Ayahuasca is a psychedelic brew — often referred to as a tea — made out of Banisteriopsis caapi vine alone or in combination with various plants. Many people who have used ayahuasca, which can cause hallucinations and vomiting, report they had spiritual ‘revelations’ or ‘awakenings.’
Some religious groups — such as O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao do Vegetal (Portuguese for the United Beneficent Spiritual Central of the Vegetable) — use the ‘horrible tasting’ tea as part of their religious observances.
Documentary about a journey to the heart of the Peruvian Amazon in search of a healer who works with jungle plants. Recounts the experience of the preparation of an Ayahuasca’s ceremony.
National Post (Canada), Apr. 25, 2003 http://www.nationalpost.com/ Francine Dubé, National Post MANITOWANING, Ont. – An Ecuadorean shaman and his son pleaded guilty yesterday to administering a noxious substance to an old native woman during a healing ceremony in which she died. Juan Uyunkar, 49, and his son Edgar Uyunkar, 22, of the Shuar Nation in Ecuador were in Canada at the invitation of the local health centre in Wikwemikong, a remote First Nations community on Manitoulin Island between Georgian Bay and Lake Huron. The visit by the shaman was part of a holistic healing ceremony and “cultural exchange” in the
The Associated Press, Oct. 15, 2002 http://www.savannahnow.com/stories/101502/LOCillegaltea.shtml ATLANTA — A man from Peru faces federal drug charges for importing jungle vines and leaves that he planned to make into tea for a religious ceremony. Alan Thomas Shoemaker said he uses the Peruvian jungle vine ayahuasca and huambisa leaves to make a bitter, rust-colored tea that is part purgative and part-hallucinogen. South American shamans use the tea to heal the sick, bring contact with spirits and divine the future. Shoemaker said it’s part of a religious ritual that has been used for centuries by Amazon Indians. But federal prosecutors in Atlanta
Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics, Aug. 13, 2002 http://www.alchemind.org/DLL/udv_pj_granted.htm By Richard Glen Boire Members of the ayahuasca-using religious group known as the Uniao Do Vegetal (UDV), won a major legal victory on Monday (August 12, 2002), when a federal court ruled that the group’s use of ayahuasca was likely protected under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Ayahuasca (also known as hoasca) is a visionary tea that serves as the sacrament of the UDV religion. In May 1999, US Customs agents seized several bottles of ayahuasca imported from Brazil for use by members of UDV’s US Branch headquartered in
A lawsuit between the U.S. government and a member of the wealthy Bronfman family hinges on an obscure Brazilian religion that worships spirits in plants and animals and encourages ritualistic vomiting. Jeffrey Bronfman, second cousin to Edgar Bronfman Jr. and grandnephew to dynasty founder Samuel Bronfman, heads a chapter of the Union of the Vegetable based in his home in Santa Fe, N.M. His group, with the unwieldy name of O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao do Vegetal (Portuguese for the United Beneficent Spiritual Central of the Vegetable), is suing the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency for the return of a shipment