The short answer is yes, it probably can.
A study in 2016 showed that Ayahuasca increased the participants’ creative divergent thinking. The concept of psychedelic drugs being used by artists for creative purposes is not new. Studying creativity with scientific methods stemming from the use of Ayahuasca is the new part.
Divergent thinking is like free-flow thinking or thinking “outside the box.” It’s the opposite of convergent thinking which is following predictable and logical steps to arrive at an answer. Divergent thinking allows for novel solutions to problems.
Many people who experience Ayahuasca report different cognitive effects. This is part and parcel of the “seeing things differently” or “having new insight” that is often recounted.
We know that many famous artists and visionaries experimented with all manner of psychedelic drugs including the Beatles, Jim Morrison, and Steve Jobs. And there has been plenty of research on the effect of LSD on creativity.
Until recently, however, Ayahuasca, viewed by indigenous people as strong medicine, was thought of mostly in terms of helping with depression, PTSD, and addictions. Now scientists are learning of the other benefits of Ayahuasca, something that doesn’t surprise us in the least. There is a reason that Ayahuasca has been used in South America for generations, and now the mainstream community is beginning to see that.
For those new to Ayahuasca, it’s a brewed drink that contains both DMT or dimethyltryptamine, a powerful hallucinogen, and an MAOI or monoamine oxidase inhibitor. The included MAOI prevents the DMT from being broken down by enzymes in the stomach rendering it powerless. Ayahuasca has been used by indigenous people in the Amazon basin for generations as a natural medicine.
East West Lodge offers six-day and five-night retreats in the Amazon jungle of Peru for those wishing to experience Ayahuasca.
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