Unraveling the Mystery of the Origin of Ayahuasca


For decades, researchers have puzzled over the mystery of the origin of Ayahuasca, especially the question of how the synergy was discovered between the the two components of the brew: the vine (Banisteriopsis caapi) with a monoamine oxidase inhibiting (MAOI) action and the leaf (Psychotria viridis or Diplopterys cabrerana), which requires that MAOI action to make their dimethyltryptamine (DMT) orally active.

Traveling Safely to Drink Ayahuasca


If you have decided to travel to Peru or other areas in South America to drink ayahuasca, I hope that you have a wonderful experience and return safely to tell everyone about your adventures. Here are several things you can do to help ensure that your trip is safe and productive.

The Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss


The soft-cover printed copy of Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss, by Dennis McKenna, is now finally — finally! — available on Amazon.

Out of the Jungle and Into… ?


Curated by Jerónimo M.M. “out of the jungle and into… ?” is a collection of news, videos, articles and essays regarding the interconnected and ever-evolving world of ayahuasca, shamanism, ethnopharmacology, psychedelic research, healing practices…

On the Subject of Ayahuasca


Ayahuasca Pinterest, by Steve Beyer

A collection of items from around the Web on the subject of ayahuasca, especially as they demonstrate the remarkable infiltration of the ayahuasca meme into western popular culture. Curated by Steve Beyer

Public Statement to the Ayahuasca Community

We offer our most heartfelt condolences for the Nolan family on the tragic loss of their son, Kyle. We, the undersigned, people who had direct experience with Shimbre, or have concern over what has transpired, believe Kyle was not given this medicine in a safe or supportive traditional environment. During the Shimbre ‘incident’ we believe this sacred medicine was administered by an irresponsible practitioner who did not follow the ancient traditional practice of staying with the seeker or student to insure physical and spiritual safety.

Jan Irvin Talks with Steve Beyer

Steve with Flute

Steve Beyer is a researcher in ethnobotany, ethnomedicine, shamanism, and hallucinogenic plants and fungi. His interests center on the indigenous ceremonial use of the sacred plants — ayahuasca and other psychoactive and healing plants in the Amazon, peyote in ceremonies of the Native American Church, huachuma in Peruvian mesa rituals, and teonanácatl and other mushrooms [...]

Awakening The Cosmic Serpent II: Ayahuasca, Ancient Remedy for Modern Times


Join host Jeremy Narby for this Evolver Intensive online video course with guests Steve Beyer, Benny Shanon, Kenneth Tupper, Susana Bustos, and Martina Hoffmann to explore how Ayahuasca is transforming the lives of people around the world, challenging Western notions about healing, art, religion, and the intelligence of nature.

Ayahuasca: Beyond the Amazon – Risks and Challenges of a Spreading Tradition


By Stephen Trichter, Psy.D.

As the use of ayahuasca shifts to use outside of its original cultural context, we must examine how the spread of this healing practice can not only bring the benefits for which it was originally intended, but how its transfer into a new cultural framework potentially can also cause distress and harm.
(Painting by Augustin Lesage)

Notes on Yagé

Edward Morell Holmes

A manuscript that links Conan Doyle, fellow novelist H Rider Haggard and a hallucinogenic plant from South America

Howard Charing Talks with Steve Beyer

Howard and Steve

This is an edited transcript of a series of conversations between Howard G. Charing, author of The Ayahuasca Visions of Pablo Amaringo, and Steve Beyer, author of Singing to the Plants: A Guide to Mestizo Shamanism in the Upper Amazon. These talks took place during the summer of 2010, at the kitchen table and on [...]

How To Redesign the World: Live Online Course


Come along with Starhawk, Van Jones, Vandana Shiva, Toby Hemenway, Ernest Callenbach, Carolyn Stayton and Mark Lakeman to explore permaculture, transition towns, economics and ecology, community, regeneration, balance, and vision.

Awakening the Cosmic Serpent: A Live Online Course


Join host Jeremy Narby for a groundbreaking series of online lectures, and one-on-one discussions with four of the world’s leading experts on the shamanic use of plants: Stanislav Grof, Wade Davis, Kat Harrison and Luis Eduardo Luna. The course begins January 23. EarlyBird discounts available until Jan 10. Jump on board!

Entheogens & Existential Intelligence: The Use of “Plant Teachers” as Cognitive Tools

By Yvonne McGillivray

The use of entheogens such as ayahuasca is exemplary of the long and ongoing tradition in many cultures to employ psychoactives as tools that stimulate foundational types of understanding. That such substances are capable of stimulating profoundly transcendent experiences is evident from both the academic literature and anecdotal reports. This article attempts to present these concepts in such a way that the possibility of using entheogens as tools is taken seriously by those with an interest in new and transformative ideas in education.

An Interview with Donal Ruane


An interview with Donal Ruane, Irish author, researcher and explorer, about his views on Ayahuasca, shamanism, plants, and his meeting with Pablo Amaringo. First published in Dreamflesh, a journal of altered states, archaic consciousness, prehistoric art and shamanism.


Steve Beyer, author of Singing to the Plants: A Guide to Mestizo Shamanism in the Upper Amazon, questions the Western conventional wisdom that the sole function of the beta-carbolines in the ayahuasca drink is simply to allow DMT to become orally active, and explores the scientific and ethnographic literature for evidence of beta-carboline psychoactivity.

Notes on the Western Paradigm of Ayahuasca

the Ayahuasca vine

To claim any plant combination that enables DMT to become orally active is ‘Ayahuasca’, is to ignore a living indigenous tradition, language, etymology, folklore, taxonomy. And more… calling unique plant potions ‘Ayahuasca analogues’ encourages a lazy approach to the specific identies and properties of other medicine plants.

Jaques Mabit discusses the law of Justice and the law of love

Preparation for the Ayahuasca Experience

Howard G. Charing
After being virtually ignored by Western civilization for centuries, there has been a huge surge of interest in Ayahuasca recently. There is a growing belief that it is a kind of ‘medicine for our times’, giving hope to people with ‘incurable’ diseases like cancer and HIV, drug addictions and inspiring answers to the big ecological problems of modern civilization.

On the Origins of Ayahuasca

Daniel Mirante
How could such a complex synergistic potion be discovered amongst over 80,000 catalogued plant species of the Amazon forest? Studying Ayahuasca, modern minds have puzzled the origins of the discovery of the Great Medicine, since it is commonly said that being a synergistic potion, there is no effect when only one of the plants are consumed.


Exploring Ayahuasca, the healing, creative, botanical and scientific aspects of the Amazonian Great Medicine.

Copyright ownership is retained by respective contributors. Please request permission before reproducing any contents of this website.

The Ayahuasca Forums

The Ayahuasca Forums archive and present a diverse and ongoing collection of articles, opinions, research, reviews, testimonials, safety information, links, news and conversation.

Established in 1999, The Ayahuasca Forums brings together individuals, communities, perspectives, insight and support regarding the use of ayahuasca, and the practice and traditions of ayahuasca shamanism.

This website hosts articles written by a variety of contributors. Each contributor assumes full responsibility for the reliability and accuracy of the information contained in each such article, and this website and its editorial board specifically disclaim any responsibility for the content of any article by any of its contributors.

The information on this website is offered for informational use only, and is not intended for use in diagnosing any disease or condition or prescribing any treatment whatsoever.

Read the disclaimer in full