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Researchers claim that ayahuasca tea helps the formation of new neurons

The result was obtained in a study carried out by the Complutense University of Madrid.

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This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.


  • The study brings together the results of a four-year “in vitro” and “in vivo” experimentation in mice.
  • Ayahuasca is obtained from a mixture between two Amazonian plants, the ayahuasca vine (Banisteriopsis caapi) and the chacruna bush (Psychotria viridis).

Have you tried ayahuasca tea? A study led by researchers from the Complutense University of Madrid ( UCM ) found that the Amazonian drink traditionally used by shamans contributes to the formation of new neurons.

The study groups together the results of a four-year “in vitro” and “in vivo” experimentation carried out in mice, subjects that demonstrated greater cognitive capacity when treated with dimethyltryptamine (DMT), one of the components of ayahuasca, according to with José Antonio López, researcher at the Faculty of Psychology of the Complutense University and co-author of the work.

Ayahuasca is obtained from a mixture between two Amazonian plants, the ayahuasca vine (Banisteriopsis caapi) and the chacruna bush (Psychotria viridis). “In ayahuasca, DMT binds to a type 2A serotonergic brain receptor, and that is when its hallucinogenic effect is enhanced. In this research, this binding is made with another receptor, sigma type, which does not have these effects. “Which greatly facilitates its future administration to patients,” they explain in the study report.

According to José Ángel Morales, researcher at the Department of Cell Biology of the UCM and the Center for Research in Network of Neurodegenerative Diseases (CIBERNED), the ability to modulate brain plasticity is an indication of a great therapeutic potential for a wide range of psychiatric disorders and neurological.

The death of certain neurons generates the symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, the researchers said. However, the human being is capable of generating new neuronal cells but this always depends on other factors.

The challenge for scientists will be to activate the brain’s ability to develop new neurons to replace those that die in people with neurodegenerative diseases.

“Ayahuasca” means “liana or rope of the spirits” and is used by South American shamans as traditional medicine in the Amazonian peoples.


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