New Ayahuasca Study Reveals Benefits On Mental Health

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New Ayahuasca Study Reveals Benefits On Mental Health

The long-term effects of ayahuasca were examined in a new study published in the Journal of Scientific Reports. The findings suggest that the hallucinogenic plant brew has various psychological benefits, posing a potential treatment option for depression and other disorders.

Ayahuasca is a psychedelic brew made from plants native to the Amazon basin. When consumed, the brew induces visions and strong altered states of consciousness that can last for many hours after ingestion. Shaman of the rainforest use ayahuasca in ceremonial rituals, for spirit communication, and as a medicine.

Ayahuasca is a made from several plants, with the brew’s main ingredient being the jungle vine Banisteriopsis caapi. A secondary ingredient such as chacruna (Psychotria viridis) or chagropanga (Diplopterys cabrerana) contains a high amount of the psychedelic substance DMT. In order for ayahuasca’s potent effects to take hold, the brew must contain both DMT and an MAO inhibitor.

NEW AYAHUASCA RESEARCH REVEALS PSYCHOLOGICAL BENEFITS

A team of researchers from the University College London and the University of Exeter have now published the results of a study in the Journal of Scientific Reports. According to their findings, people who used ayahuasca in the previous 12 months were less likely to have problems with alcohol use as compared to those who had taken other psychedelics. Those who used ayahuasca were also found to report higher levels of well-being as compared to others.

Based on these new findings about the long-term effects of ayahuasca, the brew may also be effective in treating depression and other mood disorders.

At present, this is the most comprehensive and authoritative research on this matter.

THE “PERSONAL WELLBEING INDEX” MEASURES OVERALL WELLBEING

The team examined Global Drug Survey data from more than 96,000 participants. The data measures what is called the Personal Wellbeing Index, which assesses things such as connection with the community, sense of achievement, and personal relationships.

Following the publication of their results, the researchers stated that they think ayahuasca could possibly be very valuable in treating depression and alcohol use disorders.

The head of the study, Will Law, Ph.D. from the University College in London points out that his team’s results confirm previously performed studies that showed ayahuasca’s potential as a psychiatric medicine. While no new tests had been completed since this study, it nevertheless strengthens the evidence for the therapeutic use of ayahuasca.

In addition to outlining ayahuasca’s potential mental health benefits, the researchers also note that they found no evidence of the substance leading to addiction. Moreover, they did not find any evidence that consuming ayahuasca would affect long-term cognitive abilities or worsen existing mental health conditions.

“Several observational studies have examined the long-term effects of regular ayahuasca use in the religious context. In this work, long-term ayahuasca use has not been found to impact on cognitive ability, produce addiction or worsen mental health problems,” says Law, who led the research team. He points out that their results suggest exactly the opposite; better mental health and less alcohol and drug use among those who use ayahuasca.