The Ayahuasca Phytochemistry Project

May 26, 2022
9:15 am

The aim of our project is to understand how the ayahuasca plants Psychotria viridis and Banisteriopsis caapi have evolved across time and place. It will investigate change in terms of phytochemical, cultural and linguistic aspects. It will also investigate the relationship of these influences. The scope will consider how human use pressure and cultivation might affect the biogeography, phylogeny and phytochemistry of the individual plants as well as the ayahuasca brew as a whole. The project will also include study of how rapidly expanding popularity and current pharmacological applications might be affecting cultivated lineages and increasing pressure on harvest volume. The project will consider if becoming more economically important and more widely used poses a threat to the species, the diversity of the genus or its historic cultural relationships.