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Pilotstudie för naturmedicinsk ALS behandling

Pågående inofficiell studie – Antal deltagare: 28 (Sverige, USA, Belgien, Finland, Storbritannien, Turkiet, Brasilien, Italien, Kanada, Ryssland, Australien, Indien, Argentina, Colombia, Kroatien, Singapore)

Senast uppdaterad: Juni 2016

Återkommande respons angående websajtens ursprungliga artikel har gett upphov till ett projekt med syfte att uppmuntra neuromedicinsk forskning att kartlägga potentialen beträffande ayahuasca som behandlingsmöjlighet för ALS och likartade sjukdomar. Det tjänar även syftet att generellt informera om ayahuasca som en potentiell naturmedicinsk behandlingsform för neurologiska sjukdomar.

Många som kontaktar websajten ifrågasätter varför ytterligare studier inom området inte bedrivs för tillfället. Svaret är den allmänna avsaknaden av kunskap gällande dessa potenta växters medicinska värde och dess möjliga framtida roll inom behandling av ALS och andra neurologiska sjukdomar. Med en växande grupp individer som tillsammans bidrar med underlag till detta projekt, vars dokumenterade erfarenheter framförs i en organiserad behandlingskontext, kommer samlade resultat förhoppningsvis att utgöra underlag tillräckligt för att pådriva mer utförliga och områdesspecifika kliniska studier.

Har du vid något tillfälle under en tid använt dig av ayahuasca för att behandla någon av följande sjukdomar? Överväger du att använda ayahuasca för behandling av någon av dessa sjukdomar?

  • ALS eller annan typ av motorneuronsjukdom
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Parkinson’s
  • Multipel Skleros
  • Annan neurologisk sjukdom

Kan du tänka dig att bidra med din personliga utvärdering till detta projekt för en framtida publicering av sammanställda resultat? Ditt bidrag kan komma att hjälpa sökandet efter en verksam naturmedicinsk behandling och tillgängliggörandet av denna. Användbara resultat kommer att delges till internationella institutioner inom neuromedicinsk forskning. Din integritet värnas, och inga personuppgifter offentliggörs om inte så uttryckligen önskas.

Featured image

I skrivande stund deltar 28 patienter med ALS-diagnos från sexton olika länder i studien, vilka personligen utvärderar denna behandlingsform, och antalet deltagare uppdateras kontinuerligt på websajten. Uppföljande långsiktig dokumentation av de som svarar positivt på behandlingen kommer att ske efter överenskommelse.

Detta är ett ideellt projekt där frivilliga deltagare har möjligheten att påverka utvecklingen av behandlingsformer och forskning kring ALS och andra neurosjukdomar.

Genom korrespondens via e-post diskuteras alla nödvändiga detaljer och relaterade frågor. Det underlättar om du redan inledningsvis lämnar grundläggande information om dig själv och din diagnos enligt nedanstående lista.

Vänligen kontakta:
ayahuascatreatment@hotmail.com

Inkludera följande:

  • Namn och ålder
  • Datum för diagnos
  • Symptomhistorik
  • Kommunikation – är talförmågan påverkad?
  • Andnings- eller sväljsvårigheter?
  • Rörlighet – Normal gångförmåga eller behov av assistans?
  • Mediciner – Vilka (om några) används för tillfället och är det möjligt att avstå från dessa eller reducera användningen av dem vid behov?
  • Diet – Bifoga en förteckning över all förtärd mat och dryck under 1-2 genomsnittliga dagar för att avgöra eventuellt nödvändiga justeringerar i samband med behandling

Det är viktigt att förtydliga att denna studie är icke-officiell – det är alltså inte en officiell klinisk studie. Det är en web-baserad nätverkssammanslutning av vuxna individer med det gemensamma intresset för ämnet i fråga, och för utbyte av information mellan människor som söker efter potentiellt verksamma behandlingsformer för sin ALS-sjukdom. Författaren av denna websajt med dess tillhörande artiklar avsäger sig således personligt ansvar för de individer som väljer att utforska de alternativ och den information som förmedlas.

Tack riktas till er som kontaktat websajten och efterfrågat detta projekt. Ni gör ALS-communityn en stor tjänst genom att utforska nya behandlingsmöjligheter och genom att dela era erfarenheter kring dessa.

Mer information och uppdateringar följer.

Ayahuasca – Medicina etnobotânica para um potencial tratamento de Esclerose Lateral Amiotrófica

tradução do texto contido em: https://ayahuascatreatment.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/ayahuasca-ethnobotanical-medicine-for-treatment-of-als/

Por Daniel Gustafsson

Este artigo é o resultado de seis anos de trabalho, estudando a medicina etnobotânica e o campo das neuropatias, criando conexões entre elas na busca de uma opção viável de tratamento para ELA – Esclerose Lateral Amiotrófica, e condições neurodegenerativas semelhantes.

Povos nativos das Américas do Sul e Central, pertencentes a diversas tribos instaladas na Floresta Amazônica, carregam consigo uma antiga tradição de consumo de um remédio/chá natural conhecido por ayahuasca. Ele é feito basicamente de uma espécie de videira selvagem conhecida por Jagube ou Mariri (Banisteriopsis caapi). Frequentemente, mas não sempre, folhas de árvores conhecidas por Chacruna ou Chaliponga (Psychotria viridis e Diplopterys cabrerana) são adicionadas ao chá. Em algumas regiões, adiciona-se a casca da arvore Jurema (da família Leguminosae e gênero Mimosa).

Caapi planta que cresce na selva amazônica

Grandes florestas, como a Amazônica, são claramente entendidas como uma enorme fonte de recursos naturais e também como entidades fundamentais para a sustentação do ecossistema do planeta. Estima-se que nelas exista ainda uma grande quantidade de plantas desconhecidas e de grande valor medicinal, ainda por serem exploradas. Muitos remédios farmacêuticos convencionais da atualidade são originários de substâncias encontradas nessas florestas e, posteriormente, sintetizados em laboratório.

Não é de hoje que os etnofarmacologistas estão conscientes de que existe na Ayahuasca um valor como agente medicinal no tratamento de diversas doenças, mas até recentemente este argumento estava sendo defendido por poucos indivíduos dentro deste meio. Ainda que já houvesse registro de vários casos, e muitos deles dignos de credibilidade, ainda faltavam estudos mais sérios sobre o assunto.

No entanto, este cenário começou a mudar nos últimos anos. Substâncias naturais extraídas das plantas da Ayahuasca demonstraram possuir propriedades restaurativas e fortemente antioxidantes em células nervosas específicas no cérebro e no sistema nervoso central – controlando a neurotransmissão, a atividade motora, a memória e a coordenação. Com isso, as evidências tornam-se favoráveis à teoria de que a Ayahuasca poderia promover tratamento eficaz para doenças neurodegenerativas como ELA, Alzheimer e Parkinson. Outros resultados promissores têm sido obtidos pelo estudo da psilocibina, substância cuja estrutura é bastante próxima a de substâncias encontradas na Ayahuaca, sob o aspecto molecular, e é encontrada naturalmente em certas espécies de cogumelos medicinais consumidos em povos indígenas nos quais também é comum o consumo de Ayahuasca.

Segundo o Dr. Juan Ramos, chefe do departamento de doenças neurológicas na Universidade da Flórida do Sul, EUA, estudos preliminares mostram que estas substâncias estimulam o desenvolvimento de novas células nas áreas cerebrais. Comprovar o potencial de cura, dada pela restauração completa das células danificadas ou destruídas, ainda é algo que está por acontecer, mas os primeiros resultados já demonstram o potencial dessa abordagem. Há também um crescente interesse em explorar as propriedades regenerativas dessas plantas em pesquisas relacionadas a danos à medula espinhal. Pesquisadores de câncer também demonstram interesse no B. Caapi, uma vez que seus diferentes alcalóides se mostraram eficazes contra o crescimento de células cancerígenas.

Eduardo E. Schenberg, Universidade Federal de São Paulo:

Existem suficientes evidências que os princípios ativos da Ayahuasca, especialmente o DMT e a harmine, têm efeitos positivos em algumas culturas de células utilizadas para o estudo do câncer e em processos bioquímicos importantes no tratamento do câncer, tanto in vitro como in vivo, e por isso, os poucos relatos disponíveis de pessoas que beneficiaram da Ayahuasca nas suas experiências de tratamento do câncer deviam ser levadas a sério, e a hipótese apresentada aqui que pode ser completamente testada através de uma experimentação cientifica rigorosa, que ajude a entender os casos disponíveis e pavimentar o caminho para novas experiências.

Um recente estudo da Icahn School of Medicine, de Nova York, destacou a harmina (encontrada no cipó Mariri, da Ayahuasca) entre 100 mil substâncias, como sendo a única capaz de promover regeneração em células-beta do pâncreas (que produzem a insulina), uma descoberta de grande interesse nas pesquisas contra a diabetes. Outras evidências sugerem que a Ayahuasca possa ter poder de regeneração para vários tipos diferentes de células de diversas partes do corpo, demandando pesquisas em diferentes áreas de especialização da medicina, e em especial as relacionadas à doenças neurodegenerativas, das quais ainda descohece-se a cura.

Anteriormente, o uso de Ayahuasca era tido como um tema controverso, dado que a ciência ocidental tradicional entendia a planta como um simples alucinógeno. Em outras palavras, plantas medicinais como esta, de grande importância, foram por muito tempo negligenciadas pela comunidade científica e tomadas como meras drogas naturais. Um termo mais correto para essas plantas, no que diz respeito à cultura indígena, da qual a Ayahuasca faz parte, seria o de “enteógeno” – que significa que a planta é utilizada em um contexto sagrado pelo povo nativo, induzindo os participantes a experiências sagradas. Em diversos países, como o Peru, a Ayahuasca é legalizada e aceita como agente complementar à medicina, e nesses últimos 10 anos, a cultura ocidental têm progressivamente percebido sua postura pouco fundamentada e rasa com relação a enteógenos como a Ayahuasca, na medida que mais e mais estudos sobre plantas enteogênicas são finalizados com resultados positivos.

