Are plants the gateway to the mind? | Decoded

Can plants be the gateway to the mind?
Hollywood actor @amrwaked explores whether plants like Ayahuasca and the Blue Lotus were the source of knowledge and inspiration of our ancient ancestors.

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*Ayahuasca[note 1] is a South American (pan-Amazonian)[1] psychoactive brew used both socially and as ceremonial spiritual medicine among the indigenous peoples of the Amazon basin.[2][3] It is a psychedelic and entheogenic mixed drink brew commonly made out of the Banisteriopsis caapi vine, the Psychotria viridis shrub or a substitute, and possibly other ingredients.[4] A chemically similar preparation, sometimes called ”pharmahuasca”, can be prepared using N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) and a pharmaceutical monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), such as isocarboxazid.[5][6] B. caapi contains several alkaloids that act as MAOIs, which are required for DMT to be orally active.[7] Ayahuasca is prepared in a tea that, when consumed, causes an altered state of consciousness or ”high”, including visual hallucinations and altered perceptions of reality.[1]

The other required ingredient is a plant that contains the primary psychoactive, DMT. This is usually the shrub Psychotria viridis,[7] but Diplopterys cabrerana may be used as a substitute.[8][9] Other plant ingredients often or occasionally used in the production of ayahuasca include Justicia pectoralis,[10] one of the Brugmansia (especially Brugmansia insignis and Brugmansia versicolor, or a hybrid breed) or Datura species,[11] and mapacho (Nicotiana rustica).[12]

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