Ayahuasca Effects: Dangers, Safety, Side Effects, & How Long Does It Last?
Are you wondering about the dangers and side effects of Ayahuasca? Do you want to know the potential dangers from using this plant medicine?
Ayahuasca is a shamanic medicine originating from the Amazon Rainforest also called Santo Daime. It is a brewed from a combination of plant medicines. Experienced shamans use psychoactive plant or hallucinogenic plants during rituals and religious ceremonies which results to psychological after-effects, spiritual experiences or out-of-body experiences.
Here are some of the benefits and effects associated with the medicine explaining why you should try the amazing Ayahuasca Experience.
The effects of Ayahuasca may be positive, neutral or negative. Here is an overview of what to expect from this plant.
- Mild to extreme mood lift, euphoria
- Ego softening / ego loss
- Oceanic feeling of connectedness to the universe
- Feelings of love and empathy
- A sense of inner peace and acceptance of self, others, and the world
- Profound life-changing spiritual experiences
- Emotional healing / mentally therapeutic
- Claimed physical healing (such as anti-cancer effects)
- Strong visions; some typically reported include snakes, big cats, insectoid aliens, female goddesses
- Meaningless visual “noise”
- auditory hallucinations / sound distortions
- Altered sense of space and time
- Increased likelihood of embracing magical thinking, paranormal ideation
Here are some of the iowaska side effects that regular Ayahuasca users experience. However, the severity among ritual users may vary.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Body aches
- Sweats/chills (alternating)
- Other flu- or food poisoning-like symptoms, much less common after multiple experiences
- Fear and/or paranoia
- Feeling as though one is losing one’s mind
- Feeling as though one is dying
- Disequilibrium, difficulty walking
Ayahuasca General Effects
Ayahuasca is used extensively for healing and religious ceremonies. In recent decades, there is a growing interest in the said substance due to its potential in treating mental disorders like depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and addiction.
Users of Ayahuasca disclosed that the experience was fulfilling and worth it. Most individuals feel that they are free and a better person following their Ayahuasca session.
In fact, some were able to quit from doing cocaine and bad habits. Others experienced psychological and spiritual healing with personal insight and integration.
It might sound exaggerated to some who are doubtful to Ayahuasca but yes, there are Ayahuasca users who became more appreciative of life and their family after using the substance. Life and work became easier and enjoyable.
Some felt that they were lost, but came to their senses again after using Ayahuasca. Others felt that they were too consumed with their personal issues, but Ayahuasca awakened them to feel alive again.
Although using Ayahuasca gives you a euphoria there are also adverse effects that you should watch out for.
In most ayahuasca ceremonies, nausea and vomiting are among the common adverse effects of Ayahuasca. Some even experience diarrhea.
Aside from these, there are obvious physical side effects. Some users of Ayahuasca experience profuse sweating and shivering. Their heart rate and blood pressure rise.
These ayahuasca effects, which are likely due to DMT intoxication, subject one to risks of hypertension, agitations, dizziness and muscular incoordination.
Ayahuasca may also affect one’s emotional state. As some put it, ayahuasca makes one reflect on his experiences and loosen up from his normal way of thinking.
It gives one the strength to think about his traumatic past and confront those things that he usually pushes out of his conscious mind. It can stir up your traumatic past and result in distress. It may also heighten one’s fears and result in anxiety and paranoia.
Ayahuasca expert Charles Grob, M.D., warns the use of ayahuasca. “Ayahuasca is not for everyone. You have to be willing to have a very powerful, long, internal experience, which can get very scary.”
How Ayahuasca Affects the Brain
Ayahuasca hyper activates the neocortex, the area of the brain, which we use to reason and decide. Ayahuasca also activates the amygdala the region of the brain where early memories are stored specifically those traumatic and most significant experiences like losing a loved one.
Ayahuasca activates insula, which bridges the gap between one’s emotional impulses and decision making. The traumatic experiences often leave a print on one’s brain and repeated exposure to it strengthens the neural patterns.
It’s a shortcut that when one faces a similar event, it is activated. Take, for example, if one was repeatedly abused during his childhood, his fears will come to life when he sees a child being abused. He will react adversely even if the victim is somebody else.
Ayahuasca hyper activates the entire brain where emotional memories are stored and along the process, it also uncovers long and unforgotten memories. Ayahuasca enables the conscious part of the new brain to temporarily override the old pattern. Thus, allowing new connections. The old fears may no longer have the same effect because the memories are re-evaluated.
For this reason, Ayahuasca users developed new perspectives on their past experiences and deeply rooted patterns of behaviors. This is why quitting from bad habits is easier and finding freedom from depression is possible.
Long-Terms Effects of Ayahuasca
The short term effect of Ayahuasca may differ for individuals. For some, it could be like in a hell world for eternity. Others think that they encounter their most painful psychological experience during their Ayahuasca session.
However, according to Dr.Grob, there is a very limited data about the long-term adverse psychological effect of Ayahuasca. If we look into its long-term negative effects, a number of studies revealed that Ayahuasca does not have such.
A 2012 study examined 127 people who used Ayahuasca at least twice a month for 15 years and compared these individuals to those who have never taken the substance. After a series of interviews and tests, the researchers concluded that there is “no evidence of psychological maladjustment, mental health deterioration or cognitive impairment in the Ayahuasca-using group.”
Also, ritual users of Ayahuasca had lower presence of psychopathological symptoms. They showed lower rates of depression, anxiety, hostility and negative traits. They also performed better on neuropsychological tests and psychosocial adaptations as reflected in their attitudinal traits in Purpose in Life and Subjective Well-Being.
In addition, they scored higher in the spiritual orientation inventory which covers nine major components including transcendent dimension, meaning and purpose in life, mission in life, sacredness of life, material values, altruism, idealism, awareness of the tragic and fruits of spirituality. Overall, Ayahuasca users have better general mental health compared to the control group.
For those who fear that Ayahuasca is addictive, your fears have no grounds. Dr. Josep Fabregas co-author of the study of the long term effects of Ayahuasca added that it is not addictive.
How long does Ayahuasca last?
The immediate effects of the medicine can be felt in about 20-60 minutes after the oral intake. However, the intoxication can last on a person for up to 8 hours.
Ayahuasca has a broad spectrum of some amazing positive effects on the body, mind and soul. It will make you feel completely different in every single ceremony.
Why Take Ayahuasca?
According to studies, researches and factors, it can be rightly concluded that Ayahuasca brings some wonderful positive impacts to one’s mind and spirits. It delivers positive psychological or physical effects.
Ayahuasca tea can help you feel better from sorrows, fear of mortality and chronic addiction. People with less-defined diagnoses but a hunger for something missing say that Ayahuasca offers something ineffable: compassion, connectedness, spirituality.
Ayahuasca consumption has quite a strong impact on the spiritual processes of an individual and facilitates awakening, understanding, healing and the enhancement of spiritual wisdom when used in combination with a healthy life and spiritual practice.
The results may vary, so you should be patient. It might take longer for you to work. But, there is no doubt that botanical medicine Ayahuasca can change your life and transform you into a whole new individual being with new spirits and energy.
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