Juntamente com uma série de outros alcalóides similares ao da harmala, encontrados no cipó B. Caapi, harmalina é um inibidor de monoamina oxidase. Monoamina oxidase (MAO) é uma enzima produzida pelo corpo capaz de realizar a quebra de neurotransmissores (como a serotonina). A inibição de MAO permite que o neurotransmissor permaneça na sinapse por um período maior. Muitos antidepressivos atuam de maneira semelhante, estimulando os receptores em determinadas áreas. No entanto, os alcalóides presentes na Ayahuasca não devem ser comparados a antidepressivos; eles são diferentes, embora ambos tenham a habilidade de afetar os mesmos receptores. Como analogia, podemos dizer que os alcalóides presentes em B. Caapi e os antidepressivos utilizam o mesmo serviço de entrega de mensagens, mas carregando mensagens diferentes. As propriedades bioquímicas das plantas usadas na Ayahuasca, bem como seus efeitos sistêmicos nas diversas funções corpóreas, no momento podem ser atribuídos tão somente a essas plantas.

harmaline_3d_mid

Harmalina em conjunto com a harmina e tetrahidroharmina, todas elas são formas de inibidores da enzima MAO – são os componentes principais da planta medicinal Banisteropis caapi.

molecules

Comparação entre moléculas de dimetiltriptamina, psilocina e serotonina (psilocibina é o precursor da psilocina)

É provado que a Ayahuasca em si é inofensiva, não havendo toxicidade em seus componentes, embora sejam comuns efeitos colaterais temporários como náusea e vertigens após o consumo. No entanto, a associação de certas drogas medicinais a MAO-inibidores (como os encontrados na Ayahuasca) é perigosa, de modo que esta última não deve ser combinada com nenhuma droga medicinal contraindicada; Pessoas que sofrem de diabetes, epilepsia ou pressão alta são aconselhadas a interromper seu tratamento. Os efeitos colaterais – um tanto desconfortáveis – da Ayahuasca, são diretamente proporcionais à quantidade ingerida, e pequenas quantidades consumidas para fins medicinais devem produzir ao usuário pouca (ou nenhuma) experiência destes efeitos colaterais.

Ao buscarmos informações sobre Ayahuasca, alguns poucos artigos negativos podem ser encontrados, alguns com fortes apelos emocionais (o que é compreensível), pois contam histórias de turistas desafortunados que, por conta própria ou convencidos a tal, beberam algo a mais do que apenas Ayahuasca – a saber, a planta tóxica datura – com sérios prejuízos à saúde (incluindo óbito em alguns poucos casos conhecidos). Esse tipo de relato conduz as pessoas ao medo e à desinformação, e não só é trágico para o usuário cuja saúde fora prejudicada e sua família, como também à comunidade de medicina natural que está tentando promover o uso medicinal com segurança e responsabilidade, buscando benefícios e tratamentos para doenças que a medicina tradicional falha em tentar prover. Manchetes sensacionalistas que produzem informação infundadas, escritas por pessoas sem qualquer conhecimento sobre medicina etnobotânica, defiitivamente não ajudam de maneira alguma os pacientes de ELA e outras doenças, que procuram por tratamentos viáveis para sua condição. Em diversos países, incluindo Peru, Brasil e Costa Rica, existem centros autorizados que oferecem tratamento à base de Ayahuasca, onde as plantas certas são utilizadas, eventualmente cultivadas de forma orgânica na mesma propriedade e preparada por botânicos experientes.

Um dos mais recentes estudos sobre B. Caapi foi feito em 1920, envolvendo pacientes com doença de Parkinson. Os pacientes perceberam grandes melhoras nos sintomas da doença após as primeiras sessões, mas infelizmente a pesquisa foi descontinuada por falta de investimento, uma vez que as substâncias presentes em plantas naturais não poderiam ser traduzidas em patentes, fugindo portanto aos interesses da indústria farmacêutica.

Como terapia alternativa, é provável que a Ayahuasca ganhe ainda mais atenção nos próximos anos, apesar de já estar bem estabelecida. As descobertas podem levar à produção de uma droga fármaco-terapêutica derivada dessa planta, porém pode ainda levar alguns anos. O processo desde os estudos, passando por tentativas, até um eventual lançamento de uma droga aprovada, feita para o uso no sistema de assistência médica, é lento, por razões óbvias. Um fato interessante é que a Ayahuasca, em sua forma natural, é uma coisa que hoje está disponível, para quem tem falta de opções em outros tratamentos. Para aqueles que querem – e podem – participar de um tratamento alternativo usando Ayauhuasca, a possibilidade de melhoria existe, mesmo que ainda não seja garantida. Como em muitas outras situações análogas, os resultados individuais variam; é necessário ser cauteloso em não alimentar demasiadamente as expectativas das pessoas interessadas enquanto o trabalho ainda estiver em andamento. Ainda há a importância de reforçar as informações a respeito do uso conjugado com medicamentos contra-indicados, minimizando assim os riscos associados. De qualquer modo, ainda que mais estudos sejam esperados, essa é uma informação informação que deve chamar a atenção de muitos que sofrem de uma doença degenerativa progressiva, como é o caso da ELA.

Minha expêriencia pessoal com a doença ocorreu com o falecimento da mãe de uma pessoa muito próxima a mim, devido à ELA, alguns anos atrás. O andamento de sua doença foi rápido, e infelizmente, muitos dos estudos que estão hoje disponíveis, ainda não tinham sido publicados. Isso me levou a investigar a relação entre qualquer medicina natural e o tratamento de doenças neurológicas.

B. Caapi pode ser obtida obtida legalmente na maioria dos países/estados, bem como uma série de outros remédios à base de ervas já conhecidos, assim como Ginkgo Biloba e Ginseng. Entretanto, assim como estes outros potentes suplementos naturais, cabe ao consumidor, usá-los e combiná-los de modo consciente e com responsabilidade. A medicina natural deve sempre ser tratada com muito respeito, assim como as demais drogas da medicina convencional.

B. Caapi growth stages

A substância conhecida como dimetiltriptamina, encontrada em plantas tradicionalmente adicionadas à Ayahuasca, é, entretanto, regulamentada por lei em alguns países, como uma substância controlada. (o que é muito questionável, devido ao seu valor medicinal em múltiplas áreas). A adição dessas plantas secundárias, anteriormente mencionadas, a essa substância em particular, induz ao usuário do preparado a um estado alterado de consciência que é muitas vezes incompreendido e estigmatizado. Esse estado alterado de consciência assemelha-se a um sonho, dado que neste estado estimula-se a memória e a capacidade de se ter pensamentos abstratos; este estado mental carrega, por si mesmo, qualidades auto-terapêuticas. Ainda que a DMT (dimetiltriptamina) seja produzida naturalmente pelo corpo humano, sendo sabido que a tal substância é produzida em pequenas quantidades pela glândula pineal no cérebro durante o sono, a substância permanece ilegal em alguns países do oeste desde os anos sessenta, quando alguns legisladores, prematuramente, criminalizaram muitas substâncias com suspeitas de ter efeitos na mente, incluindo substâncias naturais, devido ao pânico moral que se difundiu na época – Independentemente do fato de que para muitas delas, incluindo o DMT, nunca foi provado que pudessem fazer mal à saúde de alguma maneira, e que, de fato, foram usadas pelos povos indígenas, extraindo-as das plantas, para tratar doenças por séculos e com muito sucesso.

Entretanto, muitos países europeus redefiniram sua política em relação à desaprovação dessas plantas medicinais nesses últimos anos, muito devido a um aumento de consciência e acesso a novas e imparciais informações em relação a essas plantas, assim como às pesquisas feitas até então. Na Escandinávia, o nativo Sami, Urbi Svonni de Sapmi, Suécia, foi recentemente absolvido de todas as acusações no tribunal de justiça, por ter trazido cactus peruano medicinal para o país. O tribunal determinou que o material vegetal natural por si só não pode ser definido como uma substância controlada, e que o trabalho terapêutico que Svonni estava fazendo, que incluiu o cactus Echinopsis pachanoi, não poderia ser de fato um ato criminoso, mas que teria sim, o propósito de ajudar e curar as pessoas. Outro caso semelhante com o mesmo resultado, envolveu plantas Ayahuasca. Cactus das espécies Echinopsis e Lophophora, são conhecidos pelos seus efeitos calmantes e restauradores sobre o sistema nervoso central, e são utilizados como tal, na medicina etnobotânica.

Mais precisamente, a definição da Ayahuasca é, qualquer chá feito ou pela planta Banisteriopsis Caapi sozinha, ou pela planta B.Caapi + plantas adicionais contendo DMT. Um chá feito de B. Caapi sozinho não possui o que algumas vezes nos referimos como qualidades “visionárias”, uma vez que apenas com a adição da DMT extraída das plantas mencionadas, ou pra ser mais exato, a combinação dos alcalóides MAO-inibidores na planta B.Caapi junto com plantas q contenham o DMT é que induz a um estado de espírito erroneamente chamado por alguns de “alucinógeno”. É necessário que se esclareça que essa palavra traz à tona associações negativas às pessoas e acaba, portanto, sendo temida e incompreendida. Diferente do que algumas pessoas costumam pensar, uma pessoa não tem alucinações ou mesmo visões de coisas inexistentes aparecendo em sua frente após consumir Ayahuasca; o que se observa são sequências de “visões” internas, parecidas com as de um sonho, que vão tomando conta da mente e dos pensamentos enquanto a pessoa se encontra acordada, relaxada e plenamente consciente. Esse fenômeno ocorrerá tão somente se uma quantidade significante do chá for consumido. É na verdade bem tranquilo, apesar da eventual vontade de vomitar – um efeito colateral que afeta algumas pessoas.

É aí que se encontra a essência, muitas vezes incompreendida: Uma pessoa não precisa tomar grandes quantidades de Ayahuasca para provar de seus efeitos medicinais – sem o efeitos visionários e abstratos (e até mesmo as náuseas e vômitos). Além disso, vários dos benefícios medicinais para a saúde podem ser obtidos usando-se B. Caapi sozinho, sem nenhuma planta adicional, garantindo assim, que não se tenha efeitos visionários peculiares, sendo então mais aceito. Deve-se notar, porém, que o efeito sinérgico entre as duas plantas utilizadas simultaneamente, trará a melhor resposta corporal e medicinal. Os exageros relacionados à Ayahuasca são os responsáveis por essa planta ter sido tão negligenciada por tantos anos no ocidente, mas a sua reputação tem sido constantemente revisada à medida que mais pessoas com maior conhecimento destas plantas, em um contexto medicinal, vieram a se posicionar, alegando seu verdadeiro valor, aplicável a diversas condições de saúde – sobretudo no campo das doenças neurológicas. A Ayahuasca já foi utilizada com sucesso para o alívio dos sintomas da esclerose múltipla e artrite reumatóide, por um crescente número de pessoas na Europa desde pelo menos 2006. ELA, esclerose múltipla, doença de Alzheimer e doença de Parkinson, possuem muitas características em comum, uma vez que estão relacionadas à degeneração de células nervosas de algum tipo. Assim, é provável que um remédio de amplo espectro, advindo da medicina natural, capaz de afetar o processo de regeneração das células nervosas, e que também tem propriedades antioxidantes e de proteção celular, possa prevenir e retardar o progresso da doença neurológica degenerativa, de modo geral.

Quaisquer histórias estranhas ou assustadoras a respeito da Ayahuasca, que possam estar circulando, derivam em grande maioria das experiências de pessoas que foram viver com tribos nativas durante o final dos anos 80 e início dos anos 90 e fizeram parte do uso tradicional e cerimonial da Ayahuasca – consumindo, de maneira excepcional, quantidades generosas ou concentradas da medicação em questão, com envolvimento em experiências de limpeza profunda, não necessariamente suportáveis com facilidade. Essa medicação deveria ser respeitada como qualquer outra, evitando uso exagerado, pois os efeitos do uso incorreto produzem à substância um estigma, que não colabora com as pesquisas em busca de opções de tratamento. As visões interiores, vívidas e fascinantes, induzidas pelo forte chá, muitas vezes parecem ter um tema enraizado à natureza, como representado muito bem pelo artista peruano Pablo Amaringo (1938-2009). Elas surgem pelo simples fato de que os alcalóides e triptaminas dissolvidos no chá se combinam e afetam os receptores que, por sua vez, estimulam o processamento da memória relativa às imagens e às palavras – processo esse de grande relevância para as pesquisas relacionadas ao mal de Alzheimer.

