I took ayahuasca 45 times and discovered my past lives as a witch and a prophet

A woman who took ayahuasca 45 times in three months has described her experience as ‘like watching a Netflix series’ of her ‘past lives’.

Tatjana Strobel, 53, and from Germany, took the hallucinogenic drink every other day during ceremonies at a retreat in Bolivia with a group of ten other attendees.

Revealing her experience to DailyMail.com, she said she saw herself in a new role every time — including a philosopher, a concertist, a witch and a prophet.

The writer is overwhelmingly positive about her trips, claiming the drug combated her phobias of snakes and even death. Some of her most bizarre visions include ‘marrying herself’ and discovering that she’s visited Plato’s fictional island of Atlantis. 

Ayahuasca, which is illegal in the US, has surged in popularity in recent years for its alleged ability to ‘reset’ the mind and ease mental health woes. Retreats outside the US offering it have amassed a following of celebrities including Will Smith, Chelsea Handler and even Prince Harry.

Tatjana Strobel, 53, a published author, revealed she took ayahuasca every other day over three months. She described the experience as like a ‘Netflix series’ of her previous lives

Ms Strobel gave the interview on Alex Renko's podcast

Among some of her more bizarre claims, was that ayahuasca made her realise she is actually from Atlantis

Among some of her more bizarre claims, Ms Strobel also said ayahuasca also revealed to her that she was ‘from Atlantis’ and that there is a queue of souls waiting to come to Earth

It is normally taken over a few days — where the drink is handed out during ceremonies led by a ‘shaman’, or spiritual leader.

Some retreats extend over a period of several weeks and involve attendees taking  ayahuasca as many as 22 times. Shamans report taking it as many as 100 times per year.

Ms Strobel decided to go on an extended retreat lasting three months in 2022, after trying ayahuasca at least six times previously, and being ‘curious’ about how the psychedelic might change her life.

Describing her experience, she said: ‘It was beautiful you know, it was like a series, when I finished one night I would start again on the next.

‘I saw different things nearly every time I took it. I was a concertist, I was a witch — this happened many times — I was a person who helped others give birth, I was a writer, I was a prophet, I was everything.’

‘It was really like watching a series on Netflix.’ 

The substance is known to cause extreme nausea and diarrhea in the minutes after ingesting.

However, Ms Strobel says she had little concern about potential long-term effects. If she felt unwell, she’d opt out of taking the drug the following day, she said. 

People take ayahuasca at retreats, such as the Ambi Resort in Colombia (pictured above)

People take ayahuasca at retreats, such as the Ambi Resort in Colombia (pictured above) 

Users normally vomit after taking the drug, before experiencing a 'trip' that lasts for several hours (Shown above is the Ambi Resort in Colombia)

Users normally vomit after taking the drug, before experiencing a ‘trip’ that lasts for several hours (Shown above is the Ambi Resort in Colombia)

‘My body is very sensitive. It means that if I eat something that is not good for my body, I stop.’

Ayahuasca is made from a concoction of plants from the Amazon rainforest, which are cooked into a stew and then consumed. Many users have previously described the taste as ‘vile’.

These plants contain DMT, a schedule I substance in the US considered as dangerous as heroin, LSD and MDMA, which gives the drug its psychedelic properties.

Experts say it can disrupt activity in the brain including communication between different areas, leading to the vibrant and colorful images that many users witness.

Some scientists have explored the drug’s potential for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) alongside ketamine, with small studies suggesting it could help to rewire the brain or allow people to ‘re-process’ traumatic experiences.

Research has also suggested it could improve brain health by boosting the production of a chemical that slows neurodegeneration.

But concerns have been raised about potentially negative effects on mental health. 

One 2022 study found that at least half of 10,000 adults reported a negative mental health effect, including depression and hallucinations, in the weeks to months after taking ayahuasca. 

Dr Greg Fonzo, a psychiatrist at the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas, Austin said he would be ‘concerned’ about patients taking this much ayahuasca.

‘It is unclear whether frequent use could have detrimental effects on mental health and cognitive functioning’.

‘There are also concerns and reports of potential cardiac abnormalities.’ DMT is  known to increase the heart rate while it is still active in the body. 

Andrew Gallimore, a computational neuroscientist at the Okinawa Institute of Science in Japan, added that he would be concerned over the dramatic purging — or vomiting — that could be caused, saying this risked dehydration and damage to the esophagus.

He added: ‘Aside from this, psychological integration of what is often an extremely intense and psychologically demanding experience is as important as the experience itself.

‘This can take days or longer, so it’s hard to envisage how the experiences could be properly integrated when strung together in such rapid succession like this.’

Psychological integration after ayahuasca refers to the process of integrating the profound experiences and insights into daily life and sense of self. 

A number of deaths have been reported among people who have taken ayahuasca, although in each case this has been linked to another substance taken alongside it.

The cases include a 22-year-old in Florida who consumed ayahuasca mixed with kambo, a poisonous venom from a tree frog. He died after suffering a seizure caused by drinking excessive water after vomiting. 

Tatjana Strobel revealed her experience on a podcast with Alex Renko, a wealthy 15-year-old who regularly posts on social media about psychedelics

Tatjana Strobel revealed her experience on a podcast with Alex Renko, a wealthy 15-year-old who regularly posts on social media about psychedelics

Ms Strobel said she had always ‘feared’ drugs — steering clear of alcohol — but decided to try ayahuasca in the hope it would enhance her life.

The first time she took ayahuasca, she says she didn’t throw up, earning her the nickname of the ‘dominator’.

But by the end of the three month retreat, she became very sick. 

Dr Daniel Perkins, who runs the University of Melbourne’s Psychedelic Research Center and studies the drug, has a more positive outlook on the impact of the drug.

He said a research paper he authored found lno association between the number of times ayahuasca has been consumed in the last year and adverse mental health effects.

He added: ‘But there is some association with reporting physical health adverse effects. By far the most common was vomiting or nausea at the time of use.’

Groups that organize ayahuasca retreats say that shamans may take ayahuasca up to 100 times a year and that it is regularly used in indigenous cultures without causing serious negative health effects.

To others considering taking ayahuasca, Ms Strobel says: ‘If you are on your way somewhere then it can help you, but if not it might not help you find who you are.’

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