How Tripping on Ayahuasca Could Help People with Eating Disorders

published on November 21, 2017 by Erin Hiatt in Broadly

Could a powerfully hallucinogenic tea hold the key to treating eating disorders? A new study interviews ED sufferers who have experimented with the herbal drug from the Amazon.

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Anorexia nervosa. Bulimia nervosa. Binge eating disorder. These three eating disorders afflict people of all ages, ethnicities, and genders, and it is estimated that about 30 million Americans engage in some form of disordered eating to control perceived problems with weight and body image.

The group also described a sense of inner peace and meaning, and revealed that they sensed a spiritual connection, something that comes up frequently in other psychedelic studies. “In the contemporary psychedelic research that’s being led by Johns Hopkins and NYU, who are looking at drugs like psilocybin for tobacco and alcohol, the therapeutic outcomes are correlated with mystical-type experiences,” says study researcher Dr. Kenneth Tupper, the director of implementation and partnerships at the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use, and an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia’s School of Population and Public Health.

“Perhaps the secular approach around modern science isn’t fully encompassing all the dynamics at play with both addiction and eating disorders,” he continues. “And we certainly saw that in the reports with the subjects. They reported spiritual connection.”

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