Aya 'changing global environmental consciousness'

August 16, 2016

A highly respected research organization is asking for participants in a survey about the power of ayahuasca to heal PTSD. There is anecdotal evidence that it does. For example, a Boulder-based nonprofit brings PTSD-suffering vets to the Amazon for ayahuasca therapy.


A society that promotes plant medicines, ICEERS, continues to raise money for the Ayahuasca Defense Fund, for anyone who gets in legal trouble for using the tea. The tea is legal in many places, including Spain, Brazil and Mexico. In America, the tea is legal for some people but not others; the legal thing many places is complicated and insane. Which is why they're raising money. They have raised $85,000 of their $110,000 goal. Here's a fundraising video.


In a measure of how big ayahuasca is becoming in Silicon Valley, a company in San Francisco has started to offer services that will guide "entrepreneurs" through the process of preparing for the trip to the Amazon to drink the tea, and also to "integrate" the ayahuasca experience with regular life when returning. It calls itself Entrepreneurs Awakening, and its website features Silicon types boasting that ayahuasca helped them double their sales. It's perilously close to satire.


(There are many other places to find trips, including Ayamundo and AyaAdvisers.)


In the media, the Albuquerque local news profiled a man who cured his alcoholism with ayahuasca. Daily Vice visited an ayahuasca retreat near Barcelona. And there's now a hulu series that's about a (fictional) ayahuasca religion.


MTV is planning a segment for True Life featuring 18-27 year olds who are either already regularly doing ayahuasca or are trying it for the first time. They're looking for people to film. I've been in contact with the casting person, and they want people ASAP. Let me know if you're interested in trying ayahuasca while being filmed by MTV.


In the Guardian newspaper, Dennis McKenna gave an interview that generated a lot of interest. McKenna is a pioneering ayahuasca scientist and also something of a mystic (and also an ayahuasca tour organizer, possibly for Silicon Valley entrepreneurs). He says that ayahuasca's great potential is that it gets plants into our brains, which helps us notice the power and pervasiveness of the plant kingdom which dominates the planet. When we notice the plant world -- instead of treating it like furniture -- it helps us resolve to take care of it. McKenna says ayahuasca, as it pours into the west, "is changing global environmental consciousness."


Not exactly news, but here's an excellent video summarizing a recent paper on how Aya boosts creativity.  


And, finally, ayahuasca is becoming so trendy now in certain circles that it has become the name of many products and things, including hotels and bars and now ... a marijuana strain, Ayahuasca Purple.  

Smoked, I assume, by all kinds of entrepreneurs.

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Ayahuasca is a  jungle vine that allows your brain's natural psychedelic, DMT, to persist and affect you. I first encountered it when Karla took me to visit her family in the Amazon nine years ago. Her tribe, the Shipibo, has used it for hundreds, thousand of years, and her mom drank it for stomachaches as a little girl. So it's either children's Tylenol or uber-LSD, or both. But for unknown reasons, it helps depression, drug addiction and acedia — at least it did for me.

Reilly Capps // reporter
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