'Most beautiful experience': Aaron Rodgers opens up about ayahuasca retreat in Peru

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GREEN BAY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers got emotional while opening up about his experience using psychedelics on an episode of the Aubrey Marcus Podcast released Wednesday.

"I want to feel what pure love feels like," Rodgers said. "That was my intention, and I did. I really did."

Rodgers talked about traveling to Peru on an ayahuasca retreat.

"I started deep on a journey where ayahuasca is usually described as a grandmother spirit, and I met her and walked with her through past, present and future lives, and it was the most beautiful experience I could possibly imagine," Rodgers said.

Ayahuasca is a plant-based psychedelic that is consumed like a tea.

In some South American countries, it's used as a healing medicine to treat physical, mental and spiritual issues.

The active ingredient in ayahuasca, known as DMT, is illegal in the United States.

"It's firing where serotonin would normally fire. Now does it treat a condition, a disorder? No, it would be FDA approved if it actually fixed or treated a real problem," Dr. Ron Rubin, a Milwaukee-area psychiatrist, said.

DMT is classified as a schedule 1 drug, the same as heroin and ecstasy.

Experts said not enough research has been done to understand its benefits.

"Deal with legitimate treatments. There are many of them," Rubin said.

Side effects can range from vomiting and hallucinations, sometimes even death.

"It's not something I'm recommending," Rodgers said.

It's something, Rodgers said, changed his life.

"I laid there afterwards on my mat and then opened my eyes and it felt like I was opening my eyes for the first time," Rodgers said.

He believes it may have led him to his fourth MVP award.

"I really feel like that experience paved the way for me to have the best season of my career," Rodgers said.

Thousands of people travel to Peru for psychedelic retreats. Some can cost thousands of dollars.

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