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New Psychedelic Plant-Based Drug Discovered In the Amazon


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If you haven’t heard of Dimethyltryptamine, the active ingredient in ayahuasca, which is a plant-based mixture — you might soon. Researchers say that this new drug, short for DMT, is a hallucinogenic compound used in shamanic rituals in the Amazon — and is growing in popularity.

Shaman Prepares AyahuascaA shaman in the Coafan region boils leaves for their psychoactive proporties as used in ayahuasca, Ecuador, 2009. [Photo Credit: Wade Davis via Getty Images]

The drug first came to the attention of Western scientists in 1851, but Amazonian tribes have probably used it as a medicine and religious aid for centuries. One of the plants in the brew, Psychotria viridis, contains dimethyltryptamine — or DMT — which is listed as a Schedule I drug under the U.S. Controlled Substances Act. By itself, though, dimethyltryptamine has no real effect. Indeed, many common plants contain DMT; so does the human body, though the brain is wired to neutralize it. Thus the second plant in the brew — Banisteriopsis caapi, which knocks down the brain’s ability to neutralize DMT.

Banisteriopsis-caapi-flowers

[Read More: Huff Post]

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