You may have heard about Ayahuasca through stories of people travelling to far away place hidden in the Amazon to experience a transcendent journey. Usually these experiences are retold as "trips" of enlightenment and healing.
While I haven't done it myself, I have heard about it from friends who did, and it is definitely on my spiritual to-do list.
But what is this so-called miracle to enlightenment? Let's take a look at the "proper" definition I just googled.
Ayahuasca — also known as the tea, the vine, and la purga — is a brew made from the leaves of the Psychotria viridis shrub along with the stalks of the Banisteriopsis caapi vine, though other plants and ingredients can be added as well.
As you can see it's a special brew made of the leaves of a special shrub and the stalks of another specific plant. Traditionally these two ingredients are cooked in water by a shaman or "curandero", which an experienced healer who leads the ceremony. The drink is considered sacred and is still regularly used in some Amazonian tribes or cultures. The reduced water from the brew gets separated and filtered, new water then gets added and the process repeats until there is enough.
"What exactly happens during such a ceremony?" you may ask. Well, that's where it gets interesting. As the shaman performs the necessary rituals, you then drink the beverage and follow the instructions of the shaman. While no story is the same, the common observation is that the participant always comes out of it a different person, changed for the better.
It is believed that the Ayahuasca helps you pull up and cleans unresolved trauma from your past, which could be your childhood, previous lives, or your ancestral lineage. When you come out of it 4-8 hours later, you apparently feel like something has changed and or healed inside you. Part of the spiritual cleansing there may also be some physical temporary side-effects like vomiting, but I won't get into those.
Humanity is ever evolving on the physical an mental planes, but as a majority we lack spiritual development. To solve this deficiency here are many ways to achieve spiritual enlightenment, but I personally put the Ayahuasca experience in the top 5. This may change when I eventually do it myself but for now the verdict stays.
If you are interested in more information on this topic and have about an hour to kill, check out this nifty video.