Ayahuasca is a type of South American tea, usually brewed from the stem of the Banisteriopsis caapi vine (B. caapi) and leaves from the Psychotria viridis bush and water. Ayahuasca has hallucinogenic properties and has been used in spiritual ceremonies by indigenous peoples in the Amazon region throughout history.
In parts of South America, ayahuasca may be prepared differently depending on region. Some cultures use a cold brewing method, others boil the tea for several hours, and some utilize additional psychoactive ingredients in their recipe.
While Ayahuasca has been a part of some South American cultures for centuries, it has become popular recently as its spiritual and mind-opening reputation has grown. Thousands of people travel to South America every year to partake in ayahuasca ceremonies.
Benefits Of Ayahuasca
Ayahuasca is typically brewed from two plants, each with psychoactive properties. The active ingredient in Psychotria viridis is N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT). The active ingredients in Banisteriopsis caapi are beta-carbolines, which are monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors. When DMT and beta-carbolines are combined in ayahuasca, they work together to produce a psychoactive experience for the user.
Many people anecdotally report significant personal and spiritual breakthroughs during ayahuasca ceremonies.
But recently, scientists are studying the therapeutic benefits of ayahuasca in more controlled, medical settings. The potential for ayahuasca as a treatment for mood disorders and addiction has many researchers excited about the possibilities.
Since ayahuasca users report feelings of psychological well-being, fewer substance abuse problems, and little desire to continue using it—abuse potential appears low. Which certainly lends hope for its safety as an emerging treatment.
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