The use of

The ingestion of ayahuasca can induce an intense experience that can have a therapeutic potential, facilitate an improved understanding of the self, or have a mystical nature. In order for these experiences to truly have therapeutic outcomes of a sustained nature, however, the following are key: proper preparation for the experience, context of administration, and integration post-session.

Therapeutic process

The role of ayahuasca in a therapeutic process depends on the context in which it is taken. The different contexts in which ayahuasca is used are explained in the text interested in taking ayahuasca. While in a shamanic context, the ayahuasca itself and the interventions of the shaman are considered the therapeutic elements. In occidental therapeutic contexts, the ayahuasca experience is considered a catalyst of the therapeutic process through access to subconscious content. In religious contexts, the ayahuasca is considered a sacrament, and therapeutic effects are not specifically expected, even though they can take place.

The motivation for people to drink ayahuasca is diverse, but in the majority of the cases, the person seeks to make a certain change in his/her life with the use of the experience. Sometimes the person is seeking to gain more self-knowledge or personal development; in others, the experience has a spiritual focus; and in others still, therapeutic results are sought with the session, meaning to overcome a certain problem or reduce the suffering that a certain condition produces.

In any of these cases, ayahuasca can produce a very intense experience with a therapeutic potential. One experience can provide a lot of material that can be worked with and used in the further course of the process of self-discovery. However, what determines whether the experience results in a therapeutic outcome or not depends a lot on the intention and how such experience is processed. A mystical experience can simply fade into the forgotten when not properly integrated, and a difficult experience can result in therapeutic outcome if it has been properly facilitated and integrated.

In conclusion, ayahuasca can be an important therapeutic tool, especially if used in a more complete therapeutic process. Being able to count on good support before and after the experience can facilitate this process significantly.


ICEERS takes care to ensure that the information presented on this website is accurate at the time of its publication. However, over time new scientific and medical information becomes available, and laws and legal enforcement polices change. In addition, laws and legal enforcement policies governing the use of substances discussed on this website vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The reader is advised to carefully consult appropriate sources for the most current information on scientific, medical, and legal issues. Material on this website is not intended to and should not be used as a substitute for personal consultation with knowledgeable physicians and attorneys.

The information on this website is offered for informational use only, and is not intended for use in diagnosing any disease or condition or prescribing any treatment whatsoever. The information on this website is not intended to encourage the use of ethnobotanicals. ICEERS specifically cautions against the use of ethnobotanicals in violation of the law, without appropriate professional guidance and monitoring, or without careful personal evaluation of potential risks and hazards. ICEERS specifically disclaims any liability, loss, injury, or damage incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents of this website.