NDNR Article on Ayahuasca Tradition, Context, and Clinical Applications

NDNR Article on Ayahuasca Tradition, Context, and Clinical Applications

In terms of actions, the plant brew known as ayahuasca is entheogenic, serotonergic, emetic, purgative, and anti-parasitic. It can lead to changes in perception, affect, cognition, and physical sensation,6 as well as changes in frontal and paralimbic activation in the brain, resulting in altered emotional processing.7 Ayahuasca is described as both a doctor and a teacher, meaning it has the ability to both help heal people from illness and to help them learn about themselves. It seems to have a particular affinity for helping people overcome and recontextualize – ie, heal – traumatic childhood experiences.