Every year, thousands of tourists travel to the Amazon to participate in ayahuasca rituals, which are said to be life-changing spiritual experiences. Ayahuasca is a powerful drug that, when prepared correctly, allegedly has the ability to blast the most skeptical user into a hallucinogenic trance that opens their eyes to the true nature of the universe. However, the popularity of the drug is putting a drain on the Amazon region, especially in Peru, where tourist demand is creating a shortage of ayahuasca’s main ingredient, the Guardian reports.
Tourists bring fat wallets to the area, but they are putting a strain on the supply of caapi vine available to “indigenous healers.”
CREDIT: Ryan Haran / Flickr
Every year, tourists bring in over 6 million dollars to the region, but the economic boom has created a crisis among the curanderos who rely on supplies that are becoming increasingly difficult to acquire. The caapi vine, a vital ingredient, can take several years to mature, and growers are currently having trouble meeting local needs. Adding to the demand, exporters are sending Amazonian ayahuasca materials to foreign countries, contributing to the overall depletion in the Amazonian region. The Guardian reports that many shamans have had to seek out alternative ingredients to accommodate the growing demand, but this has contributed to problems in the quality of the ayahuasca tea that tourists consume. Is there a solution to this current crisis? Check out the Guardian‘s piece to see what steps growers and shamans taking.
[READ MORE] The Guardian: Tourist boom for ayahuasca a mixed blessing for Amazon
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