Psychedelic Medicine


Psychedelic Medicine


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Ayahuasca is a medicine native to the people of the Amazon basin. It is a brew that contains the Banisteriopsis caapi vine and other ingredients, including Psychotria viridis which contains the primary psychoactive element in Ayahuasca, dimethyltryptamine (DMT). For the DMT in Ayahuasca to be effective orally, it must be combined with a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), several of which are found in the Banisteriopsis capi vine.

Preparation for Ayahuasca often includes a specialized diet and refraining from alcohol, caffeine and sexual activity for a number of days. Ayahuasca is generally served as a tea, and the experience generally lasts 1 – 4 hours, depending on how often more doses of the tea are consumed. The journey with Ayahuasca is often reported to feature visual hallucinations, body detachment, ego dissolution, introspective insights, and intense emotions. With ayahuasca, it is common to purge, in fact, the medicine is known as “La Purga,” as the vomiting and occasional diarrhea (and some consider tears another form) are often and important part of the experience. 

Ayahuasca is currently only legal for use in the United States as part of certain religious ceremonies. It was decriminalized in Oakland, California. It is legal in Peru, Brazil, and a number of other South American countries.


Effects of Ayahuasca on Personality: Results of Two Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trials in Healthy Volunteers

Juliana Mendes Rocha, Giordano Novak Rossi, Flávia L. Osório, José Carlos Bouso Saiz, Gabriela De Oliveira Silveira, Mauricio Yonamine, Eduardo José Crevelin, Maria Eugênia Queiroz, Jaime E. Cecílio Hallak and Rafael Guimarães Dos Santos
August 2021

Ceremonial Ayahuasca in Amazonian Retreats—Mental Health and Epigenetic Outcomes From a Six-Month Naturalistic Study

Simon G. D. Ruffell, Nige Netzband, WaiFung Tsang, Merlin Davies, Matthew Butler, James J. H. Rucker, Luís Fernando Tófoli, Emma Louise Dempster, Allan H. Young, Celia J. A. Morgan
June 2021

Ayahuasca use and reported effects on depression and anxiety symptoms: An international cross-sectional study of 11,912 consumers

Jerome Sarris, Daniel Perkins, Lachlan Cribb, Violeta Schubert, Emerita Opaleye, José Carlos Bouso, Milan Scheidegger, Helena Aicher, Hana Simonova, Miroslav Horák, Nicole Leite Galvão-Coelho, David Castle, Luís FernandoTófoli
April 2021

Rapid antidepressant effects of the psychedelic ayahuasca in treatment-resistant depression: a randomized placebo-controlled trial

Fernanda Palhano-Fontes, Dayanna Barreto, Heloisa Onias, Katia C Andrade, Morgana M Novaes, Jessica A Pessoa, Sergio A Mota-Rolim, Flávia L Osório, Rafael Sanches, Rafael G Dos Santos, Luís Fernando Tófoli, Gabriela de Oliveira Silveira, Mauricio Yonamine, Jordi Riba, Francisco R Santos, Antonio A Silva-Junior, João C Alchieri, Nicole L Galvão-Coelho, Bruno Lobão-Soares, Jaime E C Hallak, Emerson Arcoverde, João P Maia-de-Oliveira, Dráulio B Araújo
March 2019

Four Weekly Ayahuasca Sessions Lead to Increases in “Acceptance” Capacities: A Comparison Study With a Standard 8-Week Mindfulness Training Program

Joaquim Soler, Matilde Elices, Elisabeth Dominguez-Clavé, Juan C. Pascual, Amanda Feilding, Mayte Navarro-Gil, Javier García-Campayo, and Jordi Riba
March 2018


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