During the nineteen twenties, ethnographers returning from the Amazon jungle gave strange accounts of tribal shamans who used a telepathy-increasing plant drug to direct the course of their societies. The drug was a hallucinogenic drink which had several different native names including Ayahuasca, Yage, Caapi, and Natema. It was brewed from a species of woody vine called Banisteriopsis along with various admixtures which commonly included the leaves of Banisteriopsis rusbyana, Psychotria viridis, and Brugmansia.
Native users of ayahuasca were reported to experience collective hallucinations of jaguars, snakes, and jeweled birds. These visions were often accompanied by contact with dead ancestors, the ability to see future events, and telepathic communication among tribal members. Secondary effects included heightened sexual responses, vomiting and diarrhea. Ayahuasca's purgative effects also made it useful as a general medicine to stimulate health and fight diseases.
In, Neuro-Alchemy: Beta-Carbolines as Potentiating Agents, by J.B. Fleming