ayahuasca research center at the mishana community in Peru

Featured in Forbes

June 28th, 2021

First-Ever Study Looks At Ayahuasca’s Impact On DNA Expression – by Amanda Siebert

Dr. Simon Ruffell of Kings College London led the observational study with fellow researchers Nige Netzband and WaiFung Tsang, with University of Exeter professor of psychopharmacology Celia Morgan as lead author. The team looked at the use of ayahuasca by 63 mostly white participants who attended a traditional Shipibo retreat, and its effects on their mental health. It was conducted at a purpose-built research center operated by the Ayahuasca Foundation in Iquitos, Peru, which works in partnership with the Allpahuayo-Mishana community on a national reserve.


The Third Wave article 

June 29th, 2021

Ayahuasca Research: Where Science Meets Spirituality – by Liz Zhou

Consistent with prior psychedelic research, participants experienced significant reductions in anxiety and depression, as well as improvements in general wellbeing, mindfulness, and self-compassion. Perception of difficult life events changed in the short term and the long term: Participants viewed their memories in a less negative way following the retreat. Interestingly, those who reported a greater degree of mystical experience displayed the most improvement in depression outcomes post-retreat. This finding suggests that the perceived mystical context may improve the efficacy of the healing experience.

Lucid News article 

July 16th, 2021

First Study on Psychedelics and Epigenetics Explores Ayahuasca’s Effects on Gene Expression – by Jon Kelvey

“This is the first study to look at any psychedelic and epigenetics, so it’s completely novel,” said Dr. Simon Ruffell, a psychiatrist at King’s College in London and now Ph.D. candidate in psychology, as well as the lead author of the paper published in June in Frontiers in Psychiatry. The new study builds on previous work by Ruffell and his collaborators looking at the effects of ayahuasca on personality traits among participants at an Ayahuasca Foundation retreat center near Iquitos in Peru. That study looked at measures of neuroticism and openness in retreat participants.

Gaia News segment 

August, 2021

Can Ayahuasca Change DNA – 2 part video segment


Set, Setting and Transcultural Psychiatry – Student Psychedelic Conference

February 22, 2021

The Student Psychedelic Conference took place on the 30th – 31st of January 2021. The conference was hosted by The Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Drug Science Student Society, and The Southampton Psychedelic Society.

Should Psychedelics Be Used In Medicine? | Interesting People #1

February 21st, 2021

In the inaugural episode of Interesting People, Martin sits down with psychiatrist Dr Simon Ruffell to discuss his research into the potential uses of the powerful hallucinogen ayahuasca in medicine.

The Drug Science Podcast: Ayahuasca

June 9th, 2020

Dr Simon Ruffell (Researcher at Riosbo) and Professor David Nutt (Founder of Drug Science) discuss the 2019 research project, the challenges of working with ayahuasca in its native setting, and the future of psychedelic therapy in this thought provoking conversation.


Breaking Convention – London

August, 2019

Dr Simon Ruffell and Nige Netzband present an overview of their findings on the modulatory effects of ayahuasca on personality structure to a multidisciplinary scientific audience.

#ThankYouPlantMedicine article

A global grassroots movement to raise awareness about the healing power of plant medicine and psychedelic-assisted therapy. Here they follow the work conducted by the research team at our center.

Bridging Traditional & Western Medicine: A Close Look At The First Government-Funded Study Into Ayahuasca


Scholars in Spotlight: The Pearls of Our Sanity 

In this podcast for the University of Greenwich, one of our lead researchers at Riosbo talks about the development of psychotherapies in the age of overwhelming mental health challenges, ponderings on the research and use of ayahuasca for aiding our society, how loneliness and disconnect can consume our humanness and what it would take to have honest conversations in our society regarding the complexity of our emotions.

Ayahuasca Retreat Programs at Ayahuasca Foundation