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Banisteriopsis caapi & Chaliponga

Our Ayahuasca Brew

At New Life Ayahuasca, all of our medicine is sourced from Iquitos, Peru where it is made by Matthew's teacher, Don Ron Wheelock. Ron has been working in the Amazon for over 25 years and has a vast knowledge of jungle pharmacology and a reputation for making quality and powerful ayahuasca brew. 


Our ayahuasca tea is made with only b. caapi and chaliponga. No additives or fillers are used in any way. All the ingredients are grown in Iquitos, Peru and each plant used contributes to the effects of ayahuasca. If any ingredient were missing, the medicine would lack in its effects. Our mission is always to provide the best and safest ceremonies possible. Even with the purest and safest ayahuasca brew, there is still the possibility of negative interactions with other medications. Please always follow the ayahuasca diet and disclose any and all medications or supplements you are on with us during the reservation process. Visit our page on ayahuasca safety for more info.

The importance of Quality

Before participating in an ayahuasca ceremony or retreat it is important to find out information about the facility, the ceremony leader, and the origin of the ayahuasca brew served at the retreat.

Ayahuasca is made by combining the vine (b.caapi) with a DMT-containing plant such as chacruna or choliponga.  Some shaman may include small quantities of other ingredients such as tobacco or flowers into the brew. The idea is to infuse the spirit of these other plants into the brew without affecting the quality or potency of the finished product. One flower that is sometimes used is called Datura or Toe. This flower is a powerful and dangerous hallucinogenic and should only be used in very small quantities by highly skilled brewers. Unfortunately, with the boom of ayahuasca tourism and the accompanying rise of 'false' shaman, Datura is being used in excessive and unsafe quantities to enhance the visual effects of ayahuasca. This is why it is so important to know the source of the medicine.

Banisteriopsis Caapi


FAMILY: Malpighiaceae

GENUS: Banisteriopsis


AKA: B. caapi, ayahuasca, aya, yaje, boa vine, vine of the soul, vine of the dead, ayahuasca vine


Banisteriopsis caapi is the main ingredient in ayahuasca brew. Brews always contain b. caapi aka the ayahuasca vine with a combination of other ingredients; commonly including chacruna (Psychotria viridis), chaliponga (Diplopterys cabrerana), and datura (toe). It contains harmineharmaline, and tetrahydroharmine, all of which are both beta-carboline harmala alkaloids and MAOIs. The MAOI’s found in Banisteriopsis caapi are what make the DMT found in Chacruna (Psychotria virdis) to become orally active in the brew and allow its effects to be felt for hours, rather than just the few minutes that smoking DMT produces.


B. Caapi is a vine that grows up adjacent tress to reach sunlight. It has white and pink flowers, however they rarely bloom in the tropics. The fruits of the ayahuasca vine are 3-winged and maple-like that appear between March and August.

The vine grows in a twisted double helix pattern and can grow quite thick. It grows best in rich moist soil.  When the vine is cut, the cross sections reveal what resembles a flower or brain in its bark. Jewelry is often made of cross cuts from young banisteriopsis caapi vines.


Banisteriopsis caapi can be made into a brew alone, which is said to produce calming effects, but it is most commonly used with a combination of other ingredient to activate its vision producing effects. It has been used traditionally by the people of the Amazonian area for healing and spiritual contentedness for at least centuries; artifacts have been discovered that suggest its use as a component of stuff up to 4,000 years ago.

Ayahuasca use is the primary means of diagnosing and treating malaise in communities of indigenous regions of central and south America. It is used for direct communication with the spirit realm, and gives leaders of villages/communities guidance and directly impacts the cultures of these societies.The architecture, drawings, masks, jewelry, weapons and pottery are all adorned in fashions influenced by experiences with ayahuasca. Even songs and dance are based on visions from ayahuasca uses.

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