Ayahuasca – no thanks!

“I am a very logical person. You could say I am left-brained.” When I heard that remark, I already knew I wouldn’t need to take the guy behind me in the queue at Lima airport seriously. And indeed, he went on to talk about cosmic purpose and why I have to try ayahuasca, a tea prepared from banisteriopsis caapi vines and the leaves of the chacruna bush found in the Brazilian and Peruvian jungle which allegedly has hallucinogenic effects. It most definitely has strong side effects, in particular vomiting.


Citing that, I explained that I would prefer to refrain from drinking something which makes most people vomit, and that this generally didn’t seem like a good idea to me. The “very logical” North-American traveler, who had come to Peru for the sole purpose to drink this foul brew, explained: “Whoever created you and me also created that plant. So it is for us to consume it.” It was 3:30 in the morning and I hadn’t slept all night, so instead of pointing out the several erroneous assumptions and fallacies in his statement, I simply replied: “Like stones and plutonium?” “You know what I mean,” he replied, but I didn’t.

I only knew that I wasn’t going to hear anything new. Even before I came to South America, people were recommending this tea to me, citing its potency, its cleaning effect for body and soul, and always forgetting to mention the very real side effects. They also forgot to mention that the tea contains dimethyltryptamin which is a banned substance, although the US Supreme Court exempted a church in New Mexico, the Centro Espírita Beneficente União do Vegetal (“Beneficient Spiritist Center of the Union of the Plant”), from the ban after its members had argued that they can only understand their god while or after drinking said tea. Vomiting as the new form of flagellation. So much for “very logical”.

Even without imagining a night in the mosquito-infested jungle between puking tourists, I never felt any desire to undergo this tea ceremony. I have never been susceptible to consciousness-altering drugs. I really like my clear and quick mind (both halves of it), and I can keep it quite busy and challenged without chemical substances. So far, I have yet to meet a single druggie whose mind impresses me. Most of them, particularly regular users, are dull, slow, sad conformists and don’t say anything that would want me to exchange my mind with theirs.

As for the cleaning of the body, I admit that vomiting can achieve that, but I have another orifice which I prefer to use for that purpose.

These ayahuasca-gringos are some of the most annoying people in South America. If you have mental issues that you think a plant will help you, go ahead. Eat it, smoke it, drink it. But don’t assume that I have the same mental issues and please don’t recommend vomit-inducing herbal tea. Of all the plants that “our creator” put into the Peruvian jungle, I still prefer tobacco. Cigars don’t make me talk like Paulo Coelho at least, because you should be warned that if you hang around someone sipping that tea you will hear a lot of context-free “kind of”, “you know?”, “I can feel it”, “there is something divine in every person”, “we are all one”, “it’s healing on a vibrational level” bogus, bullshit, bla bla bla.


But to be fair, that one American botanist whose name I forgot to take before we parted ways, him going to Cuzco and me to Piura, was a likable guy. I hope he will survive. In 2015, during a ceremony at an ayahuasca center in Iquitos, Peru, a young British man started brandishing a knife and yelling; a Canadian man who was also on ayahuasca wrestled it from him and stabbed him to death. There have been other reports of violence, and several women have been molested. Most of the people who told me that they want to drink ayahuasca struck me as weird already, so the violence may be influenced by a certain predisposition to craziness. Anyway, these are not the kind of people whom I want to hang out with, let alone watch them puke all over the Amazon. Also, some people have died simply from drinking ayahuasca without a fellow tripper ramming a spear into their recently cleaned heart.

To make it clear: I don’t mind people drinking that tea. Drink as much as you want. But stop running around and telling everyone they should do so, too. I like Coca Cola, but I don’t try to shove it down your throat every day. And yes, all the ingredients of Coca Cola have been made by the same “creator”.

(This article was also published by Medium. – Zur deutschen Fassung dieses Artikels.)

About Andreas Moser

Travelling the world and writing about it. I have degrees in law and philosophy, but I'd much rather be a writer, a spy or a hobo.
This entry was posted in Brazil, Food, Life, Peru, Travel and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Ayahuasca – no thanks!

  1. Nikoloz says:

    #thats why we do not agree on your #opinion because you do not ever try the #effect of #drugs. It’s something like books will change your life completely. #bytheway #books in #goodway but #drugs mostly #badway, but look at our society, it looks like we learn something from #books it looks like #more we are under drugs #all of us. #personal for me food is a drug #aswell.

