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Here is a small sampling of Ayahuasca studies by title:
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Ayahuasca (aka yajé, yage, cipó, and many other local names) is a plant-based psychoactive brew used by various South American shamanic and curandeiro traditions for healing the body, mind, and spirit. More specifically, the first people of the Northwestern Amazon basin include the Shipibo-Conibo (Peru), Urarina (Peru), and Tukano (Colombia). This is true in seeking healing for an individual afflicted by an illness, for the recovery of a local community, the entire global family, and the natural world with all its living creatures.
For the past decade or so, ayahuasca has become popular among many people from other parts of the world who feel an affinity for spiritual growth associated with plant-induced extraordinary states of consciousness. Some have even organized into ayahuasca churches, one of which is Santo Daime practiced in Brazil, Europe, and North America (Marc G Blainey, 2015). In addition, the use of ayahuasca and its many credible reports of novel therapeutic effects has piqued the research community's interest. The ingestion of the brew and subsequent observations of cures include epilepsy, hard-core addiction, depression, anxiety, and other psychiatric disorders.
Like spontaneous remissions or miraculous healings associated with an extraordinary internal event, so has the ayahuasca experience become an opportunity to explore the neurological underpinnings of insights, introspection, and other spiritual experiences and, with it, their importance for the healing of otherwise chronic conditions for which no cure exists in the modern medical arsenal.
While the actual ingredient list may vary based on a shaman's preference, two primary ingredients of the ayahuasca infusion include Banisteriopsis caapi stem and Psychotria viridis leaves, which contain several compounds that contain significant synergistic psychoactive properties. More specifically, brews typically include N, N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), and alkaloids such as harmine, harmaline, and tetrahydroharmine (THH).
An extraordinary state of consciousness may include sensory shifts in perception and cognition and affect complex visual experiences and entheogenic experiences.
Be Aware: For many, an ayahuasca journey involves nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, anxiety, paranoia, dysphoria, or panic attacks, which are considered part and parcel of a typical ayahuasca experience, and these symptoms are typically temporary experiences. However, being caught in the moment's intensity can be very distressing and highly unpleasant.
Drug interaction: If you are taking certain drugs that modulate serotonin pathways, including tricyclics, lithium, and levodopa, to name a few. In a letter to the editor, a group of researchers from Brazil and Spain (2018) explored possible interactions between serotonin receptors and the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in a healthy volunteer undergoing an Ayahuasca experience.
Banisteriopsis caapi stem, Psychotria viridis leaves; N, N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), alkaloids such as harmine, harmaline, and tetrahydroharmine (THH) among other constituents.
Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and Ayahuasca
Cross-talk Between the Endocannabinoidome (eCBome) and Ayahuasca:
Serotonin receptor social anxiety disorder (R. Dos Santos et al., 2018; R. Dos Santos et al., 2022)
Disclaimers: Information on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing a health problem or disease. If using a product, you should read carefully all product packaging. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider.
Information on this site is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over-the-counter medication is also available. Consult your physician, nutritionally oriented health care practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications.