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Ayahuasca* Cookbook

The Resonance Project
Issue 2, Winter 1997/98

[Erowid Note: Ayahuasca is properly the term for the plant B. caapi or for brews containing that plant, however the term is now frequently used in North America to mean any of the DMT + Harmala concoctions.]

A while back we sent out a call for good ayahuasca recipes. We asked our chefs to be as specific as possible when detailing measurements and source plants. The following recipes are some of the best examples of...Ayahuasca Brews We Have Known And Loved.

Recipe One:

My name is Mimosquero. Here is the methodology that works for me in preparing the Good Medicine. Source plants and quantities (These are given in one dose measurements. Please adjust accordingly):

Mimosa hostilis from the Amazonian region via North American Entheogen supply. If pure root bark is used then 8 grams finely ground to a powder or stringy fiber is sufficient. If some of the root is mixed with the bark, then adjust the dosage to 12 grams. The magic is more concentrated in the root bark although the whole root does contain some.

Syrian rue. 3 grams finely powdered via grinder or mortar and pestle. The seeds are difficult to grind and much effort is needed. The finer the powder the better.

Distilled water treated with the juice of a lemon and 250 mg of crushed ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) is sufficient to produce an acidic aqueous solution.

Place the bark and seed powder in a small stainless steel pot and bring to a low boil (barely 100 degrees C) over an open fire (with careful attention and prayer) or a hot stove (also with careful attention and prayer). Stir the brew frequently and allow to boil for about 20 minutes. More prepared acidic water should be added as needed to keep the liquid from completely boiling off. Then decant the brew and strain through a fine wire mesh. Coffee filters are too fine, but cheesecloth, panty hose, or 'permanent coffee filters' work well. Press the mush and try to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. This can be accomplished with cheesecloth or an old fashioned rag, like a cloth diaper.

Boil the mush again in the prepared water and repeat the process for a total of three times. Combine the liquids and slowly simmer to a reasonable, drinkable amount. Observe the usual dietary precautions before drinking the brew. Some prefer to sip slowly, others to down the beverage as quickly as possible. The slow sipping probably reduces nausea although it prolongs the onset and lessens the intensity.


With pure root bark:

The onset was rapid. Within 15 minutes closed eye visuals were pronounced, a feeling of losing physical boundaries was also present. There were no physical sensations other than where the skin may be there was air. The objects in the room danced with life and seemed to rush forward into the air. A definite 3-D effect. Within another five minutes the room was no longer recognizable. Reading was impossible. Geometries were overwhelming and seemed to wash over me with an orgasmic type pleasure. Traveling. It is traveling. New indescribable places were unfolding before my eyes. Everything was vibrant and alive. There was utter peace. An ever shifting play of color never ceased to make the experience boring. Voices can be heard. Music can be heard. Yet there isn't anyone here to speak or play music. A voice asks"Would you like to go deeper?" It was a female voice. Reassuring. As I would think about going deeper the colors would flow over me and bring me to new spaces - each one more bizarre than before. Impossible objects from the past were floating in space. Things like huge HP calculators, Vertibird helicopter toys. Scenes of childhood were evident. No entities. All in all a 5 hour experience.

On 12 grams (3 grams rue) of M.H. root and root bark:

Prepared as above. Same colorful trip but lighter. Took a full hour to come on. Relaxed feeling probably from the harmala was first noticeable. Slight nausea (not really nausea, but a strange feeling in the stomach, I almost thought about throwing up, but it quickly passed). Enjoyable, psychedelic, but without the 'journey' of the root bark. Also much more short lived.

Recipe Two:

Here's the best recipe we've ever heard of from an alien. Fast. Simple. Very, VERY effective.

[ Erowid Comment: Please note that active alkaloid levels in plant material can vary significantly from one specimen to another. Significant concern has been expressed that with high alkaloid plant material, recipe #2 could be a very high and potentially dangerous dose. ]


