April 2023 Issue 206

2023-09-12T09:14:04+00:00By |
NMW Cover April issue 206
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Editor's Letter

A plant medicine with less predictable effects

We have touched on various psychedelics this year, and now it is ayahuasca's turn, because of a new study where the active ingredient (dimethyltryptamine or DMT) in ayahuasca was administered intravenously.

Practitioners report not only powerful hallucinations, but near-death experiences, contact with higher-dimensional beings, and life-transforming voyages through alternative realities.

This ability to make brain activity more fluid and flexible is thought to underpin not only the profound psychedelic experience but the promising results from early clinical trial patients who were given DMT in combination with psychotherapy to treat depression. ‘DMT is short-acting, so it's a very flexible tool compared with psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) and LSD which can last for six to 10 hours,’ said Chris Timmermann, head of the DMT research group at Imperial College London.

The results, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, provide the most advanced picture yet of the human brain on psychedelics. The recordings show how the brain's normal hierarchical organisation breaks down, electrical activity becomes anarchic, and connectivity between regions soars, particularly those handling ‘higher level’ functions such as imagination, which evolved most recently in humans. ‘The stronger the intensity of the experience, the more hyperconnected were those brain areas,’said Timmermann.

To learn more, read the article: Ayahuasca – Spirit Plant Medicine Divine


Our authors receive no payment or any other form of remuneration from us or from the industry. They take time out from their busy schedules to write articles – and then we insist that they meet our deadlines, submit extra references, answer endless queries from reviewers and copy editors, and respond to the letters we receive from you, our readers. Here’s to all of them! May their tireless and tremendous efforts bring them well-deserved rewards.

Yours in Healthy Living

Daleen Full Signature Daleen Totten

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