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Scientific Studies on Ayahuasca

A systematic review of biomedical studies and reports published between 1966 and 2018 found evidence that ayahuasca is safe when supervised, may have positive psychological effects, may improve mindfulness-related abilities, could potentially be beneficial in treating addiction to drugs, shows promise in helping with depression and anxiety symptoms, as well as improving emotional regulation.

Furthermore, the same study suggested that ayahuasca consumption increases brain plasticity by changing activity patterns in key neural networks connected with creativity processing. Specifically, people reported a higher perception of themselves after the experience of participating in an ayahuasca ceremony or ritual. This suggests potential mental health benefits, such as improved emotion regulation skills or a better understanding of one's own thought process.

The awareness-expanding benefits of ayahuasca tourism are gaining ground in the scientific community. In a recent study, a group of scientists from the University of Berkeley analyzed the effects of ayahuasca on the brain and concluded that the DMT alkaloid, found in the plant, can be a powerful tool for the treatment of depression and other mental disorders

Clinical studies ensure that psychedelics, including DMT and ayahuasca, are safer substances than the widely used cocaine, opiates or even nicotine and alcohol, with the advantage of lacking the abuse potential characteristic of these substances or drugs.

According to the scientists, reports of withdrawal syndrome after cessation of DMT use are unknown, as compulsive drug seeking precipitated by DMT or ayahuasca use has not been reported in humans. DMT, the main psychoactive component of ayahuasca, has long been classified as a structurally simple "spirit molecule", found in more than 50 plants of the South American flora, including, but not limited to, P. viridis, Desmanthus illinoensis , M. hostilis and others.

DMT is also a ubiquitous endogenous constituent of mammalian species, including humans, detected in blood, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid. So this chemical compound is naturally produced by nature.


  • LGable, R.S. Risk assessment of ritual use of oral dimethyltryptamine (DMT) and harmala alkaloids. Addiction 2007, 102, 24–34.

  • Studies with repeated administration of DMT to volunteers have seen little or no drug tolerance [64,149].

  • Strassman, R.J.; Qualls, C.R.; Berg, L.M. Differential tolerance to biological and subjective effects of four closely spaced doses of N,N-dimethyltryptamine in humans.

  • Gillin, J.C.; Kaplan, J.; Stillman, R.; Wyatt, R.J. The psychedelic model of schizophrenia: The case of N,N-dimethyltryptamine. Am. J. Psychiatry 1976, 133, 203–208

  • Ott, J. Pharmacotheon: Entheogenic Drugs Their Plant Sources and History; Natural Products Company: Kennewick, WA, USA, 1993.

  • Barker, S.A.; McIlhenny, E.H.; Strassman, R. A critical review of reports of endogenous psychedelic N,N-dimethyltryptamines in humans: 1955–2010.

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