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November 2019

Psychedelics for Mental Health?

ER doctors and psychiatrists say two psychedelics in particular are picking up steam among patients for self-treatment: Iboga and Ayahuasca. Most people haven’t heard of them, but they’re growing in popularity.

As the opioid crisis continues, iboga is getting more attention as a possible self-treatment for opioid withdrawal. While this ingredient is banned in the US, an increasing number of patients are seeking out iboga treatment at clinics in Mexico. There is some early evidence that ibogaine, a chemical in iboga, might benefit these patients. But it can also have serious side effects if taken without proper medical supervision.

Ayahuasca, a psychotropic drink used in Amazonian countries, is also growing in popularity. Psychiatrists are seeing more and more patients using it for general mental health. This is concerning because it contains the hallucinogen dimethyltryptamine (DMT), which can cause life-threatening reactions.

Check out our full monographs for iboga and ayahuasca to learn more about their potential side effects and how they’re most commonly used.

The information in this brief report is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions. Copyright © 2019 Natural Medicines Inc. Commercial distribution or reproduction prohibited. Natural Medicines is the leading provider of high-quality, evidence-based, clinically-relevant information on natural medicine, dietary supplements, herbs, vitamins, minerals, functional foods, diets, complementary practices, CAM modalities, exercises and medical conditions. Monograph sections include interactions with herbs, drugs, foods and labs, contraindications, depletions, dosing, toxicology, adverse effects, pregnancy and lactation data, synonyms, safety and effectiveness.