Ayahuasca is less fun than other drugs, but folks are happier afterward

November 15, 2017


Ayahuasca is a profound bit of nature; drinking it is like standing in a hurricane or swimming through bio luminescent algae, except that, on ayahuasca, nature's forces swirl inside you. This makes you feel awe for the planet you live on, and awe for the big, beautiful parts of nature you barely understand -- including yourself.


Here's some recent news about it: 


Ayahuasca is less fun than other drugs, but makes people happier afterward.


During a trip, blood flows differently in the emotional part of the brain.


Aya helps folks overcome eating disorders. The findings were highlighted by the Independent UK and even FoxNews..


A guide to ayahuasca for mental health pros suggests "people with personal or family history of psychotic disorders should avoid ayahuasca intake."


Ayahuasca is illegal in Japan, so folks are doing strange things to get around the ban. One man there cooks up up a knock-off brew using traditional Japanese herbs and crushed-up antidepressant pills.


Ayahuasca is legal in the U.S. in certain circumstances. A Florida ayahuasca church helping veterans beat PTSD is daring the DEA to try and shut them down. They sound cocky. "Every time the DEA has messed with a church, they've lost and lost big," the leader told Vice. (I've found that the DEA isn't anti-ayahuasca. They just don't know what it is.)


Ayahuasca is similar to other psychedelic drugs, like mushrooms and LSD. A couple quick notes about those:


Psychedelics are calmer-downers: psychedelic folks steal and fight less, while coke, heroin and meth users do more crime.


Mushrooms may push the "reset" button on the brain, as blood flows differently in your noggin the day after a trip. And test subjects given "heroic" doses of mushrooms — mushroom trips can be as powerful as ayahuasca — "showed large significant positive changes on measures of interpersonal closeness, gratitude, life meaning/purpose."


Mushrooms also help depressed people recognize emotions better.


Scientists reported that "LSD increased cognitive bizarreness," although the scientists didn't seem to mean that as a bad thing.


That's it for now. All the best. 

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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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