For anyone seeking an ayahuasca experience, the Ayahuasca Info website recommends preparation by reading about the drug, discussing the topic with experienced drinkers, and only taking ayahuasca in the presence of experienced drinkers who can guide the session. There is a dark side to drinking ayahuasca. While uncommon, several “ayahuasca tourists” have died, and many Westerners have reported being harassed and raped, according to an article in the Men’s Journal. The tourist boom has given rise to fraudsters and fake shamans. That is why it is important to find genuine and professional ayahuasca retreats north america.
A French woman died in 2011 after taking ayahuasca, but it was reported that she had pre-existing heart disease. Another Frenchman died a few months later, possibly from interactions with other drugs. In 2012, Kyle Nolan, a Californian teenager, disappeared during a retreat to a Peruvian shamanic center. A shaman later admitted that Nolan died from overdosing on ayahuasca and that he had buried Nolan’s body in the forest, according to the Daily Mail.
In 2014, Henry Miller, a British backpacker traveling in Colombia, died after experiencing a “shaman experience”. His death was caused by an allergic reaction to the drink. He fell ill during the event and was left to die by the side of a dirt road, according to the Guardian. Some experts blame the herb itself, and the reports of the aforementioned deaths support that claim. Alan Shoemaker, who arranges the quackery gathering, told the Men’s Journal, “Ayahuasca is one of the holy powerhouses and is absolutely non-addictive, has been utilized for thousands of years for recovery and clairvoyance intents … and dying from an overdose is practically incomprehensible.”
Science is still discussing how ayahuasca affects the mental and physical health of ayahuasca users. A literature review in the journal Drug Testing and Analysis concluded that “collected data suggest that the use of ayahuasca is safe and may even, under certain conditions, be beneficial.