Ayahuasca boom in Brazil – Remedy or risk? | DW Documentary

Ayahuasca boom in Brazil – Remedy or risk? | DW Documentary

Ayahuasca boom in Brazil – Remedy or risk? | DW Documentary

The psychoactive substance ayahuasca is common in Brazil. For generations, indigenous people have incorporated it into their rituals. Researchers say it can serve as an alternative to anti-depressants – and as a way to treat drug addiction.

Ayahuasca translates as “spirits of the woody vine.” In Brazil, consuming it as part of religious rituals has been legal for decades. In the village of the Huni Kuin tribe, the plants needed to make the sacramental drink grow right next to the river. Villagers gather once a month to drink the brown liquid from a small glass. It’s a bitter brew made by boiling a special type of vine with the leaves of a coffee plant. It puts the Huni Kuin people into a rapturous, hallucinatory state that lasts hours. It’s a cleansing, healing journey of self-discovery, says tribal elder Ibã Huni Kuin.

A growing number of foreigners and Brazilians are traveling to the state of Acre to join in these spiritual experiences. But in Rio de Janeiro – not far from the Sugarloaf Mountain – there’s an ayahuasca church that’s existed for decades. Several times of month, a religious congregation gathers at the church for an intoxicating ayahuasca ceremony that goes on for hours and involves dancing and the recitation of verses celebrating nature and the Catholic faith.

Back in the ayahuasca heartlands of Brazil, chief Ibã Huni Kuin uses art to capitalize financially on his ayahuasca ceremonies. This money, in turn, goes to help protect the rainforest.

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Video Transcript

They drink a strong psychoactive Brew iasa tourists often join In I was six when I first took Iasa and this indigenous remedy is attracting a growing number of Visitors my peripheral vision is better now clearer F the hooni Kuan are profiting from Brazil’s iasa boom which has long reached major cities like Rio de Janeiro this is one of many iasa churches we drink a brew with Incredible Powers with aaska I get to know myself

Change my ways and become a better person researchers have also discovered ia’s medicinal benefits it can serve as a remedy for mental illnesses like depression and PTSD as well as addictions to cocaine tobacco and crack A journey to the places where ia’s influence is growing on the trail of the psycho active Brew we make a pit stop in acre a state in Brazil’s Amazon basin after departing from Rio de Janeiro and traveling thousands of kilometers on three scheduled flights we Charter a plane and fly over untouched Amazon Rainforest as we make our descent more and more pastures for cattle grazing appear then we land on this bumpy Runway [Applause] we arrive in jordal a small municipality that’s among the poorest in Brazil along with the many indigenous people we meet we’re struck by the colorfully painted

Walls of the homes and the spiritual temples from here we travel by boat on the river led by kasiki or chief IAH hunian as an an indigenous leader of this region he’s concerned by recent developments here there are many cattle breeders who are destroying our primeval

Forest we make sure they don’t reach our indigenous territory together with his son Bina we embark on a 4-Hour Journey up River passing by countless deas or Villages that belong to the indigenous [Applause] Honin in the evening we finally reached Chief ia’s Village time to offload our gear and get ready for bed we’re at the very western edge of Brazil close to the border with Peru kasiki IAH hunyuan is the village chief he leads the iasa ceremonies plus he knows and sings the

Ancient songs of their ancesters which are important to the honi Kuan he had to take action to prevent some of the verses and traditions from being [Applause] forgotten when my grandfather died much of the knowledge of our people was in danger of Disappearing with him then my father and I wrote down the

Words to the old songs and preserved them so they wouldn’t be Lost today the honin a musical people are opening up to tourists from across Brazil and chief IAH makes one thing clear from the start his people are closely connected to Nature I painted this to show everyone that this tree should grow in peace it has many scars already we call this kok tree master of the water where it stands water

Flows chii ba shows us The Leaf of the shaker a plant belonging to the coffee family and a bit further along a lyanna of the carpie vine these are the basic ingredients needed to make iasa you must cook it for several hours or up to an entire day the remaining

