The Ayahusca (Banisteriopsis caapi) vine is forest liana used for thousands of years by various tribes in the upper Amazonian rainforest.

The vine is brewed into a psychoactive tea, often alongside a variety of admixture plants, for various purposes of healing and divination. The most common admixture plants utilized are the N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) containing shrubs Psychotria viridis (Chacruna) and Diplopterys cabrerana (Chaliponga).

The active alkaloids in the Ayahuasca vine are the Beta-carbolines Harmine, Harmaline, and 1,2,3,4-Tetrahydroharmine (THH). These alkaloids, collectively called "Harmala Alkaloids" are what are known as RIMA's or Reversible Inhibitors of Monoamine Oxidase A. The monoamine oxidase inhibition effect of these alkaloids allow the psychedelic tryptamine DMT contained in the admixture plants to bypass first pass metabolism by MAOMonoamine Oxidase, an enzyme that catalyses the metabolism of many drugs (e.g., DMT, dopamine and serotonin). in the gut and enter the bloodstream providing a vivid hallucinatory experience in the user. Contrary to popular belief, there is no need to follow a specialized diet and avoid things like tyramine and fermented foods with RIMA's, these diets only apply to pharmaceutical MAOIMonoamine oxidase inhibitor are drugs that inhibit the action of monoamine oxidase in the brain and so allow monoamines to accumulate.'s.

Many "Ayahuasca Analogues" exist, most commonly used in place of the jungle vine is Peganum Harmala (Syrian Rue) seeds and in place of the DMT containing shrubs the bark of Mimosa tenuiflora (Jurema) or Acacia confusa are commonly used. There are hundreds of different combinations of possible plants and admixtures that may be used to create various ayahuasca analogues but these are the most frequently encountered.

Another popular method of administration is called "Pharmahuasca". This is when the active harmala alkaloids and DMT are extracted and eaten in purified form. The term pharmahuasca has also been used to describe taking DMT with a pharmaceutical MAOIMonoamine oxidase inhibitor are drugs that inhibit the action of monoamine oxidase in the brain and so allow monoamines to accumulate., but this method is not recommended as a whole slew of other safety concerns arise with the use of pharmaceutical MAOIMonoamine oxidase inhibitor are drugs that inhibit the action of monoamine oxidase in the brain and so allow monoamines to accumulate.'s.

Harmala alkaloids can have dangerous or even fatal interactions with many pharmaceutical and over the counter medications, in particular SSRISelective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor's and Amphetamines including the MDxx compounds are contraindicated. In general avoid taking harmalas with any medication that is contraindicated with MAOIMonoamine oxidase inhibitor are drugs that inhibit the action of monoamine oxidase in the brain and so allow monoamines to accumulate.'s.

Top Contributors