Aaron Rodgers is considered one of the best quarterbacks to ever play in the NFL. In 2011, Rodgers led the Green Bay Packers to victory at Super Bowl XLV. His career is full of impressive stats that back up his stellar reputation.
Most recently, he accepted his third and fourth MVP title in the 2021 and 2022 seasons. His fourth MVP award makes Rodgers the only four-time MVP in the NFL. In comparison, Brett Favre and Tom Brady both have three MVP titles, and Peyton Manning holds the current record of five MVPs.
Rodgers is clearly one of the most impressive quarterbacks to play the game, but how does he do it? In recent interviews with Peter King on NBC Sports, and Aubrey Marcus on the Aubrey Marcus Podcast, Rodgers opened up about how ayahuasca helped him heal and contributed to his back-to-back MVP wins.
What is Ayahuasca?
Ayahuasca is a natural tea made entirely from plants. The two primary plant ingredients are banisteriopsis caapi stalks and psychotria viridis leaves. Brewing these plants together creates a tea with psychoactive properties. Psychoactive effects in the brew are caused by natural sources of dimethyltryptamine (DMT), which is currently classified as a Schedule I drug in the U.S.
Ayahuasca brews have been used for medicinal and religious purposes for centuries by indigenous people in the Amazon and South America. Having a reputation as a natural plant medicine with effective long-term mental health benefits is sparking a lot of interest in the therapeutic potential of ayahuasca.
How Did Ayahuasca Help Aaron Rodgers?
Rodgers credits ayahuasca for helping him in many ways. In his interview with Aubrey Marcus, he gives credit to ayahuasca for improving his mental health, which he strongly believes contributed to his back-to-back MVP wins.
“I don’t think it’s a coincidence,” Rodgers told Aubrey when reflecting on his recent accomplishments in the NFL after having his ayahuasca experiences in Peru. “I really don’t. I don’t really believe in coincidences at this point. It’s the universe bringing things to happen when they’re supposed to happen.”
He went on to share how ayahuasca helped him heal, sparking many personal changes. One of which is a path to “the possibility of reconciliation”, with his family. Rodgers has been estranged from his parents and siblings for years, and he now believes those relationships could be mended thanks to his life-changing experiences with ayahuasca.
When talking to NBC Sports, Rodgers said, “Most of the work was around myself and figuring out what unconditional love of myself looks like of myself. In doing that, allowing me to understand how to unconditionally love other people but first realizing it’s gotta start with myself. I’ve got to be a little more gentle with myself and compassionate and forgiving because I’ve had some negative voices, negative self-talk, for a long time. A lot of healing went on.”
The 38-year-old quarterback said he went into the experience with the intention to “surrender and open up to the medicine for some healing to come through and some direction on how to kind of go about that.”
What he says he learned the most is, “The most important way was really that self-love part. I think it’s unlocked a lot of my heart. Being able to fully give my heart to my teammates, my loved ones, relationships because I can fully embrace unconditionally myself. Just didn’t do that for a long time.”
Luckily Rodger’s newfound healing won’t be getting him in any trouble with the NFL. DMT, which is in ayahuasca, is currently considered a Schedule I drug in the United States. However, ayahuasca is not considered a banned substance or performance-enhancing drug, according to the NFL.
After hearing the many positive effects ayahuasca had on Aaron Rodgers, it’s easy to see why more advocates for mental health are considering exploring the potential of using ayahuasca and other natural plant medicines as psychotherapeutic drugs.