Could a cup of tea a day keep the doctor away?
This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.
Tea-time – it’s not just an excuse for cookies! Tea can give you energy, help you sleep, even soothe your stomach! But can it do even more?
José Morales-García and his team at the Complutense University of Madrid in Spain wondered. They studied the effects of DMT, a hallucinogen found in tea used in South American rituals.
They injected twelve mice with DMT every other day and left another twelve untreated. They measured the number of new brain cells grown over the course of a month.
Results? In most cases, the number of brain cells DOUBLED in the treated mice. Wow! Those are some WILD brain waves.
And the hallucinations? The researchers attached a “chemical shield” onto the mice’s brain cells, and poof! No hallucinations.
The researchers hope that DMT could help treat brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
But don’t CHAI this brain-TEA-ser at home! One sip might take you out of this world!
Morales-Garcia, J.A., Calleja-Conde, J., Lopez-Moreno, J.A. et al. N,N-dimethyltryptamine compound found in the hallucinogenic tea ayahuasca, regulates adult neurogenesis in vitro and in vivo. Transl Psychiatry 10, 331 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41398-020-01011-0