Four easy steps to prepare to meet mother ayahuasca

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Disclaimer: Ayahuasca is potentially an illegal substance. The purpose of this guide is to educate and offer safety information to those who decide to participate in an ayahuasca retreat. I do not encourage or condone the use of ayahuasca where and when it is forbidden by law.

Ayahuasca retreats have gained popularity in the last couple of years as an alternative to modern therapy, and as an aid to spiritual development. Originally consumed in the Amazon, ayahuasca is now available in many parts around the world, administered by trained shamans and facilitators.

If you intend to participate in an ayahuasca…


Studies show that it does, and that’s good news for the criminal justice system

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Criminal behavior is loosely defined as any kind of antisocial conduct punishable by law, considered to be a violation of social, moral, and traditional norms. Such kind of behavior has harmful effects on society and often found to be resistant to intervention.

In a 2018 FBI report, drug-related crimes and property crimes are among the top criminal offenses in the United States, comprising 16% and 11% of all arrests, respectively. Violent crimes such as murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault only accounts for 5% of offenses — but the cost to the society and suffering of the victims remains high.


Scientists look into brainwaves to find out how DMT creates an immersive dreamy experience

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N, N-Dimethyltryptamine, or DMT is a naturally-occurring psychedelic substance found in many animal and plant species. It is the active ingredient in the ayahuasca brew, a traditional plant medicine from the Amazon that can produce intense visions and hallucinations.

As a recreational drug, DMT is commonly smoked and has a rapid onset (usually within seconds), often characterized by vivid imagery and a deeply immersive state called a “breakthrough.” It is not uncommon for users to report meeting “entities,” and being transported to other worlds while under the influence of this powerful psychedelic.

In a first-of-a-kind study, researchers looked into brainwaves…


A recent study suggests that the benefits of microdosing may not come without side effects

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Microdosing is the act of taking small, sub-hallucinogenic doses of psychedelic drugs such as LSD, psilocybin (magic mushrooms), and DMT. This practice has been growing in popularity and often touted as a “productivity hack” by young professionals in Silicon Valley.

Despite a plethora of anecdotal evidence claiming the positive effects of microdosing, the scientific literature on its purported benefits are sparse due to safety concerns and legal restrictions surrounding psychedelics. Proponents of microdosing are only banking on the long safety record of these substances in a bid to take advantage of its therapeutic benefits. However, one important question remains:

Is…


In a new study, scientists found no neurological differences in children that suggest which gender is better in math

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There is a widely-held belief that young boys are much better than girls in math — this myth is now debunked.

Scientists have long hypothesized that men pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) more than women because of biological differences in math aptitude. While there is little evidence to support this claim, statistics do show that men prefer to specialize in STEM.

According to a report published by the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) Research Center, more men earned bachelor’s degrees in math-intensive courses in 2014 compared to women. The engineering field alone saw 81% of the graduates…


Scientists discover how different parts of the brain communicate on LSD-induced ego death

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Ego-dissolution is a temporary distortion of one’s sense of self as a result of taking mind-altering substances. In psychedelic culture, this term is popularly known as “ego death.”

People who take psychedelics may feel that their sense of being has dissolved, and that they are connected to everything in the universe. This phenomenon does not happen all the time and may depend on several factors, including the environment and dosage of the drug.

To some people, “losing” the ego is a potentially overwhelming and terrifying experience that leads to a “bad trip,” often characterized by anxiety and panic, and can…


A lesser-known psychedelic African shrub show promise in treating drug addiction and withdrawal symptoms

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If native Amazonian tribes have ayahuasca, indigenous people from Central Africa have iboga.

Iboga is a common name for a group of perennial shrubs indigenous to Gabon and the Congo basin. The name usually refers to Tabernanthe iboga, one of the many varieties of the African shrub found throughout the rainforests of West-Central Africa. The iboga plant contains the psychoactive ibogaine, a substance with psychedelic and dissociative properties.

Chewing the roots of the iboga tree results in hallucinations, nausea, vomiting, and difficulties in coordinating muscle movements. Irregular heartbeats and breathing and may also occur.

Tripping on iboga can take more…


According to a study, this personality trait has a healthy side

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Narcissists — we’ve all come across them at some point. They could be your boss, your coworker, your spouse, your mother, or even your friend posting endless selfies on Facebook.

Apart from their habit of flaunting the way they look, they also like to talk a lot about themselves. They believe they are the best at anything and would go great lengths to be the center of attention.

Now, before you start thinking of people who fit these descriptions, not everyone who likes to post selfies, #OOTDs, and blow their own horns are narcissists — it’s more complicated than that…


Possibly, and research suggests that chances are higher in men

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There are those days when you just don’t feel like doing anything — except lie on the couch and binge-watch on Netflix. Well, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Laziness is okay unless it becomes persistent.

The chronic lack of motivation for any physical activity can be the result of many mental and physiological conditions: from just plain exhaustion to the mutation of SLC35D3 or the “couch potato gene.” While your propensity to sit and yawn all day may not always be your fault, a recent study on mice suggests another surprising reason:

Eating cannabis-infused edibles.

This is not the…


Studies show that meditation enhances the effects of psilocybin in making people more selfless and empathetic

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Empathy refers to your awareness and ability to “feel” the emotions of others. It is putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and feeling what they are going through.

While people are generally in tune with their own emotions, not everyone can easily understand and relate to the feelings of others. People with low empathy tend to have sudden emotional outbursts, engage in a lot of arguments, and may even have difficulty maintaining friendships. Thus, people with little empathy are often described as unfriendly and cruel.

Several studies in the field of psychology and cognitive neuroscience revealed that meditation activates the…

Enrico Sayo

Part-time psychonaut, full-time HR pro. I write about science, psychedelics, metaphysics, and everything else in between.

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