Does Ayahuasca Have a Place in Ayurveda? - Ayurveda | Everyday Ayurveda

Does Ayahuasca Have a Place in Ayurveda?

By on July 23, 2016
ayurveda and ayahuasca

Over the last million years or so, we have been provided with ways of furthering our consciousness or changing our perception of our world, ourselves and our relation to the cosmos. With the use of certain practices, disciplines, rituals and entheo-medicines we have enabled ourselves to perceive and understand the sacred thread that weaves us all together and can help us attain the state of pure wisdom.

I understand and respect we all have our chosen path towards a spiritual or karmic way of life (Sadhana/dharma). But with this said, I have practiced this approach and I feel when used together has huge benefits for us as individuals and as humanity as a whole.


Brahmacharya, which we all can achieve, is associated to being able to achieve a state of pure thought and awareness (that’s beyond mind). It provides a base to self-educate and seek all there is to know without outside input.

Normally there are 7 ways of learning or enabling absorption of knowledge.

  1. Visual (spatial): You prefer using pictures, images, and spatial understanding.
  2. Aural (auditory-musical): You prefer using sound and music.
  3. Verbal (linguistic): Words, both in speech and writing.
  4. Physical (kinesthetic): Hands and sense of touch.
  5. Logical (mathematical): Reasoning and systems.
  6. Social (interpersonal): Learn in groups or with other people.
  7. Solitary (intrapersonal): Work alone and use self-study.

All of these in day to day life can be used to grasp a topic. I would personally like to share my empirical perspective of the union of two amazing medicines that enable us to expel any emotional, physical and spiritual issues. These medicines enable a state the Yogis call ‘Brahmacharya’ or ‘Samadhi’ to develop.
An example of perceiving this magic was a comment by a fellow Ayahuasca ceremony attendee –  I learnt more about myself and my role in this world in 8 hrs than I have in the past 35 years


The history of Ayurveda is said to have originated in India some 5000 years ago. Ayureda developed when there was an urgency to manage some psychological, physical and spiritual health afflictions. History states that the enlightened beings (Sattvic) went up into the Himalayas, meditated and brought forth from the ‘source’ this science of life.

Ayurveda which means the ‘Science of life’, illuminates, incorporates and has a direct relationship with all the healing practices from around the globe. As such, they can all find a home under the Ayurvedic umbrella. Whether it be Chinese Acupuncture that uses ‘meridians’( which Ayurveda refers to as ‘Nadis’) or Massage which Ayurveda calls ‘Abhyanga’.

The concept of the Ayurvedic system states that through the implementation of dietary and daily practices we can enable the body to remove Toxins (AMA) and darkness (TAMAS) from our mind, body and spirit. This removal helps us reach a state of harmony and balance called ‘Sattvic’.

This is the key, if we understand the basis of what ‘SATTVIC’ means, becoming more aligned with mind, body and spirit. This allows us to become more heart orientated so we can tap into the ‘collective consciousness’ (C G JUNG) or ‘Godhead/Atman’.

With this said, it does take years to be able to create and cultivate such an inner stillness that facilitates the opening of our ‘third eye’ thus tapping into your own innate psychic abilities; which is an innate ability for all humans.

Think with the heart this is where it starts.

The guru is you, teachers are merely inner seekers.

Learn the verse of your inner universe.

– Siddha Somanomah

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The indigenous medicine Ayahuasca is found in most of Northern South America. This medicine has been used for ’1000’s’ of years. Ayahuasca has been associated with the healing of cancerous growths and severe mental conditions. This is done alongside the implementation and administration of different Amazonian plants.

The brew itself is the marriage of two plants the Ayahuasca vine (Banisteriopsis Caapi). The vine is an MAO inhibitor used along with the plant ‘Chacruna’ (Psychotria Viridis). Chacruna contains this psychoactive ingredient ‘DMT. Our bodies cannot process this DMT without the MAOI’s found in the Ayahuasca vine (This practice has a wide array of beliefs and rituals associated with shamanic healing, trying to explain them all here holds little relevance to what I am trying to describe).

