The Ayahuasca plant is called Banisteriopsis Caapi in scientific terms, and it’s also called yage and caapi. It is a South American plant, used to make Ayahuasca, a drink by the same name that is a brew of chacruna and ayahuasca, which has been used as an ancient psychoactive drink and medicine for purposes of spiritual cleansing and enlightenment. Some people also make a drink from the ayahausca vine itself, but usually other plants are added, usually sameucra shrub, or scientifically known as Psychotria cathaginesis, or chacruna, scientifially Psychotria viridis.
The history of the Ayahuasca plant
The history of the ayahuascha plant is unfortunately fairly scant, as there was not much research dedicated to the ayahuasca plant as it’s not all that well known to catalogue. A man named Pluatrco Naanjo, who is an ethnographer, has condensed the little data we have about prehistoric ayahuasca plant consumption. There is much archeological evidence, such as pottery containers, ancient “snuffing trays”, tubes and such to suggest that there was widespread psychedelic usage in Ecuadorian Amazonian culture in around 1500 B.C.
Most of this evidence is dedicated to more common substances that are more conventionally interesting. Ayahuasca artifacts could’ve been easily overlooked for one with coca or tobacco, or other widely known ancient hallucinogenic substances. These are regions where cocaine is almost exclusively manufactured in the world, so most of the sniffing tables might be considered to be cocaine when in fact they were for Ayahuasca powder, we have no clear way of knowing.
Where the Ayahuasca plant comes from
The Ayahuasca root, or Yage, or Caapi, comes from many regions of the Amazonian Basin. These include Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela. The majority of the area in these places is covered by the legendary Amazon rainforest, but these beautiful countries exist as well as the Ayahuasca plant.
As mentioned before, much of this area was unfortunately ravaged by cartels in cocaine trade wars in the past 30 years, so evidence could possibly be destroyed of ancient use by this as well. There have been many militant communist guerilla movements who lived in the jungles that ancient peoples once did who may have tampered with prehistoric iconography. However, it is known that deep in the rainforests, by the words of shamans of multiple generations, that there are some Ayahuasca plant leaves that having been growing still since those ancient times, and then that Ayahuasca is used, it can be incredibly more powerful with age for the brew that is made from the plant.
Can the Ayahuasca plant be used for its psychoactive properties?
The Ayahuasca plant is one that can be used in ceremonies and while not so much recreationally used, it can be, but is moreso used as a plant within medicinal use in traditional ceremonies in the South American rainforests. People from the States and other places in the world, where the psychoactive properties of Ayahuasca plant are illegal because of the DMT that is an ingredient in the brew of Ayahuasca tea, must travel to these countries in order to get the psychoactive properties through an experience for healing from Ayahuasca plants.