Ayahuasca, known as the great “plant teacher” and the “mother vine” is psychoactive brew (ayahuasca tea), made by mixing Banisteriopsis caapi, which like the brew is also called ayahuasca (which means vine of the soul or vine with a soul), with Psychotria Viridis (chacruna) leaf or chagropanga, or mimosa tenuiflora rootbark; dimethyltryptamine (DMT)-containing plant species.
The Ayahuasca vine (Caapi) contains harmine, harmaline, and tetrahydroharmine, all of which are both beta-carboline harmala alkaloids and MAOIs. The MAOIs in B. caapi allow the primary psychoactive compound, DMT in the Psychotria Viridis plant, to be orally active. Without the MAOI in the Ayahuasca plant, the DMT in the Psychotria Viridis plant would be digested in the stomach and remain inactive. Therefore, only by mixing both plants to create the brew can the full hallucinogenic effects of Ayahuasca be achieved.
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