Awakening the Seat of the Soul

Our pineal gland naturally produces the substance (DMT). The pineal gland is associated with our ‘third eye’ chakra and is also referred to as ‘the seat of the soul’. Ayahuasca, known as the ‘vine of souls’, when used in a sacred ceremonial context, can give us the ability to tap into the realm that I believe the ‘Yogis’ of ancient India were opening up through extended periods of meditation and dietary restrictions.

Many people have more capability of activating their third eye/pineal glands, though some people may need a little more ‘flick’ of the ‘switch’ so to speak.

With respect to India and its account of sacramental medicines, there is a long lost medicine called ‘SOMA’. SOMA is associated with what I have perceived under the influence of Ayahuasca. From my speculation this may be the ‘Phalaris Arundinacea’ species which is said to contain the highest traces of DMT in world. This can be found in northern India being brewed with the blue lotus, which also is a MAO-inhibitor.

Binding of the Divine Bodhi Vine with the Savior Ayurveda

Both these two medicines begin with the sound ‘Eye’. The primordial vowel of these two words ‘Ay’-ahuasca and ‘Ay’-urveda is also the resonance or ‘tone’ of the third eye or ‘Ajna’, effecting and opening up the cosmic body with its core functions are Intuition, connection with higher self and the ability to see without filters of the ‘Mind’.

During my recent visits to Peru, I was undertaking the Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle and was amazed to see the similarities between the diet and healing practices of these two approaches to healing and energetic recalibration. With persisted use of this Peruvian medicine, alongside the Ayurvedic lifestyle and Sattvic diet, I have started to open up to the realm of ‘Brahmacharya’. This has enabled me to learn more than I ever thought would be possible without a Teacher/Guru .

Below I raise a few concepts which I will demonstrate and articulate an organic practice that will possibly allow each and every one of us to learn that which already resides deep inside (Vritti).

Inner Body Experience

In the past the ‘Yogis/Rishis’ meditated in secluded caves on the divine, reaching heightened states. The sacramental use of the Ayahuasca brew helps us to reach this state via the plant world while also connecting and reflecting us back to the ‘Mother Earth’.

Within the multidimensional visionary aspect Ayahuasca provides, there can be the desire to have a out of body experience. Nevertheless what would truly benefit the participant is to have an inner body experience. An experience which brings us back into the moment and union with the source. A moment without being distracted, perplexed or ungrounded.

The Doshas

In Ayurveda there are three doshas, each made up of a combination of the 5 elements.

My body type is predominantly VATA (air and space). Thus, even though the first few ceremonies were amazing, it did take me a long time to come back to grounding and integrating these new found states into traits, stages etc.

This is where the Ayurvedic model/system identifies our inclination towards becoming ‘airy’ or ‘ungrounded’. I feel Ayurveda clearly enables and facilitates us to have these experiences. It contributes to helping us move into this stage of being much quicker and gentler. As these experiences can aggravate the ‘Doshas’, if care is not taken in the process. It is helpful to be aware of your ‘Dosha’ prior to ‘sitting’. This knowledge can help you understand what foods to eat and what aroma therapies to acquire. Knowing your dosha will help bring you back from this heightened state.

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Now let’s take a look at how to get to this place of wisdom, while keeping our feet somewhat on the Mother Earth.

In Ayurveda when the entire energetic body and physical body is in a state of homeostasis we produce a ‘substance’ called ‘Ojas’. Ojas is our vital primordial essence that comes from ether or spirit. It is said to have the texture of ghee and the color of gold.