Liquid is the strong iasca which enlightens you and sends you on a journey of discovery thousands of kilometers away neurologists are also preoccupied with iasa Dro aruo began conducting Research into brain activity during iasa intoxication back in 2006 globally he’s a Pioneer in this field we wanted to understand what iasa triggers in the brain for the first studies volunteers came to the hospital and drank iasa then we analyzed their brain activity with the help of an MRI this gave the neurologist his first major Findings we noticed that iasa activates three mechanisms Visions develop because iasa evidently has the effect on the brain as Vivid dreaming the second one is self perception it makes us more keenly aware of our own thoughts and feelings the third mechanism that iasa disrupts the way various regions of the

Brain communicate with each other the resulting effect could help consumers gain New Perspectives Pi meanwhile back with the honi the men are performing a Harvest Dance Along with music The honei Kin practiced traditional weaving this became more difficult with the arrival of rubber tappers Outsiders who harvested the sap or latex from rubber Trees back then 50 years ago it was tough for us to plant cotton and weave it the white Invaders had forbidden us to do that today it’s different and we’re passing this craft on to our children they eat couscous cassava and meat only if the hunt has been

Successful the honi Kuan lead a simple life a part of a circular economy their ritual takes place once a month starting in the Evening the hooni C produced the brown iasa Brew just once a year it’s poured from this plastic bottle into a copper colored cup with Ireland on it for whatever reason we use iasa to cleanse our souls and we learn what we as people want to achieve both mentally and spiritually

Tonight the light of the snake will enchant us in green yellow and black before things get underway face paint is applied then Chief IBA and his son serve iasa to all those present including the tourists house in their language house means peace Harmony and love all at once adults receive a full glass

Children aged six and over less than half a glass I want to get away from materialism and live a more spiritual life to alter my Consciousness to be like the planet’s indigenous peoples Chi ba chants ancient verses handed down through the Generations I have a heightened sensitivity to everything that’s happening in the forest the light the sounds the forest Life at some point the chief’s son Bina takes over along with his guitar with iasa my voice becomes stronger without it I can’t sing that way after an hour participants visual perception changes some want to keep their thoughts to themselves and use the time to reassess things Within a few hours the tourists start to vomit their stomachs reject the bitter Brew yet they’re free to drink a second dose if they wish because for the hooni kuin vomiting is a form of cleansing they claim they’ve yet to experience any horror trips During the period when Brazil’s military dictatorship had aode built straight through the Amazon iasa became known throughout Brazil back then the generals

Kept pushing further into the Primeval Forest when a commission traveled to acre to study iasa many were astonished by the results the military permitted the the consumption of iasa during religious Ceremonies unlike elsewhere in Brazil we can research iasco well as it was legalized for religious purposes because although Brazil is actually a very conservative country we Brazilians are also quite spiritual there are so many religions here one can be found not far from the famous Sugarloaf Mountain in at the Santo da

Church iasa is the focal point of its religious Ceremonies Emerson aulia has been a church member for 10 years he likes the mix of natural religion Catholic faith and afrob Brazilian elements these Saints are important to us they assist us on our spiritual journey when I arrived here I needed help and was received with a lot of warmth today

Too we care for those who come to us Matias Agia is one of five newcomers here today leader Lucio umpierre explains how things work he also points out the risks for instance participants might feel nauseous and vomit I want to have a transcendental experience so I must go through with it

From start to finish on Saturday even if I feel afraid one question Lucio aier is often asked is iasa Addictive iasa is like the antidote that makes you immune to drugs look the door to our church is open yet there’s no lineup of addicts demanding iasa in atal neurologist Dro Aro has reached a similar conclusion he says DMT the hallucinogenic alkaloid that’s aasa’s active ingredient doesn’t cause

Addiction iasa is safe the major active ingredient is endogenous it’s already present in our bodies iasa isn’t addictive and overdosing on it is practically impossible since instead of the usual 100 milliliters you’d have to drink 30 L of it and no one can consume that much water but for Dro arujo another Finding