É provado que a Ayahuasca, não causa dependência. Ao contrário, é usada para curar pessoas de suas dependências com outras drogas, dado seu efeito desintoxicante. Há bastante documentação sobre sua capacidade de ajudar usuários viciados com seus problemas de abstinência.

A inibição da enzima MAO tem como função, entre outras coisas, assegurar que a absorção de dimetiltriptamina possa ocorrer no corpo, o que caso contrário (sem a inibição da enzima MAO), se quebraria no estômago, sendo então incapaz de causar qualquer efeito. A dimetiltriptamina é, sob o aspecto molecular, idêntica à psilocibina. De acordo com o Dr. Ramos, a combinação única de várias harmala-alcalóides da B. Caapi, e dimetiltriptamina, a partir de fontes vegetais adicionais utilizadas na Ayahuasca, funcionam no nível celular, de modo a reparar e restaurar células nervosas, estimular e aumentar a transmissão do neurônio motor, e proteger as células nervosas restantes e outras células de danos por degeneração. Isso, sem dúvida, é muito valioso, tanto no ponto de vista da ciência neurológica, quanto de perspectivas de investigação futuras, como para o câncer.

PLANTAS AYAHUASCA SÃO EMBALADAS E VENDIDAS EM CASAS DE PRODUTOS NATURAIS, NO PERU. REPARE NA TABELA DE IN- FORMAÇÃO E NA DATA DE VALIDADE. VÁRIAS ESTIRPES DESSA VIDEIRA ESTÃO DISPONÍVEIS. CADA UM COM UM PERFIL ALCA- LÓIDE LIGEIRAMENTE DIFERENTE, PORÉM SEMELHANTE.

Como o B. Caapi por si só provou ter qualidades muito positivas e potencialmente eficazes contra doenças neurológicas, isso é algo que pode ser, de fato, uma opção de tratamento alternativo valioso. Para algumas pessoas que possam ter resultados positivos em qualquer grau, mas não vive em um estado ou país onde é permitido o uso de plantas que contêm dimetiltriptamina, existe então a possibilidade de se viajar para um dos muitos países (ou estados) que, por lei, permitem o uso de plantas secundárias adicionadas com as suas propriedades medicinais combinadas, para a avaliação do tratamento completo com Ayahuasca. Na Europa, a Espanha é um dos vários países onde a Ayahuasca já está sendo bem estabelecida como uma terapia alternativa, e foi também o local escolhido para uma conferência internacional em 2014, onde etnofarmacologistas, psicólogos, e pesquisadores de todo o mundo, se reuniram em torno dos temas sobre a Ayahuasca e outros enteógenos.

Entre outros, o PhD em medicina Ede Frescka, da Universidade de Debrecen, dá palestras sobre as possibilidades de se regenerar células do cérebro e regular o sistema de defesa imunológico através deste medicamento à base de plantas, entre outros. Esse evento é realizado pela ICEERS – International Center for Ethnobotanical Education Research and Service, e pode ser visto pelo link:

http://www.aya2014.com/en/confirmed-speakers-2/

Além de sua capacidade para ajudar e melhorar o processo de reparo neural celular e sua proteção contra a oxidação celular, muitas dessas plantas enteogênicas (e fungos), incluindo a Ayahuasca, possuem também qualidades psicoterapêuticas. Lidar com a doença degenerativa é obviamente estressante para os pacientes, e uma grande dose de alívio emocional, uma visão pessoal e capacidade de lidar melhor com a própria situação pessoal é viável, através da experiência única, ou repetida, de plantas medicinais enteógenas, em um ambiente confortável e de apoio, de acordo com a renomada Universidade de medicina John Hopkins.

O fato de que muitas dessas plantas medicinais estão ressurgindo conforme recebem aprovação científica é uma grande notícia sob muitos aspectos. Sustentabilidade e questôes ambientais são alguns destes aspectos, e até agora as perspectivas são positivas. Muitas fazendas orgânicas têm-se desenvolvido nas Américas do Sul e Central, cultivando Ayahuasca tanto para o uso local, quanto para a exportação, fornecendo trabalho e renda para as pessoas das áreas rurais, que de outra forma, estariam lutando contra a pobreza. Isso também dá a chance para muitos locais se reconectarem com seu passado cultural, uma vez que a Ayahuasca é declarada como um patrimônio nacional no Peru, entre outros lugares.

PLANTAÇÃO DE AYAHUASCA SUSTENTÁVEL, NO BRASIL. ESSAS ÁRVORES DA CHACRONA LEVAM VÁRIOS ANOS ATÉ CHEGAREM AO SEU TAMANHO ADULTO DE 2-3 METROS.

Anteriormente desconhecida, essa planta medicinal era completamente ignorada,mas conforme vamos entendendo seu potencial, a negligência dá lugar á sabedoria, e as bases científicas sobre este assunto está se tornando mais firme. As pessoas não devem ser levadas a pensar que se trata de algum tipo de cura milagrosa, mas sim, algo que poderia fornecer uma ajuda a longo prazo, na recuperação da função do corpo e da mente, em pessoas com certas condições neurológicas. Juntos, como uma comunidade, todos podemos ajudar informando as pessoas de uma maneira imparcial, ética e segura sobre todas as opções de tratamentos alternativos viáveis, e sobre o valor terapêutico e medicinal das plantas enteogênicas, em geral.

Atualmente, há um Projeto Piloto internacional em andamento, envolvendo pessoas com diagnóstico de ELA, documentando o uso dessa planta medicinal, a coleta e avaliação dos resultados a serem processados neste momento.

Para acompanhar esse projeto, ou se você está interessado em se tornar um participante, clique no link a seguir:

https://ayahuascatreatment.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/natural-als-treatment-pilot-project/

Historicamete, a Ayahuasca vem sido usada há muito tempo, mas apenas recentemente tem sido usada para tratamentos das condições trazidas nesse artigo. É esperado que qualquer melhoria substancial possa ser mais claramente percebida no longo prazo. Atualizações iniciais de pessoas que participam do projeto piloto ELA relatam algumas coisas em comum; o sentimento de uma gama mais ampla de movimento, alívio de tensões nos músculos e ligeira melhoria na aderência em membros afetados, entretanto deve-se notar que nenhuma dessas pessoas perdeu todo o seu controle muscular antes do tratamento, e que se esses efeitos serão ou não permanentes, ainda não se sabe.

Resumo dos pontos-chave:

A Ayahuasca poderia ser usada efetivamente no tratamento da ELA e outras doenças do neurônio motor, com base em estudos que evidenciam seus efeitos antioxidantes únicos, que parecem proteger o cérebro/células nervosas, tendo como alvo, os neurônios motores através de um sistema de transporte bioquímico único, e que a Ayahuasca e outras substâncias similares em sua estrutura molecular estimulam a regeneração e o desenvolvimento de novas células nervosas/cerebrais. Com os estudos até o momento, percebeu-se uma redução dos sintomas reportados em pacientes de Parkinson. As doenças neurodegenerativas compartilham um terreno em comum, tornando-se assim provável que algo que melhore a condição A possa também ser benéfico para uma condição B. Também existe base em fontes seguras e confiáveis de pessoas que têm utilizado a Ayahuasca para alívio dos sintomas de esclerose múltipla (mais uma vez, o terreno comum das doenças degenerativas) documentada em livros sobre a Ayahuasca e, a partir de descrições de uma melhoria no estágio inicial por pessoas com vários tipos de ELA, agora que participam do projeto de tratamento, já havendo usado tal medicação por um período de tempo.

A Ayahuasca, bem como outros enteógenos, com o tempo obterão a credibilidade que merecem, e trarão novas possibilidades para muitos enfermos de doenças das quais ainda não existem opções convencionais de tratamento. Enquanto isso, estas plantas medicinais permanecem disponíveis para a avaliação pessoal do indivíduo que resolver explorar como opção. Em relação às condições médicas levantadas neste artigo, estas plantas podem ter agir, no futuro, como uma ferramenta poderosa para a reversão da progressão da ELA e doenças relacionadas.

Referências:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2828149/pdf/nihms156585.pdf

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2828149/

(Ayahuasca e doenças neurológicas)

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0019264

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110526131244.htm

(Ayahuasca harmala-alcalóides e estudo da doença de Alzheimer)

http://www.sram.org/media/documents/uploads/article_pdfs/5-3-01-Serrano-Duenas.pdf

(B. Caapi e doença de Parkinson)

http://www.stichtingopen.nl/en/component/content/article/research/study-shows-no-evidence-of-adverse-mental-health-effects-in-long-term-ayahuasca-users

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0042421

( Estudo provando que a Ayahuasca é segura de um ponto de vista saudável, e que não tem efeitos colaterais a longo prazo)

http://smo.sagepub.com/content/1/2050312113508389.full

(Pesquisa sobre Ayahuasca / Cancer)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2014/07/03/psychedelic-drugs-put-your-brain-in-a-waking-dream-study-finds/

( Estudo da psilocibina mostrando um aumento na função de memória em indivíduos)

http://health.usf.edu/medicine/neurology/faculty/sanchez_ramos.htm

(Perfil do Dr. Juan ramos)

https://youtu.be/eV3l1YIpdik

(pesquisa sobre a psilocibina e o cérebro)

http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0042421

(Estudo provando a ingestão regular de Ayahuasca levando a um aumento a longo prazo de bem-estar e saúde mental, em geral)

http://iceers.org

(ICEERS – International center for ethnobotanical education research and service)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23627784

http://bitnest.ca/external.php?id=%257DbxUgY%255CC%2540%251BD%252A%253A-D%251BU%255BP%2500JIqc%2560%2515T

(Estudos canadenses sobre a Ayahuasca como um tratamento para o abuso de drogas e álcool)

http://www.heffter.org/research-jhus.htm

(Estudos da Universidade John Hopkins sobre os benefícios dos cogumelos medicinais psilocibina)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6682439

(Estudo dos efeitos dos cactos Echinopsis e Lophophora no sistema nervoso central)

http://bioweb.uwlax.edu/bio203/2011/toellner_kayl/Medical.htm

(Propriedades medicinais do cactus Lophophora)

http://www.newsweek.com/chemical-ayahuasca-has-potential-treat-diabetes-313780

(Pesquisa sobre a Ayahuasca e a diabetes)

Latest results

Interviews with pilot study participants

ALS patients and their initial evaluation of treatment using Ayahuasca medicinal plants

Q: Question

A: Answer

ResultsChart

Male, 65, UK, diagnosed with ALS

Q: What can you tell us in general about your medical condition, and to what degree has it affected you? (At the point prior to treatment using ayahuasca)

A: My prognosis as of March 2013 was that of a one-year life expectancy, I did get a specific MND diagnosis confirmed by a consultant neurologist, on the back of which an insurance company paid up on my critical illness cover, there being a clear understanding that I would probably not last the year. I was very weak and trembly, had lost over 20 pounds in muscle mass, my knees were prone to swelling and I was racked by cramps and muscle twitching. I could barely manage stairs, and couldn’t get out of the bath unassisted. I remember being a little challenged by a four inch step across the end of the room, choosing my best leg to step down.  

