What is Ayahuasca?
The word ayahuasca is a composite of two Quechua word: aya, meaning spirit, soul or ancestor and huasca, meaning vine or rope - hence it is known as "the vine of souls". It plays a central role in the cultural, spiritual and healing traditions of the Amazon and in 2008 was constitutionally recognized by the Peruvian government as a National Treasure.
It's ceremonial use is ancient. An engraved ceremonial cup, now a museum piece, found in the Amazon shows that Ayahuasca has been used as a sacrament for at least 2,500 years.
The brew is made from the ayahuasca vine (Banisteriopsis caapi) and the leaves of the chacruna, or huambisa plant.
Ron Wheelock prefers to use huambisa. He has been making ayahuasca for many years and makes a medicine that is consistently strong, rich in visions and almost sweet to drink. When asked how he manages to make his ayahuasca palatable Ron answers "the secret is to cook it with love, ayahuasca knows I love & respect her".