What it’s like to take ayahuasca: My trip with the tribal hallucinogen linked to a brutal lynching in the Amazon

Very little can prepare you for the ten or so hours that follow knocking back a portion of ayahuasca. A hint of what’s to come lies in the jarringly bitter taste as the viscous liquid first trickles down your throat. As the putrid black treacle is swallowed, your stomach soon contorts; the first convulsions in a mighty physical and mental upheaval that will most likely take you from violent vomiting through lucid and brilliant hallucination to tears of joy.

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The first and last time I felt the effects of ayahuasca, also known as yajé, was in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon, where tribes will let you share in their ancient healing ceremonies for a fee in a small but growing cottage industry. Travelling…

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