By John Vibes
Ayahuasca, the psychoactive brew that has been ritualistically ingested by indigenous tribes since before recorded history, has recently been shown to help in the fight against cancer.
The Ayahuasca brew is traditionally prepared using the Banisteriopsis caapi vine and Psychotria viridis leaves. Psychotria viridis contains N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) in the leaves, while Banisteriopsis caapi contains beta-carbolines such as harmine and harmaline.
DMT has long been known to have powerful psychoactive properties that can create life changing spiritual experiences. However, it is now recently being rediscovered that DMT can have an effect on the psychical body as well.
Eduardo E. Schenberg of the Federal University of Sao Paulo is one of the few scientists currently investigating the healing powers attributed to ayahuasca, specifically when it comes to cancer.
“There is enough available evidence that ayahuasca’s active principles, especially DMT and harmine, have positive effects in some cell cultures used to study cancer, and in biochemical processes important in cancer treatment, both in vitro and in vivo,” he wrote in an article published in SAGE Open Medicine. ”Therefore, the few available reports of people benefiting from ayahuasca in their cancer treatment experiences should be taken seriously, and the hypothesis presented here, fully testable by rigorous scientific experimentation, helps to understand the available cases and pave the way for new experiments.”
Until recently, studies of drugs like ayahuasca have been strictly forbidden. New studies conducted by independent researchers are finding that psychedelic drugs are not only safe, but also have a great ability to heal people both physically and emotionally.
“In summary, it is hypothesized that the combined actions of β-carbolines and DMT present in ayahuasca may diminish tumor blood supply, activate apoptotic pathways, diminish cell proliferation, and change the energetic metabolic imbalance of cancer cells, which is known as the Warburg effect,” Schenberg wrote. ”Therefore, ayahuasca may act on cancer hallmarks such as angiogenesis, apoptosis, and cell metabolism.”
The United States Supreme Court has unanimously ruled in favor of the legal religious use of ayahuasca by the União do Vegetal, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has affirmed the Santo Daime Church’s freedom to use ayahuasca for religious purposes. However, ayahuasca’s principally active ingredient, DMT, remains a Schedule I controlled substance, carrying a steep prison sentence.
“If ayahuasca is scientifically proven to have the healing potentials long recorded by anthropologists, explorers, and ethnobotanists, outlawing ayahuasca or its medical use and denying people adequate access to its curative effects could be perceived as an infringement on human rights, a serious issue that demands careful and thorough discussion,” Schenberg wrote.
Ayahuasca has also been in the news recently for its incredible ability to cure addiction.