Is even more important he also tested iasa on people who suffer from depression we noticed positive changes in patients who had previously taken other medications to new effect and quickly after one day there was already a reduction in depressive symptoms so psychedelic substances like iasa can also be an alternative to Conventional

Medications this opens up the prospect of using iasa and other substances for quicker treatments of mental illnesses such as depression anxiety and PTs or addictions to drugs like cocaine tobacco and [Applause] CRA for centuries iasa has been part of the rights of many of the Amazon’s indigenous peoples in Brazil and Peru

Including the honi Kuan today the P The Village healer is showing visitors around their territory he knows every plant here and calls this one two can’s Tail as a hot tea it’s a remedy for sore throats growing nearby is another special leaf whose sour juice is said to possess healing

Powers the honi Coan call it the blood of the forest my peripheral vision is better now and I see the world around me more more Clearly this is rosinia Rio’s largest favella Emerson aulia from the Santo daimi Church lives and works here he operates a tattoo studio Emerson tells us he used to be addicted to cocaine and Other Drugs it was a crazy time I used to party all night lots of sex and alcohol

But little sleep I’d work the next day and at night do the same thing all over again but Emerson claims he’s been clean ever since joining the Santo daim Church before the ceremony everyone must register at the entrance they’re given a chip which they’ll exchange for the first dose of

Iasa newcomers like Matias included I she longtime members such as Emerson Dawn a white and green Costume the founder of our church Master irino received the dress code from God in his Visions irino saw the Virgin Mary who told him what our sect should look like at 6:30 p.m. Believers trade in their chips for the first dose of iasa this Santo dii Church opened its

Doors some 40 years ago and follows the rules set out by its founder Master [Applause] Arino here is the Battalion of singles the married people dance there and over there are the church leaders in uniform the men and women dance separately but they’re all United by a desire to work on their own psyches for the newcomers this can prove a bit daunting at

First after 2 hours it’s time for the second dose for Matias 2 along with the Catholic faith and communion with nature iasa is the holy sacrament and the Undisputed focal point of the church service Here we drink a brew that holds in incredible powers and praise the Earth at this celebration for us and all the life on the Planet later they drink a third dose of iasa and induct a new member into the Church and how is Matias Doing I had a vision someone was standing behind me I don’t know yet whether I’ll take part here all the time it’s taxing who knows what I’ll feel like Tomorrow for a few participants the murky brew has taken its toll they vomited and are now resting after 10 hours the ceremony is over it lifts you up look who’s sending you your master the Queen the Divinity our hbook is our Compass during the ceremony keep your eye on it or you

Can get lost how does Lucio aier respond to critics who call his church a cult only if you drink iasa yourself can you know what it feels like only then can you recognize the worth of this substance and the light it brings back with the honin on the day after their

Ceremony chiefy chants the verses again while his son Bina paints what they represent snakes trees gods of nature my father sang this and here’s what it signifies Y is the snake means people stands for woman their paintings have become famous hundreds now hang in major museums in sa

Paulo in Chile and the German city of Munich for IBA it’s also a lucrative business I plan to use my earnings to buy clear-cut land and reforest it I know how that works works and I want to do my Bit Dro arujo hopes iasa will be approved as a medication we believe that consumers could be their own therapists because when you’re under its influence you can’t deceive yourself The S oi Church aims to attract many more members around the World without IA my life would merely be average because I wouldn’t know my own weaknesses ba hopes to sell lots of paintings and be able to contribute to the protection of the Rainforest I don’t know why museums exhibit my paintings but as an indigenous person I’m pleased to be able to show my works there it’s incredible before we never had artists the way white people do I’m a newcomer who stumbled into this world more and more people in Brazil and

Around the world are discovering iasa the Elixir from the Amazon

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Video “Ayahuasca boom in Brazil – Remedy or risk? | DW Documentary” was uploaded on 02/25/2024 by DW Documentary Youtube channel.