Hallucinogenic drugs could treat eating disorders: New study shows ayahuasca could reactivate ‘carefree’ parts of the brain which are dulled in anorexia and bulimia sufferers

published on September 28, 2017 by Natalie Rahhal For Dailymail.com in MailOnline

Drinking ayahuasca may help people struggling with eating disorders to want to eat again, according to a new study.  

Ayahuasca is a powerful psychedelic drug that has been the subject of much controversy and has been blamed for the deaths of several young tourists.

But in recent years, doctors and scientists have been researching ways to re-purpose the drug to treat psychological disorders.

Psychology professor Dr Adele Robinson interviewed 16 subjects with bulimia or anorexia, and found that ayahuasca had helped reduced the symptoms of the eating disorders for the majority of the group.

Eleven of the subjects said that the symptoms of their eating disorders were reduced after the ayahuasca ceremony, and 14 said that they felt more in control of their emotions. 

Dr Robinson, a professor at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ottawa, Canada, acknowledges that these findings are very much preliminary, but sees the outcomes of her study as reason for more research, and fewer legal restrictions on ayahuasca.

Ayahuasca is a psychotropic brew made from a combination of the Banisteriopsis caapi vine and one of several other vines that contain dimethyltryptamine (DMT) found in the Amazon rain forest.

Indigenous people of South America have long used the brew – called ‘la medicina,’ in some places – in spiritual ceremonies.

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