Prompted by this...
Thousands of international backpackers are flocking to the Peruvian Amazon rainforest to drink ayahuasca tea, a plant mixture made by shamans and taken as part of a spiritual ritual. Those who drink the thick rich liquid often throw up, but then experience hours of mind-altering visions and a sense of internal exploration.
Source: Global Travel Industry News
I am informed that there is a burgeoning tourist market in Peru and Brazil for consuming hallucinogenic drugs, namely Ayahuasca. This drug reportedly will mitigate the effects of post traumatic stress disorder and similar psychological problems.
This drug is legal in Peru and Brazil, and there are a number "operators" who "administer" the drug.
But in South America ayahuasca is an integral part of some tribal societies. In 2008, Peru's government recognised ayahuasca's status, stating that it was "one of the basic pillars of the identity of the Amazon peoples".
Source: BBC News
However, there are dangers involved...
British student Henry Miller, 19, died in Colombia after apparently consuming the traditional hallucinogenic drink ayahuasca, or yage. Emma Thelwell, who took the drug herself, explains why it has become a rite of passage for some backpackers.
This question is about selecting a "operator" (or 'shaman' to be precise). Are there licensing standards that govern who can supply and administer hallucinogens? Or how would one distinguish a legitimate operator from a bogus operator who might provide an impure product or otherwise rip you off?
Also, for planning purposes, after consuming the drug, how long before you regain coherence and can safely resume your travels?