Ayahuasca Healing and Science
This book offers a series of perspectives on the therapeutic potential of the ritual and clinical use of the Amazonian hallucinogenic brew ayahuasca in the treatment and management of various disorders. This book presents biomedical and anthropological data on the use of ayahuasca and provides critiques on how it is used for treating depression, PTSD, anxiety, substance dependence, and eating disorders. The volume also explores ayahuasca’s role in the psychological well-being and quality of life of humans, and discusses possibilities of it enhancing cognition and coping with grief. The book examines ayahuasca’s association with psychotherapy and also highlights the challenges of integrating plant medicines into psychiatry. Further, the book expands on some preliminary research with animals, suggesting that ayahuasca acts at multiple levels of neural complexity. The study on the neurogenic effects of ayahuasca alkaloids opens a new avenue of research with potential applications ranging from psychiatric disorders to brain damage and dementia. Psychologists, psychiatrists, and other mental health professionals will find this book relevant to their work regarding substance abuse and alternative medicine.