Your Brain On Ayahuasca: The Hallucinogenic Drug

Your Brain On Ayahuasca: The Hallucinogenic Drug

The hallucination inducing drug ‘ayahuasca’
has been used for centuries by tribes in South America during spiritual ceremonies. But as
it becomes more mainstream for those seeking optic and auditory hallucinations, what exactly
is it, and how does it affect your body and brain? Ayahuasca is actually a combination of the
leaves of one plant (Psychotria viridis) and the vines of another (Banisteriopsis caapi)
– neither of which have any hallucinogenic power on their own. But the leaves do contain
DMT (N,N-Dimethyltryptamine), which is structurally similar to your neurotransmitter serotonin
and to the chemical found in magic mushrooms! The problem is, your gut enzymes normally
deactivate DMT before it’s absorbed into your bloodstream; and this is where the vines
come in. They inhibit your gut enzymes from working properly, and allow DMT to travel
within your blood and eventually cross the blood-brain barrier. The effects of the drink usually hit around
half an hour after consumption, with hallucinations peaking after one hour, and subsiding within
four to six hours. But these hallucinations are reported to be different from drugs like
LSD and shrooms in that most people are fully aware that they are visually hallucinating.
In addition, instead of ‘hearing voices’ the sounds heard are usually exacerbations
of the noises already occurring around them. And unlike those who consume LSD or shrooms
from a ‘good trip’, many who drink ayahuasca are seeking to reconcile with their thoughts
and emotions, as well as past and present traumatic events. Afterwards, most feel more
at ease with their thoughts, and more accepting of their present situation. The Default Mode Network, is a distinct area
of the brain that if overactive is associated with depression, anxiety and social phobia.
And fMRI brain scans show that ayahuasca causes a significant decrease in activity within
the default mode network. This is usually linked with a meditative state and explains
why for those seeking optic and auditory hallucinations,some ayahuasca drinkers feel at peace with themselves,
and find a renewed sense of purpose after a trip. Additionally, DMT has been linked with proteins
that promote the maintenance of long-term memory, neural plasticity and the regeneration
of new neurons. It can bind to specific receptors found on mitochondria and endoplasmic reticula,
and may even have the potential to kill certain cancerous cells. On top of this, alkaloids
from the vine have been shown to induce apoptosis in mice melanoma cells and certain liver cancer
cells in humans. This is not to say that ayahuasca is a replacement for radiation or chemotherapy,
but it may hold future possibilities for cancer research. Interestingly, unlike other drugs
such as alcohol or cocaine, ayahuasca does not seem to create a tolerance, so regular
drinkers aren’t required to drink more in order to achieve the same effect experienced
the first time. After consumption, drinkers usually suffer
violent retching, vomiting, and even diarrhea, as the brew is extremely acidic, making an
upset stomach normal, even in experienced drinkers. And there is a dark side of Ayahuasca
too – fatalities have been linked to its ingestion, particularly among tourists, though the manner
of death is often undetermined. The increase in popularity has also given rise to fake
shamans, unqualified to create the brew safely. Ultimately, the data is currently too sparse
to seriously consider ayahuasca recreationally and more clinical trials are required to conclude
whether ayahuasca is safe. Special thanks to audible for supporting this
episode to give you a free 30 day trial at This week we wanted to recommend
the book “Hallucinations” by Oliver Sacks which takes an in-depth look into the myriad
of conditions that induce hallucinations, and shows how common they actually are! You
can get a free 30 day trial at and choose from a massive selection! We love
them as they are great when you’re on the go. And subscribe for more weekly science videos!


  1. I searched up your channel looking for a lean video. This was the top recommended so i feel you gotta make a video about it

  2. Welp thats it. I'm not even going to consider trying this. I'm not trying to be throwing up and shitting during or after. I'll just smoke it.

  3. I mean… first, white people come to our land and steal all of our caucho and assassinate our indigenous people, or make them their slaves. Now, they want to take the culture of the few indigenous people that were left and “experiment” just for personal growth or to be edgy. Will white people ever stop???? Get your own ayahuasca, pirobos.

  4. Ayahuasca has a very strong and clear voice. Certainly not just a reflection of the sounds in your environment, although the big momma does connect you to what you can hear in the nature around you.

  5. How is this revealing? Isn't it just delusional? Just like a trip? Which is so strong that it makes you feel like its reality.

  6. SO it is a hallucinating drug white men have appropriated for the New Age scam done by jobless wankers who just want to ramble on the meaning of life and hide behind a fake high. Just shoot these bastards. Society will be better off without them

  7. Death false…falling off a mountain cause your an idiot is not death by ayhuasca. This is a scare video. So sad. Not a all truth. And its not a drug.

  8. how do fake shamans not make the brew safely? its 2 steps put 2 things in a pot, boil for hours.
    As for undetermined causes of tourist deaths bet money they are on anti depressants/first world drugs which if you dont know what your drinking other than a spiritual drink from a shaman than you wont know the pharma-logical effects of the fact that medications you took FROM UP TO A MONTH AGO can kill you due to the MAOI's in the AYA

  9. The death part is usually over money. Not a result of the drug. But the shaman men that kill some tourists while under the trip

  10. Hi! thanks for the information! I'd like to add the following for anyone who is looking for their own awakening.
    Can I DIE by taking Ayahuasca? YES! it's possible, but not because of Ayahuasca. This is what I found from a true Yachaj Runa (the highest title of shamanism) deep in the Rainforest. You can find this information as "Ancestral Weaves" here on YouTube. Have an excellent day full of wisdom and happiness.

