What Is Yopo? Experience, Benefits & Side Effects

By Frederic Cherri
Therapist, shamanic practitioner, retreat & workshop leader, ceremonialist and speaker.
Summary
Yopo is known to be one of the most sacred medicines of all the Americas. One of Yopo's remarkable powers is that it momentarily obliterates the mask or ego that we interpret everyday life with. It also immerses one in an immeasurable feeling of gratitude and understanding — Due to the variety of the compounds it contains, Yopo is also touted as good  bridge between Sapo, Toad Medicine and Ayahuasca — Yopo unmasks the truth and acquired limiting patterns that are not easily visible with other medicines. Its benefits are wide ranging from the detoxification of different drugs, combating addiction and alcoholism, lowering anxiety, and reducing depression — Yopo is a true medicine of both spiritual and physical healing.

What is Yopo

Yopo or Anadenanthera Peregrina, is a tree native to South America and the Caribbean. The seeds of the tree have been used in healing rituals for thousands of years. They contain DMT, 5-MeO-DMT and bufotenin, among other compounds, one of the strongest entheogen on earth.
For connoisseurs of plants and entheogenic substances or ancestral medicines, the effect of Yopo is like the fusion of Ayahuasca and Bufo Alvarius.

That is to say that it produces an organic cleansing and a spiritual connection, on the one hand it is a hard confrontation with the ego, and on the other hand it offers the consciousness of unity.

The expansion of consciousness is assured, but in the process different things move and a very particular space is reached from where one can appreciate reality. Each ancestral medicine has the particularity of taking us to a different place from where we can see ourselves.
For example, unlike ayahuasca or bufo Alvarius, yopo takes us to a point beyond love, and allows us to look at unconditionality on the one hand and limitations on the other, as if we were in a room with two Windows.
This space is just before the experience of oneness and after the ego struggle, it is a border from which duality can be appreciated.

Yopo is a natural entheogenic medicine whose origin and first uses are found in the Venezuelan and Brazilian Amazon. It is prepared with the ground seed of the Ananthethera Peregrina plant, which, through a process of mixing with other ashes and plant seeds, is shaped into small black, brown or white plates or cakes, which will be the ones that are later ground until they become into a fine powder before inhalation.

The experience

The original way to consume this medicine is to inhale it with a yopera, which is a tube-shaped instrument that branches into two small tubes that fit with each nostril.
By way of preparation, it is essential to drink another liquid substance that contains caapi that acts as a natural relaxant and chemically prepares the body for the visionary experience. One of these substances can be Ayahuasca (but there are others), which when given in small quantities produces the effect of preparation.

The effects and benefits

The experience begins 5 minutes after inhaling the yopo. The body begins to heat up and you begin to feel a pleasant tingling throughout the body. You feel a body awareness and discomfort that invites you to cleanse the body with vomiting, which has the objective of detoxifying the body and unblocking all the energy channels.
It is then when the visions begin that have the purpose of misaligning the mechanisms that support the structure of thought in order to produce confusion, an essential aspect to open new perceptual spaces. One of the fantastic effects of Yopo is that it momentarily shreds the masks and characters that we play in daily life in order to see the true face of who we are.
The Yopo experience also immerses us in an immeasurable feeling of gratitude and understanding. It supports us in the process of discovering oneself, others and life from the eyes of love. Only from pure, non-erotic Love, can we really know each other, unconditional love is who we are, where we come from and where we are going. But in this material life full of conditioning we forget about it, in this sense these plants come to help us recover our memory, that is why in principle a discharge of energy is needed in the mind, as if thunder were breaking into normality.

The experience is lived with the eyes closed at the beginning and in a suitable position that is indicated by the facilitators that favors the experience. According to those who have experienced this process, the hard and confrontational part lasts approximately 15 minutes, but then the experience begins to raise consciousness until reaching a state of fullness that can last up to 3 hours.
At a chemical level, Yopo is the possessor of n’n’dmt, which is the main active principle of the ayahuasca brew, and also contains 5-meo-dmt, the main active principle of bufo alvarius, (although in Yopo it is found

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