Top 3 Best Practices of Ayahuasca Tourism: Shamans, Charlatans and Thousand-dollar Retreats
Any kind of travel industry is always eking in profit margins. The ayahuasca spirit vine found in the Amazon basins has rapidly become very popular in the modern world due to its powerfully enlightening properties and certain medical benefits. Peru is one of the most well known countries which offer ayahusca retreats to the eager westerners, who often come from half way around the world to cure themselves of physical and psychological issues.
This drink also called yage is made from Banisteropsis caapi and chacruna plants. This brew has DMT which is hallucinatory drug. However, there is no denying the fact that ayahuasca has certain benefits, although the use of the spiritual travel has been widely commercialized. This drink which is used often in a night long traditional ceremony can alter your levels of consciousness and connect you with the other world. Vomiting and diarrhea as well as having visions are commonplace in the healing process. The Iquitos tribe in Peru played a significant role in capitalizing the usage of ayahusca to the external world, with ayahusca retreats being opened up throughout the length and breadth of the Amazon basin. However although this plant vine has strong medical potential, there are reported incidents of unethical and malpractices, as stated in an article by Ariana Crisafulli.
The tragedy regarding the misusage
There is no doubt in itself that while ayahausca has some great medical benefits, it is not without its share of controversies. A traditional and ethical shaman spends a good part of his life time in learning the techniques. He has to undergo a strict and rigorous dieta or prior preparation procedure for consuming ayahausca as part of his learning, by fasting or abstaining from physical intercourse and non vegetarian food. However, there are charlatans or people who claim to be shamans and dupe travelers by giving them this sacred drink, only for profit. These so called healers have little or no knowledge of the divine learning and have been known to harass ladies too. No wonder then the ayahuasca is called a brew of mystic proportions.
There have been many positive aspects of this plant brew, as per medical researches and tourist experiences. It is supposed to be very effective in curing cancers, mental diseases and even severe problems like substance addictions and suicidal tendencies. However, the greed for money is turning this sacred tradition into a commercialized venture. Earlier the shamans charged only for self sustenance costs the modern practice has given way for larger amounts which are not justified. It actually is like an extreme sport where you have the option be positive and gain positively or otherwise.