Mental Health and Ayahuasca

The following scientific, medical and general research links relate to ayahuasca usage with a large variety of mental health issues, such as sleep disorders, ADHD, Obsessive compulsive behaviour as well as neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s. There is also a large selection of medical papers that discuss what happens in the brain when ayahuasca is ingested.

Hallucinogenic Drugs and Plants in Psychotherapy and Shamanism
Metzner, Ph.D., Journal of Psychoactive Drugs (1998) (Article)

What We Can Learn From Shamanic Healing: Brief Psychotherapy With Latino Immigrant Clients
Marlene Dobkin de Rios, PhD., American Journal of Public Health (2002) (ARTICLE)

Emotional processing - Psychotherapy and altered states of consciousness: Principles, therapeutic possibilities and challenges
Kaspersen and Halvard Hårklau (INT LINK)

Visionary Vine: Hallucinogenic Healing in the Peruvian Amazon

The Scientific Investigation of Ayahuasca – A Review of Past and Current Research
Dennis J McKenna, PhD — Heffter Research Institute; J C Callaway, PhD — Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Kuopio, Finland; Charles S Grob MD – Heffter Research Institute, Department of Psychiatry, Harbor/UCLA Medical Center

Use of South American plants for the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders
Eliana Rodrigues and E. A. Carlini

Altered States of Consciousness and Psychological After-Effects Induced by the First Time Ritual Use of Ayahuasca in an Urban Context in Brazil
Paulo Cesar et al.

Can psychedelic drugs play a role in palliative care?

Plants and the Central Nervous System
E.A. Carlini. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, 2003

Effects of the South American psychoactive beverage Ayahuasca on regional brain electrical activity in humans
Jordi Riba, et al.

Ayahuasca Healing Journey – Into the Amazon
John Gamble

Ayahuasca Healing Journey – Into the Amazon – Part 2
John Gamble. This is Part 2 continuing John Gamble’s Ayahuasca Healing Journey – Into the Amazon

A modern-day shamanistic healer in the Peruvian Amazon: pharmacopoeia and trance
Dobkin de Rios M.  J Psychoactive Drugs. 1989 Jan-Mar;21(1): 91-9

Human Psychopharmacology of Hoasca: a plant hallucinogen used in ritual context in Brazil
Grob CS, McKenna DJ, Callaway JC, Brito GS, Oberlaender G, Saide OL, Labigalini E, Tacla C, Miranda CT, Strassman RJ, Boone KB. Feb 1996;184(2):86-94
Journal of Nervous and Mental Disorders

New Studies of Psychedelics

Effects of ayahuasca on sensory and sensorimotor gating in humans
By J. Riba

Ayahuasca Versus Violence
A case report by Ede Frecska, National Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology, Budapest, Hungary

A six-month prospective evaluation of personality traits, psychiatric symptoms and quality of life in ayahuasca-naïve subjects
Barbosa PC, Cazorla IM, Giglio JS, Strassman R.
J Psychoactive Drugs. 2009 Sep;41(3):205-12
Departamento de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas, Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz (UESC), Ilhéus, Bahia, Brazil

Ayahuasca in Adolescence: A Preliminary Psychiatric Assessment
Dartiu Xavier Da Silveira, M.D., Ph.D.; Charles S. Grob, M.D.; Marlene Dobkin de Rios, Ph.D.; Enrique Lopez, Psy.D.; Luisa K. Alonso, Ph.D.; et al.
Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 129 Volume 37 (2), June 2005.

Increased frontal and paralimbic activation following ayahuasca, the pan-amazonian inebriant
Jordi Riba . Sergio Romero . Eva Grasa . Esther Mena . Ignasi Carrió . Manel J. Barbanoj
Psychopharmacology (2006) 186: 93–98.

Platelet serotonin uptake sites increased in drinkers of ayahuasca
James C Callaway, Mauno M Airaksinen l, Dennis J McKenna, Glacus S Brito, Charles S Grob
Psychopharmacology (1994) 116:385-387.

Composition, standardization and chemical profiling of Banisteriopsis caapi, a plant for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders relevant to Parkinson's disease
Wang YH, Samoylenko V, Tekwani BL, Khan IA, Miller LS, Chaurasiya ND, Rahman MM, Tripathi LM, Khan SI, Joshi VC, Wigger FT, Muhammad I.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2010 Apr 21;128(3):662-71

Psychointegrators: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on the Therapeutic Effects of Hallucinogens
Michael Winkelman Complementary Health Practice Review 2001; 6; 219.

Neips Site Publishes Phd Thesis on Ayahuasca therapy

Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments, An Entheogen Chrestomathy
Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D. and Paula Jo Hruby, Ed.D.
Heffter Review of Psychedelic Research. (1998). Vol. 1. Santa Fe NM: The Heffter Research Institute.

Psychedelic Healing? (Preview): Hallucinogenic drugs, which blew minds in the 1960s, soon may be used to treat mental ailments
By David Jay Brown

Update from the UK and an Interview with Pioneering Psychedelic Psychiatrist Dr. Ronald Sandison
Ben Sessa, Ph.D. MAPS Volume xviii Number 3 Winter 2008~09

Can psychedelics have a role in psychiatry once again?
Ben Sessa. British J Psychiatry 2005.

