on the table, here are the plants that you need to brew. The list below is not listed in any particular order.
1. Passiflora Genus
Several species of Passiflora have been found to contain beta-carboline harmala alkaloids, some of which are MAO inhibitors. Its flower and fruits have traces of these chemicals, but its leaves and roots often contain more. The most common alkaloids is harman, but harmaline, harmalol, harmine, and harmol are also present.
It contains less harmine compared to Banisteriopsis caapi. But it grows almost everywhere compared to Peganum harmala, which makes it so very easy to find because it’s not difficult to cultivate.
The species known to have alkaloids are P. actinea(6)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passiflora_actinea, P. alata(7)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passiflora_alata (winged-stem passion flower), P. Alba(8)https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Passiflora_alba&action=edit&redlink=1, P. bryonioides(9)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passiflora_bryonioides (cupped passion flower), P. Caerulea(10)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passiflora_caerulea (blue passion flower), P. capsularis(11)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passiflora_capsularis, P. Decaisneana(12)https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Passiflora_decaisneana&action=edit&redlink=1, P. edulis(13)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passiflora_edulis (passion fruit), P. Eichleriana(14)https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Passiflora_eichleriana&action=edit&redlink=1, P. foetida(15)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passiflora_foetida(stinking passion flower), P. incarnata, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passiflora_incarnata)(maypop), P. quadrangularis, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passiflora_quadrangularis)(giant granadilla), P. suberosa(16)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passiflora_suberosa, P. subpeltata(17)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passiflora_subpeltata and P. warmingii(18)https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Passiflora_warmingii&action=edit&redlink=1.
Passiflora incarnata is one of the very few Passiflora species containing harmine. The main alkaloid present in it is harman. However, to get an effective dose of harmine, a huge dose of harman and other unwanted ß-carbolines have to be ingested.
2. Phalaris Genus
Phalaris genus has been known to have tryptamine alkaloids. However, the alkaloid production differs within the varieties of each species. For example, there are varieties that contain zero alkaloids. But in Phalaris aquatica the variants “Australia” and “uneta” have tested with the highest ayahuasca admixture alkaloids.
When it comes to its alkaloid content, soil fertility is among the factors that matter. The more fertile the ground, especially in nitrogen content, the more alkaloids one can expect to harvest. Also, placing the plants with respect to the shade as significant. Partial shade is more conducive to alkaloid production.
The cuttings may also matter. Studies suggest that cutting during the early morning hours harvests more alkaloids. Also, drying the grass during extraction reduces the alkaloid harvest especially for Turkish variety of Phalaris arun. Strains with high levels of alkaloids are best avoided in location with grazing cattle and sheep due to potential toxicity.
Phalaris arundinacea(19)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phalaris_arundinacea, Phalaris aquatica(20)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phalaris_aquatica, and Phalaris brachystachys(21)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phalaris_brachystachys, are known to contain the alkaloids N,N-DMT(22)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dimethyltryptamine, 5-MeO-DMT(23)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5-MeO-DMT and 5-OH-DMT(24)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bufotenin (bufotenin). But you sh ould be careful because some species contain gramine which is toxic. It can damage the organs and nervous system and may lead to death.
3. Syrian rue (Peganum harmala)
Peganum harmala also called wild rue, African rue, esfand or harmel is a perennial, herbaceous plant with a woody underground root-stock of the family Nitrariaceae that usually grows in saline soils in temperate desert and Mediterranean regions. It’s the best non rain-forest source of harmala alkaloids which are used as MAOIs to facilitate ingestion of DMT and other tryptamines. Although it’s not generally used as hallucinogen, in high doses, it acts as purgative.
It resembles a rue that’s why it is commonly known as Syrian rue. It is considered a noxious weed because eating it can cause livestock to be sick or worse, die. However, it has also become an invasive species in some regions in the western United States. It is also popular in Middle Eastern and North African folk medicine because it contains alkaloids. Its seeds are hallucinogenic due to the MAOIs present in them which prompts some to sell it for recreational drug use.
4. Mimosa Hostilis (Mimosa Tenuiflora)
Mimosa Hostilis is popularly known as Mimosa tenuiflora or Mimosa jurema. It is a type of plant that is found in the jungles of North and South America. It was a tropical “weed tree” with powerful entheogen from a botanical source called “nigerine.”
