Banisteriopsis Caapi (Ayahuasca Vine) can elevate brain health in unique ways – from stimulating the growth of new neurons to strengthening the brain’s ability to adapt, heal, and learn. B Caapi allows us to objectively evaluate memories and increases awareness of our own thoughts which enables our brains to override previous traumatic patterns with new insights.
Banisteriopsis Caapi stimulates the growth of new neurons and increases Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF)
Independent of the psychedelic experience brought on by DMT, Banisteriopsis Caapi the pure vine of Ayahuasca, triggers neuroplasticity – the brain’s ability to adapt, heal, and transform. Alkaloids of the B. cappi vine (harmine, harmaline, and tetrahydroharmine) stimulate the growth of new neurons and increase Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF).
BDNF is like Miracle-Gro for the brain. It improves the function of neurons, helps them grow, and strengthens/protects them from premature cell death. It binds to receptors at synapses (connections to neighboring neurons), to improve signal strength between neurons. BDNF creates and maintains neural pathways that allow neurotransmitters like dopamine, epinephrine, and serotonin to function.
Alkaloids of Banisteriopsis Caapi, harmine and tetrahydroharmine, increase neuronal development
The Beckley Foundation shared research on the magnitude of Ayahuasca’s impact on brain cell development in the hippocampus. Stem cells from the hippocampus were placed in a petri dish and experienced a significantly increased rate of cell development when harmine and tetrahydroharmine were added. The images below will show you the level of existing neurons (blue), new neurons (green), and mature neurons (red) in a control petri dish, in a petri dish with harmine, and in a petri dish with tetrahydroharmine.
This first image shows the control where saline (salty water) was added to the cell cultures. As you can see, after a few days these stem cells have only developed into a few young neurons.
The second image shows a remarkable increase in both young (green) and mature (red) neurons when harmine is added. Blue is still present because it marks each cell.
In like fashion with harmine, after injection of tetrahydroharmine, the new and mature neural development skyrocketed.
But what does this increase of brain cell development functionally mean for a person? Pubmed reported that the beta-carboline harmine, a main constituent of ayahuasca, “may have neuroprotective and cognitive-enhancing effects, and… prolonged use is associated with better neuropsychological functioning… Harmine is associated with reduced inflammation and oxidative stress and increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor along with memory and learning improvements.
Ayahuasca allows us to objectively evaluate memories and increases awareness of our own thoughts.
Ayahuasca use results in increased activity in areas of the brain implicated in emotional regulation, short term memory, and long term autobiographical memory (a complex blend of memories of single, recurring, and extended events that individuals combine into a story/explanation of themselves).
The frontal polar cortex, which is implicated in increased awareness of an individual’s own thoughts is also stimulated. This suggests that ayahuasca increases the ability that we have to investigate or to see our own thoughts objectively.
Ayahuasca allows the conscious part of the brain to override previous traumatic patterns
Ayahuasca “causes the brain’s neocortex to become hyperactivated. The neocortex is responsible for motor functions, sensory perception, conscious thought and language — in order words, it’s what allows us to know ourselves and to interact with the world. This is where we perceive, reason and make decisions.
Ayahuasca hyperactivates the entire brain region where we store and process emotional memory while simultaneously activating the insula, the part of the brain that links emotional impulses and decision making. This hyperactivation enables the conscious part of the new brain to temporarily override previously entrenched patterns, allowing new connections to be made.”
This process allows memories to be reevaluated and experiences addressed with more distance from the reflexive reactions to previous trauma.