Traditional Uses for Ayahuasca Tea

Ayahuasca tea has been used in traditional ceremonies throughout Central and South America for centuries. This tea is considered a hallucinogenic compound that offers a number of health benefits, but it’s important to note that the effects of this substance are not yet fully understood by the medical community. Ayahuasca tea is different from other hallucinogens because it produces lucid-like dreams instead of hallucinations. These dreams can last between two to six hours, and they typically involve mystical experiences with perceived animal spirits and demons. The visions are often highly symbolic and resemble that of an intense religious experience.

Traditional Uses for Ayahuasca Tea

Ayahuasca tea is used in religious ceremonies, healing rituals, and therapy. It is also used in a ceremony called kora. The word ayahuasca comes from the Quechua language of Peru, where it means “vine of the dead” or “vine of the soul.”

The tea is made by boiling two plants together: a vine (Banisteriopsis caapi) and leaves from a bush (Psychotria viridis). The bitter taste comes from the bark of each plant that you boil for several hours before drinking it.

Adjunctive use for patients undergoing therapy for cancer or other serious conditions

Adjunctive use for patients undergoing therapy for cancer or other serious conditions

In addition to its traditional uses, ayahuasca tea has been used as an adjunct to therapy for cancer and other serious conditions. In particular, it may help with anxiety and depression, addiction, PTSD and sleep.

Kora Ceremony in Tibetan Buddhism

Ayahuasca is a sacrament in Tibetan Buddhism, and one of the most widely used sacraments by monks. Ayahuasca is used in three main ways:

  • To heal physical disease and illness
  • For spiritual insight, meditation and purification of the mind
  • For cleansing the body before a ceremony

Christian and Catholic Ayahuasca Ceremonies

Christian and Catholic ceremonies are more modern, which means that they have evolved over time. They use ayahuasca tea in a spiritual context that is different from indigenous ceremonies, but still carries the same intention of helping people connect to nature.

Christian and Catholic ceremonies usually take place in a church or other sacred space where participants are very carefully monitored by clergy members. This regulation means that participants must be older than 18 years old, sign waivers stating that they understand the risks involved with taking ayahuasca tea (including potential psychological consequences), and agree to not drive after drinking it because its effects can last up to 8 hours. These restrictions make these types of ceremonies less accessible than indigenous ones because some people may not feel comfortable with signing such agreements.*

Native American Church Sacramental Use of Peyote

If you’re not familiar with the Native American Church, it’s a religious organization that uses peyote as part of their rituals. Peyote is a hallucinogenic cactus from Mexico, and its use is legal in the United States.

As you can see from this chart of states’ laws on peyote possession and use (note: some states do not recognize the Native American Church), it’s currently illegal to possess or consume peyote unless you belong to this church or have a permit for medicinal purposes.

Indigenous cultures have been using ayahuasca tea in religious ceremonies and healing rituals for centuries.

Indigenous cultures have been using ayahuasca tea in religious ceremonies and healing rituals for centuries. Ayahuasca is a South American plant that contains a hallucinogenic substance known as DMT, which is found in many types of plants and animals. The “tea” that results from combining this vine with other ingredients such as leaves or bark is widely used by tribes across the Amazon basin to induce visions, spiritual experiences, and emotional healing.


There are many different uses for ayahuasca tea, and it’s always important to consider the potential benefits and risks of using this substance. If you have any questions about whether or not the use of ayahuasca could be beneficial for you, contact your healthcare provider.

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