It contains active alkaloid properties which endows with certain characteristics similar to those produced by LSD, only in a totally natural and stronger way. It is mostly used in a mixture with other plants that are part of the fauna of the tropical forests. The villagers use it in retreats and ceremonies for its healing effects, sedative aftermath, and many other magical functions. Yes, many use this for treatments.
Mimosa hostilis’ root-bark is known to be extremely potent and a good source plant of the mysterious vinho da jurema because it contains DMT. Several studies pointed out that it has a psychoactive substance that was later identified as DMT. It is concentrated enough that it contains up to 10 grams per dose which are quite sufficient in an anahuasca potion.
For those who like DMT, it can be the easiest source to find because it can grow up to five feet in the first year out beating the slow-growing P. viridis. Since it is fast-growing, you can cut the limbs off without worries. You need to cut the limbs to harvest the leaves which are too tiny and harvesting can be done every year since many of the leaves shed in the fall.
It is comparable to psilocybin mushrooms except that it is shorter. It is preferable for a higher dose experience.
5. Arundo donax (bamboo-like plant)
Arundo Donax is a tall perennial cane and one of the so-called reed species. It has several common names including giant cane, elephant grass, carrizo, arundo, Spanish cane, Colorado river reed, wild cane and giant reed. It grows in damp soils either fresh or moderately saline and is native to the Greater Middle East and looks much like bamboo roots.
It is a good DMT source but the percentage of DMT present in this plant remains unclear. Just like Peganum harmala, it is a good source of a secret entheogen that has been used in musical orders. In fact, it is used in Persia for making the “Nay” an end-blown flute or reed pipe. It is also used for clarinet, sax, oboe, bassoon, and bagpipes to name a few.
One of the disadvantages of A. donax is that you have to sacrifice a mature perennial plant to extract the root. They grow wild in numerous locations in Southern California.
However, DMT is rarely present in some specimens of Arundo donax. According to some sources(25)https://thedrugclassroom.com/video/arundo-donax/, the DMT concentration on the roots could be as high as 3%. However, the concentration of psychoactive chemicals present in it is quite subpar compared to other psychedelic tryptamine-containing plants.
6. Mucuna pruriens
Mucuna pruriens belongs to the Fabaceae family and it is considered a viable source of dietary proteins due to its high protein concentration. It is widely known as “velvet bean” or “Cowhage”, a vigorous annual climbing legume that is originally from southern China and eastern India. The seeds are considered an aphrodisiac in India and they contain alkaloids.
The leaves of mucuna pruriens contain various tryptamine compounds. Its seeds also contain levodopa and N-dimethyl- tryptamine (DMT). M. prurients also contains a whole host of other chemicals including 5-MeO-DMT, DMT, DMT- N-oxide, bufotenine, serotonin, 6-methoxyharman (GHOSAL 1972; GHOSAL et al. 1971), 3-carboxy-6,7-dihydroxy-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinoline (BELL et al. 1971), choline, two unidentified 5-oxy-indoles (GHOSAL et al. 1971), tryptamine, and the seed alkaloids mucunine, mucunadine, and prurienine (ICMR 1987).
The mucuna species have been grown as a soil-improving crop, a “smother” crop to control weeds, a forage plant, and as a minor food crop for centuries. Some species have also been used as an ornamental, an emetic and poison. The diet with M. pruriens may lead to very strange behaviors and psychological breaks with default reality.
7. Phragmites australis
Phragmites australis is a common reed, a broadly distributed wetland grass that grows nearly 20 feet or 6 meters tall. The people typically considered it to be a weed and it’s a popular ayahuasca admixture plant that is very popular as a source of DMT.
You can mix 60 grams of P. australis roots with 3 grams of Peganum harmala seeds. The experience can be very wild and pagan. You will see visions like spirit faces, trees, a very dark surroundings and more. Some claimed that they saw the spirit but was unable to talk to them or act with them. You will probably find yourself between two realms.
You can also boil the P. australis rhizome (50 wet grams) for 20 to 30 minutes and it tastes fine. Drinking the extracted root portion has no bad physical side-effects to date. Some reported that it has spiritual and physical cleansing.
Phragmites australis is considered a non-native and often invasive species introduced in Europe in 1800s. However, there are evidences that it has existed as a native plant in North America long before the European colonization of the continent.
8. Psychotria Viridis
Phalaris grasses seem to be the plants of choice, but they contain an uncertain mix of other alkaloids. P. viridis contains DMT which makes it a good admixture for ayahuasca analogues. P. Viridis is a slow-grower in the tropics that may grow 4 feet tall or more.
