Ayahuasca, as you know, is a psychedelic tea made with two plants, like jungle LSD. I first tried it because my then-girlfriend, who grew up in the Amazon, said her family had done it for hundreds of years, and my smartest friend told me it "gets you so f***** up," and I used to be cavalier about my physical well-being. Turned out to be deep: I saw some of the gears of the universe turning. And I puked. And I suddenly didn't want to get blackout drunk anymore. And ever since I can't shut up about ayahuasca.
So here's some recent news about it:
Aya might help treat parkinson's disease, a study in mice suggested.
A scientific team meticulously analyzed which areas of Brazil have the plants with the highest percentage of the molecule — DMT — that makes you see stuff.
A real estate baron who had his life changed by ayahuasca has opened a communal space in New York City where psychedelics look to be a big part of the community.
Three people charged with possessing aya in Israel plan to argue that they shouldn't be convicted because it's a) for spiritual use, and, b) not actually illegal.
In Ireland, a religious leader who imported aya had his charges dropped.
In Wyoming, "preppers" — country folk preparing for the end of the world by stockpiling food and guns — have been holding aya ceremonies in their underground home.
A boxer who comes from one of the Amazonian tribes that originally concocted aya, the Shuar, said that, during an aya trip, he had a vision, saw himself on "one the world's biggest stages, boxing, flying in airplanes." That dream came true.
There's a luxury, 5-star aya retreat In Los Angeles that costs $25,000 for a two week retreat. You can find it on Yelp, showing that while ayahuasca is still a fringy thing considered by some authority figures to be illegal in some circumstances, it's becoming so open that you review your retreat centers on social media.
Also, this ayahuasca retreat on Yelp is not to be confused on Yelp with Ayahuasca Retreat, which is the name a hip Los Angeles Peruvian restaurant unlikely to make you vomit on your own shoes.
That's all the news I saw recently about ayahuasca.
For my job writing about politics and drugs at Rooster Magazine, if you're interested, I've lately written on party bus drivers being trained to handle riders' bad trips, underground opioid injection centers, a group that wants to give free medical marijuana cards to opioid addicts, the Mexican drug war getting crazier, magic mushroom clinical trials starting in Europe, Norway decriminalizing drugs, a cannabis church in Denver going to court and how weed isn't the biggest gateway drug — alcohol is.
All the best,
Denver / Boulder
AyaNews and Rooster Magazine
[Photo by Rhett Noonan on Unsplash. Not the ayahuasca-taking preppers. Just some Colorado hunters I thought looked cool.]