This meta-analysis (2014) examined double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials of acute ayahuasca administration and studies of long-term ayahuasca consumption that investigated its effects on the immune system. They found evidence that it reduces bloodstream levels of CD3 and CD4-type lymphocytes and increases the level of natural killer cells, or large granular lymphocytes, in the acute phase but not in the long term.
“Ayahuasca is a botanical hallucinogen traditionally used by indigenous groups of the northwest Amazon. In the last decade, the use of ayahuasca has spread from Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru to the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Africa. Despite acute and long-term evidence of good tolerability and safety for ayahuasca administered in the laboratory or ritually consumed in religious contexts, little is known about the immunological impact of ayahuasca on humans. Since ayahuasca is used by an increasing number of consumers, and considering its therapeutic potential, more information is needed regarding ayahuasca potential risks. This article presents a brief overview of the available data regarding the immunological impact of ayahuasca in humans.”
Author: Rafael G. dos Santos
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Journal of Psychoactive Drugs
November 3, 2014