It is fairly easy tropical with no special needs and can be clone from leaf cuttings. Just pinch off a leaf and stick its stem first a most soil while applying root hormone in the process.
Dried P. viridis contains hallucinogenic or entheogenic DMT approximately between 0.1% to 0.61%. Other alkaloids present include beta-carbolines(26)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beta-carboline and N-methyltryptamine(27)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N-Methyltryptamine (NMT).
The alkaloid content is said to be highest in the morning. Due to the alkaloids present in it, P. viridis makes a great additive to the ayahuasca brew used in South and Central America.
However, the results may vary because some only use 20 to 25 grams of P. viridis leaves to feel the effects. However, some may need more because others shared that they take 50 grams to feel the same results. So, you may need to observe how your body responds to each dosage to find out the best dosage for you.
9. Acacia Genus
Acacia has high DMT content making it a good DMT source for ayahuasca analogues and that’s how Acacia-huasca was discovered. Good thing there are a lot of acacia species that contain DMT or psychoactive alkaloids. However, the presence and constitution of alkaloids in nature can be highly variable due to environmental and genetic factors.
Among the acacia species containing psychoactive alkaloids are Acacia acinacea, Acacia acuminata ssp. acuminata, Acacia burkittii(28)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acacia_burkittii, Acacia adunca, Acacia albida, Acacia alpina, Acacia nilotica, Acacia obtusifolia, Acacia penninervis and Acacia phlebophylla to name a few.
Acacia phlebophylla is the cleanest acacia specie containing DMT. Its leaves and twigs are as good as P. viridis. Unfortunately, it is scarce. It is rare and there is a threat of over-harvesting.
Meanwhile, Acacia maidenii contains up to 0.7% DMT and NMT present in younger trees. It is clean and more common. Meanwhile, Acacia longifolia (Sydney golden wattle) has been found to contain up to 0.2% DMT. It is clean and very common. In fact, you might find it in nurseries.
Acacia simplex also contains DMT. It is fast-growing and a healthy tree. It contains the desired alkaloids but too weak to be worth it, so the other species aforementioned are
10. Leguminosae (Fabaceae)
Leguminosae is an extremely large botanical family, which has yielded many plants that contain DMT including Desmanthus illinoensis, a weed legume common in the Midwest.
Leguminosae is also known as Fabaceae and it is commonly known as legume, pea or bean family. Many plants in the genus contain significant amounts of DMT.
Popular Analogue Brew
For those who want to experience what ayahuasca analogue has to offer here are the popular brew that you can try on.
The value of the ayahuasca analogs lies in their entheogenic effects which can help one attain a profound spiritual ecology and a mystical perspective. Ayahuasca and its analogs can induce a state of shamanic ecstacy that’s why it is compared the traditional ayahuasca.
You can use different plant combinations for ayahuasca analogs as long as they contain MAO inhibitors and DMT. Previous experiments focused on Banisteriopsis caapi, Banisteriopsis spp., Peganum harmala, and synthetic (pharmaceutical) MAO inhibitors.
The popular plants with natural MAO inhibitors include Tribulus terrestris. Meanwhile, Psychotria viridis and Mimosa tennuiflora are the most popular sources of DMT. However, the dosages are determined by the alkaloid concentrations present in the admixtures.
Here are some Ayahuasca recipes that you can try on to formulate a single dose according to Christian Ratsch of Erowid.
Classic Ayahuasca Analog
• 25 g Psychotria viridis leaves, dried and ground
• 3 g Peganum harmala seeds, crushed
• Juice of one lemon
• Enough water to boil all the ingredients (approximately 200-300 ml)
1. Place all the ingredients in a steel pot.
2. Slowly bring to a boil and boil rapidly for 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 more minutes.
4. Pour off the decoction.
5. Add some water to the herbs remaining in the pot and boil again.
6. Pour the first decoction back into the pot.
7. Pour out the liquid once more.
8. Add fresh water to the remaining herbs and bring to a boil again.
9. Remove the plant remnants and compost them.
10. Mix the three extracts.
11. Heat the mixture carefully to reduce the total volume.
12. Drink the tea as fresh if possible, but it can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days.
13. Expect to experience the effects 45 minutes after ingestions. The visionary phase will last for about an hour.
Jerumahuasca or Mimosahuasca
If you want the most easily tolerated and psychoactive preparation, here is the best recipe for you.
