Science

Study shows psychedelic plant medicine ayahuasca stimulates the birth of new brain cells

*BOTH Ayahuasca alkaloids, harmine and THH (Tetrahydroharmine), created increases in young neurons. THH increases pictured here.

Researchers placed the most prevalent alkaloids in ayahuasca, harmine and tetrahydroharmine, in a petri dish with hippocampal stem cells and saw that this greatly increased the rate at which these cells were able to develop into fully mature neurons.

The first image is the control, with only salty water (saline) added to the cell cultures. The nuclei of the stem cells can be seen in blue, and were treated with saline for several days. Only a few developed into young neurons (the few green spots in the image) … The second image shows the results after several days of treatment with harmin: Blue is still present because it’s a marker of cell nuclei, and all cells have nuclei (stem cells and neurons). The green spots are the young neurons marked using Tuji staining. This staining is specific for “neuron-specific class III beta-tubulin, present in recently created neurons. The red spots show more mature neurons, and the staining marks the microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP-2), whose presence increases during neuron development … The third image shows the results obtained after several days of treatment with tetrahydroharmine.​

Original Article:
Study shows psychedelic plant medicine ayahuasca stimulates the birth of new brain cells
Artwork Fair Use: Beckley Foundation

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