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  • The hallucination inducing drugayahuascahas been used for centuries by tribes in South

  • America during spiritual ceremonies. But as it becomes more mainstream for those seeking

  • optic and auditory hallucinations, what exactly is it, and how does it affect your body and

  • brain?

  • Ayahuasca is actually a combination of the leaves of one plant (Psychotria viridis) and

  • the vines of another (Banisteriopsis caapi) - neither of which have any hallucinogenic

  • power on their own. But the leaves do contain DMT (N,N-Dimethyltryptamine), which is structurally

  • similar to your neurotransmitter serotonin and to the chemical found in magic mushrooms!

  • The problem is, your gut enzymes normally deactivate DMT before it’s absorbed into

  • your bloodstream; and this is where the vines come in. They inhibit your gut enzymes from

  • working properly, and allow DMT to travel within your blood and eventually cross the

  • blood-brain barrier.

  • The effects of the drink usually hit around half an hour after consumption, with hallucinations

  • peaking after one hour, and subsiding within four to six hours. But these hallucinations

  • are reported to be different from drugs like LSD and shrooms in that most people are fully

  • aware that they are visually hallucinating. In addition, instead ofhearing voices

  • the sounds heard are usually exacerbations of the noises already occurring around them.

  • And unlike those who consume LSD or shrooms from a ‘good trip’, many who drink ayahuasca

  • are seeking to reconcile with their thoughts and emotions, as well as past and present

  • traumatic events. Afterwards, most feel more at ease with their thoughts, and more accepting

  • of their present situation.

  • The Default Mode Network, is a distinct area of the brain that if overactive is associated

  • with depression, anxiety and social phobia. And fMRI brain scans show that ayahuasca causes

  • a significant decrease in activity within the default mode network. This is usually

  • linked with a meditative state and explains why for those seeking optic and auditory hallucinations,some

  • ayahuasca drinkers feel at peace with themselves, and find a renewed sense of purpose after

  • a trip.

  • Additionally, DMT has been linked with proteins that promote the maintenance of long-term

  • memory, neural plasticity and the regeneration of new neurons. It can bind to specific receptors

  • found on mitochondria and endoplasmic reticula, and may even have the potential to kill certain

  • cancerous cells. On top of this, alkaloids from the vine have been shown to induce apoptosis

  • in mice melanoma cells and certain liver cancer cells in humans. This is not to say that ayahuasca

  • is a replacement for radiation or chemotherapy, but it may hold future possibilities for cancer

  • research. Interestingly, unlike other drugs such as alcohol or cocaine, ayahuasca does

  • not seem to create a tolerance, so regular drinkers aren’t required to drink more in

  • order to achieve the same effect experienced the first time.

  • After consumption, drinkers usually suffer violent retching, vomiting, and even diarrhea,

  • as the brew is extremely acidic, making an upset stomach normal, even in experienced

  • drinkers. And there is a dark side of Ayahuasca too - fatalities have been linked to its ingestion,

  • particularly among tourists, though the manner of death is often undetermined. The increase

  • in popularity has also given rise to fake shamans, unqualified to create the brew safely.

  • Ultimately, the data is currently too sparse to seriously consider ayahuasca recreationally

  • and more clinical trials are required to conclude whether ayahuasca is safe.

  • Special thanks to audible for supporting this episode to give you a free 30 day trial at

  • This week we wanted to recommend the bookHallucinationsby Oliver Sacks

  • which takes an in-depth look into the myriad of conditions that induce hallucinations,

  • and shows how common they actually are! You can get a free 30 day trial at

  • and choose from a massive selection! We love them as they are great when youre on the

  • go.

  • And subscribe for more weekly science videos!

The hallucination inducing drugayahuascahas been used for centuries by tribes in South


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アヤワスカについてのあなたの脳:幻覚剤 (Your Brain On Ayahuasca: The Hallucinogenic Drug)

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    Po-ching Tsai に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日