• 3 g Peganum harmala seeds, finely ground
• 9 g Mimosa tenuiflora root cortex
• Juice of one lime or lemon
1. Crushed Syrian rue (P. harmala) seeds.
2. Swallow it in gelatin capsule or mix in water and swallow..
3. Drink the decoction of lemon juice and mimosa root cortex after 15 minutes.
This blend is popular in North America due to the pleasant experiences
reported by the participants.
• 3-4 g Peganum harmala seeds, finely ground
• 30 g Desmanthus illinoensis root cortex (prairie mimosa, Illinois bundleweed, Illinois bundleflower)
• Juice of one lemon or lime
Prepare in the same manner as jerumahuasca.
The blend is popular in Australia and has been used with high success.
1. 3 g Peganum harmala seeds, finely ground
2. 20 g Acacia phlebophylla leaves, ground (cf. Acacia spp.)
3. Juice of one lemon or lime
Prepare in the same manner as jerumahuasa.
The combinations of Phalaris and Peganum harmala have been investigated. Unfortunately, compared to the other recipes on the list it has received little success in terms of visionary experience. Also, due to the toxic alkaloid (gramine)present in reed grasses, the preparation can be very dangerous.
The recipe includes Peganum harmala and Lophophora williamsii. However, it is pharmacologically very dangerous.
San Pedro Ayahuasca
This recipe is also known for the pleasant experience it offers. However, the blend may be pharmacologically dangerous.
• 1–3 g Syrian rue (Peganum harmala)
• 20–25 g San Pedro cactus powder (see Trichocereus pachanoi)
• This blend may be pharmacologically dangerous.
• Ayahuasca #4 psychedelic anahuasca with Paganum and mimosa
1. Remove the spines from the San Pedro cactus.
2. Remove the thin, semi-translucent waxen layer of skin that encases the cactus. Almost all of the mescaline is stored in the green flesh, so that’s what you are after for. Try not to miss any of the green.
3. Place the shavings into a big pot with 3 liters of water
4. Put the pot over a medium flame.
5. After 3 to 4 hours, you will end up with one cup of green liquid (250 ml).
6. Pour the concoction through a strainer and let the liquid cool.
This is a combination of hamala brew with Mimosa or Acacia. Many find the mixture predictable. It is fast acting because most participants can feel its results within half an hour and the effects usually last within three to four hours.
In terms of taste, it is more bitter compared to other concotion because of its high level of tannins. It has a drying effect on the mouth which makes it harder to hold down. Also, it creates a purgative effect similar to ayahuasca because it promotes a purely physical response from the gut.
Is Syrian Rue + Mimosa (Or Another Analogue) Similar As Ayahuasca?
Experienced ayahuasca drinkers who had the opportunity to drink ayahuasca admixture brews such as tea made from Syrian rue and Mimosa noticed a substantial difference.
Most feel a strong connection to the ayahuasca vine and understand it to be a fundamental, if not completely essential in the ayahuasca experience and its healing properties.
Many have experienced profound healing and accessed visionary states that is different from what the traditional ayahuasca brews delivered. But most agree that modern analogue plants are extremely powerful and deserving of respect, but analogue brews.
It’s one of the plants where harmine was first isolated. It was evidently introduced several years ago by exotic plant enthusiasts who lived near Deming, New Mexico. However, it is tricky to grow from seed. It dries up after setting seed, then puts out new shoots from the root.
According to a study, Peganum harmala seeds contain between 20 and 70mg of the harmala alkaloids. A good start would be 2-3 grams of seeds, twice extracted with minimal amount water with 30% lemon juice. You can also use acetic acid or vinegar as a substitute for lemon to produce 60-210 mg of alkaloid.
Ayahuasca analogue is the solution for those who don’t have any access to the ayahuasca brew from the Amazon. After several years of study, the experts have learned that a combination of plants other than Banisteriopsis caapi(29)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banisteriopsis_caapi vine, the Psychotria viridis (30)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychotria_viridis shrub as long as the plants have MAOIs and DMT could form one of the natural products that promote wellness and healing.
There are still a lot of plants with ayahuasca enzyme exhibitors but more literature reviews and experiments are necessary to ensure that the extracts and mixtures are safe. If you want to create ayahuasca analogs, better check the recipe above and feel free to experiment because that what most people until they ended up with a human pharmacology-friendly brew.
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