Ayahuasca is a  jungle vine that allows your brain's natural psychedelic, DMT, to persist and affect you. I first encountered it when Karla took me to visit her family in the Amazon nine years ago. Her tribe, the Shipibo, has used it for hundreds, thousand of years, and her mom drank it for stomachaches as a little girl. So it's either children's Tylenol or uber-LSD, or both. But for unknown reasons, it helps depression, drug addiction and acedia — at least it did for me.

Reilly Capps // reporter
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August 16, 2017

The news about ayahuasca: 

Ayahuasca is a molecular soup that grows your brain. A study of mice brain cells in petri dishes showed that ingredients in the brew help neurons develop. Alzheimer's, depression...

May 15, 2017

Ayahuasca is heading down the road to become a prescription drug. The government gave a group of researchers the go-ahead to start phase 1 clinical trials in healthy adults. They'll give aya to people who...

April 11, 2017

Two research organizations are partnering with an ayahuasca center in Peru for the largest-ever study of aya — hundreds, possibly thousands of drinkers. Most past studies find aya helps more than it hurts,...

February 12, 2017

In a double-blind study, doctors in a hospital in Brazil connected people with treatment-resistant depression to monitors and gave them either ayahuasca or a placebo; ayahuasca drinkers saw their depressio...

January 14, 2017

A lit review of 28 peer-reviewed studies found aya is generally good for you. Overall, it "increased introspection and positive mood," "improved planning and inhibitory control" and, it said, "long-term ay...

November 26, 2016

In a sign of the growing interest, the second World Ayahuasca Conference happened a month ago in the Amazon in Brazil; the first was in Ibiza in 2014; 750 people attended this one. One slogan was, "Ayahuas...

October 20, 2016

A study suggests that DMT protects brain cells from anoxic death. I can't repeat it often enough, because it seems too crazy to be true, but here it is again: DMT, which is the world's most powerful psyche...

August 16, 2016

A highly respected research organization is asking for participants in a survey about the power of ayahuasca to heal PTSD. There is anecdotal evidence that it does. For example, a Boulder-based nonprofit b...

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AYA NEWS // ayahuasca newsletter 

Here's my short monthly street-level newsletter about ayahuasca. Join my list if you you'd like to get the newsletter. 

 

Quick primer: Ayahuasca is a mixture of two jungle plants in a tea. The Amazon natives concocted it. Now, people all over are nuts about it. For some, it's the funnest thing you can legally do on a Saturday night. For some, it's a conduit to god. For still others, it's just an unpleasant, dizzying cup of syrup of ipecac. I have my own thoughts about the whole thing, but nevermind. I'm just here to give the news. 

// the latest: