Scientists Are Investigating Ayahuasca As A Treatment For Depression

Now, the substance has caught the attention of not only the American tourists and spiritual seekers traveling to South America to participate [in] ayahuasca retreats, but also medical researchers, who are investigating ayahuasca (also known as the “spirit vine”) as a treatment for mental health problems such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

This week, the results of the first clinical trial investigating ayahuasca as a treatment for depression were published in the Brazilian Review of Psychiatry. Its publication marks a promising early step toward clinical use of the psychotropic substance as a treatment for depression and other mental health problems…

So how does the brew provide both immediate and lingering relief from depressive symptoms? Like pharmaceutical antidepressants, ayahuasca seems to alter concentrations of the mood-boosting neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain…

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