Q: Describe a typical experience with ayahuasca. What is it like during the immediate time the medicine is active in the body? What has been experienced afterwards?

A: As for side effects, initially a fair amount of retching, but I didn’t actually vomit much. Then some spastic activity, after which a warmth spread throughout my chest cavity, and sensations from the connection between muscle tissue and skeletal bone. It left me exhausted, but it “mellowed out” after a while into a contemplation state of mind where the concept of fear had a major part. Stressful emotions such as fear and anxiety seems to be a major vexation (in relation to neurological diseases), and the ayahuasca seemed to soothe that too. I didn’t feel that much different immediately afterwards, I suppose I felt a little more relaxed, but the following weeks (after sessions) my massage therapist said the muscle twitching was much improved, and I continued to recover steadily.

Q: Has this treatment relieved or improved your condition in any way so far?

A: I have made essentially a full recovery, slow but persistent, and the NHS consultants involved are mystified. Ayahuasca seems to me to have been instrumental in my recovery, which is fully documented. I am now fully healthy, I cycle to work. Now, after today doing a nine mile coastal walk for the pleasure it, I feel pretty much up to snuff, for a man of my age. A year after my diagnosis I held a party to express my gratitude to all the people who had helped me through, including T.H the consultant neurologist (he didn’t actually come). I was by that time much better, not up to full strength, but could party on and play the saxophone. I told my doctors about ayahuasca in August of 2013 I think, it was for a six monthly reassessment of my condition. T.H was frankly astonished, and when challenged said that the diagnosis was absolutely sound adding that the nerve conductivity tests were particularly unequivocal. It was then that I told him about the ayahuasca, and rather sheepishly, and mistakenly, he asked me if I had had a “good trip?” I replied that it had been unpleasant and that it was not a therapy for the faint hearted. Since then T.H has presented my case to some regional peer group, and a professor K.T. Their response was that perhaps I had a “mimic”, which seems to be exactly the same as the disease except for the outcome; or that the condition might have been brought upon me by the “cocktail of therapies I was taking” at the time. I have yet to make a measured response to this, but it was not until I had serious symptoms that were initially interpreted as Lyme’s disease or an atypical sero-negative rheumatoid arthritic condition, that I embarked on any kind of medical therapy at all. The history presents a persuasive argument. My family, friends and some of my patients are aware of my ayahuasca treatment and are generally supportive. My wife plays tennis with a number of retired GPs – their general opinion is that whatever I did can’t be too bad. Hell I’m still walking about and they were initially supporting my wife and family on the clear expectation of my imminent demise.

Q: Will you continue this treatment? If so, will you make any changes to your current regimen?

A: I don’t see any necessity to carry on being treated. I might do the ayahuasca again but that would really be just out of curiosity.

Q: Have you been following any particular diet prior to, or during your treatment?

A: Lots of organic fruit and vegetables, and I have a small holding so we have organic lamb and chicken too. I haven’t eaten dairy for the past two years, and I seldom drink alcohol though I had a glass of cider the other day.

Q: What made you try this alternative treatment?

A: It was an inspired patient who in doing an art degree in Plymouth came across the (ayahuasca) visionary art, and drew my attention to its source. Curiously some members of the church group with whom I sit proved an unexpected source of interest and leant me various books on the topic including those of the late Alexander T. Shulgin (american biochemist and pharmacologist).

Q: Would you like to add something, anything, that could be of interest to ALS patients, caregivers, researchers and readers of this website?

A: My underlying concern is that the pharmaceutical industry is solely concerned with the manufacture of specific molecules with a view to the making of money. I cannot see much hope of actual trials, because (a) the substances involved in Ayahuasca are well documented and not available for patenting (b) the number of actual cases is too small to warrant research (c ) the amount of money that could be made by investing in this area makes the whole issue unattractive to pharmaceutical companies. The basic difficulty is that the research into medicines is finance not need led, and the lumbering double blind trials are astonishingly expensive and I cannot imagine how it would be possible to set up a placebo/control group dose that could have similar effects but not alter your state of health. That being said, everything must have a beginning.

Q: Thank you for your time and for sharing.

2016 – Ayahuasca ALS Treatment

Female, 82, USA, diagnosed with ALS

Q: What can you tell us in general about the patient’s medical condition prior to ayahuasca treatment?

A: Mom wasn’t able to walk, talk, or eat using cutlery. She had to be fed through a syringe.

Q: How long did treatment continue?

A: 8 months between november 2015 until June 2016

Q: Did this treatment relieve or improve condition in any way?

A: It did improve her facial structure and expression, meaning that when opening her mouth to eat, which she had trouble doing, her jaws were allowed to stretch better. With this treatment, it corrected her mouth structure and jaw muscles. She became able to move one of her legs which was contracted before I increased the medication. It helped her to expand her right leg movement and to regain control over her feet, keeping them together. Treatment seemed to improve her memory, making her recognize and remember characters when she was watching TV. Her speech was impaired from ALS but she was able to use sign language to communicate with me.

Q: Did the patient follow any particular diet or medicinal protocol prior to, or during treatment?

A: Liquid food due to feeding problems, and Prevagen supplement. She recieved low doses of ayahuasca 10x extract, using between 6-10ml daily administrated orally by syringe.

(Note: Suggested dosage concentration and frequency varies greatly depending individual patient circumstances, please contact ayahuascatreatment@hotmail.com for
comprehensive information).

Q: What made you try this alternative treatment?

A: Reading online article and contact with the Ayahuasca ALS Treatment website.

Q: Would you like to add something, anything, that could be of interest to ALS patients, caregivers, researchers and readers of the website?

A: My advice to anyone, is to start the treatment at the earliest possible stage of ALS. Don’t wait any longer. Usee a small amount first to test reaction from it. If you want to increase it, be careful, this treatment is very strong and with a very “spicy” taste. You might need to add extra water to make it thinner and make it easier to swallow.

Q: Thank you for your time and for sharing.

2016 – Ayahuasca ALS Treatment

Male, 59, Sweden, diagnosed with ALS

Q: What can you tell us in general about your medical condition prior to ayahuasca treatment?

A: Balance problems, growing weakness in legs, then in fingers and face musculature. Twitches, speech difficulties, trouble swallowing. Could only walk using a rolleraid for short distances.

Q: How long did treatment continue?

A: June 2016 – October 2016. Disease has since progressed, but stalled temporarily during period of treatment.

Q: Did this treatment relieve or improve condition in any way?

A: Clear improvement of general condition. More strength and able to walk small distances again without rolleraid. Substantially improved speech. Aching pain gone from feet and knees. Trend continues over course of treatment with a clear sense of having more energy and better endurance for days following consumption. Feel very certain there is medicinal effect from the ayahuasca, and an impression something is going on in the body.

Q: Did you experience side effects? What were they like?

A: Light nausea, but without purging. Slight shivers. Sensitivity to light, taste and sound, although no psychoactivity. Fatigue on medicine days.

Q: Did you follow any particular diet or medicinal protocol prior to, or during treatment?

A: Non-dairy diet with little red meat. Fish or eggs sometimes. Birch sap, Berry Smoothies or fresh fruit, leafy greens, some nuts and ginger. No gluten or alcohol.

Q: What made you try this alternative treatment?

A: I am a biological researcher of chemical ecology, with great private interest in natural medicine and native people culture.

Q: Would you like to add something, anything, that could be of interest to ALS patients, caregivers, researchers and readers of the website?

A: I am convinced that we need to preserve the knowledge and philosohpy native people have gathered during thousands of years for the benefit of mankind.

Q: Thank you for your time and for sharing.

2017 – Ayahuasca ALS Treatment

Ayahuasca – Naturmedicin för potentiell behandling av ALS

Av Daniel Gustafsson

English version available

Denna artikel har tillkommit efter fleråriga studier av etnobotanisk medicin och neurologiska sjukdomar, i sökandet efter kopplingar mellan dessa i syftet att finna en verksam form av naturmedicinsk behandling för amyotrofisk lateralskleros och andra likartade motorneuronsjukdomar.

I syd- och centralamerika har ursprungsbefolkningen i Amazonas en lång historisk tradition av att tillreda och förtära en naturmedicin kallad ayahuasca. Den skördas och tillreds i form av ett sorts te, huvudsakligen från en lian/klätterväxt vars latinska namn är Banisteriopsis Caapi. Därutöver tillsätts ofta bark eller löv från träd med namnen Chacruna, Chaliponga eller Jurema. (Psychotria Viridis, Diplopterys Cabrerana, Mimosa Tenuiflora).

Caapi-växt, Amazonas

Jordens regnskogar är en enorm resurs och en förutsättning för upprätthållandet av planetens ekosystem. Det uppskattas att ett stort antal oupptäckta växtarter med medicinskt värde finns inom dessa skogar. Många konventionella läkemedel har sitt ursprung i substanser utvunna ur regnskogsväxter eller ur därav syntetiserade varianter. Etnofarmakologer har länge känt till att det finns ett utbrett stöd för ayahuascaväxters medicinska värde, men detta har tidigare varit begränsat till personliga redogörelser och anekdotiska bevis. Även om ett stort antal detaljerade och trovärdiga redogörelser funnits tillgängliga, har seriösa studier tidigare saknats.

Detta har dock kommit att ändras sedan 2000-talets början. Man har funnit att naturliga ämnen extraherade från ayahuascaväxter har unika restorativa och starkt antioxidativa egenskaper på specifika nervceller i hjärnan och centrala nervsystemet – beträffande nervsignalöverföring, muskelkontroll och minne. Det ger på delvis sannolika skäl upphov till teorin att ayahusca kan utgöra en effektiv behandling av neurodegenerativa sjukdomar som ALS, Alzheimer’s och Parkinsons’s sjukdom. Lovande resultat har också påträffats vid studier av ämnet psilocybin, starkt närbesläktat med ämnen funna i ayahuasca, naturligt förekommande i särskilda arter av naturmedicinska svampar använda av ursprungsbefolkningen i samma områden där ayahuasca används.

Enligt Dr. Juan Ramos, överläkare vid avdelningen för neurologiska sjukdomar vid South Florida university, USA, visar inledande studier att dessa ämnen stimulerar bildandet av nya celler i centrala nervsystemet, bland annat i de områden som styr ovan nämnda funktioner. Om detta kan komma att utgöra ett eventuellt botemedel genom fullt återställande av skadade eller förstörda celler återstår att se, men inledande resultat talar för att så kan vara fallet. Ytterligare studier ledda av Dr. Jordi Riba vid Sant Pau-universitetet, Barcelona, tyder på paralleller mellan ayahuasca och förnyad nervbaneutveckling i neocortex. Även cancerforskare intresserar sig för ayahuasca som behandlingsform, då alkaloider från dessa växter har visat sig vara effektiva mot bildningen av cancerceller, och tros kunna stabilisera och balansera funktionen i mitokondrierna, som försörjer kroppens och nervsystemets celler med energi.

