chapter  14
17 Pages

Ayahuasca and the Healing of Eating Disorders

ByMarika Renelli, Jenna Fletcher, Anja Loizaga-Velder, Natasha Files, Kenneth Tupper, Adele Lafrance

Anecdotal reports have indicated that some individuals with Eating disorders (ED) have explored the use of the traditional Amazonian plant medicine ayahuasca with positive results. A growing body of research points to promise of its utility in the healing of various mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, substance use disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder. Researchers from around the globe are working to understand the therapeutic mechanisms of ayahuasca. Preliminary results suggest that ayahuasca works in a holistic manner, including the physical, psychological and spiritual. Inclusion criteria included participants that had been previously diagnosed with an ED by a medical or mental health professional and who had participated in ayahuasca in a ceremonial context at some point in their adult lives. The interview schedule was developed based on the methodology of Anja Loizaga-Velder and R. Verres and the Ayahuasca Treatment and Outcome Project. The interview was semi-structured and included questions relating to participants' subjective evaluations of ayahuasca's therapeutic potential.