How a hallucinogenic brew makes the brain live in a dream

Ayahuasca is a psychoactive brew that people from the Amazonian regions traditionally use as a spiritual medicine. This brew reportedly induces strong hallucinations, but what, exactly, does it do to the brain?

Researchers have discovered evidence of ayahuasca — also known as “yagé” — in use by shamans, dating back at least 1,000 years.

Traditionally, this hallucinogenic brew is meant to help people heal spiritually and physically, though, nowadays, some people use it for recreational purposes, more often than not, illicitly.

Full story at Medical News Today

Psychedelic compound triggers near-death experiences

A new study, published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, suggests that a psychedelic compound found in ayahuasca replicates near-death experiences in the brain.

Ayahuasca is a psychoactive brew made from different plants.

A main ingredient is dimethyltryptamine (DMT), which is a “non-selective serotonin receptor agonist” — that is, a compound that boosts serotonin, or the “happiness hormone.”

DMT has to be taken with other complementary substances for its psychoactive properties to become active.

Full story at Medical News Today