Detta relaterar till ALS-forskning då störd mitokondriefunktion anses vara en av de huvudsakliga orsakerna till nervcellskador vid ALS, och att normaliseringen av metabolismen i mitokondrier från alkaloider i ayahuasca, genom modulering av signalsubstanser kan förebygga nervcellskador och öka överlevnadsgraden för återstående nervceller. Fungerande mitokondrier är direkt kopplade till nervcellernas överlevnad, och man tror att oreglerade intracellulära signalsubstansnivåer är en utlösande orsak till dysfunktionella mitokondrier, eller att de förstärker andra mekanismer med benägenhet att skada nervceller.

Eduardo E. Schenberg, Federal University of Sao Paulo:

“Det finns tillgängliga och tillräckliga bevis för att de aktiva ämnena i ayahuasca, speciellt dimetyltryptamin och harmin, har den positiva effekten att motverka cancerceller i cellkulturer som används i cancerforskning, och att dessa ämnen inverkar på biokemiska processer som är viktiga för behandlingen av cancer, både in vitro och in vivo. De få men seriösa rapporter som finns tillgängliga om människor med erfarenhet av ayhuasca som cancerbehandling, bör tas på allvar. Hypotesen är att kombinationen av (beta-Carboline) alkaloider och dimetyltryptamin närvarande i ayahuasca minskar blodtillförseln till tumörer, minskar celldelningen och aktiverar apoptos (programmerad celldöd) hos cancerceller, samt förändrar den obalanserade metabolism i cancerceller som orsakar mutationer”.

En nyligen utförd studie vid Icahn School of Medicine i USA, påvisar sambandet mellan harmin i ayahuasca och återbildandet av insulin-producerande betaceller. Endast detta ämne bland de 100.000 som ingick i studien uppvisade denna cellgenerativa förmåga, vilket tillsammans med övrig information indikerar att även processer där andra celler i behov av återskapande, såsom nervceller hos ALS-patienter, går att påverka. Det finns även ett ökande intresse för att utforska dessa växters cellregenerativa egenskaper, inom forskning kring ryggmärgsskador. Harmin som förekommer i ayahuasca har även visat sig kunna reglera den synaptiska signalöverföringsprocessen i vilken glutamat omsätts, och i vilken grad exponering sker i nervsystemet, och därigenom reducera excitotoxiska reaktioner – en av orsakerna som tros utlösa ALS och med tiden förvärra dess symptom genom konstant överaktivering av receptorer i nervsystemet.

Det som tidigare i viss mån varit kontroversiellt beträffande ayahuasca, är att växterna i fråga ansågs vara hallucinogener. Man avfärdade med andra ord dessa medicinskt betydelsefulla växter som om de vore naturliga droger. En mer korrekt benämning, med respekt för ursprungskulturen i vilken ayahuasca ingår, är “enteogener” – vilket betyder växter som används i traditionellt cermoniella sammanhang, framkallandes upplevelser av en andlig natur (utifrån urinvånarnas eget perspektiv och förklaringsmodell). I flera länder, bl.a Peru, är ayahuasca fullt accepterat som ett komplement till konventionell medicinsk praktik, och det senaste årtiondet har många västländer i allt högre grad reviderat sin tidigare grundlösa och felaktiga attityd gentemot enteogena växter såsom ayahuasca, då fler och fler studier med positiva resultat framkommit kring dessa.

Harmalin och flera andra liknande harmala-alkaloider som återfinns i B. Caapi, utgör en form av så kallade monoaminoxidashämmare. Monoaminoxidas (MAO) är ett enzym i kroppen som bryter ner signalsubstanser (t.ex serotonin). Hämningen av MAO gör att signalsubstansen kan stanna kvar i synapsen under längre tid än vanligt. Vissa antidepressiva läkemedel verkar på ett liknande sätt, då de stimulerar utvalda receptorer i ett område. Alkaloiderna från ayahuasca ska dock inte jämställas med antidepressiva läkemedel, då de har helt olika egenskaper även om de båda har förmågan att verka på samma sorts receptorer. En jämförelse är att de båda har samma sorts leveranssystem, men olika innehåll. De biokemiska egenskaperna hos de ämnen som extraheras ur ayahuasca, och dess effekter i kroppen är unika för dessa växter enkomt. Olika typer av harmala-alkaloider dämpar neurotoxiska metaboliter som kynurenin och pyridin-dikarboxylsyra – metaboliter med bekräftad korrelation till ALS, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s och Huntington’s sjukdom, alla inom vilka förhöjda nivåer av angivna metaboliter återfunnits och som tros bidra till sjukdomarnas uppkomst genom interaktioner med motorneuroner i nervsystemet.

harmaline_3d_mid

Harmalin, som tillsammans med harmin och tetrahydroharmin (samtliga olika former av mao-hämmare) utgör huvudkomponenter i medicinalväxten Banisteriopsis Caapi

molecules

Jämförelse mellan Dimetyltryptamin respektive Psilocin- och Serotonin-molekyl (Psilocybin omvandlas till Psilocin i kroppen)

Ayahuasca är ej skadligt för kroppen, men tillfälliga bieffekter som illamående och yrsel är vanliga vid förtäring av en stor eller koncentrerad mängd. Att kombinera vissa läkemedel med MAO-hämmare är dock farligt i vissa fall. Detta innebär att en förutsättning för att hälsomässigt säkert kunna inta ayahuasca, är att medicinen inte kombineras med några kontraindikativa läkemedel. Personer med epilepsi eller högt blodtryck bör heller inte använda ayahuasca. De mer eller mindre obehagliga bieffekterna från medicinen är i hög grad beroende på dosering, och intag av en mindre mängd för medicinskt ändamål kan således innebära få eller inga bieffekter.

Vid sökande av information om ayahuasca, kan man påträffa ett fåtal negativt vinklade artiklar, som berättar om otursamma turister som på eget bevåg, eller som blivit lurade, dricker något helt annat än ayahuasca – såsom den giftiga växten datura, eller koncentrat från tobaksplantor med höga halter av nikotin – med allvarliga hälsokonsekvenser som följd. Detta leder till spridande av missvisande information, och är tragiskt inte bara för de drabbade och deras anhöriga, utan också för de naturmedicinska samfund som verkar för främjandet av etnobotanisk medicin under säkra och seriösa former. Sensationalistiska rubriker och vinklade artiklar med obekräftade påståenden, skrivna av personer som saknar kunskap om etnobotanisk medicin, hjälper definitivt varken ALS-patienter eller andra i behov av en naturmedelbaserad form av behandling för sin sjukdom. I flera länder, inklusive Peru, Brasilien och Costa Rica, finns många etablerade centran som erbjuder ayahuascabehandling där de rätta växterna skördas (ibland även odlas ekologiskt på egna området) och bereds av erfarna botaniker.

B. Caapi frö och blommor

En av de tidigaste studierna av B. Caapi gjordes på 1920-talet, på patienter med Parkinson’s sjukdom, som upplevde god symptomlindring efter intag av extrakt från växten. Man valde dock att inte vidareutveckla någon medicin med denna växt som utgångspunkt, och fokuserade istället på självständigt tillverkade ämnen för framställning av läkemedel, då befintliga naturliga växter inte utgjorde föremål för patent och därmed ekonomisk vinst. Ayahuasca som alternativmedicinsk behandlingsform kommer troligen uppmärksammas allt mer de kommande åren, men är redan väletablerad på flera håll. Skulle de upptäckter som gjorts kring de växter som utgör ayahuasca på sikt leda till ett framtaget läkemedel, så ligger det många år framåt i tiden, då processen för framtagna läkemedel av uppenbara anledningar är tidskrävande. Det intressanta är att ayahuasca i sin naturliga form är något som finns tillgängligt idag för de som lever med en diagnos utan valmöjligheter för annan behandling. För den som vill och kan använda ayahuasca finns, om än inga garantier, trots allt en möjlighet till förbättring på sikt. Som i andra fall varierar de individuella resultaten, och man bör tydliggöra att forskningen kring detta ännu befinner sig på ett tidigt stadium. Det är även viktigt att framhäva och därmed minimera de risker som finns gällande kontraindikativa mediciner. Under tiden bör denna information dock vara värd att uppmärksamma för den som lever med en progressiv motorneuronsjukdom.

Min personliga koppling till detta ämne och projekt har varit bortgången av en nära väns mor på grund av ALS för några år sedan. Förloppet i hennes sjukdom skedde snabbt, och tyvärr var flera av de nu tillgängliga studierna vid tillfället ännu inte publicerade. Detta ledde mig till att vidareutforska kopplingen mellan tillgängliga enteogena naturmediciner och möjligheten till behandling av neurodegenerativa sjukdomar, och till att sedan sammanställa detta i ett överskådligt format för att informera ALS-patienter och övriga allmänheten om kunskapen kring dessa medicinalväxter.

B. Caapi är fullt laglig i de flesta länder, på samma vis som andra mer kända växtbaserade naturmediciner, såsom exempelvis Ginkgo Biloba och Ginseng. Precis som med andra potenta naturläkemedel, är det upp till användaren att nyttja och kombinera dessa på ett sätt som inte innebär några hälsorisker eller interaktioner med befintliga läkemedel. Naturmediciner bör alltid behandlas med respekt, på samma sätt som sig bör med konventionella läkemedel, receptbelagda såväl som receptfria. En vanligt förekommande art inom växtriket som faktiskt innehåller små mängder harmala-alkaloider är passionsblomma, även känd som passionsfruktträd. Koncentrationerna av dessa ämnen i torkade passionslöv och blommor är dock alldeles för låga (och frukten innehåller inte någon alls) för att kunna användas effektivt för monoaminoxidashämning och ayahuasca-likartade ändamål. Alkaloidprofilen sett till proportioner och molekylär strukturavvikelse mellan distinkta alkaloider, matchar heller inte helt B. Caapi, vilket gör de respektive släktena långt ifrån likvärdiga i medicinskt avseende. Extrakt från varierande arter av Passiflora utvinns och säljs emellertid på naturläkemedelsmarknaden som milda avslappnings- och sömnmedel.

