Ayahuasca Helped Me Heal After My Mother’s Death

Ron and Elisa on a boat ride to Pucallpa


by Ron Franco

on July 2, 2014

Shortly after my beloved mother lost her long 9 year battle with early on-set Alzheimer’s and Dementia, and had crossed over to the other side at the tender age of 62, I traveled to San Francisco in the Yarinacocha Region of Peru to visit Elisa Vargas and her beautiful Shipibo family. Elisa is an extraordinarily warm Curandera with a strong lineage of indigenous Shipibo healers, and facilitates Sanken Nete, an Ayahuasca and Plant Medicine Retreat Center, located an hour and half boat ride outside Pucallpa at the basin of the Amazon Rainforest.

Ron and Elisa on a boat ride to Pucallpa

Ron and Elisa on a boat ride to Pucallpa

After many years of being the primary caretaker for mom and watching Alzheimer’s ravage her body and brain, including an intense three week period prior to her passing, I felt incredibly drawn to the spirit of Ayahuasca and the healing insights and clarity she would hopefully share with me. Upon arriving at Sanken Nete, I could feel the love and energy pulsating around me, and was equally eager with curiosity and anxious anticipation for my first ceremony, which was bound to happen only a couple hours away.

Ayahuasca is an ancient Amazonian plant medicine derived from the leaves of the Chacruna (Psychotria viridis) which contains the powerful psychoactive alkaloid dimethyltryptamine (DMT) and combined with the vine Banisteriopsis caapi, which contains the monoamine oxidase inhibiting (MAOI) action of the harmala alkaloids which allow the DMT to flow freely into ones blood stream. Without the precious alkaloids found in B. caapi, the DMT from the Chacruna would have no affects on humans what so ever, the DMT would be broken down inside the gut by the monoamine oxidase (MAO) system. Both plants work in perfect harmony together to create one of the most brilliant and powerful spiritual medicines known to man.

Ron travelled to Peru in search of healing and answers after his mother passed away from Alzheimer's

Ron travelled to Peru in search of healing and answers after his mother passed away from Alzheimer’s

Also DMT is naturally produced inside the human body with out the assistance of outside influences. It is believed by many that DMT is responsible for dreaming while asleep, de ja vu and other cosmic outer body spiritual experiences, as well as the life review or ‘my entire life flashing before my eyes’ just before death.

In the ancient language of Quechua, the word Ayahuasca is translated as “Vine of the Soul” and the original origins of its use and discovery remain a mystery. Whether discovery was through divine inspiration, which many believe, or through rigorous trial and error with the abundance of medicinal plants throughout the Amazon, the clear energetic fact exists that Ayahuasca is one of Mother Earth’s greatest gifts to us.

Ayahuasca is capable of producing intense vivid patterns of geometric healing energy, which are called Icaros, as well as vibrant visions of the wildest imagination. For example, I was a thin filament of yellow energy, glowing in eternity in sacred geometric light, then transformed into my animal spirit guide, where I sat in feline meditation and stroked my long ears and whiskers. She is also willing to shed light and insights upon our most complexing ideas, thoughts, and emotions. In my particular case, the mystery of Alzheimer’s was at the fore front.

Alzheimer’s and Dimentia are brutally fatal brain diseases with no known cause or cure.

Watching mom digress back into a child was the most bizarre and heart wrenching experience I could ever imagine. In the last stages of her battle, Mom became a 3 year old girl dependant upon others for routine tasks such as speaking, expressing thoughts, desires, and emotions, dressing, eating, showering and using the facilities.  I have to say though, I am blessed that mom never once forgot my name or who I was, and I am eternally grateful for that. Basically, there was no possible way for my mother to exist without the help of others and this experience left me reeling.

Before I left on my journey to Peru, I was riddled with baffling questions like, “Why does Alzheimer’s exist?” and “Why is Alzheimer’s fast becoming a rampant disease that affects millions of people, as well as those who love and care for the ones who are diagnosed and suffering?”. I am a humble man, but I could at least recognize the lessons I learned of patience, empathy, and being a big hearted care giver; however I was deeply afflicted with emotions of extreme guilt. I felt guilty that I could no longer take care of mom on my own, and moved her to an assisted living facility. Guilty I wasn’t strong enough to heal her on my own, through love, reiki, dreams, and a healthy holistic lifestyle, and had resorted to pharmaceutical drugs.

