activity. It is said that Amazonian shamans who, with the help of the ayahuasca vine, travel into these spiritual worlds, they are able to cure illnesses, both physical and mental. A reporter, Kira Salak, writing for the magazine National Geographic Adventure, in March 2006 reported that her depression was cured by taking ayahuasca. She said there is a long list of documented cures associated with drinking the brew, including cocaine addiction and metastasized colorectal cancer, and that this medicinal tea has been proven safe and not addictive to drink.
Some other western authors who have written about ayahuasca are Wade Davis, author of The Serpent and the Rainbow, and Terence McKenna, author of Invisible Landscapes. It is believed that Paul Simon's song, Spirit Voices, is based on his ayahuasca experiences in the Amazon.
Many different blends of tea are brewed using various ethnobotanical ingredients, but the common element is the ayahuasca vine, Banisteriopsis caapi. Some plants with which the vine is often blended with are Psychotria viridis and Diplopterys cabrerana.
In Ecuador and Peru, where ayahuasca has been a part of rainforest life for centuries, it is not unusual for a special diet to be followed before drinking the herbal tea. This includes avoiding fatty and spicy foods, as well as caffeine and citrus foods, and even abstaining from sex both prior to and subsequent to an ayahuasca ceremony.
Robert Scheer is a freelance writer and consultant for the Ayahuasca Shaman Information web site
. For further details visit www.ayahuascashaman.info