Ämnet vid namn dimetyltryptamin som återfinns i de växter som traditionellt tillsätts ayahuasca utöver B. Caapi, är dock lagmässigt reglerat i vissa länder, klassificerad som en otillåten substans. (På mycket tveksamma grunder – se nedanstående redogörelse). Det är dessa tillsatta växter och detta specifika ämne som ger upphov till ett tillfälligt förändrat medvetandetillstånd, ett ofta missförstått och stigmatiserat fenomen. En beskrivning av detta tillstånd är att det är drömlikt, att det stimulerar minnesförmågan och förmågan till abstrakt tänkande, och att det har självterapeutiska egenskaper. Trots att dimetyltryptamin är naturligt förekommande i människokroppen, och antas produceras i små mängder av tallkottkörteln i hjärnan under sömnens drömstadier då kroppen genomgår en reparativ fas, har ämnet kvarstått som en illegal substans i ett antal länder sedan 1960- och 70-talet, då beslutsfattare under dåtidens rådande moralpanik förhastat kriminaliserade många ämnen, även naturliga, som antogs kunna påverka medvetandet. Detta trots det faktum att många av dem, inklusive dimetyltryptamin, aldrig påvisats utgöra någon som helst hälsomässig fara, och dessutom använts traditionellt av naturfolk för att behandla sjukdomar under århundraden. Saven från Chacrunablad har traditionellt använts mot migrän och insektsbett, och Juremabark för att behandla brännskador och påskynda sårläkningsprocessen. Dimetyltryptamin riktar sig även och verkar på chaperone sigma 1, en receptorsubtyp med förekomst i både nerv- och gliaceller i centrala nervsystemet med kapacitet att modulera biologiska mekanismer associerade med neurodegeneration. Sigma 1-receptorer utgör övertygande måltavlor för att farmakologiskt behandla neurodegenerativa tillstånd, och dimetyltryptamin agerar som en endogen regulator för sigma 1-receptorn, men interaktionen mellan dem sett till motorneuronsjukdomsprocessen är ej klarlagd.

Många europeiska länder har dock omdefinierat sina riktlinjer beträffande många medicinska växter, kring vilka man tidigare saknade kunskap, tack vare ökad förståelse för deras användningsområden och tillgång till mer modern, objektiv information och forskning. Detta gäller såväl dimetyltryptamin, såsom kaktus innehållande meskalin, och hur man lagmässigt förhåller sig till dessa beträffande de enskilda separerade ämnena – kontra det kompletta (och tillåtna) växtmaterialet. I Sverige friades Urbi Svonni från Kiruna, tillhörande den samiska ursprungsbefolkningen, år 2013 från åtal för att ha infört peruansk medicinsk kaktus i landet. Rätten fastställde att växtmaterialet i sin naturliga form inte kan anses utgöra en klassificerad substans (sedan 1960-talet har ämnet meskalin varit lagmässigt reglerat, trots avsaknad av studier som styrker klassificeringen, och trots lång traditionell användning av naturfolk i hälsofrämjande syfte), och att terapiverksamheten som Urbi Svonni bedriver, som omfattar intag av Echinopsis Pachanoi-kaktus, inte är brottslig utan tjänar syftet att hjälpa och läka människor. Ett annat prejudicerande fall i högsta domstolen med samma utgång, gällde ayahuascaväxter innehållandes dimetyltryptamin. Kaktusar från Echinopsis och Lophophora-släktet är kända för sina återställande och läkande effekter på centrala nervsystemet, och används bland annat för detta syfte inom traditionell etnobotanisk medicin.

För att tydliggöra det hela så är definitionen av ayahuasca i princip ett te, gjort på antingen endast växten Banisteriopsis Caapi , eller från denna samt ytterligare växter innehållandes dimetyltryptamin. Ett te gjort på endast B. Caapi har inte det som ibland kallas “visionära” egenskaper, då det endast är tillsatsen av växter innehållandes dimetyltryptamin som i kombination med mao-hämmande alkaloider från B. Caapi inducerar ett medvetandetillstånd som tidigare missbenämnts som “hallucinogent”. Det bör förtydligas att denna term ger upphov till negativa associationer hos många människor, och är således föremål för obefogad rädsla och missuppfattningar. Till skillnad från uppfattningen många tycks ha, hallucinerar man inte saker och ting ut ur tomma intet, efter att ha druckit ayahuasca. Istället handlar det om sekvenser av inre drömlika visioner, som uppstår medans man vilar, i ett vaket och medvetet tillstånd, förutsatt att en viss mängd te har intagits. Det är i själva verket relativt odramatiskt, utöver att vissa människor som ännu inte hunnit vänja sig vid medicinen ibland drabbas av illamående och uppkastningar.

Och här i föreligger själva essensen som så ofta missförstås: Man behöver inte använda sig av en stor mängd ayahuasca för att erfara endast dess medicinska effekt – utan de abstraktioner och visuella fenomen som vissa vill undvika (eller illamående/uppkastningar). Flera av de hälsomässiga effekterna kan även uppnås genom användandet av endast B. Caapi – utan tillsatta växter,  varpå man därigenom kan undgå eventuella visuella effekter om så önskas. Det bör dock påpekas att synergieffekten mellan de båda växterna vid samtidig användning ger den bästa medicinska och kroppsliga responsen. Överdrifter beträffande ayahuasca är vad som gjorde dessa växter förbisedda till en början, men då ett alltmer ökande antal människor med erfarenhet av ayahuasca i medicinsk kontext har framträdit – omtalandes dessa växters värde och relevans i förhållande till sina diagnoser, bland annat neurologiska sådana, så har det forskningsmässiga och medicinska intresset för ayahuasca återupprättats. Ayahuasca har använts för symptomlindring av Multipel Skleros och reumatism, av ett ökande antal människor i Europa sedan tidigt 2000-tal. ALS, multipel skleros, Alzheimer’s och Parkinsons’s sjukdom har alla den gemensamma grunden att de involverar degeneration av nervceller i någon form. Det är därför troligt att en bredspektrum-medicin med förmåga att påverka den nervcellbildande processen, och som också har påtaglig antioxidativ verkan, kan förebygga och nedsakta progressen av neurologiska sjukdomar i allmänhet.

I det fallet dramatiska och udda återberättelser om ayahuasca påträffas, härstammar de mestadels från resenärer som under sent 80- respektive tidigt 90-tal levde med stamfolk i sydamerika och deltog i traditionell cermoniell användning av ayahusca – intagandes exceptionellt tilltagna eller koncentrerade mängder av medicinen, med djuprensande och svåruthärdade upplevelser som följd. Denna medicin, såsom samtliga andra, bör definitivt respekteras och nyttjas förnuftigt, men bör heller inte vara föremål för överdrifter eller missrepresentation som kan orsaka att människor med behov går miste om något som dom helt enkelt saknar kunskap om. De fascinerande inre bildintryck som tidigare omnämnts, som ayahuasca kan ge upphov till, verkar ofta ha ett naturorienterat tema – kanske kopplat rent psykologiskt till de förväntningar och associationer som föreligger. Vackra återgivningar i form av målningar av den peruanske konstnären Pablo Amaringo (1938-2009) ger en viss utseendemässig uppfattning kring detta. Visionerna uppstår av den enkla anledningen att kombinationen av alkaloider och tryptaminer i ayahusca-te tillsammans påverkar receptorer, som i sin tur stimulerar processen som gör att man relaterar till bilder och ord – vilket är av intresse och värde för forskning kring Alzheimer’s och andra demenssjukdomar.

Ahyahuasca är bevisligen icke-beroendeframkallande, och används till och med för att avvänja människor från drogberoenden, då ayahuasca har en dokumenterat abstinensbefriande effekt.

MAO-hämningen möjliggör att upptaget av dimetyltryptamin kan ske i kroppen, då det i annat fall (utan mao-hämning) bryts ned av enzymer i magen, oförmöget att orsaka någon effekt. Dimetyltryptamin är molekylärt nära på identiskt med ovan nämnda psilocybin i Dr. Ramos forskning. Teoretiskt arbetar den unika kombinationen av olika harmala-alkaloider från B. Caapi och dimetyltryptamin från ytterligare tillsatta växter, på cellnivå för att reparera och nybilda nervceller, stimulera och förstärka överföringen av nervsignaler och skydda befintliga celler från skada. Detta är utan tvekan värdefullt från ett neuromedicinskt perspektiv.

Ayahuasca såsom förpackad och såld i hälsokostbutiker i Peru. Notera den bifogade etiketten med spårbar källa och datummärkning. Olika varianter av denna torkade växt finns tillgängliga, var och en med åtskilda men liknande proportioner mellan de innehållande alkaloiderna.

I Europa är Spanien ett av de länder där ayahuasca etablerats som en alternativ behandlingsform, och i samma land anordnas även en internationell konferens under hösten 2014, där etnofarmakologer, psykologer och forskare från hela världen samlas kring temat ayahuasca och andra enteogener. Bland andra föreläser Ede Frecska, M.D., Ph.D, University of Debrecen, om möjligheterna att återskapa hjärnceller och reglera immunförsvaret genom denna och andra växtbaserade mediciner. Detta event anordnas av ICEERS – International Center for Ethnobotanical Education Research and Service, och kan följas på:

http://www.aya2014.com/en/confirmed-speakers-2/

caapi_examine

Undersökning av B. Caapi, Ayahuasca World Conference

Utöver sin förmåga att understödja och förstärka den reparativa processen av nervceller, och förmågan att skydda celler från oxidativ påverkan, besitter många av dessa enteogena växter (och svampar) – inklusive ayahuasca, även psykoterapeutiska egenskaper. En tillvaro med degenerativ sjukdom innebär svår stress för patienter, och en påtaglig känslomässig lättnad, personlig insikt samt förbättrad förmåga att hantera situationen på sikt, kan uppnås genom att erfara enteogena medicinalväxter i en trygg och stöttande miljö, enligt välkända Johns Hopkin’s medical university.

Att dessa medicinska växter fått upprättelse och vetenskapligt understöd är goda nyheter på flera vis. Hållbar utveckling och miljöpåverkan är frågor som uppstår, och hittills är utsikten förhållandevis positiv. Många ekologiska plantager har uppstått i syd- och centralamerika, där ayahuasca odlas både för lokal användning och för export, vilket ger arbete och inkomst till människor från fattiga områden. Detta innebär också möjligheten för lokalbefolkningen att återanknyta till sin kulturella bakgrund, då ayahuasca är kulturarvs-förklarat i Peru och på andra platser.

Hållbar ayahuasca-odling, Brasilien. Dessa småväxta Chacruna-träd blir 2-3 meter höga.

DMckennaDr. Dennis Mckenna, en av världens mest erfarna forskare inom etnofarmakologi talar om vikten av hållbarhet beträffande kultivering av ayahuasca, och bevarandet av regnskog. Detta bör beröra alla människor där ute som erfar hälsofrämjande verkan från behandling med ayahuascaväxter. Dr. Mckenna leder avdelningen för etnofarmakologi vid Heffter Research Institute, New Mexico, USA. Han är även verksam inom Academic Health Center vid University of Minnesota, och hade en ledande roll i organiseringen av Hoasca Project, en internationell biomedicinsk studie av ayahuasca, finansierad av Stanley Medical Research Institute.

