Gordo Posted October 11, 2017 Report Share Posted October 11, 2017 Over in the Costa Rica thread, I touched on this but decided to make a new thread. I'm very interested now in plant compounds that stimulate neurogenesis and cognitive-enhancing effects. I've been reading about the connection between ayahuasca and brain health specifically. Anecdotally, after using ayshuasca one time, in the weeks that followed I experienced a significant "afterglow" and have felt like my brain has been performing at an enhanced capacity. This piqued my curiosity so I did additional research and found many others describing similar effects. A newly published paper explores this: The alkaloids of Banisteriopsis caapi, the plant source of the Amazonian hallucinogen Ayahuasca, stimulate adult neurogenesis in vitro.Another published just this year: Effects of the Natural β-Carboline Alkaloid Harmine, a Main Constituent of Ayahuasca, in Memory and in the Hippocampus: A Systematic Literature Review of Preclinical Studies.Harmine is a natural β-carboline alkaloid found in several botanical species, such as the Banisteriopsis caapi vine used in the preparation of the hallucinogenic beverage ayahuasca and the seeds of Syrian rue (Peganum harmala). Preclinical studies suggest that harmine may have neuroprotective and cognitive-enhancing effects, and retrospective/observational investigations of the mental health of long-term ayahuasca users suggest that prolonged use of this harmine-rich hallucinogen is associated with better neuropsychological functioning. Thus, in order to better investigate these possibilities, we performed a systematic literature review of preclinical studies analyzing the effects of harmine on hippocampal neurons and in memory-related behavioral tasks in animal models. We found two studies involving hippocampal cell cultures and nine studies using animal models. Harmine administration was associated with neuroprotective effects such as reduced excitotoxicity, inflammation, and oxidative stress, and increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels. Harmine also improved memory/learning in several animal models. These effects seem be mediated by monoamine oxidase or acetylcholinesterase inhibition, upregulation of glutamate transporters, decreases in reactive oxygen species, increases in neurotrophic factors, and anti-inflammatory effects. The neuroprotective and cognitive-enhancing effects of harmine should be further investigated in both preclinical and human studies. A study published last year: Harmine stimulates proliferation of human neural progenitors. (harmine is the main alkaloid in b. caapi in ayahuasca) Along similar lines of brain health: Antidepressive and anxiolytic effects of ayahuasca: a systematic literature review of animal and human studies. Seems like an active area of research that may be of particular interest to biogerontologists and others seeking to maintain peak brain health. Perhaps harmine is most important here, I don't know. Harmine is very inexpensive in the form of syrian rue seed (which can be further extracted quite easily to isolate the desired alkaloids), and does not have the profound psychotropic affects like ayahuasca nor does it contain DMT, it is a reversible MAO inhibitor and certainly has numerous side effects and potential interactions so I'm not advocating its use or especially routine use, mostly just watching intently at this point and learning. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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