Ayahuasca is a psychedelic brew drank by Native Southern Americans for hundreds of years. It is created from the combination of Banisteriopsis caapi vine and the Psychotria viridis leaf. Until today, indigenous tribes, even modern people looking for enlightenment consume it during traditions and spiritual gatherings. Weeks ago, researchers published a study showing the effects of Ayahuasca in the brain. In the study, new brain cells sprung in consumption of the mystical brew.
Researchers from the D'Or Institute for Research and Education (IDOR) and the Institute of Biomedical Sciences at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (ICB-UFRJ) conducted the staggering study
among in vitro models. According to experts, harmine is the alkaloid with highest percentage existing in Ayahuasca. This same substance is responsible for the stimulation of growth, maturation and birth of neurons in the brain's stem cells.
Two parts of the brain said to have shown activities of the birth of neurons (aka neurogenesis). Brain images showed that areas within the hippocampus and ventricles had occurrences of neurogenesis.
The hippocampus is the part of the brain that plays an important role for cognitive tasks such as learning and memory. Meaning, the findings is greatly significant for the development of neurons, which degrade in performance as people age. Furthermore, the study might be the key to treat diseases like Alzheimer and dementia.
Researchers figured out how Ayahuasca impacts the brain. Harmine, Ayahuasca's key component, inhibits MAO and DYRK1A. Inhibition of these processes leads to neurogenesis in the hippocampus.
"Our results demonstrate that harmine is able to generate new human neural cells, similar to the effects of classical antidepressant drugs, which frequently are followed by diverse side effects. Moreover, the observation that hormone inhibits DYRK1A in neural cells allows us to speculate about future studies to test its potential therapeutic role over cognitive deficits observed in Down syndrome and neurodegenerative diseases", says Stevens Rehen, researcher from IDOR and ICB-UFRJ in an interview
Maybe, this study explains how Ayuasha "enlightens" the mind. Hippies would surely rejoice for this astounding news!