Study: Ayahuasca Drinkers Have Better Mental Health


by Amber Lyon

on April 14, 2014

A study of ritual Ayahuasca drinkers found those using the psychoactive medicine measured significantly lower than the controls on levels of  depression, anxiety, hostility, paranoid ideation, and phobias.  The Ayahuasca users also scored significantly lower than controls on measures of worry, shyness, and fatigability and weakness.

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.”

The study’s conclusion:

The assessment of the impact of long-term ayahuasca use on mental health from various perspectives (personality, psychopathology, neuropsychology, life attitudes and psychosocial well-being) did not find evidence of pathological alterations in any of the spheres studied. Although ayahuasca-using subjects differed in some personality traits, differences did not fit with a pathological profile. Furthermore, ayahuasca users showed a lower presence of psychopathological symptoms compared to controls. 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. Overall differences with the control group were still observable at follow-up one year later.
Click here to read the full study