Sub-acute and long-term effects of ayahuasca on affect and cognitive thinking style and their association with ego dissolution

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

RATIONALE: Ayahuasca is a psychotropic plant tea from South America used for religious purposes by indigenous people of the Amazon. Increasing evidence indicates that ayahuasca may have therapeutic potential in the treatment of mental health disorders and can enhance mindfulness-related capacities. Most research so far has focused on acute and sub-acute effects of ayahuasca on mental health-related parameters and less on long-term effects.

OBJECTIVES: The present study aimed to assess sub-acute and long-term effects of ayahuasca on well-being and cognitive thinking style. The second objective was to assess whether sub-acute and long-term effects of ayahuasca depend on the degree of ego dissolution that was experienced after consumption of ayahuasca.

RESULTS: Ayahuasca ceremony attendants (N = 57) in the Netherlands and Colombia were assessed before, the day after, and 4 weeks following the ritual. Relative to baseline, ratings of depression and stress significantly decreased after the ayahuasca ceremony and these changes persisted for 4 weeks. Likewise, convergent thinking improved post-ayahuasca ceremony up until the 4 weeks follow-up. Satisfaction with life and several aspects of mindfulness increased the day after the ceremony, but these changes failed to reach significance 4 weeks after. Changes in affect, satisfaction with life, and mindfulness were significantly correlated to the level of ego dissolution experienced during the ayahuasca ceremony and were unrelated to previous experience with ayahuasca.

CONCLUSION: It is concluded that ayahuasca produces sub-acute and long-term improvements in affect and cognitive thinking style in non-pathological users. These data highlight the therapeutic potential of ayahuasca in the treatment of mental health disorders, such as depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2979–2989
Number of pages11
JournalPsychopharmacology
Volume235
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018

Keywords

  • Journal Article
  • South America
  • Depression/diagnosis
  • Stress, Psychological/diagnosis
  • Hallucinogens/pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Banisteriopsis
  • Ego
  • Affect/drug effects
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Personality/drug effects
  • Netherlands
  • Thinking/drug effects
  • Psychotropic Drugs/pharmacology
  • Cognition/drug effects
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Plant Extracts/pharmacology

Cite this

@article{6d0623c94ab0485c96a474037c753e64,
title = "Sub-acute and long-term effects of ayahuasca on affect and cognitive thinking style and their association with ego dissolution",
abstract = "RATIONALE: Ayahuasca is a psychotropic plant tea from South America used for religious purposes by indigenous people of the Amazon. Increasing evidence indicates that ayahuasca may have therapeutic potential in the treatment of mental health disorders and can enhance mindfulness-related capacities. Most research so far has focused on acute and sub-acute effects of ayahuasca on mental health-related parameters and less on long-term effects.OBJECTIVES: The present study aimed to assess sub-acute and long-term effects of ayahuasca on well-being and cognitive thinking style. The second objective was to assess whether sub-acute and long-term effects of ayahuasca depend on the degree of ego dissolution that was experienced after consumption of ayahuasca.RESULTS: Ayahuasca ceremony attendants (N = 57) in the Netherlands and Colombia were assessed before, the day after, and 4 weeks following the ritual. Relative to baseline, ratings of depression and stress significantly decreased after the ayahuasca ceremony and these changes persisted for 4 weeks. Likewise, convergent thinking improved post-ayahuasca ceremony up until the 4 weeks follow-up. Satisfaction with life and several aspects of mindfulness increased the day after the ceremony, but these changes failed to reach significance 4 weeks after. Changes in affect, satisfaction with life, and mindfulness were significantly correlated to the level of ego dissolution experienced during the ayahuasca ceremony and were unrelated to previous experience with ayahuasca.CONCLUSION: It is concluded that ayahuasca produces sub-acute and long-term improvements in affect and cognitive thinking style in non-pathological users. These data highlight the therapeutic potential of ayahuasca in the treatment of mental health disorders, such as depression.",
keywords = "Journal Article, South America, Depression/diagnosis, Stress, Psychological/diagnosis, Hallucinogens/pharmacology, Humans, Banisteriopsis, Ego, Affect/drug effects, Personal Satisfaction, Personality/drug effects, Netherlands, Thinking/drug effects, Psychotropic Drugs/pharmacology, Cognition/drug effects, Adult, Female, Plant Extracts/pharmacology",
author = "M.V. Uthaug and {van Oorsouw}, K. and K.P.C. Kuypers and {van Boxtel}, M. and N.J. Broers and N.L. Mason and S.W. Toennes and J. Riba and J.G. Ramaekers",
year = "2018",
month = "10",
doi = "10.1007/s00213-018-4988-3",
language = "English",
volume = "235",
pages = "2979–2989",
journal = "Psychopharmacology",
issn = "0033-3158",
publisher = "Springer",
number = "10",

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Sub-acute and long-term effects of ayahuasca on affect and cognitive thinking style and their association with ego dissolution

AU - Uthaug, M.V.

