Title: ‘Safety and neurochemical effects of ayahuasca in healthy adults: Phase I and II studies
Principle investigator: Leanna Standish, ND, PhD at Bastyr University in Seattle (see a text of her here).
Summary presented in an National Institue of Health (NIH) grant proposal
Background: Ayahuasca is an ancient Amazonian psychoactive botanical extract used as a tea for religious and medical purposes in S. America, N. America and Europe, with increasing use by the U.S. public. Little is understood about its potential dangers or its potential therapeutic activity in psychiatric and neurological disorders as a novel monoamine neuromodulatory botanical drug. Our goal is to evaluate the safety of this potential drug of abuse and potential therapeutic applications of ayahuasca by studying its physiological and psychological effects, as well as its peripheral and central neurochemical effects at dosages that are typical for the religious use of this substance.
Methods: 66 healthy adults who are naïve to ayahuasca in Phase I and naive to all hallucinogenic drugs in Phase II, will be screened, consented and enrolled. Phase I (n=30) is a single-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-finding, dose-escalation pharmacokinetic and safety study. Both psychological and physiological safety will be evaluated. Phase II (n=36) is a double-blind, placebo controlled randomized study that will use a dose determined in Phase I to measure the psychological effects, peripheral serotonergic effects and the central effects on gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA), glutamate, N-acetyl aspartate and choline. We will 1) determine the minimally effective dose of ayahuasca and correlate with plasma levels of the known active constituents (dimethyltryptamine, harmine, harmaline, tetrahydroharmine), 2) describe quantitatively the dose-response pharmacokinetics of ayahuasca’s active constituents following oral administration, 3) quantitate monoamine oxidase (MAO) A and B inhibition in plasma from human subjects and to describe the dose-response pharmacokinetics of MAO inhibitor activity following oral administration of ayahuasca, and 4) conduct a Phase II study of the neurochemical effects of repeated exposure to ayahuasca. We will measure 1) psychological changes using a battery of standardized psychological tests, 2) serotonergic changes in platelet 5-HT transporter binding using the 3H-citalopram binding assay, and 3) changes in brain N-acetyl aspartate, GABA, glutamate and choline levels using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging with spectral editing.
Significance: Ayahuasca is used by thousands of people throughout the U.S. yet its safety across doses has not been studied. The alkaloids contained in ayahuasca represent a novel potent long-acting serotonin agonist with potential in the treatment of drug and alcohol abuse, depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder. Phase I and II studies are needed to develop a standardized and safe botanical drug that has applications highly relevant to NIH’s mission, especially the mission of NIDA to develop new and more effective therapies to treat drug dependency, NIAAA’s mission to treat alcoholism, the mission of NIMH to develop new therapies for mood disorders and the mission of NCCAM to evaluate promising ethnomedicines.
Do you plan to study the effects of ayahuasca on women? If so, I would be interested in participating. I live in the Seattle area.
I was directed by a Peruvian acquaintance to research treatment of alcohol addiction by ayahausca in the Peruvian jungle. He has been in residential treatment twice for alcoholism, but he attempted to take his life on Friday of this week. I believe he is suffering from depression as well as alcohol addiction. He is 33 years old and the father of two boys, ten and three. He is also a member of a native American tribe. I am interested in learning more about this treatment for him and possibly being part of your study.
I would love to know if this study will be going forward at Bastyr? I am very interested in volunteering for this and have done a fair amount of personal research on the substance.
I also live in Seattle, am familiar with Bastyr, and would like to participate in your study.
I am a clinical doctoral student at the Inst of Tranpersonal Psych. I have never used a psychodelic drug previously (though had limited experience with marijuana in collage 13+ years ago). I suffer from mild Chronic Fatigue Syndrome with related mild depression. I would be very interested in participating in your study.
Dear Dr. Standish,
I am available for screening.
I came across this about ayahuasca in searching for information and have lloked for the latest.
Can you provide any updates regarding studies and have a great interest in this unique wonderful gift from god about this medicine.
Any information for study subjects and contact information on Leanna Standish would be greatly appreciated.