Constantly battling these negative emotions of inadequacy, although my friends and family were consistently impressed with the demeanor I handled every hardship, I began to realize that I truly needed spiritual healing on a level I have never experienced and became consumed with the idea of connecting with Ayahuasca through indigenous ceremony. Elisa and her family would provide the perfect setting and accommodations for such a specific journey.

During my first ceremony, sometime after the patterns of Icaros and purging of negative energy, and after Elisa and her son Freddy began singing Icaros (Icaro is the word for the healing patterns designed by Ayahuasca, as well as the word for the healing songs that Cuaranderos sing during ceremony), I began to re-live the last 3 weeks of mom’s life. It was as though I was literally back to that time and experiencing everything as we normally do, however this time was with a heightened third eye and on fast forward.

On an extremely relative side note, “purging” through the divine help of Ayahuasca releases stored up negative energy, emotions, and memories, which is like years of intense therapy wrapped into one cosmic evening. There truly is nothing like witnessing your own symbolic death and staring straight into the cosmic soul mirror.


Ron feeling the energy from an ayahuasca vine

Ron feeling the energy from an ayahuasca vine

I could now vividly see and feel that as mom was retching and writhing in her bed that she was truly dropping off emotional human baggage, so that her soul could be pure for her transition. I was able to see the negative energy she was expelling and the life review she was working through. Mom was under going her life purge. As she called out for my deceased father, and her mother, I could feel the deep importance of family and the undying power of unconditional love. As she called out for their first daughter that was heartbreakingly given up for adoption and then painstakingly searched for again for 30 years, I could empathize on a new level for the loss of a child.

My role of acting as her earth shepherd was stripped of the ego and I could clearly see how important I was in her life, especially in the past 9 years, and certainly in the most trying period of her transition to the other side. I was able to deeply feel on a cosmic level the connection between all of my dreams and visions, thoughts and emotions, while in the hospital with her, and the unmistakable connection to the divine spirit.

Although I wasn’t with mom in the “normal physical world” at the moment of her passing, Ayahuasca gave me the gift to be present with her upon her soul release. I saw a tiny ball of the most luminous light float gently out of her mouth, linger for a moment, and then shoot straight up into the cosmos at a transcending speed. It was a jubilant and ecstatic feeling of bliss. We then traversed deep into a world of pure consciousness. I danced across the universe with my parents soul’s, and completely left my body behind in the Moloca. That was the farthest I have ever traveled outside my mortal body in this lifetime. It was the greatest gift I have ever received in my life, and am infinitely humbled by the gracious spirit of Ayahuasca and the divine prime creator.

Ron taking a moment to meditate in front of the Moloca before his ceremony.

Ron taking a moment to meditate in front of the Moloca before his ceremony.

The words that follow are directly from my jungle journal…

Alzheimer’s is a cosmic universal tool designed to awaken us. It has very specific messages for each of us to process. It is collective and personal at the same time, like intertwined snakes representing the cosmic duality of all things. Mom’s disease was divinely designed to teach me compassion, empathy, to be an earth shepherd, about the trials and challenges of role reversal, and how to navigate in another world and bring that knowledge back to friends and family.

They say that Alzheimer’s is a relatively new and rampant disease, and I feel that it is uniquely divinely designed at this particular moment of the planet and human evolution to teach all of us, all of us affected by it. The person who is suffering through it must learn many lessons, hard lessons that ultimately lead to their sweet soul release to the other side. They are sacrificing themselves for the highest good of those loved ones around them. It’s as if they are purging for the family. We who are witnesses must open up, awaken and learn the lessons I described.

Being freed of my guilt and doubt by the gracious gifts of Ayahuasca, I am now fascinated with my new insights. Is it possible that Ayahuasca offers a purging cure for Alzheimer’s? Is Alzheimer’s the product of a lifetime of stored up negative energy, emotions, and memories? Does anything remotely resembling Alzheimer’s exist in an indigenous Ayahuasca culture? Why does the split vine of Ayahuasca undeniably look exactly like the brain split in half, as we humans produce DMT naturally in the brain? Do we as people, create Alzheimer’s to cleanse the soul before our transition to the other side? Will Alzheimer’s exist once we are all more awakened to our divine connection to the universe and to mother earth?