Chemistry of the Ayahuasca beverage

Chakruna, or Psychotria viridis, the partner to the Ayahuasca plant contains the hallucinogenic — or entheogenic — indole alkaloid dimethyltryptamine (DMT) in level varying from 0.1 to 0.61%.

DMT is a natural tryptamine occurring in a variety of plants, fungi, and animals, and has the ability to affect brain functions and perceptions. It is found and produced in the pineal glands within the human brain and is released during R.E.M sleep and right before a human dies.

DMT cannot be activated through oral ingestion because it is destroyed by the action of the MAO enzymes in the gastrointestinal tract. But, if DMT is combined with MAOI harmala alkaloids that block its metabolic breakdown, it can render it orally ingestible. Ayahuasca, or Banisteriopsis caapi, contains Harmine and harmaline which are selective and reversible inhibitors of monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A).

This inhibition of MAO-A allows DMT to diffuse unmetabolized past the membranes in the stomach and in the small intestine, and eventually cross the blood–brain barrier, activating receptor sites in the brain.

This is why Ayahuasca is combined with Chakruna; Chakruna provides the DMT and the Ayahuasca vine provides the MAO-A inhibitor that allows the human body to activate the DMT through oral ingestion. The Ayahuasca its an ancestral medicine used for healing the heart and the spirit, the drink Ayahuasca connects you back to your essence.

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