Grandmother Ayahuasca: Plant Medicine and the Psychedelic Brain (Paperback)
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An exploration of the history, shamanic use, psychoactive effects, current scientific studies, and therapeutic potential of ayahuasca
• Examines how ayahuasca affects the brain from a neuroscientific perspective and how its effects on consciousness relate to ancient esoteric texts
• Shares interviews with people who have experienced ayahuasca’s powerful “spirit doctor” effects and the author’s own ayahuasca journey from suicidal depression to a soul at peace
• Investigates how ayahuasca is interwoven with the ancient practices of Amazonian shamanism
Brewed from a combination of two plants--the leaves of Psychotria viridis and the vine stalks of Banisteriopsis caapi--ayahuasca has been used for millennia by indigenous tribes throughout the Upper Amazon for healing and spiritual exploration. The shamans of the Peruvian Amazon call the plant spirit within the vine Abuela Ayahuasca, Grandmother Ayahuasca.
Exploring the history, lore, traditional use, psychoactive effects, and current scientific studies, Christian Funder reveals how Grandmother Ayahuasca is a profound healer, wise teacher, and life-changing guide. Examining ayahuasca from a neuroscientific perspective, the author looks at recent research on the effects of DMT--one of the psychoactive compounds in ayahuasca--as well as fMRI studies of brain activity during altered states. He explores these fi ndings as they relate to the teachings on unified states of consciousness in ancient esoteric texts and to Aldous Huxley’s theory of psychedelics inhibiting the “reducing valve” mechanism of the brain.
Sharing interviews with people who have experienced ayahuasca’s powerful “spirit doctor” effects, Funder also details his own revolutionary ayahuasca healing journey from suicidal depression to a soul at peace. He explores ayahuasca’s relationship to indigenous Amazonian shamanism, including an inside look at the Shipibo tribe and the healing songs known as icaros.
Offering a holistic picture of ayahuasca--from science to spirit--the author shows that this venerated hallucinogenic tea has immense therapeutic potential and just might be the long-lost shamanic connection to the sacred Gaian mind.
About the Author
Christian Funder is an English and mathematics teacher. After attending several ayahuasca retreats in the Peruvian jungle, he is now focused on reuniting humanity with the plant teachers. A board member of the Psychedelic Society of Denmark, he lives in Copenhagen, Denmark.
“Grandmother Ayahuasca is a unique and important contribution to the field of ayahuasca literature. It is far reaching and poetic in its approach to the mysteries of this powerful plant medicine. From mythology to philosophy to recent scientific studies, this book explores different perspectives and facets of the experience of ayahuasca and its healing potential. Funder is sensitive to how this plant is held in the indigenous world and respectful of the other worlds it opens.”
— Rachel Harris, Ph.D., author of Listening to Ayahuasca: New Hope for Depression, Addiction, PTSD, an
“Grandmother Ayahuasca is an excellent survey of the pharmacological, cultural, and transformational potential of this remarkable Amazonian potion. Funder provides a very accessible overview of this subject, informed by his personal revelations through direct engagement with this magical medicine. Highly recommended for students of this important cultural phenomenon and for those who intend to explore the jungle brew for themselves.”
— Julian Vayne, author of Getting Higher: The Manual of Psychedelic Ceremony
“Undergoing experiences with ayahuasca has become an increasingly popular activity in recent years. There is a wide variety of different opportunities to partake in this important practice. This excellent book by Christian Funder provides a valuable resource for the interested explorer. Funder impressively covers all aspects of ayahuasca--from the latest cutting-edge neuroscience to the spiritual and indigenous uses of this important medicine. I highly recommend it as a text for people from all fields and levels of interest.”
— Ben Sessa, MBBS (M.D.), MRCPsych, chief medical officer at Awakn Life Sciences
“From current neuroscience discoveries to traditional Amazonian lore--adding philosophical perspectives from the East and West, first-person accounts, and classic psychedelic quotations--Grandmother Ayahuasca integrates personal insights, scholarly depth, and neuroscience into a comprehensive compilation of ideas in a readable style that informs and entertains its readers.”
— Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D., editor of Psychedelics and Spirituality
“An amazing book. Christian Funder provides a wide and profound exploration into the work of this master plant. Even if you think you know everything on this subject, you will discover there is more to learn in this book. Thank you, Christian, for this great contribution to the world of ayahuasca.”
— Jan Kounen, author of Visionary Ayahuasca