by Naren Duffy, Customer Services, London, UK
I recently watched a short presentation given by the author Graham Hancock, relating his experiences with the hallucinogenic drink ‘ayahuasca’, and how he used it to stop smoking marijuana, among other things. Ayahuasca is a drink used in shamanistic rituals originating in the Amazon jungle, and it is used sometimes in the West for treating drug addiction as well as emotional difficulties, or by people who are interested in exploring exotic traditions from around the world.
Ayahuasca can be brewed using several different plants, but of the plants used, one will contain DMT (dimethytriptamine) and another an MAO (monoamine oxidase) inhibitor. MAO is a chemical that is present in our liver which serves to break down toxins so that they will be rendered inactive and not end up in the blood stream. DMT occurs in small amounts naturally in our bodies and is linked to dreaming and other functions, but when it is ingested it is naturally broken down by MAO. Therefore an inhibitor is necessary to make DMT have any effect when it is drunk. DMT can also be extracted from a plant and the extract smoked directly into the lungs to produce an extremely intense hallucinogenic experience which lasts a couple of minutes, while the ayahuasca experience can be equally intense and last around four hours, possibly longer. Continue reading “Ayahuasca: Bad Medicine”