How did the use of DMT and ayahuasca start?
DMT was first synthesized in 1931. In 1946 it was discovered that it also occurs in plants. In the Amazon it has been drunk for centuries in the form ‘ayahuasca’. Ayahuasca means ‘vine of the soul’. Native Americans from this area use it in religious rituals, but it also plays an important role as a traditional medicine. Today, ayahuasca is also used as a sacrament by religious groups, such as the Santo Daime and the Uniao do Vegetal. These groups have roots in Brazil, but own churches all over the world (including the Netherlands). Within these churches Christian aspects are mixed with animistic and shamanistic rituals. In the Netherlands, spiritual ayahuasca sessions are also organized for small groups of interested parties, which are not affiliated with a religious organization.