Science now has the basic corpus of data needed to ask further questions regarding the pharmacological actions, the toxicities and possible dangers, and the considerable potential ayahuasca has to heal the human mind, body and spirit.
(excerpted from McKenna et al., 1998)
In 1993, a biomedical investigation of long-term drinkers of hoasca (the Portuguese transliteration of ayahuasca) was undertaken, by invitation of the Medical Studies section of the União do Vegetal (Centro de Estudos Medicos). This study, which was conducted by an international consortium of scientists from Brazil, the United States, and Finland, was financed through private donations to various non-profit sponsoring groups, notably Botanical Dimensions, which provided major funding, the Heffter Research Institute, and MAPS. Thus, the focus for the scientific study and understanding of ayahuasca has shifted from the ethnographer's field notes and the ethnobotanist's herbarium specimens, to the neurophysiologist's laboratory and the psychiatrist's examining room. With the completion of the first detailed biomedical investigation of ayahuasca, science now has the basic corpus of data needed to ask further questions regarding the pharmacological actions, the toxicities and possible dangers, and the considerable potential ayahuasca has to heal the human mind, body and spirit.
More about the Hoasca Project online:
The Hoasca Project: Current Status (1995)
A multinational interdisciplinary biomedical investigation of hoasca (1993)
The Hoasca Project: Proposal For A Biomedical Investigation of Ayahuasca (1992)
Callaway, JC and Grob, CS (1998), Ayahuasca preparations and serotonin uptake inhibitors: a potential for severe adverse interaction, in press, Journal of Psychoactive Drugs.
Callaway, JC, McKenna, DJ, Grob, CS, Brito, GS, Raymons, LP, Poland, RE, Andrade, E and Mash, DC (1998), Pharmacology of hoasca alkaloids in humans, in press, Journal of Ethnopharmacology.
Callaway JC and McKenna DJ (1998), Neurochemistry of psychedelic drugs. In: Drug Abuse Handbook, CRC Press, section 6.6 pp 485-498, S.B. Karch (Ed.), ISBN 0 8493 2637 0.
Callaway JC, Raymon LP, Hearn WL, McKenna DJ, Grob CS and Brito GS (1996), Quantitation of N,N-dimethyltryptamine and harmala alkaloids in human plasma after oral dosing with ayahuasca. Journal of Analytical Toxicology Vol 20, pp 492-497.
Grob, CS (1998), Psychedelic drug research: recent developments with MDMA and ayahuasca, in R. Verres, H. Leuner and A. Dittrich (Eds.), Welten Des Bewusstseins, Berlin, Verlag für Wissenschaft und Bildung, pp 93-109.
Grob, CS, McKenna, DJ, Callaway, JC, Brito, GS, Neves, ES, Oberlaender, G, Saide, OL, Labigalini, E, Tacla, C, Miranda, CT, Strassman, RJ and Boone, KB (1996), Human psychopharmacology of hoasca, a plant hallucinogen used in ritual context in Brazil. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 184: 86-94.
McKenna DJ, Callaway JC and Grob CS (1998), The scientific investigation of ayahuasca: a review of past and current research. The Heffter Review of Psychedelic Research, Vol 1, pp 65-77.
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