I would be interested in being a subject for participation when if the need presents itself.
Is this reseach project still viable? Is it in progress? I am retired and able to travel to and stay at the project site if selected. If not selected, are you aware of any similar reseach projects?Thanks. gary
my name is Shahana Fedele,
i’m currently enrolled in a master program in “biology nutrition”.
I’m looking forward to research on the properties of amazon plants and how the interact with the human body.
Could you suggest me research insititutes or programs that I could join?
I attended the panel discussion on this subject at Bastyr University in 2010 and would like to volunteer for this project. I hold a masters degree from Naropa University, and have a keen interest in the outcome of this study. Any available information you may have regarding the best resources for a continued study would be greatly appreciated.
Hi Bia, I am looking to connect with you about a Spirit Plants Conference in Vancouver, BC, Canada and could not open the link to your email. My email is: Ashley@ConsciousLivingRadio.Org
Could we connect? Thank you, Ashley
with the rise in the awareness of plant medicine in particular ayahuaska, we urge the consumption of it only in a safe environment with trained shamans. should interest for ceremonies be present contact us for reliable sources. http://www.traditionalplantmedicine.com we lead serious ceremonies
I live in the Albany/NYC area and am very interested in volunteering for this project.
I am a 42 yr old woman who has struggled with tussionex abuse for the past two years. I am very interested in volunteering for this project. My time and availability are pretty flexible. Please email me back for more contact information. Thank you!
I and we of the new Working Group on Psychoactive Plants are very interested in accompanying this project and if possible, p[articipating in it.
grde bjo, de seu amgo
Are you currently recruiting for this study? I would be extremely interested.
Are you still recruiting? I would like to participate
I am a 29 year old male and Seattle resident, and have done extensive research on ayahuasca and would be honored to take part in a study that would extend our insight into this magnificent plant combination.
I am a 23 year old female residing on the west coast and am interested in participating in an Ayahuasca study.
It would be of profound benefit for all participants to keep detailed journals tracking their dietary consumption (diet is a foundational medicine in itself), as well as physical/emotional consciousness from day to day.
I have tried Ayahuasca 5 times in Brazil. I do not know if you would consider that being naive(re: ayahuasca) but I would be interested in the study. I also suffer from anxiety, ptsd.(which is the reason I tried it in the first place). I do consider myself healthy but wanted to mention that in case that is not something that you would want in your study. thank you.
If you are still recruiting for this study I would be interested in participating. I live in the Midwest so would need to know exactly what is entailed but would be willing to travel.
I ahve sufferde from depression anxiety and OCd most of my life. I would be interested in the study..
Can you please tell me where such a study exist. also what are the qualifying factors.
I have been marajuana and alcohol dependent for 35 years and would like to participate in a study using ayahuasca if possible. I have suffered from depression and anxiety for twenty some years and believe that ayahuasca may provide the spiritual experience to aid me in these areas. Thank you.
I am a 55 year old women. I have depression from losing my only child, my son, who was 20 years old. I would be interested in see if Ayahuasca would have an impact on my depression and any insight any kind of afterlife type of experience. I have read many descriptions of experiences and have been interested in traveling to brazil to have the experience. this would be ideal. I am available anytime and willing to travel anywhere.
I would like more info please. Are you still looking for participants?
if you still looking for more participants let me know .I am interested on ayahuasca study.
I am interested in participating in the ayahuasca study. I would also like more information please.
Hello. I am also interested in partcipating in this study, if you are still looking for volunteers. Please send more information. Thanks very much!
Hello. I am familiar with Bastyr, and am also interested in partcipating in this study, if you are still looking for volunteers. Please send information, if you are looking for people. Thanks very much!
<i am interested in participating in the study.
Dear Dr. Standish, I am excited by reports that I have about you. I offer my participation in the project as a volunteer. Drugs and alcohol have never misused. I have no experience with hallucinogens. I am 49 years old. You are great.
I am very interested in participating in this study! I have struggled with opiate pain killer addiction for approximately 5 years since I was prescribed these same drugs. This is causing me extreme depression, and, although, I am spiritual I am having a difficult time progressing on my spiritual path due to the addiction and subsequent depression.
