An ancient Shamanic brew made from ayahuasca is an effective medicine in the treatment of depression and alcoholism a new British study has claimed. The brew, which contains dimethyltryptamine (DMT) which is illegal in the UK, most of Europe and USA is thought to have been used for over 5,000 years by medicine men and shamans to help them journey to other worlds and meet spirit guides.

In recent years, many tourists have visited ayahuasca retreats in South America to experience drinking the brew and journeying themselves.

Ayahuasca preparation
Ayahuasca preparation

Researchers from Exeter University and University College London  used data from the Global Drug Survey of over 96,000 participants, a survey considered the most comprehensive drug survey in the world. Ayahuasca users reported a better sense of wellbeing than those taking LSD or magic mushrooms. Most said they took the brew in the presence of a shaman or healer with effects lasting for approximately six hours but felt most intensely one hour after consumption.

Respondents were also better able to control their drinking habits.

Lead author Dr. Will Lawn of UCL said: “These findings lend some support to the notion that ayahuasca could be an important and powerful tool in treating depression and alcohol use disorders.”

“Recent research has demonstrated ayahuasca’s potential as a psychiatric medicine, and our current study provides further evidence that it may be a safe and promising treatment.”

“It is important to note that these data are purely observational and do not demonstrate causality.”

“Moreover, ayahuasca users in this survey still had an average drinking level which would be considered hazardous.”

Of the respondents to the survey, 527 were ayahuasca users, 18,138 used magic mushrooms or LSD and 78,236 did not take psychedelic drugs.

Cooking ayahuasca
Cooking ayahuasca