pp 1-27 | Cite as

New World Tryptamine Hallucinogens and the Neuroscience of Ayahuasca

  • Dennis McKenna
  • Jordi Riba
Part of the Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences book series


New World indigenous peoples are noted for their sophisticated use of psychedelic plants in shamanic and ethnomedical practices. The use of psychedelic plant preparations among New World tribes is far more prevalent than in the Old World. Yet, although these preparations are botanically diverse, almost all are chemically similar in that their active principles are tryptamine derivatives, either DMT or related constituents. Part 1 of this paper provides an ethnopharmacological overview of the major tryptamine-containing New World hallucinogens .


Tryptamine derivatives Tryptamine Hallucinogen Hallucinogenic New World Shamanism Botany Chemistry Ethnopharmacology 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Director of EthnopharmacologyHeffter Research InstituteSanta FeUSA
  2. 2.Human Neuropsychopharmacology GroupSant Pau Institute of Biomedical Research (IIB-Sant Pau)BarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Department of Pharmacology and TherapeuticsUniversitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)BarcelonaSpain

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