I am 50 yo female, otherwise healthy.
Please consider me Naive but I am spiritually prepared for this journey
I would like very much to participate in such a study!
I would be very intrested in doing the study as I am already seeking to try this as an alternative therapy.
I would like to participate in this study.
My name is Justin Moore and I am very interested in being included in any trials to be executed concerning the medicinal use of ayahuasca. I have Crohn’s Disease as well as associated ankolysing spondolitis which has really taken a toll on my life to say the least. Quite frankly, I have been suffering from severe back pain since I can remember (maybe since late teens to early twenties). Long story short, after watching a movie concerning DMT in early medical trials (the show was available through Netfix and I believe it was called DMT: the spirit molecule). Ever since watching the show, I cannot, without great effort on my part, get the idea of its possible medicinal use concerning myself out of my head. Being an educated person (in the Western sense of the word), I was and still remain by necessity sceptical. For me, as I thought it was with all scientist, I remain skeptical to the useage of the drug (for lack of a better word) DMT. However, I will be completely honest and say that the idea of using it as a means to better cope with life in general simply won’t go away. To say the least, I am at this point desperate for an answer to my health issues that will allow me to be a better father, friend and person in general. I thank you for your time and hope to find answers.
Needless to say, my interest in finding a means to determine the efficacy of the (at the very least) somewhat beneficial properties of the molecule of interest (and I am assuming its derivatives) is a very personal one that simple will not cease.
I live in Seattle and am interested in taking part in a study using ayahuasca. Please advise. Thank you.
I would be very interested in participating in such a study.
My husband and I would be interested in the study. We never tried anything like that. We live in California.
I am interested to participate. I live in Virginia. Please let me know If i can be helpful for your studies.
Hello if you need healthy females in the KY or TN area I can help.
I have treatment resistant depression for about 20 years. The last 2-3 have become unbearable. I have been on over 10 medicines including suboxone, about 30 ECT treatments, counseling, hypnosis, light theropy, and probably more that I can’t think of. I have attempted suicide 3 times in the least 12 years. The last 2-3 years have been awful for me. I now have phobias off leaving my house, sleeping in my bed, social situations, I’ve stopped showing every day down to 2-3 times a week. I need help, and I need help fast before my kids are with out a father. Please help.
i’m a young woman interested in participating in your research. i have never taken hallucinogens before but this substance is intriguing. I live in northern indiana and am also a graduate in psychology. contact me if i can help in your research.
Hello, if this is still ongoing, I would love to participate. I live in the Seattle area, am a 52 year old female and in very good health.
I don’t smoke cigarettes or drink beer and have no idea about these types of drugs, but have recently became interested due to the spiritual benefits I’ve read about.
I do have a problem with addictions and depression, and have been fighting/wrestling with the need to quit smoking marijuana. I have trouble with addictions because of the depression and would love to find help with this.
Physically I’m healthy, mentally I’m a mess and if this could help, I would love to try.
You CANNOT go just dosing people who have never been on any psychodelics with the most potent one of them all, are you crazy!!! People have to be mentally, physically, and spiritually prepared for these types of trips for the results to work right and they need a guide most of the time (hence the shamans). Otherwise these people are just going to go absolutely insane for 8-12 hours and be terrified and have no clue what types of visions they had and their meanings and learn nothing. If you want this to work right it needs to be done right with the right kind of people.
I am very interested in your study. I live in Seattle & have struggled with depression all my life. If there is any way that this could help me I would be elated to participate. I have done some research and from what I can tell this would really help me, possibly I could start living not just existing or surviving. Thanks in advance.
I recently wa informed about ayahuasca by a friend. I would like to participate in your study. Thank you.
I have only just heard of Ayahuasca and DMT. I would be very interested in participating in this study. I live in the Seattle area. Please let us know if this study is still taking place. Thank you.
Please contact me, as I would love to participate in this.