Potentialen för denna naturmedicin har börjat kartläggas på allvar, och tidigare okunskap har ersatts med kunnighet kring dess medicinska tillämpningsområden. Det är viktigt att man ej framhäver detta som något sorts mirakelmedel, men rätt använt kan det på lång sikt fungera återställande på den kroppsliga och mentala funktionen hos människor med vissa neurologiska sjukdomar. Därmed kan man på ett objektivt och korrekt sätt informera människor om tillgängliga naturmedelbaserade behandlingsformer, inklusive ayahuasca. Då det naturliga obehandlade växtmaterialet från vilket ayahuasca tillreds, befunnits att ej omfattas av någon klassificering beträffande otillåtna ämnen, föreligger således inga lagmässiga hinder för svensk import av naturmedicinsk ayahuasca för de med behov att nyttja medicinen. Man bör dock iaktta varsamhet med dosering för att säkerställa en lagom grad av verkan, och en viss pålästhet är nödvändig för att kunna tillreda själva medicinalväxterna så att de samverkar korrekt. Utöver detta är en lämplig diet essentiell i samband med ayahuasca, för att minimera biverkningar och för att maximera upptag och omsättning av medicinskt verksamma ämnen. Den hjälp och information som krävs för dessa ändamål tillhandahålls deltagare i den pilotstudie som omnämns nedanstående.

En internationell pilotstudie pågår där patienter med ALS-diagnos från flertalet länder, inklusive Sverige, använder och dokumenterar effekterna av ayahuasca som naturmedicinsk behandlingsform. Resultaten sammanställs inför en kommande utvärdering, med syftet att presentera användbara resultat för institutioner inom neurologisk forskning.

För att följa detta projekt, eller vid intresse att själv medverka i studien, klicka på följande länk: https://ayahuascatreatment.wordpress.com/2015/05/19/pilotprojekt-for-naturmedicinsk-als-behandling/

Ayahuasca har historiskt sett använts under en lång tid, men endast relativt nyligen för behandling av några av de sjukdomar som omnämns i denna artikel. Eventuell påtaglig förbättring av sjukdomstillståndet i samband med naturmedicinen är trolig att vara märkbar först på sikt. Inledande rapportering från personer som deltar i studien uppger några gemensamma nämnare: upplevelsen av en något utökad rörelseförmåga, reducerad spasticitet och viss förbättring av greppstyrka i berörda delar av kroppen. Det bör dock påpekas att ingen av dessa deltagare helt hade tappat muskelkontrollen i berörda kroppsdelar vid tillfället då behandlingen påbörjades, och det är i nuläget heller inte känt huruvida dessa effekter kommer förbli permanenta eller ej.

Summering:

Ayahusca kan komma att användas inom behandling för ALS och andra motorneuronsjukdomar baserat på det faktum att studier antyder unika antioxidativa effekter som verkar skydda celler i det centrala nervsystemet, med målsökning av celler genom ett särskilt biokemiskt transportsystem, och att de ämnen som ayahuasca innehåller – och andra snarlika naturligt förekommande, stimulerar nybildningen och utvecklingen av hjärnceller, samt de kommunikativa förbindelserna mellan dessa. I studier har även betydande symptomförbättring hos patienter med Parkinson’s sjukdom kunnat konstateras – samtliga neurodegenerativa sjukdomar delar en gemensam grund, och mediciner verksamma inom en viss kategori neurologiska sjukdomar har ofta verksamhet och användbarhet även inom närliggande områden. Även baserat  på trovärdiga och ingående personliga vittnesmål från människor som använt ayahuasca för symptomlindring av multipel skleros och reumatism (notera åter ovan nämnda gemensamma grund för neurodegenerativa sjukdomar) dokumenterade i böcker om ayahuasca och andra enteogena växter, och från beskrivningar av en (på ett ännu tidigt stadium) viss förbättring från deltagare i pilotstudien som redan använt sig av medicinen under en tid. Studier påvisar även förmåga att reglera nivåer för att återställa normal metabolism i mitokondrier, och att minska excitotoxicitet i nervsystemet.

Ayahuasca och andra enteogener har redan i hög grad uppnått kredibilitet och upprättelse, även om kunskapsmässiga bitar på vägen kvarstår. Tills vidare förblir dessa medicinalväxter tillgängliga för personlig utvärdering av de individer som väljer att vidare utforska alternativet. Angående de neurodegenerativa sjukdomar som artikeln tagit upp, kan dessa växter ha en framtida roll som ett verktyg för att vända sjukdomsförloppet i ALS och relaterade neurosjukdomar.

Referenser och studier:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2828149/pdf/nihms156585.pdf

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2828149/

(Ayahuasca and neurological disease)

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4773875/

(Neurotherapeutic ayahuasca potential in pharmacology)

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0019264

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110526131244.htm

(Ayahuasca harmala-alkaloids and Alzheimer’s disease study)

http://www.sram.org/media/documents/uploads/article_pdfs/5-3-01-Serrano-Duenas.pdf

(B. Caapi and Parkinson’s disease)

http://beckleyfoundation.org/2016/06/16/ayahuasca-stimulates-the-birth-of-new-brain-cells-latest-findings-from-the-beckleysant-pau-research-programme/

(Ayahuasca neurogenesis study)

http://www.stichtingopen.nl/en/component/content/article/research/study-shows-no-evidence-of-adverse-mental-health-effects-in-long-term-ayahuasca-users

(Study proving ayahuasca safe from a health point of view, and to not have any longterm side effects)

http://smo.sagepub.com/content/1/2050312113508389.full

(Ayahuasca cancer research)

http://health.usf.edu/medicine/neurology/faculty/sanchez_ramos.htm

(Dr. Juan Ramos profile)

(Psilocybin brain research)

http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0042421

(Study proving regular intake of ayahuasca leading to increased longterm wellbeing and general mental health)

http://iceers.org

(ICEERS – International center for ethnobotanical education research and service)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23627784
http://bitnest.ca/external.php?id=%257DbxUgY%255CC%2540%251BD%252A%253A-D%251BU%255BP%2500JIqc%2560%2515T
(Canadian studies of ayahuasca as treatment for drug/alcohol abuse)

http://www.heffter.org/research-jhus.htm

(Johns Hopkin’s university studies on the the therapeutical benefits of psilocybin medicinal mushrooms)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6682439

(Echinopsis and Lophophora cactus central nervous system study)

http://www.newsweek.com/chemical-ayahuasca-has-potential-treat-diabetes-313780

(Ayahuasca diabetes research)

https://vimeo.com/39251248

Dr. Gabor Maté on Ayahuasca and stress related disease

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aufjjU0EYxk

(Ayahuasca and neural pathway redevelopment in the neocortex)

http://www.iceers.org/docs/science/ayahuasca/ICEERS2012_Ayahuasca_literature_compilation.pdf

(Compilation of scientific literature on ayahuasca)

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3220934/

(Harmine and glutamate transporter expression study)

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1347861314000267

(Role of sigma-1 receptors in neurodegenerative diseases)

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/24004971_The_Hallucinogen_NN-Dimethyltryptamine_DMT_Is_an_Endogenous_Sigma-1_Receptor_Regulator

(Publication on dimethyltryptamine and Sigma-1 receptor regulation)

http://www.movementdisorders.org/MDS/Journals/Clinical-Practice-E-Journal-Overview/Movement-Disorders-Clinical-Practice-Vol-3-Issue-1/

(B. Caapi Postencephalitic Parkinsonism therapy)

Ayahuasca, environment and the future

Dennis Mckenna, PH.D, one of the world’s most renowned ethnopharmacology researchers speaks on the importance of sustainability, regarding cultivation of ayahuasca and the preservation of rainforests. This should concern all of you out there, who benefit from treatment using ayahuasca medicinal plants.

Dr. Dennis Mckenna Bio

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Dr. Dennis Mckenna pruning Ayahuasca plants in a greenhouse at the Minnesota University

Ayahuasca ALS Treatment Pilot Study

Ayahuasca ALS treatment trial in progress – Current number of participants: 28 (Sweden, United States, Belgium, Finland, UK, Turkey, Brazil, Italy, Canada, Russia, Singapore, Colombia, Argentina, India, Croatia, Australia)

Last Updated: June 2016

Based on recurrent response to the original article, a pilot study has been initiated in order to create the incentive necessary for researchers to fully investigate the potential of ayahuasca plants for treatment of ALS and neurological diseases in general. It will also serve the purpose of informing people about medicinal use of ayahuasca as a natural medicine based treatment option for ALS and related neurological diseases.

Many concerned people have contacted the Ayahuasca ALS Treatment website, questioning why further studies on the specific subject matter are not being conducted at this point. The answer being the general absence of awareness regarding the medicinal value of these potent plants and their possible role in the future treatment of ALS and other neurological diseases. With individuals representing a community of people coming forward to present their experiences from using these medicinal plants, in the organized context of natural medicinal treatment, the documented results will hopefully provide the cause for thorough scientific evaluation to be made.

Have you been using ayahuasca plants of any kind, for any period of time, in order to treat any of the following conditions?:

  • ALS or other type of motor neuron disease
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Parkinson’s
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Other neurological condition

Are you considering using ayahuasca plants of any kind within the near future, in order to treat any of these conditions?:

If yes – Would you be interested in providing your personal evaluation to this website for the eventual publication of the results gathered? Your contribution may greatly help the cause for finding and making viable natural medicine based treatment options known. All useful results will be presented to researchers and institutions within the field of neuromedicine. Your privacy will be respected, and none of your personal information openly published unless requested by you personally.

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There are at this moment 28 patients diagnosed with ALS, from sixteen different countries, participating in this project, evaluating this natural form of treatment. The number of participants will be updated continuously as others join, and the eventual results are to be made public on this website. Follow-up documentation of participants who continue with long term treatment will be posted on this website along with development updates of the Ayahuasca ALS Treatment Project.

Visit the latest results page for interviews:

https://ayahuascatreatment.wordpress.com/2015/03/31/latest-results-2/

This is a non-profit, independent, volunteer type of project – where you and others have the opportunity to pioneer natural medicinal treatment research regarding ALS and similar neurological conditions, and the general research of entheogenic medicinal plants through your contribution.

Simple correspondense through e-mail will suffice to discuss details of the study and any related questions. Preferably, you should write “ALS study”, “Pilot study” or similar in the topic field to ensure proper sorting, as I answer an increasing number of personal e-mails on a daily basis. Please provide information about yourself, your diagnosis and current health condition (see below chart) to make personal assessment possible.

Contact:
ayahuascatreatment@hotmail.com

Include:

  • Name, age, gender and country
  • Date of diagnosis
  • Symptom history and development
  • Communication – is speech affected?
  • Is breathing or swallowing ability affected?
  • Mobility – Able to walk or in need of assistance?
  • Pharmaceutical medications – Any drugs currently being used? Can they be excluded or reduced without health concerns?
  • Diet (Documentation needed listing all food and drink items during 1-2 average days to determine neccessary therapy adjustments)

It’s important to underline that this pilot study is completely unofficial – not an official clinical trial. It is the web-based networking of adult individuals with a common cause and interest in the subject matter, and the sharing of information between people in search for viable natural medicinal treatment options. The author of this site and its articles will take no personal responsibility for the personal health and actions of individuals pursuing this option.

