More Evidence of the (potential) Psychological, Spiritual and Health Benefits of Ayahuasca

Some observations from the ayahuasca guru/academic and author of Singing to the Plants (Steve Beyer), on some new research. Although one must be very careful not to generalize these results to everyone, or to draw any sort of causal relationship between long-term users of ayahuasca and health or well-being, the study does add significant evidence to the growing pile of research which seems to suggest long-term psychological, spiritual and health benefits associated with ayahuasca. Other studies have specifically looked at the effects of ayahuasca on depression and have also found significant and long-term improvements. Although the serotonin depletion models for depression have been taking a beating over the years, some of these ayahuasca and depression studies still seem to suggest a role for serotonin in depression.

"Ayahuasca contains DMT, which bonds to the 5-htp receptor sites, the same sites as serotonin. The DMT bonds at a higher rate, and the body adapts to this by increasing the number of 5-htp receptor sites, making better use of natural serotonin levels." (Surprise)

"The most common anecdotal reports from use of the [ayahuasca] tea are of profound psychological and spiritual healing, accompanied by personal insight and integration. It is often reported that the tea breaks even profound depressive episodes in a single use. This positive psychological benefit is what I call the “Ayahuasca Effect.” That is, to produce an intense and positive integrative experience with lasting beneficial effects from use of the tea, with no side effects common to pharmaceutical antidepressants." (Surprise)

"…the data point at better general mental health and bio-psycho-social adaptation in the ayahuasca-using group compared to the control subjects." (Beyer)

"They performed better in neuropsychological tests, scored higher in spirituality and showed better psychosocial adaptation as reflected by some attitudinal traits such as Purpose in Life and Subjective Well-Being." (Beyer)

"Ayahuasca users were found to measure significantly lower than the controls on all nine psychopathology scales, including significantly less somatization, depression, anxiety, hostility, paranoid ideation, and phobias. The ayahuasca users scored significantly lower than controls on measures of worry, shyness, and fatigability and weakness. And ayahuasca users scored significantly higher than controls on measures of self-transcendence and spiritual orientation, including on such items as transpersonal identification, self-forgetfulness, sacredness of life, altruism, subjective well-being, and mission in life. “Taken together,” the authors state, “the data point at better general mental health and bio-psycho-social adaptation in the ayahuasca-using group compared to the control subjects." (Beyer)

I wonder if there is some way that we could slip some ayahuasca into the drinking water of every government building. I wonder what sorts of leaders we would get, what sort of civilization we would have, if the major decision-makers and government leaders of the world showed increased “bio-psycho-social adaptation”, “scored higher in spirituality”, “self-transcendence”, "sacredness of life” and “altruism”? Probably a world, a civilization we could all be proud of.

The Ayahuasca Effect

A New Ayahuasca Study

#ayahuasca   #shamanism   #psychology   #spirituality  
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