Ayahuasca article in Utne

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By Sillycybin (Sillycybin) on Monday, October 15, 2001 - 04:03 pm: The Nook

If anyone is interested...

This month's issue of the Utne Reader (October 2001, No. 107) includes an article on ayahuasca. They talk about its applications in modern amazoinian society, Dennis McKenna's experiences, and the possible applications of ayahuasca to 'cure' some diseases, like alcoholism and...westernism :-)

If you're interested, check it out at your local library or book/magazine store.


By Black Star (Mr_Bug) on Monday, October 15, 2001 - 04:10 pm: The Nook

What's ayahuasca?

By monkeyod (Monkeyod) on Monday, October 15, 2001 - 06:22 pm: The Nook

It's a mix of vines/herbs that South American shayman(sp) use for visions. I posted a link in the "cluster headaches" thread about this article back last month...here's part of it.


Here's a quote of the most interesting part (well it all is interesting to me)...

"In 1993, McKenna finally got a chance to launch another study among his friends at the UDV church in Brazil. The study subjects, all men, had been regular ayahuasca users for at least 10 years, drinking it at church ceremonies as often as twice a month. When the researchers interviewed them, they kept hearing common testimonies of men wracked by alcoholism and violent behavior who had turned their lives around, thanks both to the UDV and to ayahuasca. In his study, McKenna was trying to measure what a dose of the tea was doing to them biologically, in the short term. But in the back of his mind were those lucid and wiry Peruvian sorcerers. What about long-term ayahuasca use? Did it leave a physical marker that the scientists could trace?

They were surprised to find some evidence that it did. The ayahuasca users had raised levels of a particular type of serotonin receptor in their blood platelets. Thatís a fairly reliable indicator of higher receptor levels in the brain, which is what the researchers ultimately wanted to know. But they didnít have the sophisticated equipment needed to do these brain tests. They also had no idea whether the high receptor count was a good thing or a bad thing. But it was the sort of marker they had hoped to find.

The science gets complicated here. Suffice it to say that those serotonin receptors in the brain are crucial to our moods and the target of various antidepressants like Prozac. Whatís more, other researchers have noted a link between reduced serotonin-receptor counts and the sort of violent and addictive behavior those UDV members had somehow managed to put behind them."

By Underground_Shaman (Shaman) on Tuesday, October 16, 2001 - 04:48 pm: The Nook

One vine and one bark processed into a nasty liquid in a hightly ritualistic ceremony by trained Shamans. When scientists analyzed it, they found two main ingredients: DMT and an MAOI. Not recommended for the light of heart. Also can be dangerous with our nasty American diets.


By Black Star (Mr_Bug) on Tuesday, October 16, 2001 - 06:45 pm: The Nook

Any info on how to make it?

By monkeyod (Monkeyod) on Tuesday, October 16, 2001 - 08:14 pm: The Nook

Just go to ayahuasca.com

By Piss Chill (Catfishjohn) on Wednesday, October 17, 2001 - 12:15 pm: The Nook

I live in Brazil and ayahuasca's use is legal but only if used in one of the authorized churches like UDV mentioned above. I'm not a scientist, but I think it might be difficult to separate the long-term behavioral effects of the drug itself from the changes that come from regular participation in the church with all its rules, etc. and its use in conjunction with the churches' ceremonies. These churches know they are somewhat vulnerable to criticism from the larger community so under no circumstances will they sell or provide the ingredients of ayahuasca to non-members (I've tried!). As churches go, they have a pretty cool philosophy promoting love and respect for nature and the forest as well as for the visions and experience that these plants offer. Alas, there are no church branches here where I live!