As more published reports tout ayahuasca benefits, researchers push back against criminalization

A newly-published overview of self-reported ayahuasca experiences indicates that the hallucinogen can help alleviate eating disorders and reduce alcohol consumption. Now, more scientists are pushing to make it easier to study the drug legally.


Eating disorders are among the most difficult mental disorders to treat, involving high rates of mortality. But a 2017 Canadian study found that the ceremonial use of ayahuasca on individuals diagnosed with eating disorders led to reductions in symptoms, with participants reporting that the drug altered their perception towards their physical bodies.

Researchers acknowledge that since there haven't been any clinical trials and only qualitative studies on the connection between ayahuasca and eating disorders, we are very much in the preliminary stage of unraveling the psychedelic brew's healing potential.

But the study highlighted the need for new and innovative approaches in treating eating disorders, including more research on traditional ayahuasca ceremonies.

Criminalization Makes It Harder to Study Ayahuasca, Scientists Say (VICE)

Image: Apollo