Please let me know how to join study
hello. I would like to join for this interesting study. I’m 22 year old. I am healthy both physically and mentally. I never used drugs, weed or any other hallucinogenic substances in my entire life. I live around seattle.
please contact me thru email if you still need volunteers for this research.
Im an alcoholic who has tried two rehab centres. Will try anything now and heard this can help.
I am trying to feel, seek, get in touch with my spirit. I am so agravated because i know i can, but meditation does not work for me. I am really interested in this knowledge and i have been searching for years on something like this. I have tried lcd and shrooms And i had a great experience that has changed my views but i felt like that couldnt be the end of it. I found out about this by a documentary on dmt. Please someone help me become apart of this!!!!
Just watched DMT: The Spirit Molecule and Ayahuascawas immediately intregued by this study. I would very much like to be a volunteer. I have never been a voluteer for any kind of study before and have never been interested in anything like this until this documentary.
I believe we could mutually benefit each other concerning this therapy. I have several physical issues which cause chronic pain and depression. I wish to stop my chemical dependence for pain, and free up past p.t.s.d.. If i can help, let me know at the attached email, and good luck with your studies/more people should be exploring alternative avenues thanks john
I to recently watched the documentary on DMT. I am very interested being apart of this study. I have never volunteered for any type of research . I want to be a part of something that helps mankind have a greater understanding of our time here on earth
I am interested in participating in this study if it is still going on. I have never taken Ayahuascawa nor San Pedro nor DMT. I am 44 years old and live a healthy drug-free lifestyle. Thank you.
Dear Mr. Wilcox,
If you found a study being conducted, pls. I would greatly appreciate if you can notify me as well. I for one
find this very interesting.
I’d love to participate in the study.
I am willing to participate in your study. Contact me at whenever you feel the need. I am prepared at all times for all things.
I live in the Seattle area, and I believe I would be a great candidate to participate in your study due to my past experiences and both physiological & psychological states currently. Please email me with more information if you would like to screen me as a potential candidate. I would appreciate it very much.
Speechless… Why? Because I have resonated with this subject for many years after hearing about it on ‘coast to coast’ late night radio station. I believe with all my heart that I was guided to this website this morning… No doubt! After first hearing about this on the radio, I knew this was something that was for me to do… I believed the moment I heared the stories that it was an answer for me. However I was never able to raise the money to do so… I told many people that someday I am going to through this process if I could save the money for the flight and the ceremony fee… Pls. Allow me to be a candidate, I am supposed to do this… I just know. I am a former world class athlete who after winning multiple national titles and traveled on u.s. teams around the world in the sport of wrestling when I was young (now 52) Without going into detail, I went thru what I call an ‘athletic menopause’ once I was finished competing. Alcohol then becomes the substitution for my daily seritonin highs. Ugh!!! What a mess I became, ‘from hero to zero’ !!! Many rehabs later, I got sober for aprox. 13 yrs with a ‘ lot of hard work’ thru A.A. Depression and sickness eventually made me jump off that damn wagon back into the pit of darkness in which I now live, just looking for a carrot likke this to dangle in front of me! Look, I am Sooo excited to stumble across your web page this morning I can but hardly hold back the tears for just the thought I may have this opportunity for life, a reason to get up in the morning, to have passionate feelings once again, to offer my self once again to others in need.. Much much more… Looking forward to hear from you real soon! Sincerely Perry shea… Phn. Num. 562 967-0378 😉
Oops! Correction to that phn number 562 965 -0378 pls. Call perry shea
You have asked for volun’tears ‘ I am asking you to please respond… I havent heard from you… Why? I humbly ask you for help in front of the world… Pls. Once again I believe in this way of freedom and healing… Respond to me , I need help today… I am currently suffering from Vicodin withdrawl, I need your love…ps email me one way or another…k.? I am Willing to for change… Call me,I believe in this modality… 562 965- 0378 . I must hear from you soon. With all the love I have left…p. shea
Major depression, chronic fatigue all documented… Petite mall seizures, insomnia etc. do you need more? Nobody more determined to get well than me…p. shea , I need your help… What else do you need…I will give, p. shea
I’m curious if this study is still going on. I’ve recently stumbled across many interesting topics surrounding Ayahuasca and DMT, and would be very interested in taking part in this study. I’m 27 years old from the Seattle area, Washington.
