Ayahuasca: Nature’s Antidepressant

Ayahuasca, a South American indigenous polydrug beverage made from a combination of the Banisteriopsis caapi (ayahuasca) vine and Psychotria viridis leaf (plus occasional other plants), has achieved a degree of popularity for its ability to help people find answers to their life’s problems. While most known for the hours-long hallucinations it provokes, the psychoactive compounds in the ayahuasca vine itself are not actually psychedelics, but monoamine oxidase inhibitors. And while ayahuasca gets more press today than MAOIs, MAOIs themselves are better known as the first types of effective antidepressants ever discovered, back in the 1950s. While the MAOIs present in ayahuasca–harmaline, harmine, and tetrahydroharmine–aren’t the same as the MAOIs prescribed to help treat depression, research and subjective experience suggest that ayahuasca also enjoys fast-acting anxiolytic and antidepressant effects.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: