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How long does Ayahuasca Last in Your System

How long does Ayahuasca last in Your system, can be viewed both from a psychological and biological perspective.

The brew or tea as it has been known in the west in its pure form is made of two plants: the Banisteriopsis Caapi (Ayahuasca vine) and Chacruna (which contains DMT). Ayahuasca vine allows the DMT within Chacruna to become orally active in the body and to produce the psychedelic state within the journey.

I used a term psychedelic state to express the presence of visuals with eyes both open and closed.

Many substances can produce a psychedelic visual array, however it is important to note that Ayahuasca has a significantly more solid form of meaning and personal message.

Clarification: what do we mean with "how long does Ayahuasca last"?

The visions is generally what people refer to, when they say , “how long does Ayahuasca last for “. In this sense you could use the word "TRIP", but it falls short and down plays the significance of the journey.

However for the purpose of simplicity we will apply this definition to introduce this topic.

1. Physiological perspective

Some people experience this psychedelic journey in the first 5 minutes others generally within 40- 60 minutes.

There are also few who do not feel the effects at all and remain what they consider “sober” throughout the ceremony. This can be a disappointment as they have to sit and wait while others are clearly displaying signs that they are in the medicine.

Why may some struggle to connect with Ayahuasca in its full potency?

This can be explained due to a physiological anomaly in which their body has mechanisms which render the absorbs of DMT more difficult. These people require generally a bigger dose or several ceremonies in a row in order to get "fully soaked".

Out of the thousands I have seen under this medicine, I have only met one person who was completely impervious to the medicine.

Rule of thumb - 6 to 8 hours

In general you will come under the effects of Ayahuasca in the first hour and finish 6-8 hours later - pending on the number of cups, the size of the serving, as well as the person predisposition to this medicine.

At the end of the journey you may feel refreshed, energized or completely wiped out, this is a vari

able. People who go through a lot of emotional processing (healing) have in general spent a lot of energy, and this makes them feel as though it’s a longer process due to subjectivity of the experience.

2. Psychological perspective

This brings us to the psychological perspective which comprises of untangling, digesting or integrating what just happened.

In this sense Ayahuasca may be seen to have an effect for a much longer time.

We have spent many years creating the image of ourselves in this world and this sense of deconstructing or repairing can take time.

The term integration is used to reintegrate our old self with the emerging self, and can take minutes, hours, days, months etc.

However what we truly wish is to open a lifelong unfolding of wonder and discovery.

First couple of weeks after the retreat and onwards

In general I would say that it has a profound impact for the first couple of weeks and will cause you to refocus on the newly revealed sense of gravity. As an example if your ceremonies centered around human relationships you may be compelled to repair, revisit your attitudes to your parents, lovers, children, work etc. The medicine often wants you to tidy up your affairs. This is why journey is a more appropriate term for this experience than simply a trip.

Remember - a retreat is often just a beginning of a lifelong journey on the path of Mystery.

What causes such an effect on one's psychology?

To explain this we should refer to the introspective dream-like experience characterized by visions, autobiographic and emotional memories which increase mindfulness capacities. As a result, our encounters with Ayahuasca bring about a multitude of spiritual and intellectual insights relevant for our lives - a new found sense of clarity.

Ayahuasca ceremonies are filled with inflow of mental contents, during which knowledge is gained by intuition rather than logic. These "revelations" also show a high level of overall coherence and tend to increase our level of self-reflection, reminiscence, ethical sensation, prosocial behavior, creative thinking and redemption.

Finally, various psychological blockages and denials are often illuminated from multiple perspectives allowing the participants to gain insight into their mal-adaptive behavioral, emotional and or cognitive patterns.

3. Special cases: addictions and depression

The third category refers to those with severe substance addictions and depression. The effects on the gut microbiome seems to have some long lasting and ongoing affects.

The Ayahuasca causes a cascade of hormonal changes to occur and the result is a micro biome adjustment that affects our serotonin and dopamine output.

In a study , Liester and Prickett (2012) proposed that “Ayahuasca exerts anti-addictive properties via its direct and indirect actions on dopaminergic and serotonergic neurons in the mesolimbic pathway."

From observation of those with alcoholic and drug addictions, they generally have a 7-8 week window after the ceremonies during which they carry on the improved states of both emotional and physiological health.
That in turn provides a great head start to start building a new life

This strips out the placebo and motivational euphoria and is clearly seen as a direct result of hormonal micro biome cascade due to ingestion of Ayahuasca.

There is a growing body of knowledge and research which in the coming years will clarify more what the current science and observations are pointing towards.

To wrap up: a psychological therapy of 15 years packaged in a "trip" lasting 6-8 hours

So perceived as a physiological trip it generally lasts 6 to 8 hours. However as a psychological therapy it generally equates to 15 years of therapy in one night.

As I said after my first ceremony - “ if I had not had this I would not have had a "life”. It’s profound effects both brought me to my knees and soared me into the heavens.

Hopefully it too will awaken a dormant search for self inquiry and abundant beauty in Your life.


Ayahuasca Retreat in Peru

Sacred Valley November 28th - December 3rd

6-day immersion into the Path of Mystery – Shamballa invites you on a Transcendental Journey in search of one’s Real Self. Ancient wisdom keepers Ayahuasca and San Pedro accompanied by an extensive integration program. Limited to 10 participants.

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