This brew, commonly called yagé, or yajé in Colombia, ayahuasca in Ecuador and Peru (Inca "vine of the dead, vine of the souls," aya means in Quechua "spirit," "ancestor," "dead person," while huasca means "vine," "rope"), and caapi in Brazil, is prepared from segments of a species of the vine Banisteriopsis, a genus belonging to the Malpighiaceae. Harner
Sections of vine are boiled with leaves from any of a large number of potential admixture plants (such as Psychotria viridis, pictured above) resulting in a tea that contains the powerful hallucinogenic alkaloids harmine, harmaline, d-tetrahydroharmine, and dimethyltryptamine (DMT). Dimethyltryptamine closely resemblesserotonin and has been discovered to be a component of normal mammallian metabolism, an endogenous hallucinogen. These compounds have chemical structures and effects similar, but not identical to LSD, mescaline of the peyote cactus, and psilocybin of the psychotropic Mexican mushroom. This brew has been used in the Amazon for millennia in order to heal, divine, and worship. Luna
With Ayahuasca, an interior sound is commonly heard, which quite often triggers a spontaneous burst of imitative vocalizings, markedly unlike any conventional human speech or facial contortions. The tryptamines can apparently trigger a kind of rippling of facial muscles, which results in the production of a vocally modulated pressure wave. What is more startling is that the sound, which gains in energy the longer it is sustained, can actually become visible—as if the vibrational wave patterns were shifting into the visible spectrum or inducing a vibrational excitation of the air in such a way as to affect light diffraction. These observations suggest that although the wave is produced with sound, it may possess an electromagnetic component. This peculiar wave phenomenon will continue to be generated out of the mouth and nostrils and will be visible in the surrounding air as long as the vocalizations are continued. McKenna
Natives of Amazon have traditionally combined Banisteriopsis caapi vine, which contains harmine, harmaline and related beta-carbolines, with DMT-containing plants to make an orally active brew called ayahuasca. Other plants containing harmine and/or harmaline can be substituted for B. caapi. The usual 'North-American ayahuasca' consists of Peganum harmala seeds and Desmanthus illinoensis roots, and in Australian 'acaciahuasca' leaves of Acacia complanata are combined with material from DMT-containing acacias (the effectivity of this mixture hasn't been confirmed). Ott
Normally DMT is not active when taken orally - it has to be smoked (and there are several other snuffs and smoking mixtures in jungle sorcery that do contain only DMT). But it's been found that harmaline prevents the breakdown of DMT by the digestive system and allows it to enter the bloodstream when one drinks Ayahuasca. Harmaline also extends DMT's visionary effects for up to 6 hours. So it turns out that DMT, which I had always considered to be an exotic laboratory drug, has actually been used by sorcerers in the Amazon for thousands of years.
In Europe and the Middle East, there are also plants which contain harmaline and DMT: Syrian Rue and the Giant River Reed. Though there's no clear evidence that either plant was ever used for sorcery.
Now Syrian Rue itself is quite interesting. Seeds of Syrian Rue are made into a red dye which is used by middle eastern carpet weavers for coloring Persian Rugs. It has been said that the hallucinogenic properties of a brew made from these seeds may be responsible for the legends about flying carpets. Perhaps the red dye doubled as a beverage, and the patterns on the carpets were actually maps into a magical world. These seeds also contain Harmaline.
The Giant River Reed is significant as well; it's considered the best reed to use for musical instruments, and is the reed traditionally used in the construction of Pan Pipes. And it's roots contain DMT.
Another funny thing is that toad skins (often listed as an ingredient in European witches brews) contain a hallucinogen called bufotenine. I've heard stories of people in Australia actually smoking the skins of roasted Cane Toads as a psychedelic. However, I'm a bit of a vegetarian, so this has limited appeal.