Depression: How Can Ayahuasca Help?
It's that time of year again, folks. Holidays are coming fast and with that often comes a blue mood that settles upon many at this time of the year if not previously afflicted already. Depression is an unfortunate state of mind we as humans may find ourselves ensnared in at some point of our lives. For those unfortunate few, they find themselves entrenched and unable to climb out of the darkness. However, all hope is not lost for those who cannot find their way or find themselves unable to escape the numbness it induces. For some, Ayahuasca allows that release where pharmaceuticals and therapy had previously failed them.
In order to understand how Ayahuasca can help, we first need to know how it is depression takes effect on the brain. When a person finds themselves in a state of depression, much like anxiety, key parts of the brain are effected. Similar to anxiety, Depression also hits the hippocampus and the amygdala. As well as these regions, another part that is effected is the prefrontal cortex. In a person who is suffering from depression, the brain releases excess levels of cortisol. This stops the production of new neurons as well as cause shrinkage of the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex while enlarging the amygdala among the other effects that come from the other chemical imbalances that follow.
In return, Ayahuasca addresses this similarly to someone suffering addiction. Their brain's receptors are wiped clean of the excess chemicals and allowing the forming of neutrons again. This also causes an uptake in certain receptors such as serotonin. And the upside to it all: effects last long after too, even if only consumed once. A study done by researchers at the University of Sao Paulo have found that patients 3 weeks after taking Ayahuasca that were previously diagnosed with mild or sever depression that were failed by at least one antidepressant were not hindered or as effected by their depression as before. Compared to antidepressants, the wait time for effect is superior for some antidepressants take just 3 weeks to even begin taking effect.
My opinion on this matter: I find it rather astonishing just what all nature can create to cure our ailments and their effectiveness compared to man made medicine. That the thing nature creates is simply superior to what attempts we make at trying to forge it's medicinal powers. Just alone, even if the person had an unfortunate psychedelic experience with this medicine, the healing properties are still in effect. Compared to the alternative, if an antidepressant doesn't help the individual, who knows what untold damage or effects had occurred. That isn't to say man made antidepressants don't have their place, for there may be some out there allergic to one of the plants needed for a brew like some are allergic to aspirin. However, such an alternative to pharmaceuticals like Ayahuasca should be on the table for those seeking to cure their affliction.