Entheogenic means a substance which affects the mind but specifically for the purpose of spiritual growth or development, or for ritual purposes. Tribal peoples across South America in Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia drink a version of this tea, all containing the plant Banisteriopsis Caapi. The plant is also called hoasca, natéma, kahi, mihi, dápa, pindé, yagé, and nixi honi xuma. Many tribespeople call Banisteriopsis Caapi the “plant teacher” because of the amazing insights it is purported to bring to those who take it. There are over 70 individual tribes who use around 40 species of this plant, and it’s thought that the plant itself teaches them more about other plants leading to an ever-expanding botanical knowledge among these tribespeople.
The effects of ayahuasca are varied but the ultimate aim is to achieve an altered state of mind. Some people make a brew using solely Banisteriopsis Caapi, but it is more often to find this plant brewed up with another plant which, by itself, has no known psychoactive effect. Banisteriopsis Caapi is often taken prior to using other psychoactive substances. It is possible that this unique plant may enhance or extend the effect of other psychoactive substances.
The active ingredients are harmaline, harmine, and tetrahydro harmine and because the plant contains MAO-inhibiting substances, it can be dangerous when combined with certain foods and substances that may be completely harmless when used on their own. Check contraindications before using them.