Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 12, No 2 (2016)

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Transcultual Perspective on Consciousness: Traditional Use of Ayahuasca in Psychiatry in the 21st Century in the Western World

Tania Re, J. Palma, J. E. Martins, M. Simões


New research on ayahuasca's potential applications in psychiatry have been undertaken in the last few years. It is relevant to start by pointing out that this south American brew has a very low potential for abuse, having no associated psychiatric or neuropsychological disorders. P.The most studied area in which ayahuasca may be applied is drug addiction. Interest for the understanding of ayahuasca's therapeutic potential in drug addiction is to determine by which mechanism the brew acts in order to promote behavioural and personality changes that allow freedom from addiction.

Some authors consider that the benefits provided by ayahuasca may arise from a symbiotic action between pharmacology and altered consciousness state, with some volunteers reporting an understanding of how some life happenings may have contributed to their depression and an achievement of a blissful state, which continued throughout time.

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