Ayahuasca Healing and Epigenetics with Joe Tafur

Research is showing how trauma can be passed down through our DNA. Dr Joe Tafur explains this relatively new field of epigenetics, and how it relates to ayahuasca healing.

Dr. Joe Tafur is a Colombian-American integrative family physician, ceremonial practitioner and author of “The Fellowship of the River: A Medical Doctor’s Exploration into Traditional Amazonian Plant Medicine.”

In this interview, available below, he shares with Lorna about his research into ayahuasca healing, from a medical perspective, as well as his theory relating ayahuasca shamanism to epigenetics.

As a family medicine doctor, Joe saw so many people with depression, PTSD, and other mood disorders go through the contemporary healthcare system, yet finding no answers or effective treatment. It was when he witnessed the profound healing capacities of ayahuasca that he decided he needed to dedicate his life to exploring the potential relationship between Western medicine and traditional ayahuasca shamanism.

What is it about Western culture that means we are so inundated with mood disorders, despite our relative prosperity? Joe argues that our disconnect from nature is a big part of what’s to blame, contributing to a lack of understanding of the impact of our actions. We also suffer with a disconnect from human community, in modern societies where we increasingly have less connection to the people around us. Taking ayahuasca in the Amazon, in an indigenous setting, not only helps us confront our traumas; but can also reintroduce us to a small example of community, sharing, and connecting to nature. 

Joe talks about the potential for ayahuasca to treat Crohn’s disease. The condition is a severe inflammation of the bowel, and can be deadly. Although the exact causes are largely uncertain, flare-ups can definitely be caused by stress. Joe has experienced people finding that the shamanic context of ayahuasca can heal them from Crohn’s much more effectively than Western methods. Additionally, the ayahuasca diet also helps with digestion!! 

Finally we discuss Joe’s theory of the connection between epigenetics and ayahuasca. Epigenetics is the way in which genes can be expressed differently throughout your life, and how your DNA can be altered to reflect current traumas (which can then be passed on to your children). Epigenetics allows us to understand that we can heal trauma more deeply; trauma that we’d previously thought was set concretely in DNA. 

In summary, Joe believes that shamanic approaches using spiritual healing techniques are an effective way of reversing the DNA damage of trauma, helping to break the cycle of passing on trauma to our children, and allowing us to see improvements in both physical and mental health.

You will discover:

  • The role of spiritual healing in modern healthcare
  • Why it’s important to heal the emotional body when trying to heal the physical
  • Promising clues that spiritual healing meets biochemistry at the epigenetic level

About Joe Tafur

Joe Tafur, M.D., is a Colombian-American family physician originally from Phoenix, Arizona. After completing postdoctoral research at UCSD, over a period of six years, he lived and worked in the Peruvian Amazon at the traditional healing center Nihue Rao Centro Espiritual. In his new book “The Fellowship of the River: A Medical Doctor’s Exploration into Traditional Amazonian Plant Medicine,” through a series of stories, Dr. Tafur shares his unique experience and integrative medical theories.

Find Joe at:


@joe.tafur on Facebook

Or on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMGE9HqzPuU5M6SKz24-3Qg


About EntheoNation

EntheoNation – the process of awakening the Divine within. Entheo Nation – a global tribe of visionary people living life at the cutting edge of awakening. EntheoNation is a web show featuring visionaries pioneering the cutting-edge of awakening through psychedelic science, modern shamanism, & new paradigm lifestyles. Our vision is an environmentally sustainable, socially-just, spiritually-fulfilling, and evolved human presence on this planet, one that integrates ancient wisdom, with modern times.

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