The UK coroner has warned tourists against participating in South American tribal rituals by taking psychedelic tea, ayahuasca after a British teenager died from the hallucinogenic drink in Columbia. In recent years the number of tourists traveling to South America to get a feel of ayahuasca or yage has grown significantly.
Ayahuasca on the spot after death of teenager in Columbia
Yage is a strong hallucinogenic plant cocktail with psychedelic effects that has been revered by indigenous faith healers in South America. Tribal shamans administer the ceremonial portion of yage thought to lead to spiritual awakening. The potion is too potent, and sometimes things can go south, and one can quickly lose their mind.
The psychedelic tea made the headlines following reports that a British teenager had died from ayahuasca by taking part in a ceremony in 2014 in Columbia. Bristol-born Henry Miller’s body was later found dumped on a roadside in Mocoa. The teenager had left the UK for South America in February 2014 and was expected to join the University of Brighton seven months later.
The Avon Coroners Court heard that Miller had participated in two ceremonies in three days led by Shaman Guillermo and his Wife, Mama Concha. Christopher Deardon, who had traveled to Columbia, said that he accompanied Miller to the ceremonies. Deardon said that the ceremony started at 10 pm and was to last until 4 am. He said that they were given a small cup of herbs, which they assumed was to facilitate ayahuasca response.
Miller died of ayahuasca intoxication
However, after 15 minutes, they started throwing up in what appeared to be the drink’s effects. After taking the psychedelic drink, Miller became ill, and the Shaman told his son to rush him to the hospital, but he had already died, and they dumped his body by the roadside.
A post-mortem exam showed that Miller had died of intoxication by anti-nausea drug hyoscine and ayahuasca. Ayahuasca’s active ingredient is DMT, a potent hallucinogen that can result in extreme perceptual awareness changes.