This is What Happens When You Drink Ayahuasca And Why You Should Never Do It

by Christina Cannes

Ayahuasca is a psychedelic concoction traditionally made from the leaves of the Psychotria viridis shrub (DMT) along with the stalks of the Banisteriopsis caapi vine.

Originating from South America, a shaman or curandero — an experienced healer who leads Ayahuasca ceremonies — prepares the brew by boiling torn leaves of the Psychotria viridis shrub and stalks of the Banisteriopsis caapi vine in water. Historically, this drink was used for spiritual and religious purposes by ancient Amazonian tribes and is still used as a sacred beverage by some religious communities in Brazil and North America.

Australian Brew

Since Australian plants have some of the highest amount of DMT on the planet, native acacia leaves can be mixed with Australian-grown ayahuasca vines to produce ayahuasca. DMT is the active ingredient which creates the ‘psychedelic’ experience.

The ayahuasca vine, which is native to South America but is also grown here in Australia, isn’t illegal. But DMT is illegal. DMT (N,N-Dimethyltryptamine) is a hallucinogenic tryptamine drug that occurs naturally in many plants and animals. It is also referred to as the “spirit molecule” due to the intense psychedelic experience. There is some evidence that DMT is also produced endogenously, in other words, it is produced naturally in the body, specifically in the pineal gland in the brain.

How Does It Work?

The main ingredients of Ayahuasca — Banisteriopsis caapi and Psychotria viridis (or native acacia) — both have hallucinogenic properties. Psychotria viridis (or native acacia) contains N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a psychedelic substance that occurs naturally in the plant. DMT is a powerful hallucinogenic chemical, however, it has low bioavailability, as it gets rapidly broken down by enzymes called monoamine oxidases (MAOs) in your liver and gastrointestinal tract. For this reason, DMT must be combined with something containing MAO inhibitors (MAOIs), which allow DMT to take effect. Banisteriopsis caapi contains potent MAOIs called β-carbolines, which also have psychoactive effects of their own.

When combined, these two plants form a powerful psychedelic brew that affects the central nervous system, leading to an altered state of consciousness that can include hallucinations, out-of-body experiences, and euphoria.


I prepared for the ayahuasca experience all week. I gave up coffee, alcohol and sugar and ate vegetarian. This was the biggest benefit – because I did not want to purge (vomiting and diarrhoea that occurs during a ceremony) – I was loving and nurturing and took great care of myself. When I arrived at the retreat centre, I went into the journey feeling very secure, well prepared, humble and with a deep appreciation for myself.  What I did not know, was that even before taking the medicine, the energy of the experience was already affecting me. Because I had agreed to the experience, the spirit of the plant was working with me. It was a great lesson into how what we agree to affects our lives (and that we should be very careful of what we are agreeing to).

The Retreat

Guided by a “shaman” and his experienced assistant, we were “cleansed” by a sage stick and then led into a round room where we laid out sleeping bags and pillows. Everyone wore white and a large altar space full of plants and crystals took up the centre of the room. The shaman sat down behind a set of musical instruments and would provide the soundtrack to the next eight hours. He began to pour the first round of cups – the brewed ayahuasca that we would all drink.

First Cup

The first cup went down smooth. It tasted bitter but very soon after drinking it, I felt a deep release. I laid down on my sleeping bag and cried and cried and cried. I sobbed steaming hot tears that I thought were burning my face. My entire body shook from sobbing and I didn’t care – it needed to come out.

I saw my ex-husband and finally understood the root of his abuse – his own pain – and despite how much he hurt me, I was still connected to him. This was the end. Right here. I needed to let it all go. When I fell in love with him, I thought I had found my fellow spiritual warrior. Together we would live our own life by being true to what was in our hearts. But no – his pain was too deep and he could not let himself heal. Healing would require too much pain all over again. I was finally able to let it all pass through me and let go of the hatred and resentment and be grateful for the experience.

Then a beautiful peace took me in its arms and held me. I could feel all the love between the shaman and his assistant and all the love that enveloped the room and held us there like babies in its arms. I felt so safe and protected and drank in that love in huge gulps. I realised I am so thirsty and starving for love – to love myself, to love others, to receive love from others. I could feel the men in the room – beautiful masculine energy. And I let myself receive that masculine energy and for the first time in my life it was ok.

Second Cup

After sitting with the first cup for an hour, maybe two – who knows – we went up for the second round. I drank and immediately laid back down. Music was playing but almost instantly all I could see were shapes, patterns, space and time, passing stars. The room was vibrating and my body was vibrating – people were playing crystal bowls. And then I purged into a nearby bucket! Nothing came out because I had fasted, but I still felt better.

I realised I couldn’t move – my body wouldn’t listen to me – so I just helplessly collapsed. I buried my head into my pillow and laid on my stomach protecting myself from the intensity. I saw shadows of myself and my two sons alone in our house – always alone in the house. The house was spinning with us inside like the house from the Wizard of Oz with Dorothy trapped in the tornado. I was trying to let go of this house, this land, but I was so attached to the idea of home. I never had a home before. So there I am, this mother all alone with her two little boys trying so hard to do the best I can alone in this house.

