Ayahuasca Endangering Lives? Tragedies related to the Amazon Drink revealed

Ayahuasca vine

Photo credit: Paul Hessell via Flickr

Ayahuasca is one of the emerging “natural solutions” available from the vine Ayahuasca that promises not only a cure for physical diseases but also for spiritual and mental distress. The Amazon drink that has been present in the Amazon forests for millennia has already become a topic of numerous researches and studies trying to prove or discover the mysteries behind the famed drink. However, despite the several positive reviews about the Ayahuasca retreat and Ayahuasca experience, several tragedies have already been attached with the Ayahuasca drink, leaving non-believers question the authenticity and healing prowess of the drink.

ayahuasca altar

Photo Credit: Ayahuasca Altar via Flickr

Kyle Nolan’s story is one of the most controversial and sensational stories that managed to reach mainstream media. His death, allegedly due to drinking Ayahuasca, is one of the issues that continue to haunt the promises that come with the Ayahuasca drink.

Just like the typical teenager, Kyle was confused, uncertain about who he really is, and is looking for his own self. It was even more difficult for Kyle. According to his mother, he has three siblings (triplets) who were over-excelling in practically anything, making life even more difficult for Kyle. He was treated right by his siblings, but being constantly overshadowed made him question his purpose.

Confused, he decided to look for answers. Online research introduced him to Ayahuasca. He did his research, read several testimonials, and was certain that this — the Ayahuasca experience — could lead him into discovering who he really is and what his future might actually be.

Alone at 18, he went to the Amazons and checked in at a Shamanic Center in Peru. Little did he know that the more than $2000 Ayahuasca experience will be the end of his life. Kyle’s mom checked on his boy and was informed that he left the facility. Later on, it was revealed that Kyle died of drinking too much Ayahuasca. This is what the Shaman in the center claimed. He was found dead in a nearby bush and was buried discreetly to cover up the incident. Up until now, a clear and concrete explanation about his death remains to be vague and uncertain.


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Several other stories about tourists who never came back after their Ayahuasca experience frolic online reports and studies. Celine Rene Margarite Briset died from a heart attack after taking the Ayahuasca drink in 2011 at the Amazonian City Yurimaguas. Frenchman Fabrice Champion also died months after Briset died when the Ayahuasca drink clashed with his current medications.

An unnamed Argentinian tourist stabbed himself in the chest after drinking too much of the Ayahuasca tea. Bipolar disorders and schizophrenia are believed to be triggered by drinking the concoction as well. Common stories of women, female tourists who are under the essence of Ayahuasca, have faced several sexual predators, fake healers, and fake shamans posing to be authentic ones. A nurse from Seattle claimed that she was physically harassed by a Shaman. She was lucky enough to manage to escape. However, some do not share the same luck as her. A 23-year-old German woman was raped and brutally beaten by a “shaman” and his accomplice after participating in an Ayahuasca ceremony for three days.

Just like the regular medical treatments that we have been used to, Ayahuasca has its recorded malpractices. However, these incidents do not necessarily mean that Ayahuasca is bad as a whole. It does not also indicate that it is good and effective as well. Careful research, planning, and looking for trusted Shamans and retreat centers are just some of the things to consider before jumping into the Ayahuasca experience. A strong will and an adventurous spirit might also be necessary.


Ayahuasca: A Natural Treatment and Medication, Explained


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The question on whether Ayahuasca is indeed a natural remedy or just a medical fad remains to linger, even with the numerous Ayahuasca retreat centers and ceremonies available in the Amazonian. The authenticity of this ritual and medicinal drink remains to fascinate and intrigue ordinary people as well as scientists. Is Ayahuasca a fad or a true healing remedy from nature?

Mental and emotional traumas brought by stress and post traumatic stress disorder are just some of the illnesses that the Ayahuasca drink and ceremonies promise to address. The plant also claims to alleviate suicidal thoughts and paralyzing anxiety. The Ayahuasca experience promises to bring the best in you, helping you discover life and the mysteries that will lead you in discovering the real you.

There is a wide array of illnesses attached to the mystical Ayahuasca. Here are some of the medicinal attributes and circumstances attributed to the Ayahuasca experience.

Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome Relief

Multiple combat deployments, repetitive and stressful activities that involve the possibility of dying and losing people in the process, often lead to PTSD. Ayahuasca is being considered as one of the possible treatment for this emotional and mental disease.


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“Ayahuasca is a way to give relief to those who are suffering,” says former Marine Lance Cpl. Ryan LeCompte, who now organizes trips to Peru for war veterans like himself, seeking for a possible cure for PTSD.

Anti-depressant drugs, unexplainably, can bring suicidal tendencies, offering an edge favoring Ayahuasca that doesn’t. Being able to seek spiritual healing and peace also claims to have helped in many ways in curing and addressing mental and traumatic diseases like PTSD.

Ayahuasca does not offer a cure

The notion that Ayahuasca is an instant solution to one’s illness is wrong. Taking in the Ayahuasca drink has its benefits, but the healing comes combined together with therapy. Ayahuasca can help “dislodge that negative energy” inside you, and show you how it feels like living without that negativity in your life.


Photo Credit: Ayahuasca Brewing via Flickr

The Ayahuasca is said to be taken only by Shamans


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This has already changed since Western tourists began seeking its benefits. However, the preparation and the ceremonies that are required before taking in the Ayahuasca should be under a Shaman’s supervision. Even though Ayahuasca powders and extracts are already available online for purchase, one will never know that it is really in it. Thus, it all boils down to seeking a reliable Shaman and Ayahuasca retreat house that will guide you correctly through the healing experience.

There is a movement created for safe Ayahuasca

The Ayahuasca experience is not 100% perfect. There are also controversies and other issues that overshadow the benefits and medicinal features of the Amazonian drink. This is why a movement to create a health guide for Ayahuasca centers in the Amazon, most especially for tourists, is being raised. Tourists and locals who would want to experience the healing and medicinal promise of the Ayahuasca will therefore be protected. Local communities in the Amazonian regions patronizing the Ayahuasca will also be given the benefit of the doubt as soon as standards and safe practices are implemented and practiced in every Shamanic retreat center in the area.

As Ayahuasca continues to become a more favored option in resolving emotional and mental illnesses, awareness and general knowledge on what this experience really is are continuously being explored. Believers embrace the health benefits of the “experience” while those seeking for refuge continue to hope for a brighter path with the help of Ayahuasca.