20g M. hostilis
3g. P. harmala
RealLemon(tm) lemon juice

  1. Take 2g of ground P. Harmala (no preparation needed) orally.
  2. Grind 20g M. hostilis in coffee grinder to a fine, purplish powder.
  3. Create mixture of 30-40% RealLemon(tm) and water. Stir in M. Hostilis and bring to a simmer for 15 minutes. Stir frequently.
  4. Filter purple liquid through colander or mesh strainer.
  5. Add remaining plant matter to a new lemon juice & water mix and stir for another 15 minutes.
  6. Take remaining 1g P. harmala.
  7. Drain off liquid into cup (should fill it up about halfway) and drink quickly.
  8. Wait 15-20 minutes. Retch.
  9. Retch some more.
  10. Try to regain your composure and balance after dry-heaving.
  11. Lie back and listen to some didgeridoo music.
  12. Begin to think you're dying, being devoured to the clean-picked bone by a school of rainbow piranhas, submerged in the hell-realms suffering brutal tortures and repeated dismemberment at the teeth and claws of the blood-dripping minions of Lord Yama and various ferocious Mezoamerican deities like Tezcatlipoca simultaneously.
  13. Experience a complete and utter ontological meltdown at the face of imminent death. Recognize if the 'huasca kills you now you'll be caught in one of the hell-bardos for a minor eternity due to your accumulated bad karma. Keep repeating your name to remind yourself that you have a body. Shower repeatedly to wash away the overwhelming forces of evil fighting over your soul in between rounds of projectile diarrhea. Marvel at just how full of shit you are.
  14. Panic, but try to remind yourself that time is your ally, even though each moment seems like an eternity of suffering. Remember that"this too shall pass." Believe this with the greatest skepticism.
  15. Continue this way for several hours, wondering all along if you'll actually be able to come out of the hell-worlds intact.
  16. Wake up the following morning, swearing off psychedelics for at least a very long while, still fearful of inadvertently re-invoking this terrifying state of consciousness.
  17. Go to bed the following night and reexperience this realm of consciousness during the hypnagogic state and nearly die of fright that you'll wind up in an ontological cul-de-sac someplace, dribbling down your chin until your time is up.
  18. Eat LOTS of red meat, drink alcohol, lots of Tamasic foods. Try to get grounded. The quotidian banality of three dimensions can be a sane human's best friend.
  19. Finally, several weeks later, look back on the experience without feeling a lingering sense of terror.
  20. Begin to regain some perspective. Consider trying 'la purga' again under the supervision of a very experienced shaman able to help those less experienced to finally conquer these treacherous realms (as must ultimately be done). One must go into the breach again to be fully cured.
  21. Maintain a VERY HEALTHY respect for the Vine of the Soul, recognizing that it can kill, regardless of what they say about tryptamine neurotoxicity. The tryptamines won't kill you; the heart-stoppage from unmitigated terror can, though.

Recipe Three:

Ayahuasca For The Whole Village

Cooking equipment:
55 Gal stainless steel drum with lid
30 gal pot with lid (55 gal drum cut down)
Large Gas burner

Items for processing plant material:
Wooden mallets
Logs with flat sides for pounding surface
Buckets to wash leaves

Plant materials used:
Banisteriopsis Caapi: 18 kilos of fresh vine
Psychotria viridis: 6 kilos fresh leaves

Plant preparation:
The vine was cut from a plant that is approximately six years old. The diameter of the pieces was from one quarter to one inch. The pieces were cut into lengths of approximately two feet. These pieces were then pounded on a log with wooden mallets. The leaves were picked and rinsed in water.

Cooking procedure:

The pounded vine was layered alternately with leaves into the large cooking pot, filling it about three quarters full. Enough water was added to cover plant materials, approximately forty gallons. The lid was put on the pot and the burner turned on high. It came to a full rolling boil in about two hours.

The burner was adjusted to keep the brew at a good medium boil with the lid on. After boiling all night, about ten hours, the lid was removed. It took another six hours of boiling to reduce the water to about half of the original volume. This twenty gallons of liquid was poured off into the smaller pot for further reduction, and was boiled on high heat for three hours until it was reduced to about one and a half gallons. This was set aside to cool.

For a final wash, thirty gallons of water were added to the large pot with the cooked down plant material. This was once again cooked all night with the lid on and boiled down the next day. The final boil down yielded about three quarters of a gallon of liquid. This was added to the first boil down yielding about two and a quarter gallons of liquid. The brew was boiled again and poured into sterile canning jars and sealed.

Dosage (results may vary):
50 ml: Euphoria, color enhancement, no nausea
100 ml: Euphoria, eyes closed visuals of geometric patterns, slight nausea
150 ml: Full on trip, geometric eyes open patterns, eyes closed visuals leading to coherent visions, some nausea It is best to consume in divided doses of 50 ml over several hours. This helps to avoid nausea and abrupt reactions.

Note: Ayahuasca is powerful medicine and should not be consumed lightly or in combination with other drugs. Ayahuasca contains an MAO inhibitor, and should never be taken with an SSRI or any other prescription medications. Relative potency of ayahuasca source plants may vary, so please start with low doses to test for desired results. Use ayahuasca at your own risk. These recipes are only intended as guidelines, your results may vary.

©Copyright Resonant Media, 1998. All rights reserved.