My own mother was no mother – she gave me almost nothing to live on emotionally. How did I survive without any love? I had to listen to divine inspiration and divine wisdom, but still I doubted myself. I listened to the other voice, that evil voice that proclaims I must be PERFECT! I need to let go of this house, to sell it and all the memories there. After that, I can move on.

I saw myself with my boys and I saw how much love we need. Why won’t someone love us? Why won’t someone love me? “Because I don’t love myself,” they said. Suddenly I could hear voices talking to me. They showed me that my children are my teachers. They have helped me heal more than anyone else and always will. Parents are not teachers, it is the other way around.

But then I could see my youngest son being sucked dry by vampires with no eyes. They were feeding on his innocent soul, stealing it from him. My other son is so STRONG! He will help me. But the little one is scared and he needs our help. I must love myself and I must love them. If I do this, the eyeless vampires will have no power over my children or me.

I threw the vampires love and they retreated away into a cave in the ground. Suddenly, I saw that the vampires were taking over the earth and I was surrounded by them. They are everyone who does not choose love. I used to be one. I did not want to throw them love. I wanted to obliterate them with some sort of machine – I wanted to destroy them with their own machines, but that would only make them stronger. I had to send them love and when I finally did, they left me alone.

I went back in time and saw my childhood briefly. It was dark and the energy was heavy like chains and painful. There is nothing for me there. Slavery. I threw it love. I went back to the office I used to work in high above the earth, and it was a prison and I threw it love and I left that place too. I saw my family, my mother and my father, my brother and my grandparents, my uncles and aunties and cousins and there was nothing for me. I threw them love and I left them too.

And then I was shown the people in my life who truly do love me. And I spoke to them and I told them that I loved them and that I was grateful to have them in my life. None of them are blood relations, all of them were chosen.

And then I was told that my answers lie in LOVE and that everything and everyone I need is already here with me right now. I can hold space someday and help people cross over if I step into it and let these people help me. I will have the strength if I follow love and in return give my love.

“Stop looking so hard, Christina,” the voices said, “it’s all right here. You have finally found it. You are going to be ok. It is all so simple, it is love and it is all right here – how many times do we have to tell you that? Do not be scared to let love in – you have been taught that love is abuse, that love is conditional and only given if you obey and serve. True love does not control you – it does not drain you and leave you feeling empty – it is not pain and suffering! True love will never hurt you – true love asks for nothing; true love is the answer to everything. You will unlock the doors to your own consciousness with love. Do not be scared, you cannot be hurt anymore. You are protected, you have made it to the other side. Do not be scared of women or men, they are not your mother or your father. No one can hurt you like that again, just let in the love.”

And then Sarah McLaughlin’s “In the Arms of the Angels” came on and I woke up from the trance and found myself back in the round room surrounded by bodies dressed in white.

My Lessons

The next day the messages were still coming in. The biggest takeaways from the experience were that my difficult years were over (great, only 36 of them!) and I am here to help people heal. The voices told me that I have never felt truly loved and I was given the experience so I would know what it feels like.

I am are also here in this lifetime to experience and teach embodied consciousness. Consciousness wants to evolve. It wants to be embodied and this means being present in my body, promoting love, community, healing and using the earth and all her gifts to my greatest advantage.  

The eyeless vampires represented disembodied consciousness, addictions, distractions and false selves. I was told that someday soon humans will manufacture consciousness and it will become completely disembodied. I don’t know what that means for the human race – if that is in fact the goal – but I choose not to be a part of that process. My feet will remain, until my dying day, firmly planted on the earth.

The main message was that I have done so much hard work to get to this point and that the bad parts were over. I was told to keep my head up and the journey would get easier. There would be challenges, but nothing as terrible. The rewards are worth it.

Don’t Do Ayahuasca

The reason I shared this experience with you is to show you firsthand how ayahuasca works and what happens. While I am grateful for the experience, I had to have a holographic kinetics session immediately afterwards. Ayahuasca is a spirit – just like every living thing and every other drug – and it attaches to you like a vine and wants to grow. Many people who go on ayahuasca journeys never stop – the plant calls them back again and again. Just like any drug, it tries to control you.

Since you are also totally out of control – no ability to even move your body – this leaves you very vulnerable and open to all sorts of very dangerous entity attachments. I have heard of people doing ayahuasca and then committing acts of violence – even towards family members – as well as other participants during the ceremony. I have also heard of people dying during the experience. There are too many risks and too few benefits. There are other ways to heal trauma that are not dangerous and offer greater benefit.

Luckily, I have a holographic kinetics practitioner nearby who knows how to remove the spirit of the plant, so I was not affected by it or any other entities. We did have to remove some entities put inside my energy field from the shaman. I felt better after the session and the desire to return to another ayahuasca ceremony was instantly gone.

All in all, my lessons are universal – we need to heal our trauma, pain and abuse; love ourselves; and choose embodied consciousness. Fortunately for me, I know how to heal trauma, pain and abuse without plant medicine. And to truly be embodied and provide a healthy house for my soul, this requires total sobriety. Drugs and alcohol strip the soul and spirit from the body and create opportunities for other entities to slip in. The more entities, the less room for your soul and the less control you have over your life.

So the way forward is healing, loving and embodied. What an amazing collective goal!

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