Ayahuasca in adolescence: a preliminary psychiatric assessment.
ABSTRACT Ayahuasca is believed to be harmless for those (including adolescents) drinking it within a religious setting. Nevertheless controlled studies on the mental/ psychiatric status of ritual hallucinogenic ayahuasca concoction consumers are still lacking. In this study, 40 adolescents from a Brazilian ayahuasca sect were compared with 40 controls matched on sex, age, and educational background for psychiatric symptomatology. Screening scales for depression, anxiety, alcohol consumption patterns (abuse), attentional problems, and body dysmorphic disorders were used. It was found that, compared to controls, considerable lower frequencies of positive scoring for anxiety, body dismorphism, and attentional problems were detected among ayahuasca-using adolescents despite overall similar psychopathological profiles displayed by both study groups. Low frequencies of psychiatric symptoms detected among adolescents consuming ayahuasca within a religious context may reflect a protective effect due to their religious affiliation. However further studies on the possible interference of other variables in the outcome are necessary.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Dartiu X Silveira, May 29, 2015
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ABSTRACT: Northern Peru represents the center of the Andean "health axis," with roots going back to traditional practices of Cupisnique culture (1000 BC). For more than a decade of research, semistructured interviews were conducted with healers, collectors, and sellers of medicinal plants. In addition, bioassays were carried out to evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of plants found. Most of the 510 species encountered were native to Peru (83%). Fifty percent of the plants used in colonial times have disappeared from the pharmacopoeia. Market vendors specialized either on common and exotic plants, plants for common ailments, and plants only used by healers or on plants with magical purposes. Over 974 preparations with up to 29 different ingredients were used to treat 164 health conditions. Almost 65% of the medicinal plants were applied in these mixtures. Antibacterial activity was confirmed in most plants used for infections. Twenty-four percent of the aqueous extracts and 76% of the ethanolic extracts showed toxicity. Traditional preparation methods take this into account when choosing the appropriate solvent for the preparation of a remedy. The increasing demand for medicinal species did not increase the cultivation of medicinal plants. Most species are wild collected, causing doubts about the sustainability of trade.Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 01/2013; 2013:291903. DOI:10.1155/2013/291903 · 2.18 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Using personality, psychopathology, and neuropsychological assessment instruments, our team assessed the therapeutic effects of an ayahuasca ritual treatment. Data was collected at the Institute of Applied Amazonian Ethnopsychology (IDEAA), in the Brazilian Amazon Basin. Psychological assessments were obtained both before and at the end of the treatment. The ayahuasca treatment lasted between three and nine months and included biweekly ayahuasca consumption. The sample consisted of 13 patients (eight men, five women) with a mean age of 35 years. Nine had a diagnosis of drug abuse and/or dependence; one of borderline personality disorder, and 3 were at IDEAA for personal growth. Results showed that the “Impulsiveness,” “Disorderliness,” “Anticipatory Worry,” and “Shyness with Strangers” subscales of the Temperament and Character Inventory presented statistically significant reductions after treatment, while the “Self-Directedness,” “Responsibility,” “Purposefulness,” and “Congruent Second Nature” subscales presented significant increases. The psychopathology subscales “Positive Symptoms,” “Obsessive-Compulsive,” and “Anxiety” of the Symptom Check-List-90-Revised, were significantly diminished after treatment, as well as all subscales of the Frontal Systems Behavior Scale: “Total,” “Apathy,” “Disinhibition,” and “Executive Dysfunction.” In addition, the “Resistance to Interference” measure of the Stroop Color and Word Test, the Purpose in Life Test, and the “Transcendent Dimension,” “Meaning and Purpose in Life,” “Mission in Life,” and “Material Values” subscales of the Spiritual Orientation Inventory presented statistically significant increases after treatment. Despite important limitations, such as the small sample size and the lack of a control group, the present pilot study provides preliminary evidence suggesting psychotherapeutic effects of ritual ayahuasca treatment in drug-related disorders.The Therapeutic Use of Ayahuasca, Edited by Beatriz Caiuby Labate, Clancy Cavnar, 01/2014: pages 183-196; Springer-Verlag., ISBN: 978-3-642-40425-2
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ABSTRACT: Despite being relatively well studied from a botanical, chemical, and (acute) pharmacological perspective, little is known about the possible toxic effects of ayahuasca (an hallucinogenic brew used for magico-ritual purposes) in pregnant women and in their children, and the potential toxicity of long-term ayahuasca consumption. It is the main objective of the present text to do an overview of the risks and possible toxic effects of ayahuasca in humans, reviewing studies on the acute ayahuasca administration to humans, on the possible risks associated with long-term consumption by adults and adolescents, and on the possible toxic effects on pregnant animals and in their offspring. Acute ayahuasca administration, as well as long-term consumption of this beverage, does not seem to be seriously toxic to humans. Although some nonhuman developmental studies suggested possible toxic effects of ayahuasca or of some of its alkaloids, the limited human literature on adolescents exposed to ayahuasca as early as in the uterus reports no serious toxic effects of the ritual consumption of the brew. Researchers must take caution when extrapolating nonhuman data to humans and more data are needed in basic and human research before a definite opinion can be made regarding the possible toxic effects of ayahuasca in pregnant women and in their children.Journal of psychoactive drugs 02/2013; 45(1):68-78. DOI:10.1080/02791072.2013.763564 · 1.10 Impact Factor