Hallucinogenic Amazonian Medicine Stimulates Generation Of New Brain Cells

Amazonian shamans have been using ayahuasca to heal their patients for many centuries. Ammit Jack/Shutterstock

“The fact that [we’ve created] hippocampus cells could be good in the sense that one hopes that they’ll help with Alzheimer’s and possibly even strokes. It’s much too early days to say if it would, but it possibly could indicate that,” she continues.

Looking ahead, Feilding explains that “this is just phase one,” adding that the next step is to try and replicate these results using other components of ayahuasca, including DMT, before then carrying out in vivo experiments.

“I’m very much wanting to do it with LSD as well,” she says, “because I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we get the same results.” Like an ever-growing number of neuroscientists around the world, Feilding has a great deal of belief in the healing properties of acid, saying “I think LSD is particularly cognitive. It potentiates creativity – and after all, in a way our civilization’s survival depends on a propensity to be creative.”

As the body of scientific evidence regarding the drug’s cognitive benefits continues to expand, she tells us she hopes to launch a new study confirming her theory about LSD and creativity, by seeing if taking the substance can increase participants’ success when playing the famously cerebral game Go.

The third image shows the presence of both young and mature neurons after the addition of tetrahydroharmine to the hippocampal stem cells. Jordi Riba – Beckley/Sant Pau Research Programme

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