I had a few experiences with psychodelics when I was younger, and as I’ve grown older and wiser I’ve somehow been led into the field again. I must say, I’m very curious to compare the experiences. The memories of them have been brought back as I’ve been going through this field of study, and I’ve gained entirely different understanding of what potentially could have been going on, what I may have experienced. It would be very interesting to see how my mind would interpret it years later indeed!
Thanks, and I hope to hear from you!
Also a M 20s Seattle resident, naive to ayahuasca but not to other psychedelics. Would be a good candidate for research.
Hello, I am an RN with a background in mental health. I would be very interested in participating in your research. Please feel free to contact me if you are still seeking applicants. Thanks.
I have discovered and interact with the Afterlife. I need help bringing this to the public. It can all be proven.
Thanks in advance.
I am a 44 year old executive who lives a healthy and stable lifestyle. I am married with three children and do not drink, nor do drugs. I had the opportunity to take part in a Santo Daime ceremony in December of 2011 while in Brazil. This was a profound experience and provided me with some remarkable insights. I would love the opportunity to contribute to the study of this ancient & sacred medicine, as I truly believe that it may have the potential to help and heal a great many people. Thank you for your consideration.
Hello. I am very interested in the study. I suffer from severe Prado due to. Atrocities as a child. I have tried everything you can imagine to live my life misery free. My life is in a constant state of chaos. Please let me know.
Apologies I have auto correct. I meant to say. ptsd. Not Prado.
I volunteer to be in your study and look forward to hearing from you.
I am interested in participating in any studies for your research. Please let me know as I would also like to follow these studies.
thank you with love,
If your study is still projected to be conducted (not familiar with WA laws, but DMT a Schedule I — love to see a bill be passed to proceed!) I’d love to be one of the lucky volunteers. I’m a 24M with my Bachelor’s in Biology/Chemistry. Over the past years I’ve changed my future plans many times due to interest, health issues, and the frustration/disgust I’ve developed in conventional medicine. I’ve had a past experience with drug abuse: marijuana, stimulants, MDMA/MDA, Freebase DMT (way too short lived for any long term benefits) and a limited alcohol intake. My days using were to mask past traumas that weren’t ever faced correctly, and still to this day haven’t been let go. I’ve become so interested in all forms of holistic medicine, and so many fields that focus on subconscious self-healing. If this journey could happen, and I’d pass the study’s health exam, I’d be honored to participate.
Hello. I am very interested in this study. I am a 28 year old male who lives in Seattle. I have had experience with hallucinogens from LSD to mescaline, and am interested in the medicinal use of these substances as well as the spiritual use especially in regards to alcohol recovery. I would gladly volunteer for this study. Thank you for your consideration.
Hi there, I am in the Seattle area and am very interested in participating in your study. If you’re still finding candidates, please email me for more specific information about how I might be a good fit for the study. Thank you!! ~Michelle
I too am interested in this study. I am a 58 year old male in very good health, I live in the Seattle area and would like to volunteer for this type of research. I believe my background would be a plus in your candidate selection.
Thank you for your consideration.
My name is Riley, I am a 20 year old female in the Seattle area. I have only consumed two psychedelic plants, marijuana and mushrooms in my years. Healthy individual mind body and spirit, and very open to new experiences. I am moving to the amazons in June 2013 and would be interested in participating in studies surrounding this magical plant if possible.
Thanks for your time and consideration.
i live in seattle and i would be interested. i have experience with similar psychadelics and might provide insight on subjective differences, and theraputic uses from personal experience. i also have a fair understanding of how these drugs work. i would be very interested in a study like this.