Sage Journals Online, References to Ayahuasca

Emotional processing - Psychotherapy and altered states of consciousness: Principles, therapeutic possibilities and challenges
Marianne Kaspersen and Halvard Hårklau
. 2008.

Hallucinogenic Drugs and Plants in Psychotherapy and Shamanism
Ralph Metzner, Ph.D. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs Volume 30 (4), October - December 1998.

Pharmacology of Ayahuasca

Psychological Aspects of the Yage Experience in an Experimental Setting
By Claudio Naranjo

A Brief Psychological Exploration of Amazonian Shamanism

Human hallucinogen research: guidelines for safety
Johns Hopkins University. WA Richards, RR Griffiths. Journal of Psychopharmacology 2008.

MAOI Contraindications
Alfred Savinelli, John H. Halpern, MD. MAPS Volume 6 Number 1 Autumn 1995 p. 58.

Sociopsychotherapeutic Functions of Ayahuasca Healing in Amazonia
By Walter Andritzky PhD.

Images of Healing: Spontaneous Mental Imagery and Healing Process of the Barquinha, A Brazilian Ayahuasca Religious System
Marcelo Mercante. A Dissertation. 2006.

Religions of the Twice-Born: Northwest Amazonian Ayahuasca Shamanism and Near-Death Experience
Marcus Lumby. MAPS Volume 8 Number 3 Autumn 1998 pp. 16-17.

‘The Realm of Visions’ Towards an Evaluation of the Role of Near-Death Experience in Ayahuasca Psychotherapies
University of Cambridge. Peruvian Northwest Amazonia Fieldwork Report 1. Marcus C.Y. Lumby. 1998.

EEG Correlates of the Ayahuasca Shamanic Journey Experience
Frank Echenhofer, PhD. California Institute of Integral Studies

Ayahuasca Shamanic Visions: Integrating EEG Research, Psychotherapy, and Mystical Perspectives
Frank Echenhofer, Ph.D.

A six-month prospective evaluation of personality traits, psychiatric symptoms and quality of life in ayahuasca-naïve subjects
Barbosa, Cazorla, Giglio, Strassman. J Psychoactive Drugs. 2009 Sep;41(3):205-12.

Ayahuasca: New Brain New World

Ayahuasca: Altered States of Consciousness


Altered States of Consciousness and Short-Term Psychological After Effects Induced by the First Time Ritual Use of Ayahuasca in an Urban Context in Brazil

Barbosa, Giglio and Dalgafarrondo. J of Psychoactive Drugs Volume 37 June 2005.


Ayahuasca: Evolving and Rewiring Your Brain
Ayahuasca: Uniting Both Sides of Brain and Our Visionary Abilities

EEG Changes with Ayahuasca

Psychedelic, Psychoactive and Addictive Drugs and States of Consciousness
Ralph Metzner, Ph.D. California Institute of Integral Studies.

Effects of the South American Psychoactive Beverage Ayahuasca on Regional Brain Electrical Activity in Humans
Riba, Andererb, Janea, Saletub, Barbanoja

Effects os a Psychedelic Tropical Tea, Ayahuasca, on the EEG Activity of the Human Brain During a Shamanistic Ritual
By Erik Hoffmann


Shamanism as Neurotheology and Evolutionary Psychology
Michael Winkelman, Arizona State University


The Healing Potential of Non-Ordinary States of Consciousness
Walter Mead interviewing Stan Grof

Hallucinogenic Music: An Analysis of the Role of Whistling in Peruvian Ayahuasca Healing Sessions
Fred Katz and Marlene Dobkin de Rios

Some Relationships between Music and Hallucinogenic Ritual: The "Jungle Gym" in Consciousness
Marlene Dobkin de Rios and Fred Katz

EEG Gamma Coherence and Other Correlates of Subjective Reports During Ayahuasca Experiences
Stuckey, Lawson, Luna. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. June 2005

Plants indicated by Brazilian Indians to Central Nervous System disturbances: A bibliographical approach
Rodrigues, Mendes, Negri

EEG Correlates of the Ayahuasca Shamanic Journey Experience
Frank Echenhofer, California Institute of Integral Studies

Exploring Personality, Phenomenological, and EEG Correlates of the Ayahuasca Journey Experience to Facilitate an Individual's Spiritual Development
Echenhofer, Wynia, Luna, Gunkelman & Whitehouse

Neurofeedback, Growth, and Habit
Stoller, 2010

Hallucinogens, Serotonin and Obsessive-compulsive disorder
Delgado PL, Moreno FA. J Psychoactive Drugs. 1998 Oct-Dec. 

Other Research Categories

Drug and Alcohol Addiction and Ayahuasca
Anxiety and Ayahuasca
Depression and Ayahuasca
Schizophrenia and Ayahuasca
General Health and Well-being and Ayahuasca
General Health and Well-being Studies