ayahuasca

noun

aya·​hua·​sca ˌī-yə-ˈ(h)wä-skə How to pronounce ayahuasca (audio)
: a psychoactive beverage containing dimethyltryptamine that is prepared especially from the bark of a woody vine (Banisteriopsis caapi of the family Malpighiaceae) and the leaves of a shrubby plant (Psychotria viridis of the family Rubiaceae) of South America

Note: Ayahuasca produces hallucinations and euphoria and is used chiefly for religious, ritualistic, and medicinal purposes. Alkaloids present in ayahuasca inhibit the breakdown of dimethyltryptamine in the liver and gastrointestinal tract by monoamine oxidase.

Ayahuasca has been traditionally used by indigenous groups and mestizo populations for getting in contact with the sacred or supernatural world, for political and artistic purposes, and also for healing. Rafael Guimarães dos Santos et al.
In Europe and North America, those who want to use ayahuasca for religious purposes have pitted the issue of religious freedom against the fear that the potion might be diverted to recreational drug users. Joanne Laucius

called also hoasca, yage

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Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Was the Packers' celebration about Aaron Rodgers' use of ayahuasca? Christopher Kuhagen, USA TODAY, 21 Sep. 2022 Some psychedelic practices, like the usage of ayahuasca within certain religious contexts, are already protected in the US under the principle of religious freedom, according to the resolution. Zoe Sottile, CNN, 10 Sep. 2022 Someone offers me a vape pen loaded with DMT — the main active molecule in ayahuasca. Cassady Rosenblum, Rolling Stone, 28 June 2022 According to the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, ayahuasca is drunk as a liquid and can affect a person's thinking, sense of time, and emotions. Jason Duaine Hahn, Peoplemag, 3 Aug. 2022 The league and the player’s union collectively bargained a drug policy that prohibits a long list of substances, but since ayahuasca isn’t on it, there’s no reason why Rodgers would be in violation of either policy. Tom Silverstein, USA TODAY, 8 Aug. 2022 On the Aubrey Marcus Podcast, Rodgers admitted to consuming ayahuasca during a trip to Peru in the offseason. Tom Silverstein, Journal Sentinel, 8 Aug. 2022 From 2021 to 2022, bookings doubled at Soltara, a high-end ayahuasca healing center in Costa Rica frequented by celebrities, prompting the center to open an additional location in Costa Rica and one in Peru. Kelley Manley, ELLE, 14 June 2022 During a two-year acting break, Smith vacationed to Peru and went on 14 ayahuasca journeys. Zack Sharf, Variety, 24 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ayahuasca.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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Word History

Etymology

American Spanish

First Known Use

1870, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ayahuasca was in 1870

Dictionary Entries Near ayahuasca

Cite this Entry

“Ayahuasca.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ayahuasca. Accessed 6 Oct. 2022.

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Medical Definition

ayahuasca

noun

aya·​hua·​sca ˌī-ə-ˈ(h)wä-skə How to pronounce ayahuasca (audio)
variants also ayahuasco
ˌī-ə-ˈ(h)wä-(ˌ)skō, -skə
: a psychoactive beverage containing dimethyltryptamine that is prepared especially from the bark of a woody vine (Banisteriopsis caapi of the family Malpighiaceae) and the leaves of a shrubby plant (Psychotria viridis of the family Rubiaceae) of South America

Note: Ayahuasca produces hallucinations and euphoria and is used chiefly for religious, ritualistic, and medicinal purposes. Alkaloids present in ayahuasca inhibit the breakdown of dimethyltryptamine in the liver and gastrointestinal tract by monoamine oxidase.

Ayahuasca has been traditionally used by indigenous groups and mestizo populations for getting in contact with the sacred or supernatural world, for political and artistic purposes, and also for healing. Rafael Guimaraes dos Santos et al., Archives of Clinical Psychiatry
Their fascination with ayahuasca stems from a little-known mind-altering compound called dimethyltryptamine, or DMT, a substance the sacred tea contains by the bucketload. Lisa Melton, New Scientist
also : the woody vine (Banisteriopsis caapi) from which ayahuasca is prepared

called also caapi, yage

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Last Updated: 2 Oct 2022

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