I am extremely intrigued by the idea of participating in this study, I am living 90 miles outside of Seattle at the moment. I have a lot of experience with psychoactives, 2c-1 2c-c 251-nbome 25b-nbome 25c-nbome 2c-b Psyilocin Psylocybin MDA MDMA MDEA MDAI MDE LSD DOM DOI DOB, to name a few off the top of my head. I have, however, been having problems with anxiety and depression for about a year, with minor substance abuse, but have learned that this entheogen can be a powerful tool to help one’s self.
I live in the Seattle area and would be very interested in learning more about your research on ayahuasca. Little to no experience with psychoactive drugs. I currently work in South Lake Union in malaria clinical research. Please let me know if you are currently screening
I would like to participate as well. I’m a local executive in the Seattle area & am planning a trip to Peru in 2014 to experience this in an ancient setting, yet from the research I’ve done it sounds like this has profound enlightened results when taken properly wherever you are. Please contact me with any information. Thank you!
How do you use ayahuasca in the U.S.? Is it legal?
Hi I would love to participate in this research! But I’m a young male, about 16, I live 30 minutes away from Seattle. Now I know that you are looking for Adults for this but I want to make an exception since I went to Peru with my mother (please do not judge or hate) around 2-3 years ago and did ayahuasca 9 times. It was a beautiful experience, it tasted awful but it was amazing. But there was no research at the time and I want to see the results for my own perspective. I know how the diet is and ect., please contact me if you’re intrested. Thank You!
I spent my summer in Iquitos Perú. I went to a healing retreat where I participated in ayahuasca ceremonies for my major depression. I experienced healing, profound healing. I had never done this medicine before or any psychedelics. Ayahuasca is a medicine and when done with intent, proper setting, and with respect for the ceremonial and tradition components that go along with this medicine there is no doubt in my mind that healing will take place. I witnessed it firsthand for myself and saw people who had struggled with depression and addictions turn into nicer people and become more in touch with who they are– which leads to healing. Ayahuasca has the ability to open your heart. It teaches love, compassion, and that is everything is interconnected people and our environment– environmental wisdom.
I am here and I am ready to activate one’s evolution…
I have some experience with the medicine and will like to participate in the study.
I suffer terribly with disabling OCD, and would love to participate in your study. I have heard that ayahuasca shows you the root cause of your anxiety disorder and allows you to let it go forever. I would love to be a part of this I am tired of suffering. Thank you
I live in the Atlanta area
white male age 30 with moderate agoraphobia brought on by an anxiety/panic disorder living in seattle area. has experience with both pharmaceutical drugs and recreational drugs. seeking ayahuasca medical treatment.
I have been researching ayahuasca since about 2009. I am extremely interested in aiding in its research because I believe that we are on the brink of finally understanding the possibilities of human consciousness and perception. I have never taken the ayahuasca medicine, but would absolutely love the opportunity to take part in this study.
I assume that this study has already taken place but if it is still continuing I would like to take part in this study! There was a typo with my email there is nothing in front of the c
Age 64. Seeking insight bravery and wisdom to face the latter trimester of life.
Suffering with Lyme and have heard of the great curative effects of this medicine . Very interested in this study . I have never smoked weed , though i did take the extract about 12 years ago , for medicinal reasons … it saved my life then .
24, male. I experienced 4 ceremonies in iquitos peru a year ago. Would love to participate in a study that promotes the medicine and also do some healing myself in the process.
I live in Tacoma and will turn 60 in Aug ’14. Only within the last 2 months I have tried weed and hash. The first experience I felt the ‘High” and compared it to the TV/film references but my 3 latest experiences proved less effective so I have stopped. Back in ’78/’79, in Alaska, I was given a variety of drugs(cocaine, weed, hash) but those had virtually no mental effects on me so I never continued after leaving Alaska until 2 months ago. I have been a minister in a Christian church(since ’08) and for the past year have been training in mindfulness. I think I would contribute greatly, if aided by an experienced “guide”, in the understanding of the effects of Ayahuasca. Please consider me for any part of your studies. I can be reached at (253) 267-3337.
I am interested in participating in this study if it is still going on.
I am interested in the study.. 37, Black Male, Auto immune disease of the liver. Located in the atlanta area.
I am interested in the study. 49 female, relapsing, remitting MS.