Ayahuasca Neurogenesis And Depression

Posted By Ina Woolcott

A recent article published in New Scientist magazine suggests that neurogenesis – the growth of new brain cells – is a key to curing depression. The article discusses how depressed people have an enlarged amygdala, which causes an imbalance of cortizol a fight or flight stress hormone that ‘whittles away neural structures’ – especially in the hypocampus which is the cortizol shut off valve. In depressed people, this structure can be 15% smaller than the statistical average.

Banisteriopsis caapi, the Ayahuaca vine, is regarded by many that use it as an antidepressant. The MAOI beta-carbolines in the vine reduce the clearing of serotonin from the synaptic cleft : i.e MAOI another angle from which serotonin can be boosted, which qualifies the use of MAOI in the treatment of depression back in the mid twentieth century.

The additional power of Ayahuasca over commonly prescribed SSRI’s is that it allows people to experientially approach the early causal factors to their depression and work to symbolically resolve them, and cathart the primal pain and energies bound up in those repressed early experiences. Ayahuasca allows conscious realisation of how those experiences effect ones constitution and patterns of behaviour, giving beneficial insights into how the effects of the damaging influences on ones life can be greatly negated by changes of attitude and lifestyle.

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