Since Ayahuasca has become increasingly popular in the West the growing demand has put stress on native plant habitats.
The demand for ayahuasca is increasing both in its native environment and in its exports. The increase worries environmentalists and indigenous people who are concerned about the sustainability of its popularity.
Banisteriopsis Caapi vine and Psychotria Viridis are unique plants, specifically found in the Amazonian rain forest, and are not easy to grow. The vine requires 10 years to grow to maturity in the wild. Ayahuasca prefers to grow next to taller trees. There, it winds into the canopy to receive plenty of sun, which is scarce at the jungle floor.
The key to protect the wild population of ayahuasca is the protection of old and tall jungle trees. This requires protection of the entire Amazon rainforest. Psilocybin mushroom communities are no longer in existence. Ayahuasca may be one of the last tokens indigenous groups can still redeem to protect their cultures and environment.
But for many reasons, devastation in the Amazon is continuing. Ayahuasca tourism is one of the causes.