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 (ī′yə-wä′skə, ä′yə-)
A hallucinogenic brew made from the bark and stems of a tropical South American vine of the genus Banisteriopsis, especially B. caapi, mixed with other psychotropic plants, used especially in shamanistic rituals by certain Amazonian Indian peoples.

[American Spanish, from Quechua, rope of the dead, narcotic : aya, corpse + huasca, rope.]


(ˌaɪəˈwɑːskə) or


(Plants) a Brazilian plant, Banisteriopsis caapi, that has winged fruits and yields a powerful hallucinogenic alkaloid sometimes used to treat certain disorders of the central nervous system: family Malpighiaceae
[C20: from Quechua]


(ˌɑ yəˈwɑ skə)

n., pl. -cas.
a woody South American vine, Banisteriopsis caapi, of the malpighia family, having bark that is the source of harmine, a hallucinogenic alkaloid used by Indians of the Amazon basin.
[< American Spanish; further orig. uncertain]
References in periodicals archive ?
"Ayahausca Natrure's Greatest Gift" is a film about the medicinal plant from the Amazon and its incredible potential as a healing modality for the treatment of depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, phobias and other mental disorders.
Narby (1998) had been impressed with the inordinate number of times that people under the influence of ayahausca said that they saw two intertwined snakes, and he took this as a symbolic interpretation of seeing one's DNA, which some people do indeed claim they can do on ayahuasca.