Psychedelic Medicine: Ayahuasca and DMT

by Veronica Castillo


I always recommend journeying with others”- Zoe Helene

For some, the experience of consuming plant medicines is one of deep thought, decision making, and planning. The decision on which psychedelic to consume is a hard-enough decision to make. While many are familiar with THC, also considered a psychedelic, Ayahuasca and DMT are not as familiar.

Before getting into the educational piece, I want to put out that views are varied regarding consuming psychedelics alone and consuming with others. For Zoe Helene, Cultural Activist and Founder of Cosmic Sister, she recommends consuming with others:

“Long-term social isolation with psychedelics is not a good idea. Community is hugely important, for a host of reasons.”

About Ayahuasca

Ayahuasca is a South American brew, like a tea, that means “vine of the soul”. Aya= soul/ancestors and huasca= vine/rope. Interestingly enough, Ayahuasca contains DMT. The leaves of the P-viridis plant hold DMT in them. 

And if that isn’t cool enough, the B. cappi vine contains MAO inhibitors which result in the body not breaking down the DMT. This happens because MAO inhibitors stop the body from breaking down DMT, which makes the journey last longer.

Zoe Helene says, “you must have both plants for it to work; however, sometimes other plants are added to the mixture—carefully, and with years of training.

Ayahuasca has been used for thousands of years by the people of Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, and Brazil, as a healing medicine or tribal rituals. Research and imaging now show that Ayahuasca that increases blood flow to areas of the brain that help regulate emotions and memory. 


About DMT

DMT was first found to be psychedelic by the Hungarian chemist Stephen Szára in the 1950s. Did you know that DMT is found in plants and animals? There is information out there that supports the pineal gland producing DMT, that’s right, the human body. If this is true, how in the world is this illegal? But because it’s illegal, no research is allowed and so, we cannot confirm this to be fact.

Research started in the 1950’s and then, in the 1960’s it was discovered in the human body. It is now believed to be widespread throughout the natural kingdom, in thousands of plants, and in every mammal that has been investigated so far.

DMT is also called the spirit molecule and is the main active ingredient in ayahuasca. 

Again, I ask; how is anything that the human body produces, illegal?

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