During the current era of psychedelic renaissance, one of the most powerful, ancient plant-based compound is called ayahuasca.
This brew is commonly consumed in South America as an entheogen, a spiritually connecting compound, with the psychoactive ingredient DMT.
Taking ayahuasca in a ceremonial setting with a shaman is becoming more popular, but a small group is utilizing small doses with and without the DMT for cognitive enhancement and creativity purposes.
This trend of microdosing ayahuasca is not yet as popular as LSD or psilocybin, but is growing in popularity and availability.
What is Microdosing Ayahuasca?
According to one of the more outspoken leaders in the microdosing psychedelics movement, a microdose is a dosage of a substance that is sub perceptual.
Someone who is microdosing psychedelics might find that they do not necessarily feel a subjective sensation of tripping, but they can experience many of the creative and mood altering benefits.
Microdosing ayahuasca is even more interesting because it can be done in two different ways.
One ayahuasca microdosing program can include DMT as a psychoactive, but in such a mild form that it is barely or not at all perceived.
Ayahuasca Vine as Medicine
In many parts of south America, the ayahuasca vine is the key component for the ayahuasca brew.
To create ayahuasca and the DMT experience, an monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) in the form of ayahuasca is combined with DMT usually from chacruna leaves.
While both of these parts are necessary to create the psychoactive effects and mind altering “mystical experiences” that often come with this brew, the ayahuasca vine is the revered plant among the indigenous peoples.
Considering ayahuasca by itself as “medicine” and the fact the name of the brew is ayahuasca (after the vine) as opposed to chacruna should tell us that the importance of this ingredient is paramount.
Spiritual Context for Microdosing Ayahuasca
Just as the ceremonial context for ayahuasca with a shaman has become popular, spiritual usage of microdosing ayahuasca is valuable as well.
It is far less popular to hear about microdosing ayahuasca, but this will probably grow as awareness does.
With any kind of psychedelic or entheogen, context matters.
This “set and setting” is important and having spiritual grounding and ceremony in a world bereft of spirituality can be a tremendous boon for our sense of wellbeing and meaning.
Scientific Benefits of Microdosing Ayahuasca
Most current evidence on ayahuasca focus on the combination of ingredients and the results people see from large doses of this brew.
However, there are more detailed studies of the particular alkaloids and compounds in the ayahuasca vine that prove microdosing without the DMT can be particularly helpful.
The alkaloids called harmine, harmaline, and tetrahydroharmine are all beneficial for cognition in different ways.
Harmine can increase neuron cell growth by up to 71.5% according to a study in PeerJ .
Animal models given harmine showed increases in short-term memory as a potential outcome of the neuron cell growth .
There is evidence to suggest that harmine alone can provide antioxidant benefits for the pre-frontal cortex and hippocampus regions of brain , both of which may suggest a mechanism of action for increased cognition and neuroprotection.
In humans, patients who struggle with mental decline or Alzheimer’s disease have found relief from using the ayahuasca vine specifically without the DMT .
Mysticism and Microdosing Ayahuasca
To benefit from all the scientific effects mentioned above, ayahuasca without DMT is both legal and available within the right circle of people.
The plant now grows widely in Hawaii though most is naturally harvested in south America.
According to shamans who work with ayahuasca in a microdosing context, consuming the plant over time can increase a sense of flow and creativity.
More importantly, it may facilitate a deeper connection with oneself and the answers we have for ourselves.
There is a level of mysticism involved and for those who are scientifically inclined, it may seem hard to swallow, but the dogma of scientific rigor and rationality has removed the spiritual component and unknown that is equally as true (even if we don’t have “proof”).
One potential mechanism of microdosing ayahuasca without DMT is the fact that it is an MAOI by itself and DMT is readily available in our brain and in lots of plant matter.
It is possible that existing DMT (or food-based) may slightly interact and create the sensations of creativity and flow states.
Whatever the mechanism that creates the sensation, the shaman (or guide) plays a big role in the effectiveness of a microdosing regimen.
Those guides that have experience with medicinal work and specifically in leadership roles can make a big difference in shifting the experience of the microdosing regimen.
Getting Started: Microdosing Ayahuasca
For anyone who has an interest in microdosing ayahuasca, it’s important to note the risks of using an MAOI with or without the DMT.
Simply because ayahuasca vine alone is legal doesn’t mean it should be used without respect because MAOIs interact with many other substances (and common nootropics) that you may be taking.
Certain foods should be avoided when microdosing ayahuasca including aged cheeses, cured meats, soy sauce, fermented foods, spicy foods, or aspartame.
Medications that are contraindicated with MAOIs should also be avoided if possible.
While these risks require a healthy respect, the benefits from anecdotes on the internet seem highly beneficial.
Many experience deeper meditative states, reduce states of anxiety, and better creativity .
Personally, I’ve found tremendous value microdosing ayahuasca without DMT due to the guidance of a shaman that I have worked with and trust.
This experience of microdosing (even while hunting in the mountains of Idaho) did help in innumerable ways.
To learn more about ayahuasca and potential experiences, visit our program called Schema and determine whether plant medicines (in any form) are worthwhile for you.
For more information about microdosing ayahuasca specifically, contact us here.