Changa was created by Julian Palmer in the period of 2003–2004. Unfortunately, there’s very little information about him online. It is known that the name for the smokable mixture we now know as changa came about during an Ayahuasca session when Julian asked the spirit of Ayahuasca for help with naming.
Changa is a mixture of N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) combined with a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), which is also the basis for Ayahuasca, hence the name “smokable Ayahuasca.” The addition of MAOI prolongs and intensifies the effects of DMT. The foundation of changa is the extracts from plants containing DMT, such as Mimosa tenuiflora — a type of evergreen trees or shrubs from the Mimosa genus of the legume family. The dried root of Mexican Mimosa tenuiflora contains about 1–1.7% DMT, while the bark contains about 0.03%. It is specifically the dried root that is used for preparing changa. These extracts are combined with various herbs containing MAOI, among which the leaves of Banisteriopsis caapi or Blue Lotus are popular, as well as the seeds of Syrian rue, to create a mixture containing 25 to 50% DMT.
Changa has gained popularity thanks to the convenience of smoking and a faster and more powerful effect compared to classic Ayahuasca, which takes about 40 minutes to develop. Changa quickly leads to a peak state, the effects of which last approximately 10–20 minutes, significantly easing the experience. A distinctive feature is also the absence of nausea, unlike Ayahuasca.
Being relatively new, changa does not have archaic traditions in preparation and consumption, making it attractive to proponents of the “new age” school and neo-shamans. There are numerous combinations of mixtures and doses, which differ depending on the ingredients used and their ratios. Many changa recipes can be dangerous, especially those that use toxic substances like gasoline for extracting DMT from the roots of Mimosa tenuiflora. This is done to accelerate the reaction, but unfortunately, such an approach is often associated with the desire for quick profit. Shamans traditionally use natural-origin acids for DMT extraction, which significantly lengthens the preparation time of the mixture — the process takes about 30 days. However, in such conditions, changa is completely natural and does not harm health.
As a guide of this medicine, I want to share what you won’t find on the internet. Changa has the same properties as Ayahuasca. Before starting to work with changa, I went through more than 100 Ayahuasca ceremonies and discovered that the same Spirit comes in ceremonies of Changa and Ayahuasca. This Spirit heals you, shows what to pay attention to, and restores our connection with nature and the very essence of life. I think this similarity is related to the fact that DMT is the basis of these two medicines, and as is well known, DMT is called the “spirit molecule.” In Peru, where Ayahuasca is completely legal, one can undergo a special Ayahuasca diet, which allows connecting with the medicine on a deeper level and, consequently, receiving Icaros — the mystical voice whose vibrations can heal people. Those with such a voice are called curanderos. Before working with changa and becoming its guide, I underwent my own changa diet, consuming it daily in a ceremonial setting, also conducting ceremonies for my wife and close friends. At some point, I began to notice a melody inside me, and my voice reproducing this melody was different; it sounded like an icaro. Subsequently, I spoke with many changa guides who smoke it themselves regularly and do so with certain frequency; they discover the same properties within themselves, they acquire an icaro or, in other words, the ability to heal with their voice.
Personally, I find that changa is the most accessible and fastest way to get acquainted with the mystery behind the DMT molecule. I hope you found this article useful. Follow our updates on the website to learn about the psychedelic experience directly from those who work with psychedelics, and if you want to experience it all personally, we warmly invite you to our retreats.