Ojas is responsible for:

  • Higher states of consciousness
  • Immunity
  • Purity of thoughts
  • Perfect health
  • Positivity in feelings
  • Love
  • Joy
  • Better immunity
  • Longevity
  • Intelligence
  • Creativity
  • Memory
  • Bliss
  • Thought/mental processes

The inability to create Ojas causes:

  • Fear
  • Physical and mental weakness
  • Impaired mental functions
  • Tissue dryness

Precious Ojas can be depleted by pretty much any health defeating factors, such as:

  • Trauma
  • Serious malnutrition
  • Grief
  • Anger
  • Mental stress
  • Physical hard work
  • Hunger

For our bodies to create Ojas we must first rid our ‘whole’ bodies of mental, physical, energetic or spiritual ‘Tamas’ and ‘Rajas’.

This brings me to the three ‘Gunas’ which I will describe in short so not to lose you in Ayurvedic philosophy.

The Three Gunas

The Gunas are the three states of the mind which arise from the ether called ‘Prakruti’. These can be increased, or decreased, with our objective in life is to move into a ‘Sattvic’ state and away from our current state (Vikruti).

Tamas – This first state is a state of darkness, inertia, inactivity and materiality. Tamas manifests from ignorance and deludes all beings from their spiritual truths.

To reduce Tamas avoid:

  • Tamasic foods
  • Over sleeping
  • Over eating
  • Inactivity
  • Passivity
  • Fearful situations

Tamasic foods include heavy meats, and foods that are spoiled, chemically treated, processed or refined. The accumulation of this Guna is clear to see in modern society. Simply go to your nearest fast food restaurant and observe the behavioral and traits of all people who partake in a Tamasic way of living. You just might see darkness in the form of attachments, fear and there need to acquire more thus the cycle of Maya (illusion) present.

Rajas is a state of energy, action, change and movement. The nature of Rajas is of attraction, longing and attachment. Rajas strongly bind us to the fruits of our work.

To reduce Rajas avoid:

  • Rajasic foods
  • Over exercising
  • Over work
  • Loud music
  • Excessive thinking
  • Consuming excessive material goods

Rajasic foods include fried foods, spicy foods, and stimulants. People who have these are not necessarily drawn away from the ‘source’, but more inclined to be more ego driven and to acquire more in the form of knowledge experience and outside luxuries. A rajasic mind is said to be one that always asking questions and is always seeking.

Lastly, the state of Sattva is a state of harmony, balance, joy and intelligence. Sattvic is the Guna that ‘Yogis’ move towards as it reduces Rajas and Tamas and thus makes liberation possible.

To increase Sattva reduce both Rajas and Tamas:

  • Eat Sattvic foods
  • Enjoy activities and environments that produce joy and positive thoughts

Sattvic foods include whole grains, legumes, fresh fruits and vegetables that grow above the ground. All of the yogic practices were developed to create Sattva in the mind and body. Thus, practicing yoga and leading a yogic lifestyle strongly cultivates Sattva.

Proper Diet

Now if we look at the ‘diet‘ you need to undergo as to be able to really allow Ayahuasca to do her work, its made up of:

  • No salt
  • Sugar
  • Oil
  • Dairy
  • Alcohol
  • Sex
  • Spices, including pepper, etc

This diet that is not to be confused with the word dieta. Dieta is the shamanic process of the ingestion of certain plants; to acquire healing/teachings from the plant world. Personally, I have done two with the tree Chuchuwausa, which I found to nourish and replenish the Shukra, Rasa, Rakta dhatus (The Seven body tissues).

This strict diet consists of mostly vegetables and some but very small amounts of fish (white meat) – All of which are Sattvic in nature. With respect to eating vegetables (which both practices endorse), what I have truly found was that when we eat things that are close to the ‘source’ or ‘primordial energy’ we become more like ‘light.’ This may lead us into the next stage of evolution which has been termed homo-illuminous.

Why Eat Plants?

