DMT (“the spirit molecule”) is the short name for dimethyltryptamine, a hallucinogenic substance that is the active ingredient of ayahuasca, alternatively known as the “spirit vine”. But a team of researchers believe it can do much more than previously thought.
Our body produces its own version of DMT, nevertheless, the concentrations present in the brain during spiritual use are a lot higher than those produced naturally. At this time DMT is classified as Schedule 1, meaning that in the eyes of the law it has no medicinal benefit but the following team has a different opinion. They suspect that if DMT was administered at the same time or prior to CPR maneuvers, it could minimize the extent of brain damage due to oxygen starvation.
The Chairman of Psychiatry at the University of Debrecen, Hungary and very long time researcher of ayahuasca, Dr. Ede Frecska, is on an endeavor to discover whether DMT helps prolong the survival of the brain during those crucial moments when a human being is not breathing but can still be resuscitated – the first few minutes of clinical death. There is already a great deal of pieces of upholding evidence but more research is still to be done. The significance of this research could be tremendous.
When a patient’s heart stops, his lungs no longer pump air and the brain stops receiving oxygen. A resource-hungry and sensitive organ, the brain suffers often irreparable damage after a few minutes of being deprived of oxygen.
The team turned to scientific crowdfunding to achieve their goal and this was their pitch:
“Imagine your loved one underwent a heart attack, suffered a stroke, lays in coma after an accident, or got electrocuted while changing a light bulb and the doctors are telling you they wish if they had more time to save their life. This project is for those who have gone through something similar, know well how it feels losing critical minutes, and for those who think ahead and want to be in a better position if something fatal happens to them or around them. Imagine, that the rescue comes from a scheduled drug: dimethyltryptamine (DMT)!”
The group of clinical and basic researchers follow the line of work introduced by Stephen Szara, along with his revolutionary clinical research on DMT. They are the first who fled from the prevailing scientific view of DMT as a psychopathological agent and proposed a somatophysiological purpose for this endogenous tryptamine, which is naturally produced by our body. Their main leading principle is that DMT is involved in the regeneration and healing of body cells and it also helps the body to survive severe stress, such as clinical death. This group of researchers has already granted experimental support of this idea in the field of immunology, as their work showed DMT has a protective effect on cells.
DMT is naturally present in many plants, animals and even in the human body, although normally only in trace amounts. During special circumstances, the researchers surmised, the human body releases more of it.
In 1961, American biochemist Julius Axelrod discovered a peculiar enzyme in the mammalian body, an enzyme that could convert tryptamine into DMT. This triggered a wave of interest and further research revealed that DMT can pas freely through three of the brain’s barriers, ultimately being stored for later use.
There is a receptor present in the central nervous system of humans called Sigma-1 and research shows it plays an important role in mitigating the effects of hypoxia. Dimethyltryptamine binds well to this receptor. So the brain keeps handy a steady supply of DMT and probably releases it whenever it senses its own death is likely to occur.
People who have had near-death experiences often describe the megacosm they briefly visited in a way similar to those recounting their DMT experience. And research suggests the same substance could have been involved in your own birth. It becomes apparent this substance isn’t called the spirit molecule for nothing. It is present during the traumatic events that bring us into and usher us out of this reality, and many are convinced it’s a mediator between our own life energy and the collective spiritual world.
And to sustain this research, here is a testimonial of one of the thought leaders in psychedelics:
Why does the human body and brain make DMT? No one really knows, but it must have a function or more likely multiple functions. Dr. Frecska and his colleagues are on the absolute cutting edge of efforts to understand those functions in depth. Their study will focus on DMT’s possible role as an antihypoxic agent in clinical death. The implications of this research, if their hypotheses holds up, are enormous. This is about an attempt to answer some of the most fundamental questions of the human brain, mind, and spirit.” – Dennis McKenna, Ph. D. Author, younger brother of Terrence McKenna.