As the defences of the ego are challenged, repressed feelings and memories rise into our consciousness, perhaps creating a certain level of anxiety – a similar reaction to that faced in unusual situations or those where the outcome is uncertain, such as when practising dangerous sports, taking part in competitions or even taking an exam. Experiences like these generally teach us a great deal.

More serious adverse reactions to Ayahuasca have never come to our attention, partly because the tea has been used sensibly and responsibly, in suitable doses, and Ayahuasca has never been promoted as a cure for the emotional crises of people who are seriously traumatised.

People are screened in case they might be the type who experience serious negative reactions – if they have schizoid or pre-psychotic personalities, if they are neurotic with an unstable sense of identity or high levels of anxiety, or if they take drugs, they are not allowed to take part. This makes it possible to have calm, safe, creative ceremonies with inestimable spiritual value.

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