Refugio Altiplano explains the effects of Ayahuasca at their retreat center in Peru. In this recent episode of The Mindfield with star Michael Stevens of Vsausce filmed at Refugio Altiplano, we go into depth about current research of ancient Ayahuasca with modern neuroscience, as they travel to Peru’s Amazon Rainforest.
WHAT IS AYAHUASCA AND HOW DOES IT WORK?
Ayahuasca is a strong psychedelic brew containing DMT, found in the rainforest of South America. According to Dr. Robin Carthart-Harris, head of Centre for Psychedelic Research at Imperial College London, data can now show the effects of Ayahuasca on the human brain. They also pose the question – ‘Does a waking-dream state exist?’ Dr. Robin Carthart-Harris explains more about Ayahuasca during his journey to Refugio Altiplano.
Ayahuasca has been used for thousands of years by the indigenous people of the Amazon rainforest for healing. Now, with the help of modern fMRI brain scanning, it is possible to show the brain before and after ingesting Ayahuasca. This allows doctors to examine the complex interaction of these compounds on the brain. Ryan O’Hare discusses this drink and its effects on the brain on the Imperial College London website. As mentioned, it is used as part of a shamanic ceremony and is associated with vivid visions or hallucinations. A recent study found that Ayahuasca can change our brain waves, with some researchers commenting that it is like dreaming in an awakened state. The research, completed by researchers at Imperial College London, state that taking DMT and Ayahuasca can lead to intense waking-dream like experiences.
DMT AND ALTERED STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS
You may be wondering, what is DMT? DMT is a chemical compound found in the human brain and is released from the pineal gland during childbirth and death, but is also found in some plant species. Accounts taken from people who have ingested DMT to have hallucinations or near death like experiences, or to enter into ‘alternate states of realities’, scientists can now begin to collect data on the brain to see when consciousness has changed.
Researchers study human consciousness in two different states — when we’re awake, and when we’re asleep. “However we’re missing a big part of the picture if we don’t take into account other ways of being conscious,” says Christopher Timmermann, co-author on the recent Scientific Reports paper and researcher with Imperial College London. Timmermann states, “From the altered brainwaves and participants’ reports, it’s clear these people are completely immersed in their experience. It’s like daydreaming, only far more vivid and immersive. It’s like dreaming, but with your eyes wide open.”
Dr. Robin Carthart-Harris methods of testing involved cognitive testing and EEG monitors during ayahuasca ceremonies at Refugio Altiplano, to collect relevant information about shifts in the perception of ones basic self, ego, and reality. He states: “DMT is a particularly intriguing psychedelic. The visual vividness and depth of immersion produced by high-doses of the substance seems to be on a scale above what is reported with more widely studied psychedelics, such as psilocybin or ‘magic mushrooms.” However the method does not stop there. After the ceremonies they returned to UCLA for the final fMRI scans of the brain, which concluded a range of powerful effects that ayahuasca produces in the brain. This is groundbreaking research being carried out by scientists, with the assistance of the shamans at Refugio Altiplano. In the documentary we can see this result first hand.
Science is just beginning to explore these formerly unexplored areas of psychedelic neuroscience, as it is becoming more apparent that many plants have healing properties that can be used for medicinal purposes that have extremely potent, positive, long-term effects on human health and well-being.
WHY VISIT REFUGIO ALTIPLANO?
Refugio Altiplano offers a beautiful and serene Ayahuasca healing experience at their Ayahuasca retreat center in Peru. They have been providing this service for 25 years, with a personalized experience given to you, and an opportunity to meet each individual’s unique need for plant medicine healing.
If you would like more information about Ayahuasca and their retreat center in Peru, you can contact them today at +51 931 465 194, visit their website at, refugioaltiplano.org or email them at [email protected].