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.


Photo Credit: Brindle95 via Flickr

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.