What Happens To Your Brain When You Consume Ayahuasca Over Years
With ayahuasca rapidly growing in popularity, it is important to assess the long term effects it has on the brain. As usual, science has the answer.
Good news, everyone! Those of you who are lucky enough to have access to ayahuasca can now rest easy in the knowledge that it has no long-term negative effects on the brain. According to research, long term use of Ayahuasca doesn’t cause any cognitive or neurological maladjustment or deterioration. In fact, there is even a small amount of evidence to suggest that ayahuasca could be a benefit to the brain!
What Is Ayahuasca?
Ayahuasca is an Amazonian herbal brew well known for its intense psychedelic power. It has been used as a spiritual tool for centuries by the indigenous tribes of the amazon, but has recently become very popular amounts globetrotting pyschonauts. A great deal of its popularity stems from the fact that its ingredients contain relatively high amounts of naturally occurring DMT, making it one of the most potent psychedelics known to man. As such, natural worries about its long-term effects on brain health have arisen.
Science Says Ayahuasca Is Safe
Fortunately, scientific research has quelled those fears, as results have found no evidence of adverse effect. Initial studies were carried out back in 1993 and published in The Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease, whereby the researchers assess the psychological state of 15 long-term religious ayahuasca users. It was found that there was no evidence of cognitive deterioration, and in fact, each user appeared to have a highly functional cognitive condition.
These findings have been backed up by more recent research conducted by the Experimental Neuropsychopharmacology group of Hospital Sant Pau. They evaluated the mental health of 127 long-term ayahuasca users and compared them to a control of 115 non users. It was found that not only was there no evidence of degeneration or damage, the ayahuasca group actually had a lower psychopathological score and higher cognitive performance scores than the non-ayahuasca control group!
This raises the question as to whether long-term use of ayahuasca actually benefits the brain. Whilst this would obviously need to be tested in more detail, other interesting findings from the research found that ayahuasca users appeared to have much higher concentrations of serotonin in their blood. As a concoction that interacts with serotonin receptors, it would normally be presumed that ayahuasca users would build up a tolerance to it, eventually leading to decreased levels – much in the same way many anti-depressant drugs do, eventually causing them to become less effective. The fact that ayahuasca does not appear to build a tolerance has huge implications into ayahuasca, or a derivative of it, being used as an alternative to anti-depressant medicine in the future.
It is still a long way off, and needs a great deal more research, but it is an exciting prospect. Research into the subject area is steadily increasing as the War on Drugs enters the last phase of death throes – let’s hope the scientific community can keep up the momentum and find more ways ayahuasca can be used to benefit mankind.