FEB 11, 2017 09:44 AM PST
Depression Treatment from an Amazonian Tea?
WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham
3 2 207

Deep in the jungles of the Amazon, natives brew a tea out of the ayahuasca vine and other plants. Far from a typical tea, the ayahuasca drink induces hallucinations that can last for hours. Noted for its potency and the effect on consciousness, this drink is usually only consumed as part of healing ceremonies, under the guidance of spiritual leaders.

While the drink has been consumed for decades in South America, it's come into the spotlight of western medicine as a potential treatment for depression. During the altered level of consciousness produced by the tea, people report an unhindered ability to sort through their emotions and anxiety - similar to the breakthroughs that psychiatrists and psychologists strive for in therapy sessions with their patients. The claims are quite reminiscent of other psychedelics, like LSD and magic mushrooms, which are also being evaluated as legal drugs for the treatment of anxiety and depression.

As this drug is illegal in the US, people looking to take a sip of this tea must travel great lengths for the enlightened experience.
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
MAY 03, 2018
Videos
MAY 03, 2018
These mammals all give birth differently
There are roughly 5,000 species of mammals, animals within the class Mammalia. That means all those animals have vertebrates, warm blood, hair or fur, they
MAY 13, 2018
Videos
MAY 13, 2018
What Might Hearing From Aliens Actually Sound Like?
Astronomers have long-theorized about the presence of intelligent alien life elsewhere in the universe, but humankind has yet to discover it anywhere offic
MAY 20, 2018
Videos
MAY 20, 2018
Why Are Peppers Spicy?
Peppers are plants and those that are spicy use their spiciness as a defense mechanism against predation. In fact, scientists thought that pepper plants ev
JUN 06, 2018
Neuroscience
JUN 06, 2018
Brain Surgery Without A Scalpel
When you think of brain surgery, in addition to being incredibly intricate and delicate, scalpels and clamps and an OR come to mind. As it happens, there i
JUN 08, 2018
Videos
JUN 08, 2018
Video: Paper Made From What?
This eco-friendly paper is sourced from poop.
JUN 08, 2018
Videos
JUN 08, 2018
The Molecular Machinery of the Cell in Action
Cell division, also referred to as mitosis, is a critical process that keeps us alive. It has now been animated in detail.
Loading Comments...