ayahuasca research center at the mishana community in Peru

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ayahuasca research in its native settingWE NEED YOUR SUPPORT to continue this dream. There are many different ways to show your support for the Ayahuasca Foundation and the movement in striving to rejuvenate the power of the human spirit via these powerful plants. The most direct way is to make a donation directly to the Foundation; which will help to fund research led by our indendent research team from the UK. Another way is to come down to Peru and attend a retreat or course offered by the Foundation. There are also volunteer opportunities, and some work can be done from anywhere that will help support the Foundation, like promotion and awareness effort.

All donations made in the US are tax deductible.


CLICK HERE TO MAKE A DONATION TO SUPPORT AYAHUASCA RESEARCH


A MESSAGE FROM THE RESEARCH TEAM

Research into novel treatments for mental health conditions has slowed significantly since the turn of the millennium. Psychiatry is visibly falling behind the rest of medicine with research into only 240 potential drug treatments in 2011, compared to 3000 for cancer. Many of the drugs that are studied lack innovation and work in the same way as existing treatments (such as SSRIs) or are reformulations of existing drugs. Despite a multitude of medications available for conditions such as depression, evidence is lacking that those recently developed are more effective than existing treatments.

Ayahuasca Research TeamBeing a team of medical professionals working in NHS frontline services, we bare witness to the daily struggles of patients. With the scope of the issue increasing, new avenues of interventions are desperately required. Thankfully, over the past decade, an area of research which has seen highly promising results and capturing the curiosity of scientists globally is that of psychedelic medicines.

Currently, the growing body of literature re-assessing and validating the therapeutic potential of psychedelics have brought us to what is now known as a ‘Psychedelic Renaissance’. For example, psilocybin (magic mushrooms) has recently received FDA approval for ‘breakthrough therapy’ status for depression in the USA, similarly with MDMA for PTSD. Psychedelic assisted psychotherapy has also been shown to produce more sustainable and significant improvements when compared with other modalities of psychotherapy. The Amazonian plant-based psychedelic brew ayahuasca has seen a surge in popularity from westerners seeking alternative treatment methods.

For ayahuasca in particular, supporting anecdotal evidence and indigenous cultural knowledge pertaining to its use is vast. We as a research team have devoted many years in attempts to further understand ayahuasca’s clinical application. We are based at the Ayahuasca Foundation’s Riosbo research center, in Iquitos, Peru. Namely, we feel that this organisation has been most apt for conducting this research due to their ongoing emphasis towards scientific study and the importance of respecting and giving back to local indigenous cultures.

Thus far, given support from the UK Medical Research Council, in affiliation with the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and a number of respected academic institutions worldwide, progress has been made. In the first exploration of shamanic ayahuasca use via a Western scientific lens, data suggests that relatively short term treatments are able to elicit sustained holistic improvements across a number of mental health outcomes.

Unfortunately, beyond dedicated time and labour, empirical research can be very costly, with expenditures required at every step – licensing, technology, genetic testing, sample-analysis, neuroimaging and further laboratory testing, the list goes on. We are therefore reaching out for donations in support of this research. While we consider this work to be of utmost importance in meeting the ever-rising mental health crisis, we cannot do this without your help. As always, no contribution is too great or small, and any support will be met with immense gratitude. Please rest assured that all funding will solely be dedicated for this cause which we will continue to work tirelessly towards.

Finally, the Ayahuasca Foundation would like to highlight our appreciation of wider long standing issues of cultural exploitation towards indigenous communities and deforestation in Amazon, every effort is therefore taken to ensure the cultural heritage of the local community is upheld.

Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

Dr Simon Ruffell, Nige Netzband, WaiFung Tsang
-Research co-ordinators at the Ayahuasca Foundation.

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