Before he started taking the South American plant-based brew, he suffered from intense bouts of anxiety and panic attacks.
“[Ayahuasca] is a very potent tool that shakes your psyche up and puts it back together again […] The first time I took it I felt like I was dying,” said Gary, who requested his surname remain anonymous. “It’s a radical means to fast-forward your self-development.”
Ayahuasca, or “spirit vine” in Native American or Quechuan languages, is a brew made out of the vine Banisteriopsis caapi and DMT-containing leafs from the Psychotria viridis bush, making it illegal in the UK and many other countries. For centuries, shamans in South America have used it as a religious sacrament. It is known for its ability to alter people’s states of mind—inducing hallucinations and, sometimes, resurfacing traumatic memories.
Over the years, many have touted ayahuasca for its abilities to cure everything from anxiety and depression to PTSD.