As you may know, over the past 4 years, The International Center for Ethnobotanical Education, Research, and Service (ICEERS), in collaboration with the Beckley Foundation, conducted a large research initiative at the Temple of the Way of Light. Through this study, they have generated exciting new evidence on the therapeutic potential of ayahuasca in the context of indigenous Amazonian medicine!
The first publication in the series, “Therapeutic potential of ayahuasca on grief: a prospective, observational study” has just been published by Springer’s Journal of Psychopharmacology. This is the second (and most important) article ever published that provides scientific evidence on the therapeutic potential of ayahuasca in bereavement.
Ayahuasca opens new possibilities for grief therapy
In their research, they examined ayahuasca’s potential for people grieving the death of a loved one, opening up a new avenue for research into effective therapeutic approaches for prolonged grief.
An excerpt from the press release by ICEERS:
“According to a study recently published in the journal Psychopharmacology, ayahuasca – also known as the “vine of the soul” within the Peruvian indigenous Shipibo healing system – can help people who are grieving the loss of a loved one, significantly reducing symptoms, such as anxiety and depression. Benefits lasted for up to a year following the retreat. Participants in the study attended a retreat at the Temple of the Way of Light, a center located near Iquitos, Peru, in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, where they participated in a series of traditional medicine ceremonies lead by indigenous Shipibo healers.
Ninety-two percent of patients experienced relief from symptoms of grief, noting benefits on a spiritual level and in social relationships, as well as on their physical and psychological health. It was found that the experiences expand on the materialistic way we approach life and death in the Global North. ‘We found that having an experience of an encounter with a loved one who has passed away and being able to resolve the doubts and issues that were left pending and to establish a continuing bond, has a therapeutic impact on the grievers that is difficult to achieve with the techniques currently used in conventional psychotherapy. This type of experience tends to transform their view of life and death,’ adds Dr. González.”
Help ICEERS share more important ayahuasca research findings with the world
Scientific evidence about ayahuasca has the potential to change health care, policy, and lead to an increased appreciation of indigenous Amazonian medicine practices. With their first findings now released and more to go, they need your help to share their research with the world.
“In the science world, it takes financial resources to publish ‘open access’ papers –meaning that the findings are accessible openly and not behind paywalls. Otherwise, evidence remains accessible only to the academic community. We believe that knowledge should be accessible to everyone who might be able to benefit from it.
We need to raise €8,000 to publish a series of papers. The first has just been published and we need to come up with funds in the next 3 weeks to ensure that findings are shared with the world, open access.
Click on this link to donate and please select ‘Ayahuasca research publications 2020’ in the menu.
Our team is now hard at work writing and analyzing data that will provide insight into how ayahuasca (as part of an ancestral, integrative system of healing) helps people struggling with complicated grief after the loss of a loved one, and helps individuals with PTSD, anxiety, and depression. The findings are also providing information on how the insights gained catalyze personal growth and can have an impact on an individual’s personality.
The following three papers to be published are:
- The long-term effects on people with anxiety, depression and PTSD
- The impact on wellbeing and personal/spiritual growth in non-religious participants
- Personality profiles in relation to ayahuasca’s effects and safety
This has been an incredible three years of collaborating and learning enabled by the quantitative and qualitative research that will allow us to continue forward momentum in this field.”