AU - van Oorsouw, K.

AU - Kuypers, K.P.C.

AU - van Boxtel, M.

AU - Broers, N.J.

AU - Mason, N.L.

AU - Toennes, S.W.

AU - Riba, J.

AU - Ramaekers, J.G.

PY - 2018/10

Y1 - 2018/10

N2 - RATIONALE: Ayahuasca is a psychotropic plant tea from South America used for religious purposes by indigenous people of the Amazon. Increasing evidence indicates that ayahuasca may have therapeutic potential in the treatment of mental health disorders and can enhance mindfulness-related capacities. Most research so far has focused on acute and sub-acute effects of ayahuasca on mental health-related parameters and less on long-term effects.OBJECTIVES: The present study aimed to assess sub-acute and long-term effects of ayahuasca on well-being and cognitive thinking style. The second objective was to assess whether sub-acute and long-term effects of ayahuasca depend on the degree of ego dissolution that was experienced after consumption of ayahuasca.RESULTS: Ayahuasca ceremony attendants (N = 57) in the Netherlands and Colombia were assessed before, the day after, and 4 weeks following the ritual. Relative to baseline, ratings of depression and stress significantly decreased after the ayahuasca ceremony and these changes persisted for 4 weeks. Likewise, convergent thinking improved post-ayahuasca ceremony up until the 4 weeks follow-up. Satisfaction with life and several aspects of mindfulness increased the day after the ceremony, but these changes failed to reach significance 4 weeks after. Changes in affect, satisfaction with life, and mindfulness were significantly correlated to the level of ego dissolution experienced during the ayahuasca ceremony and were unrelated to previous experience with ayahuasca.CONCLUSION: It is concluded that ayahuasca produces sub-acute and long-term improvements in affect and cognitive thinking style in non-pathological users. These data highlight the therapeutic potential of ayahuasca in the treatment of mental health disorders, such as depression.

AB - RATIONALE: Ayahuasca is a psychotropic plant tea from South America used for religious purposes by indigenous people of the Amazon. Increasing evidence indicates that ayahuasca may have therapeutic potential in the treatment of mental health disorders and can enhance mindfulness-related capacities. Most research so far has focused on acute and sub-acute effects of ayahuasca on mental health-related parameters and less on long-term effects.OBJECTIVES: The present study aimed to assess sub-acute and long-term effects of ayahuasca on well-being and cognitive thinking style. The second objective was to assess whether sub-acute and long-term effects of ayahuasca depend on the degree of ego dissolution that was experienced after consumption of ayahuasca.RESULTS: Ayahuasca ceremony attendants (N = 57) in the Netherlands and Colombia were assessed before, the day after, and 4 weeks following the ritual. Relative to baseline, ratings of depression and stress significantly decreased after the ayahuasca ceremony and these changes persisted for 4 weeks. Likewise, convergent thinking improved post-ayahuasca ceremony up until the 4 weeks follow-up. Satisfaction with life and several aspects of mindfulness increased the day after the ceremony, but these changes failed to reach significance 4 weeks after. Changes in affect, satisfaction with life, and mindfulness were significantly correlated to the level of ego dissolution experienced during the ayahuasca ceremony and were unrelated to previous experience with ayahuasca.CONCLUSION: It is concluded that ayahuasca produces sub-acute and long-term improvements in affect and cognitive thinking style in non-pathological users. These data highlight the therapeutic potential of ayahuasca in the treatment of mental health disorders, such as depression.

KW - Journal Article

KW - South America

KW - Depression/diagnosis

KW - Stress, Psychological/diagnosis

KW - Hallucinogens/pharmacology

KW - Humans

KW - Banisteriopsis

KW - Ego

KW - Affect/drug effects

KW - Personal Satisfaction

KW - Personality/drug effects

KW - Netherlands

KW - Thinking/drug effects

KW - Psychotropic Drugs/pharmacology

KW - Cognition/drug effects

KW - Adult

KW - Female

KW - Plant Extracts/pharmacology

U2 - 10.1007/s00213-018-4988-3

DO - 10.1007/s00213-018-4988-3

M3 - Article

C2 - 30105399

VL - 235

SP - 2979

EP - 2989

JO - Psychopharmacology

JF - Psychopharmacology

SN - 0033-3158

IS - 10

ER -