Plants take their nourishment from the Sun. When we consume them we get this energy firsthand. On the other hand, if we eat an animal that eats the plant we are moving further away from the ‘source’. Now look at where artificial or processed foods lie and you can clearly see most of us have moved further away from a Sattvic way of life and into a Tamasic de-evolution.

When you adhere to this Ojas producing diet you are allowing your body to be open for healing. This cleansing diet will limit the need for the physical (vomiting or diarrhea) or emotional purge (which may manifest as yawning, crying or even laughter). All are a process of expelling ‘Tamas’. So what we have in common here is the idea of expelling the physical energetic and spiritual body of darkness.

But it’s not just in ceremony, there is also another Ayurvedic practice to remove dissonance of our state of being.

Pancha Karma

This other aspect of expulsion of ‘Tamas’ is done through the Ayurvedic process of Pancha Karma, which is almost exactly the process used by the Shipibo Conibo practitioners Curanderos / Curanderas. The Five (Pancha) Actions (Karma) are much alike the healing style of the Curanderos and Curanderas of Peru.

It is not only the diet, but also these other techniques that play a major role in healing the mind body matrix. Once we have removed toxins (Ama) from our whole bodies we can begin to move into higher vibration. This is because the Rajas or Tamas have been eliminated and the ‘Ojas’ can now start to flourish.

With addition to the Ayurvedic model, I feel the use of Ayahuasca in a ceremonial context will help you remove mental and emotional issues and will facilitate a faster healing experience.

Please beware if you are ‘Vata’ doing this practice in the long term without adequate ‘down time’ (eating ground vegetables) in between will lead to ‘Vata’ aggravation. This aggravation can actually hinder your healing. The night ceremonies could lead to a tendency towards insomnia and aggravate ‘Pitta’ . Thus, adequate rest is recommended.

If you are ‘Kapha’ these methods will have the most effect and benefit.

An excess of ‘Kapha’ expresses itself as:

  • Excess mucous
  • Thick, white tongue coating
  • Sticky, sluggish bowel movements
  • High body weight
  • Feeling slow, foggy, dull, lethargic or heavy
  • Easily attached or possessive
  • Overly sentimental
  • Complacent
  • Stubborn
  • Tendency for emotional overeating

Food for Thought

I will leave you with a practice you can take with you.

When, or if, you plan to undergo this process, I recommend that before you go, you adhere to a ‘Dosha’ (body type) pacifying diet. This will allow the ‘purge’ to be less intense as you would have already begun the process of removing toxins (AMA) from your system.

In addition, please be aware that when you are partaking in the use of this medicine, you are not around or touch other people as your ‘crown’ is open and unsanitary entities drop in. What is used when you need protection is the use of Pasangas/Shamanic aromas. The way to use these is to meditate with them and put intention into them. Just before you go into or during ceremony rub the fragrance over your Crown and body.

Another method in protecting yourself is the use of tobacco/mapacho. While you are in ceremony, speak a prayer of protection into the Mapacho and ask him for protection. Then when you are in a state where you are losing yourself/ becoming too open – light the Mapacho, take the smoke into your mouth, make a saliva ball and swallow three times, all the while asking the Mapacho spirit to protect you or to bring you back.

In closing, leading a Sattvic lifestyle a few months prior to attending a ‘Ceremony’ will balance your body and mind and allow you to be stronger and more open to healing. Also give some ‘heart influenced’ thoughts prior to ceremony for a intention or question for the medicine/your higher self. You will be amazed at how profound the answers may be (but keep them relative to what will help you heal yourself first, before moving onto the ‘bigger’ questions).

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About Dan Barnes

Dan Barnes of has his roots in Ayurveda. He has apprenticed with an Australian shaman who has been practicing a lineage originating from the Northern Peruvian Amazon. This shamanic perspective has helped him perceive the energetics of disease and how vibrational calibration is the key to healing our whole being. He sees the correlation of traditional Ayurveda and this shamanic practice and how they work hand in hand to give a fully integral approach to healing. Check out more of his writing at- &


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