Comment on Inca priests used natural antidepressants for nefarious purposes

Inca priests used natural antidepressants for nefarious purposes

Enlarge (credit: By Nilsf - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23446041) A recent toxicology analysis of the 500-year-old remains of two small children sacrificed in a ritual atop southern Peru’s Ampato volcano showed that the children’s hair and fingernails contained traces of cocaine, as well as two chemical compounds from a flowering vine that’s a key ingredient in the psychedelic beverage ayahuasca. The compounds in question, harmine and harmaline, are both part of a group of antidepressants called MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors).

 

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