    My situation is like that I had #F20.0 and no pills helped me I was worst and worst, and you know fun #real fun is drugs just made #perfect! of cause with help of people around and my #struggle #aswell.

    P.s Like you believe in #books so I believe in #herbs.
    Thank You!
    Nikoloz Malta.

    recom.web: https://www.avalonmagicplants.com/shopping_cart.php

    • Nikoloz says:

      Example: When you put #here, it does not work for #post, but in #facebook and other places working! same is #drugs, but one day #thisone will work here in #blogaswell, like #Books. and #maybe this #comments will get #post for the help of #ppl who #Lovestoread.

    • I agree on the food. Nutella and chocolate are like a drug for me, but hopefully less mind-altering.
      The comparison with books is a bit off maybe. They do give me new information and thoughts and may change my thinking over time, but it doesn’t change the state of mind as rapidly and severely as some drugs do. Books are more for giving me additional ideas along a line of thought that I had already developed or motivating me to do something that I wanted to do anyway.
      But I am happy that it helped you and that you are doing better!

  2. As JP Sears says, when you use Ayahuasca, it might look a bit different from the outside than from the inside. 😂

  3. Pingback: Bernie Sanders would have won? Bullshit. | The Happy Hermit

  4. Pingback: Ayahuasca – nein danke! | Der reisende Reporter

  5. Manuel says:


    I lost some minutes of my life reading tthis shit. Try to investigate a bit more before to write something interesting.
    I have an interesting article about it if you wsnt.. But is in spanish.
    If you just care about puking and not about the ceremony, the effects and the way that ayahuasca can help.. You are the one who have a problem.. Not the rest.
    Peace out

  6. wooo I loved this article, I totally agree with you, No one could have explained it better, it is definitely another level 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

  7. Antonella Cassia says:

    Finally an article that speaks clear about it. Vomiting is an instinct of our body to expel what doesn’t belong to our body and what is toxic for it. If this plant induces vomit, that is obviously because it is toxic and not supposed to be taken. Some people with serious mental illness might find it more useful that the usual pills (those are toxic as well on the long term) but not everyone has mental health problems and for the regular person, it’s just something toxic that leaves you completely dehydrated and can lead to death and liver failure. Thank you for finally writing an article that leaves aside all the usual bullshit that gets written about it.

    • Thank you, Dr Cassia!
      In this case, I took a different path from my regular research method and refused to try it for myself, because it really seemed not worth the risk.
      And I cannot but suspect that the effects are even worse on many of the hippie gringos who go and try this brew, for they are already exhausted by the tropical climate, the treck through the jungle, the bites of snakes and mosquitoes.

  8. Dat nothing just good for headache …

  9. Ana Mateo says:

    Same thoughts here! I always reply that I don’t have any doubts about myself, that I’m already happy and aware about what I want and still meeting people who strongly recommend to try it.

    • Having met you, I can confirm that you have no reason to have any doubts about yourself. ;-)

    • I wouldn’t say I am always happy and everything is hunky-dory, but I’ll rather go for a long walk in the mountains or read a book instead of vomiting all over the jungle or taking any other drugs.

  10. “I have never been susceptible to consciousness-altering drugs” except alcohol and tobacco. I think you shouldn’t be so quick to judge psychedelic drugs if you haven’t tried them. They don’t all make you sick or make you go crazy if you take the right drug and the right dose in the right setting. They aren’t addictive. I think if you read some trip reports from people who took low doses of psilocybin mushrooms on erowid.org you would open up to it. I can’t attest to any spiritual enlightenment from using psychedelics because I’m an atheist, but some people find that it helps them with depression or healing from mental trauma.

  11. Imnotirish says:

    Nice clickbait, logical person! Have a lovely grounded logical life with information from books 😁

    • If you read around my blog a bit, you might be surprised about my life.

      And proper clickbait would be “Ayahuasca, the craziest brew in the world – this is what happened after I drank it” or “How Ayahuasca killed my little sister”.

    • Martucci Yosenberg says:

      Some people are not enlightened like you, so yes, we might read books and enjoy our ordinary life instead of relying on mind-altering substances in order to feel special and divine.

    • Exactly. With some of these comments here, Ayahuasca is beginning to sound like a cult.

      Although I do enjoy a cigar with my books, I really give much more credit to the books than to any drug I am taking with them.

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