The plant medicine – Yopo comes from a tree that grows mainly in the Caribbean and South America. It is known to grow up to twenty meters high.
Both the seeds and the leaves of the tree are known to have hallucinogenic properties.
Yopo, otherwise known as Anadenanthera peregrine has been a part of rites of passage and shamanic healing for centuries in the indigenous tribes such as Yanomami and Piaroa.
The medicine originates in the Valleys of Amazon, particularly in Brazil and Venezuela.
It is most commonly prepared as a mixture pertaining ashes and seeds of other plants. The mixture is grinded into a powder-like substance before the consumption takes place.
The consumption might not be the best term since yopo is usually blown into a person’s nostrils using tubes.
It is the most effective way of administration as it allows for a larger amount of the plant powder to get in touch with the neuroreceptors.
A far less effective way of using yopo is by smoking the seeds of the plant.
Oral consumption has been reported to be unpleasant and it often induces vomiting, nausea, and vertigo.
The main agonist in yopo’s seeds is bufotenin which causes powerful hallucinations or visions as shamans call them.
Yopo also contains DMT substances, notably one of the most powerful psychoactive and entheogenic compound of 5-MeO-DMT, as well as MAO inhibitors.
5-MeO-DMT is structurally similar to melatonin, the hormone that makes you dream so the states are very similar.
MAOIs inhibit your enzymes so more neurotransmitters and hormones are allowed to access your brain and bind to your serotonin receptors which basically makes you feel joyful and happy.
The first effect by which you know its starting to work is a slight tingling followed by nausea and in some cases vomiting.
This is not frowned upon in the shaman world because it’s regarded as a purifying process that detoxifies the body and releases negative energies and spirits through those toxins.
Yopo is often compared and even confused with other similar hallucinogens such as change and ayahuasca.
Two of the main differences between these entheogens are the method of administration and the duration of the spiritual experience.
Yopo’s mechanism of action is faster since it’s snorted and the effects about an hour for that same reason.
The seeds of yopo trees are legal in the US and some European countries, according to the zamnesia web site.
The visionary experiences start immediately after the purging of the body, somewhere between the fifth and tenth minutes.
As for the emotional experiences, users have reported feeling confused and sometimes a little bit scared before the feelings of complete bliss, love and gratitude start kicking in.
The emotional experiences are intensified and it’s said to raise the level of awareness of the fullness of being.
Although the duration of the experience may vary, the consensus is that first effects kick in in the first 7-8 minutes and that the experience itself lasts from 3 to 4 hours.
The visual “hallucinations” start between the 15th and 20th minute and get stronger during the first 30 minutes of the journey (trip).
The hallucinations start wearing off after 30 minutes which are followed by a blissful after-glow.
2 or 3 seeds are a standard amount for a regular trip and everything above intensifies the visionary experience, although its duration doesn’t change.
Sometimes feelings of dread, loss of orientation and control of the body and too strong hallucinations are the effects of stronger amounts (around 5 seeds or so) of yopo being ingested.
As for the physical sensations, the already mentioned nausea could be followed by dizziness, light-headedness, and discomforting tingling or stinging in the nostrils.
Having all that in mind, there’s no need whatsoever to increase the recommended dosage.
Even if you experience physical discomfort, it’s negligible next to the psychologically positive experience you may have.
Connecting with God and the Universe
Many users reported experiencing a deeper sense of their life’s purpose, meaning, their identity and the paths they are meant to take.
It’s not uncommon to see people who used yopo completely change for the good. For example, yopo ceremonies are known to put an end to the addictions that a person may have.
Science is yet to discover all the positive effects yopo has on the body and the mind. Shamans have known it all along.
The visual experience consists of geometric shapes, various visions of a person’s life, and a breakdown of a person’s ego and thought patterns.
The visions depend on the person consuming the plant, so no hallucinogenic experience is the same.
The usual experience that all consumers report is that Yopo helped them to better themselves through introspection and newfound knowledge of the self.
In that way, yopo’s effects resemble the effects of psychotherapy but are more mystic in nature.
The visionary experiences that many people have can be frightening in the beginning and they might reflect suppressed fears and phobias which can affect the heart rate.
However, we know from psychoanalysis that facing your suppressed traumas is the only way to unearth and heal the burdened psyche.
Yopo is said to ease your mind from the tethers that the person himself or herself has made on them, and bring you closer to things that you choose to ignore.
Yopo seeds sink deep into your subconscious or even unconscious to reveal your deepest fears as well as yearnings and dreams. By seeing them, you are allowed to manipulate them and change them if need be
Consumers report major changes in their worldviews as well as an increased focus both on self and the environment, both on inner and outer existence.
The dispositions toward love, serenity, peacefulness and positive energy are also the usual effect of the Yopo ceremony.
However, yopo is not to be trifled with. As is the case with all hallucinogens, you may be in for a rough ride, so it’s best for your experience to be guided by a shaman who will act as a therapist.
The shaman can interpret the symbolism of your visions to you although you will “sense” the meaning yourself.
The positive impact on the psychological and spiritual aspects of your being are the main focus of the shamanic healing ceremony so that you avoid slipping into a state of distress caused by alternations in perception.
Yopo’s medicinal features work for your body’s wellness and health as well.
As the old Latin expression goes – mens sana in corpore sano (healthy mind in a healthy body), as you can’t heal one without the other.
Having said that, it’s fair to say that Yopo’s forte is fixing your mental ailments. It’s important for it to be administered at a spiritual ceremony led by a shaman because chemistry is not all there is to it.
Yopo’s healing power dwells in the domains of spirit and spirits of nature are called upon to bless the ingestion of the substance in order for it to gain its optimal healing capacity.
It is not supposed to be a drug for getting high at parties and such. You should ingest it in the natural environment, cleansed by shamans and spirits of mother nature.
If all those conditions have been met as well as fasting for at least a day before ingestion, yopo can heal many of your ailments.
It is known to treat psychological ailments and psychiatric syndromes such as:
- Personality disorders
- Addictive behavior
- Panic Attacks
- Mood disorders
- Obsessive behavior
- Night terrors
Yopo takes action by diving deep into your soul and purifying it from all the stored traumas, negative energy, regrets, sorrow, sadness, fear, anger, and similar emotions.
The emotional trash gets thrown out so to speak and it can also be expulsed through vomiting and sweating.
That being said, yopo can also help treat inflammations and chronic intoxications although it’s never good to ingest it along with some other psychoactive substances.
It is advised that you avoid coffee, alcohol, marijuana, psychedelics, chocolate, meat (especially red meat), refined sugar, masturbating and even sex for at least a day before you take yopo.
However, the more you fast, the more potent and rich your yopo experience will be.
Users have reported that fasting induces the clarity, quality, and quantity of visions.
The dreamlike states that you experience will have a deeper meaning that you will be able to discover in the context of your previous experiences in life.
You will be more open to social contact, more prone to loving, feeling blessed and blissful, making peace with your self and the others.
Since ego gets broken down by yopo, you are allowed to view yourself from a position that allows you to change and reject all the vanity that once stood in your way.
Yopo will also bring your mind into a forgotten state of harmony with nature and that will make your body feel refreshed and alive.
Many people report feeling physically invigorated and psychologically mended after the yopo ingestion so make sure your shaman gets those seeds.
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