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Ayahuasca, the sacred medicine.

Hoasca, Aigle, Uni, Daime, or just Ayahuasca is one of the ritualistic drinks for various indigenous groups and for some city dwellers. Mainly used by native peoples of the Amazon, the sacred infusion is born from the mixture of two plants, the vine Banisteriopsis Caapi (locally known by the people of Acre as Uni) and a very common leaf in the region, the Psicotria Viridis (called Kawá, in the region). The mixture of both, together with an intentional crafting ritual, allows the consumer (of the tea) to connect with the spiritual world and have visions that transcend life and death.

Since 2006, Brazil, the United States and most countries of the European Union agree that ancestral tea is not a hallucinogenic drug, but a plant for religious and medicinal use. So much so that new research points to the potential benefits of tea for treating high blood pressure, malaria and combating depression and other psychological ailments.

According to indigenous authorities, the elixir is not addictive and provides a powerful tool for its consumers to deepen processes of self-knowledge, expanding notions of collectivity, healing trauma and clearing the path to happiness.

Originally in the Quechua language, a linguistic trunk that brings together more than 7.3 million speakers in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, Colombia and Argentina, the name “Ayahuasca”, means the “vine of souls”, literally, the cord connecting the two planes. Its importance is so great for the cultures and traditions of these and the original peoples, that on the last September 25th, at the headquarters of Yorenka Tasorentsi, in Acre, an institute created by the environmentalist and shaman of the Ashaninka people Benki Piyãko, 35 original nations, of 22 different languages came together to think about and disseminate the future of ancestral medicine. Event that even our Shanenawa partners and friends were there.

On the last day of the conference in the lands of the Amazon, the more than 200 representatives gathered stated that: “Ayahuasca is the guiding thread of life, an ancestral knowledge that has resisted colonization and remains alive in the culture of diverse indigenous peoples, its guardians since ancient times. immemorial. Indigenous teachings are an inspiration in the face of the changes needed to protect life on the planet and revise the idea of humanity.”

In popular culture, Ayahuasca became popular with the doctrine of Santo Daime and União do Vegetal, which were partly idealized by the rubber tapper Raimundo Irineu Serra. Also known as Mestre Irineu, the man from Maranhão got to know the drink when he worked in the Amazon Rainforest and had contact with the native peoples, in the 1940s. Since then, temples and churches of belief have become popular in the capital of Acre, Rio Grande, in other municipalities in the state and in the Amazon.

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