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Monthly Archives: January 2015

Ayahuasca and Depression

Ayahuasca is the name given to a brew that is usually a combination of two plants.  The first is a large vine, Banisteriopsis caapi.  This vine is also given the name of ayahuasca and it contains harmine, harmaline and tetrahydroharmine, which are all monoamine oxidase inhibitors. The second is a small ground plant, usually a member of the Psychotria genus, which contains the hallucinogenic DMT molecule.  The vine must be combined with the ground plant for the DMT to be absorbed into the bloodstream.  Due to the fact that the vine contains MAOI compounds, there are important dietary regulations that must be followed to avoid negative food-drug interactions.  Any food with high amounts of tyramine should be avoided with ayahuasca.

This plant mixture has been used for thousands of years by the native people of the western Amazon for its divination and healing purposes.  One of the most common themes of…

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