Deontay Wilder ‘Reborn’ After Ayahuasca Trip

Like many other athletes, Deontay Wilder said ayahuasca helped him achieve growth.
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One of the world’s best heavyweight boxers and Olympics medalist, Deontay Wilder, 38, said he was transformed after embarking on an ayahuasca experience in Costa Rica. After a life-changing experience of his own, the boxer wants to share what ayahuasca can do to improve mental health.

Wilder described the experience in an interview with The Telegraph, explaining that he went to The Rythmia Ayahuasca Retreat Center, an upscale ayahuasca retreat in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, where he was “reborn.” The Rythmia Ayahuasca Retreat Center describes itself as one of the first legal, medically-licensed plant medicine retreat centers in the world.

“Ah man, ayahuasca has been… man it’s been one of the top things in my life that I’m glad that I’ve experienced,” Wilder told The Telegraph. “One of the best journeys to experience, it’s been a beautiful thing for me and if you ask my wife [Telli Swift] she’ll say that it made me more sensitive, and she’s probably right, but it also made me happier as well.”

Rythmia provides a 7-day excursion, and provides perks like farm-to-table meals, ceremonies, cleanses, and massages to prepare guests for their journeys into the mind. A team of staff physicians and experts attend to guests’ needs.

For Wilder, the experience was transformative.

“I find myself appreciating even the smallest of the smallest things—and not saying that I didn’t before—but the appreciation level has increased,” Wilder told the outlet. “Ayahuasca has done some beautiful things for a lot of individuals, not only just including myself, where they brought affirmation to their life, or some type of understanding of the path that they are running in their life. I’m looking forward to doing it many, many more times. I’m actually looking to do it after this fight as well.”

“Sometimes people get very fearful and afraid of certain things, how is it or what it’s going to be like… but in this place, you may not see what you want, you may not get what you want, but you’ll leave with what you need,” Wilder said.

It takes two or more plants to activate the psychoactive properties of DMT-rich ayahuasca.

High Times has reported ayahuasca is a concentrated liquid made from prolonged heating or boiling of the Banisteriopsis caapi vine and the leaves of the Psychotria viridis plant to create a tea containing DMT, the psychedelic active element of the brew. A 2022 study from the University of Melbourne took a closer look with data from an online Global Ayahuasca Survey, carried out between 2017 and 2019, of 10,836 people over the age of 18 who used ayahuasca at least once. While vomiting is common, researchers found ayahuasca’s benefits outweigh the risks.

Researchers found that acute physical adverse effects, primarily vomiting, were reported by 69.9% of respondents, and 55.9% reported adverse mental health effects in the weeks or months following consumption. Though the majority, around 88% of people surveyed, considered these effects as part of the process of growth or integration after the ceremony, and those who experienced these side effects said they were expected.

The boxer prepares to box Joseph Parker in Saudi Arabia this weekend on Dec. 23.

Athletes and Ayahuasca

Wilder joins athletes like Daniel Carcillo, Mike Tyson, UFC fighter Ian McCall, and others who also did ayahuasca retreats.

After going public about his ayahuasca experience in 2022 the NFL says that Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers did not violate league rules when he previously consumed the psychoactive beverage ayahuasca.

“For me, I didn’t do that and think ‘oh, I’m never playing football again,’” Rodgers told USA Today. “No, it gave me a deep and meaningful appreciation for life. My intention the first night going in was ‘I want to feel what pure love feels like.’ That was my intention. And I did. I really did. I had a magical experience with the sensation of feeling a hundred different hands on my body imparting a blessing of love and forgiveness for myself and gratitude for this life from what seemed to be my ancestors.”

Other people who advocate for the powers of ayahuasca include Megan Fox and even Prince Harry admitted to undergoing an ayahuasca experience. It’s no toy, however, and should be taken very seriously.

“With a name that literally means ‘the vine of death,’ this Amazonian brew is not a simple recreational psychedelic trip, so be warned about that reality from the start,” High Times reported in 2017, showing premade ayahuasca packs that are sold in other countries. “Although ayahuasca does induce vivid and colorful visions that can be breathtakingly beautiful and lead to incredibly meaningful insights, it’s also often an intense experience, not just mentally, but physically as well.” 

Most people would be much better off with the guidance from an experienced shaman or a physician.

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