The yopo is an important, ancient Amazonian plant you might not have come across before. While there is a wealth of information about ayahuasca and other substances, yopo is not as commonly found. However, it is an important shamanic plant that has a deep, rich history in across ancient tribes. Yopo has been in use for over 4,000 years. Originating from Venezuela and Brazil, it provides a therapeutic and spiritual experience. 

So what is yopo? 

Originally used as a medicinal plant, the yopo can trace its roots back to the Amazon. Prepared with other plants and seeds, it is ground into a powder and inhaled through the nose. It can also be inhaled through a pipe. Before consuming yopo, another liquid substance is first consumed. This is called caapi and it serves as a relaxant to prepare the body for what it is to come. 

Seen as a cousin to ayahuasca, and the Bufo Frog there are some similarities between the two. Both contain DMT, which is the chemical component that elicits the physical and hallucinogenic reactions. Secondly, the caapi is common between both as a relaxant used beforehand. 

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It is usually consumed in the presence of experienced shamans who might sing and pray to guide the process. These are ritual chants and sacred prayers to help provide a sense of balance and understanding of the experience. Shamans state that its main use is to provide a spiritual experience – such as soul retrieval -and help individuals find their inner eye, or the third eye, to really see themselves for who they are. It is a gateway towards a different spiritual dimension. It is a way to alter the natural state of consciousness and access a deeper spiritual experience that is unfettered by doubts and judgments. 

What are the effects of yopo?

The actual effects of yopo are not studied, so it is important to realize that much of the experience is anecdotal and very much dependent on the individual. However, thus far no deaths or severe mental health reactions have been associated with the consumption of yopo. Most describe the effects as quick and intense. It kinda like Ayahuasca and Bufo frog had a baby.  

It is used for both therapeutic and spiritual reasons, but there are some physical reactions that should be highlighted. There are some bodily sensations such as tingling and occasionally physical reactions such as vomiting. Purging lasts lasts the first 5 minutes and is an initial experience, followed the the visuals lasting about 1 hour.

The vomiting is seen as a way to purge and cleanse and to allow the body to be open to the visions that will follow. It opens up a new consciousness, one that is free from the thoughts and doubts that might cloud the mind. 

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Some descriptions categorize the experience as one that is filled with gratitude and love, and an intensity of feeling. It can open up the mind to a path of self-discovery and a feeling of pure love that can be overwhelming. Afterward, there is a feeling of serenity and peace, as the visions seem to correspond to inner struggles and thoughts that need to be resolved. Some have stated that the experience leads one to find their inner, true self and is a pure, spiritual experience.

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