In the new documentary The Reality of Truth, the famous actress comes clean about using the potent psychedelic Ayahuasca as a means to cope with the loss of fellow actor Paul Walker to a fatal car crash back in November of 2013. The two costarred in the blockbuster film The Fast and Furious and developed a close bond.
The documentary was produced and directed by well-known spiritual guru Deepak Chopra and Mike “Zappy” Zapolin. The film centers on uncovering the truth behind mysticism and the medicinal otherworldly nature behind mushroom and DMT, or spirit molecule. The film contends that the true nature of reality can be uncovered through intense periods of introspective meditation and tripping through hallucinogens.
Rodriguez said she spiraled into a deep depression and existential funk after learning of her friend’s death in a car accident where he was engulfed in flames. She admits she went, “berserk, crazy, and nuts,” in the days following the tragic incident. She goes on to say that she tried to hide herself and wondered, “physically what I could do to get my mind off existentialism and how transient life is.”
In a scene during the movie Rodriguez is shown participating in a traditional shamanic ritual sipping the brewed tea of ayahuasca leaves. She then experiences a revelation of deep sadness not at losing Paul Walker, but at the realization that he was now in a better place and she expressed regret at not being able to be there with him also.
Despite its controversial history ayahuasca has been known to combat the negative effects of depression and even addiction. Long-term users of ayahuasca are reported to have increased seratonin levels the hormone responsible for mood regulation. This is especially relevant when discussing addicts who tend to have lower levels of this critical hormone being produced in the brain.
“Here we have a medicine that apparently reverses these deficits, something no other medicine is known to do,” Dennis McKenna, an ethnobotanist and professor at the University of Minnesota, told LA Weekly in 2013.
Mckenna was hoping to procure funds to conduct a study in Peru looking to determine whether ayahuasca was an effective treatment for war veterans who suffered from debilitating post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is unlikely that there will be any trials of the drug anytime soon since its active ingredient, DMT is a banned schedule 1 drug in the United States. The potent hallucinogenic brew has also been linked to several deaths. In 2012, 18-year-old Kyle Nolan was found dead after allegedly taking ayahuasca at a retreat in Shimbre Shamanic Centre in Peru. Jose Manuel Pineda was arrested along with two others after admitting to disposing his body in the ceremonial grounds.