This is my short monthly semi-irreverent evidence-based newsletter about ayahuasca in the West, because ayahuasca matters to me — it's a cure.
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Ayahuasca, as you know, is a jungle brew made from two plants — a vine and a leaf. It's psychedelic. Amazonians think it puts you in touch with spirits; atheists think it lets you dive deep into your own brain.
Those big questions are beyond my understanding. I mostly know about the news:
Brain scans of 10 people on ayahuasca showed that repetitive and constricted patterns of thinking became "larger," more spread around the brain. "The mind may become effectively more 'free,' attaining a more flexible state," the researchers wrote. The old worn grooves fall apart. New pathways are created. It literally opens your mind.
A woman went manic on ayahuasca, becoming euphoric and grandiose. Marijuana had done the same to her, which suggests many drugs are dangerous and drug-induced mania is a real self-esteem booster.
In fish, small amounts of ayahuasca reduced anxiety-like swimming behavior. The fish also reconciled with their parents and started regular meditation practices, I believe.
[An anxious zebrafish. Why? No ayahuasca.]
A Dutch newspaper reports aya is so accepted there that some ayahuasca centers are registered with the Chamber of Commerce.
I mentioned ayahuasca in my feature for Rooster Magazine on religion and millennials, saying that drugs are the closest thing to a religion some young people have.
News about drugs generally.
After the FDA declared therapy with MDMA — aka molly or ecstasy — a "breakthrough" treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder, I interviewed therapists already doing the work underground.
Also in the scientific journals this month, psychedelics in general were found to allow brains to become hyperconnected and give users a sense of connectedness to other people and to the planet. I believe psychedelics also cure bad breath, IBS and plantar warts — though that was not reported in the journals this month.