November 28, 2023

  • Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers credits ayahuasca for the “best season” of his career.
  • Rodgers, a four-time NFL MVP, said the drug helped him love himself and his teammates unconditionally.
  • Ayahuasca, an ancient hallucinogenic concoction, shows some promise for treating mental illness.

Aaron Rodgers credits the psychedelic drug ayahuasca for the “best season” of his career.

In a podcast interview hosted by wellness guru Aubrey Marcus, the 38-year-old Green Bay Packers quarterback said ayahuasca, an ancient hallucinogenic herbal drink, helped him “see how to love unconditionally” himself.

“Only in this unconditional love for myself can I be able to truly love others unconditionally. And what better way to work on my mental health than to have such an experience?” he said.

A post shared by Aubrey Marcus (@aubreymarcus)

Rodgers, who won his fourth NFL MVP award in 2021, said his newfound self-love translates into stronger relationships with his teammates and, in turn, better football. “I really feel like that experience paved the way for me to have the best season of my career,” he said.

“The biggest gift I can give my teammates, in my opinion, is to be able to show up and be someone who can show them unconditional love,” he added. “I mean obviously it’s important to play well and show up and star and all that. They won’t care what you say until they know how much you care.”

Rodgers has been outspoken about other alternative, and sometimes controversial, pursuits of wellness.

In February, she talked about trying a 12-day Panchakarma cleanse, which included butter, laxatives and abstaining from sugar, sex and alcohol, Insider’s Gabby Landsverk previously reported.

Rodgers said it gave him a sense of gratitude and helped relieve stress, but nutritionists don’t necessarily recommend it, and Ayurvedic experts say short-term commitments to the practice misrepresent its roots.

Psychedelics show some promise for treating mental illness, but they can be dangerous

For an ayahuasca trip, the vine is boiled with leaves from the chacruna plant, which contains the serotonin-mimicking chemical DMT. Most people vomit shortly after consuming the concoction and then experience intense hallucinations, Insider’s Andrea Michelson previously reported.

Indigenous tribes have used the drug in spiritual medicine practices for thousands of years, but it has gained traction in recent years as people flock to retreats seeking spiritual enlightenment or relief from mental and physical ailments.

The drug’s therapeutic potential, as well as that of other psychedelics, has also been publicized thanks to Michael Pollan’s best-selling book “How to Change Your Mind” and the Netflix series of the same name.

Growing research shows that psychedelics have the potential to treat mental health diagnoses, including treatment-resistant depression and PTSD. But there is still limited evidence to support these effects, and Trying ayahuasca can be dangerous — even vile or deadly — especially if not taken under the guidance of an experienced shaman or healer.

Cultural anthropologist Eugenia Fotiou has told Insider in the past that its potential power is limited by the context in which it is consumed.

“It’s a holistic healing system that addresses the body, mind and spirit, and usually ayahuasca is just one part of the larger system,” he said. “So it’s not a panacea. It’s not the only thing that’s going to fix everything.”

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