  11. Why does the government keep these drugs illegal? I believe they don’t want people to enter a kind of thinking state. Humans have been tripping off this kind of stuff for before people starting writing stuff down. I don’t see why it has to be illegal when it causes no harm to other people so let shrooms, LSD, and DMT and other hallucinations be legal

  12. People are not seeking “hallucinations”, and people don’t claim they realize they are hallucinating, they say it’s NOT a hallucination. THAT’s why it’s interesting. Who gives a shit about hallucinations? Clinical trials, really? 5000 years of use by myriad cultures, potentially millions of people, all over the world isn’t sufficient evidence? Typical reductionist bullshit.

  13. I recently had a life changing experience on ayahuasca. I truly understand why they call it “plant medicine” now.

  14. no such thing as change or borinx or not, any s infix any interestingx, no anxietyx, depresx, xphobiax etc for suchx, anyx, do things not anxietx etc about things

  15. I live in brazil my mom making me take this shit it basicly makes u feel no anger after u take it and a good feeling after a couple days thats it. I dont wanna die ill probably tell her to make my uncle stop taking me to ("união do vegetal" where ppl drink it

  16. If you are going to try it go to Peru and find someone who is a professional town shaman (ask the local people if you cant) its a much safer bet then going to some random white guy in the middle of New York ( a place where this is largely done by fakes or people not qualified/have no idea what they are doing). I wouldn't suggest doing it every day but once every other year or so isnt bad (all this info is from resurch i have done my self as i am planing a trip to Peru to try this my self). It is 100% plant based and natural and that is pretty much the only reason i agree with its use (much like pot, its just a plant there is no chemical processing) and to limit things like vomiting and diarrhea most places put you on a strict diet for up to 2 weeks before the drinking ceremony. Speaking of the drinking ceremony most places you do not do it alone they have other people drinking with you and other people who are sober to watch over you (Most people stay together in one large house or hut)

  17. NEVER DO ANY HALLUCINAGONS OR DISSOCIATIVES THAT AREN'T MUSHROOMS! Peyote is an acception. Remember just because something is natural doesn't it mean it can't be harmful. Hallucinagons like Datura and DMT are verrrrrrrry dangerous (especially Datura) I wouldn't suggest Salvia either… which is both a hallucinagon and dissociative, it's dangerous as shit. I wouldn't suggest dissociatives at all, they can have serious side effects including mood disorders like anger, violence, or sense of non concious behavior. So stay away from PCP, Ketamine, GHB etc. Even DXM is one and it can be very strenuous on your heart and can cause very unpleasant hallucinations. Stick with weed kids. If you wanna trip grab some shrooms.

  18. Checkout this company that sells Ayahuasca ingredients share the word!

  19. Wait if I eat leaves or mushrooms from a forest will I get high? I aint gonna eat none of dat tho I don't wanna get poisoned.

  20. This is amazing.. we need natural remedies to cure. The earth has everything we need! Amman is money motivated and synthesized everything

  21. Clinical trials are required to determine the safety of Ayahuasca? Really? Are you f8cking kidding me? It is being used for thousands of years. There are only one or two highly controversial reports of fatalities. But, you are going to spend 100 millions dollars on trials, and than hand it over to big pharma so that they can charge whatever they want?

  22. We are legit suppliers of DMT, MDMA , XANAX , LSD , shroom etc anti depressant ,delivery to all any state, UK, Canada
    My Wickr ID is– ricardo1414

  23. Lmao "This keeps happening!"
    That is one of the worst mindsets to have for any trip, guaranteed paranoia and panic trip. Cant speak for ayahuasca, maybe one day I'll find someone who makes it.

  24. So you're saying that it's good for me? Sweet. You explained this all so eloquently. So much so, that I was wondering if you would talk to my probation officer for me? Let him know he needn't worry, and that this stuff kills cancer.

  25. Anyone who is looking to try ayahuasca for a recreational drug, please rethink your decision lol if you dont have intention for self healing and you just want to have a good time the substance is not for you

  26. all i can say is that ayahuascha isn,'t a recreational drug. its a spiritually healing experience and is different for everyone.

  27. This drug is extremely potent and dangerous. Seriously dont recommend. I know someone who was never the same after, he became depressed and is now basically homeless and destroyed

  28. I’m so grateful for all of the people in the comments sharing their stories about ayahuasca medicine and clearing up some misinformation from the video. 💓 thank you friends. Ayahuasca is medicine. Doing a ceremony, It truly has been the best decision I’ve ever made in my life.

  29. old or young,
    poor or rich.
    I high advice everyone to open the doors, take step inside.
    At least once in there life,
    go on a journey….
    one that is unforgettable.
    You'll be back in a matter of minutes.
    What you see,
    where you go makes it all worth it.

  30. those "deaths" spoken of here are all of a dubious nature . One, a 17 or 18 year old American was actually murdered then buried (hardly a dmt OD), another earlier more noted case was of a man smoking very heavy amounts while taken a bath (then drowning), and then there were a couple of inexperienced tourists meeting the wrong shamans, whose brews contained not only the usual (but huge) amounts of caapi and dmt but also deadly amounts of 5 MeO dmt, which should never be used alone or without a "siitter" as the person can momentarily stop breathing.. People with high BP, heart problems or underlying psychotic issues should never use these very powerful psychedelics. Of it's benefits there is no doubt for most people, and is perfectly safe, compare that with the tens of thousands Americans who die each year from alcohol, the argument becomes ridiculous .

  31. this guy doesnt know what he's talking about btw.

    b. caapi is an amazing plant – hardly boring at all.


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