To the people involved who have been in contact with the Ayahuaca ALS Treatment website, requesting the setup of this international project, and to participants providing data to this study: Thank you for doing the ALS community a great service by exploring new treatment options and sharing your experience. Many are awaiting the outcome.

More information and updates will follow.

Ayahuasca – Ethnobotanical medicine for potential treatment of ALS

By Daniel Gustafsson

Swedish version/Artikel på svenska: sweflag

This article is the culmination of six years work, having studied ethnobotanical natural medicine and the field of neurodisease, making connections between the two in the search for something viable in terms of an alternative treatment option for ALS – amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and similar neurodegenerative conditions.

In south and central america, the native people within many tribes living in the Amazon rainforest have a long historical tradition of making and consuming a natural medicinal tea called ayahuasca. It is harvested and prepared mainly from a wild growing vine, it’s latin name being Banisteriopsis Caapi. Often, but not always, leaves from trees named Chacruna or Chaliponga (Psychotria Viridis and Diplopterys Cabrerana) are added to the tea, or in some regions Jurema tree bark (of the Leguminosae family and Mimosa species).

Caapi vine growing in the Amazon  jungle.

The rainforests of the earth are known to be an enormous resource and a necessity for upholding the ecosystem of the planet. It is estimated that a very great number of undiscovered plants of medicinal value are yet to be explored within these forests. Many conventional pharmaceutical medicines originate from substances found in rainforest plants, or their synthesized variants. Ethnopharmacologists have long been aware that there is vast support for the medicinal value of ayahuasca in its use against a number of diseases, but until recently this has been limited to individual claims. Even if a great number of very in-depth and credible personal stories have been available, serious studies have previously been missing.

This, however, has come to change in the last decade. Natural substances extracted from the ayahuasca plants have been found to possess unique restorative and strongly antioxidative properties on specific nerve cells in the brain and central nervous system – controlling neurotransmission, muscle/motor activity, memory and coordination. This gives probable cause to the theory that ayahuasca could be an effective treatment for neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease. Promising results as of date have also been obtained from studying the substance psilocybin, remarkebly closely related from a molecular staindpoint to the substances found in ayahuasca, naturally occuring in certain species of medicinal mushrooms consumed by the indigenous people where ayahuasca is also used.

According to Dr. Juan Ramos, head of the neurological disease department at the South Florida university, USA, initial studies show that these tryptamine-family substances stimulate the development of new cells in the areas of the brain controlling the above mentioned functions. If this could prove to be an eventual cure through complete restoration of damaged or destroyed cells remains to be seen, but initial results indicate this could potentially be the case. Other studies led by Dr. Jordi Riba at the spanish university of Sant Pau, Barcelona, show connections between ayahuasca and neural pathway redevelopment in the neocortex. Cancer researchers have also shown interest in B. Caapi, as its alkaloids have shown to be effective against the growth of cancer cells, and are believed to be able to stabilize and balance mitochondrial function. This relates also to ALS research in that mitochondrial dysfunction is nominated one of the main causes of cell damage in ALS, and that the normalization of mitochondrial metabolism through modulation of calcium influx from beneficial alkaloids contained in ayahuasca could prevent motor neuron damage and increase survival rate of these cells. Mitochondrial function is directly related to neuronal survival, and unregulated levels of intracellular calcium are thought to initiate motor neuron dysfunction, or amplify other mechanisms prone to injure motor neurons.

Eduardo E. Schenberg, Federal University of Sao Paulo:

“There are enough available evidence that the active substances in ayahuasca, especially dimethyltryptamine and harmine, has the positive effect of preventing cancer cells in cultures used for cancer research, and that these substances affect the biochemical processes that are crucial to the treatment of cancer in-vitro as well as in-vivo. The reports available about people with experience from ayahuasca in the treatment of cancer should be taken seriously. The hypothesis is that the combination of (beta-carboline) alkaloids and dimethyltryptamine present in ayahuasca blocks the transportation of nutrients to tumours, lessens the dividing process of cancer cells, and changes the unbalanced mutation-causing metabolism in cancer cells.”

A recent study by Icahn School of Medicine, New York, singled out harmine (from the ayahuasca Caapi plant) among 100.000 substances, as the only one able to cause beta cells in the pancreas (the internal organ that produces insulin) to regenerate, a discovery of great interest to diabetes researchers. Other evidence suggest that ayahuasca may have the potential to regenerate several different types of cells, in many places in the body where needed, the specifics of which calls for medical research in many areas – especially neurodegenerative diseases without a known cure. There is also a growing interest in exploring the cell regenerative properties of these plants within spinal chord injury research. Harmine in ayahuasca has also been found to regulate glutamate pump expression in the central nervous system, thereby reducing glutamate toxicity – one of the causes believed to trigger and aggravate ALS through excitotoxic reactions occuring through excessive receptor stimulation by neurotransmitters.

What has previously been somewhat controversial about ayahuasca, is that the plants in question used to be thought of simply as hallucinogens by western science. In other words, these medicinal plants of great importance, were neglected by the scientific community and thought of simply as if they were natural drugs. A more correct term for these plants, with respect to the indigenous culture in which ayahuasca is a part of, would be “entheogens” – which means plants used in a context sacred to the native people, inducing spiritually oriented experiences (explained from their own perspective and worldview). In several countries, such as Peru, ayahuasca is fully legal and accepted as a complement to conventional medicine, and during the recent decade, western countries have to an increasing degree changed their former unfounded and faulty attitude towards entheogens such as ayahuasca, as more and more studies of entheogenic plants have been completed with positive outcome.

Along with several other similar harmala-alkaloids that can be found in B. Caapi, harmaline is a monoamine oxidase inhibitor. Monoamine oxidase (MAO) is an enzyme in the body that breaks down signal substances (such as serotonin). The inhibition of MAO allows the signal substance to remain in the synapse for a longer period of time. Many anti-depressants work in a similar way, as they stimulate receptors in a targeted area. However, the alkaloids present in ayahuasca should not be compared to antidepressants, as they are not the same though they both have the ability to affect the same receptors. A comparison is that Caapi alkaloids and antidepressants have the same type of delivery system, but different contents. The biochemical properties of plants used in ayahuasca, and the effects they cause on a multitude of bodily functions remain unique to these plants alone. Various types of harmala alkaloids exert suppression of neurotoxic metabolites, such as quinolinic acid and kynurenine – metabolites correlating with ALS, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease, all in which elevated levels of given metabolites are found and thought to contribute to onset of disease through interaction with spinal motor neurons.

harmaline_3d_mid

Harmaline together with harmine and tetrahydroharmine, all forms of mao-inhibitors, are the main components in the medicinal plant Banisteriopsis Caapi

molecules

Comparison between Dimethyltryptamine, Psilocin- and Serotonin-molecules (Psilocybin being the precursor to Psilocin)

Ayahuasca in itself is proven to be unharmful, as its compounds are non-toxic, though temporary side effects such as nausea and vertigo are common when used in amounts above medicinal purpose. However, combining certain medical drugs with MAO-inhibitors (such as the ones found in ayahuasca) can be dangerous, even lethal in some cases. This means that in order to safely consume ayahuasca, one must not combine it with any contraindicated medicinal drugs, and those suffering from certain health conditions such as epilepsy or high blood pressure are adviced to refrain from this treatment. The more or less uncomfortable side effects from ayahuasca, are greatly dose-dependent, and a smaller amount consumed for medicinal purpose can thus mean few, if any, side effects experienced.

When searching for information about ayahuasca, a few negative articles can be found, emotionally angled (understandably so), since they tell stories of unfortunate tourists who on their own, or having been duped into doing so, drink something entirely else than ayahuasca – for instance the toxic plant datura, or liquid made from tobacco plant – with serious outcome to their health (including death in a few known cases, from apparent nicotine poisoning). This leads to fear and misinformation, and is not only tragic for the diseased and their families, but also for the natural medicine community that is trying to promote the safe and responsible use of natural medicine for health benefits, and treatment of diseases that regular medical care fails to provide options for. Sensationalistic headlines making unfounded claims, written by people without any knowledge about ethnobotanical medicine, will definitely not help neither ALS patients or others seeking viable treatment options for their condition, and will only make medicinal plant research more difficult. In several countries, including Peru, Brazil and Costa Rica, established retreats offer ayahuasca treatment where the right plants are harvested (sometimes even organically grown on the property) and prepared by experienced botanists.

B. Caapi growth stages.

One of the earliest studies on B. Caapi was done in the 1920’s, and involved patients with Parkinsons’s disease. The patients experienced great symptom relief in early trials, but unfortunately the research was discontinued due to lack of profit potential – as substances already present in natural plants could not be applicable for any patent useful to pharma companies.

Ayahuasca as an alternative therapy is likely to gain further attention in coming years, but is already well established. Should the discoveries eventually lead to a therapeutic pharmaceutical drug, derived from these plants, to be produced, it lies many years ahead from now. The process from studies, through trials, to eventual launch of an approved drug made for use in the medical care system, is slow due to obvious reasons. The real interesting fact is that ayahuasca in its natural form is something that is available now, today, for those who live with a diagnose lacking options for other treatment. For those who want and can partake in alternative treatment using ayahuasca, there is, while not in any way guaranteed, the still real possibility for improvement. As in many other cases, the individual results will vary, and there should be an emphasis on not overly stirring people’s hope up when questions and work remain. There is also the importance of emphasizing and thereby minimizing the risks involved concerning contraindicative medications. But awaiting further studies, this information should be worth the attention of  anyone suffering from a debilitating progressive disease such as ALS.

My personal connection to this topic and project, was the passing of a close friends’ mother due to ALS a few years ago. The course of her disease was rapid, and unfortunately several of the now available studies, had not yet been published at the time. This led me into investigating the connection between entheogenic natural medicine and the treatment of neurological disease, and into gathering and presenting information on the topic in a publicly available format.

B. Caapi is legally obtainable in most countries/states much in the same way as other known herbal remedies, such as Ginkgo Biloba and Ginseng. However, just like with these potent natural supplements, it is up to the consumer to use and combine these in an informed and responsible way. Natural medicines should always be treated with respect, just like conventional medicinal drugs. One commonly known species that actually contains small amounts of harmala-alkaloids is passion flower, or passion fruit tree, although the concentrations in its leaf foliage and flowers are far too low (and the fruit contains none) to be used effectively for monoamine oxidase inhibition and ayahuasca purposes. Also, while similar, the alkaloid profile in terms of proportions and molecular structural deviations between distinct alkaloids does not match up exactly with that of B. Caapi, making the two species related to a certain degree but far from equal regarding their medicinal properties. Extracts from various passiflora species are produced and sold worldwide as mild herbal relaxants and sleeping aids, and as an antispasmodic for Parkinson’s.

The substance known as dimethyltryptamine, found in plants traditionally added to ayahuasca, is regulated by law in a number of countries classified as a scheduled substance. (Questionably so, due to its medicinal value in multiple areas). It is these secondary added plants and this particular substance that induces an altered state of consciousness, a many times misunderstood and stigmatized phenomenon. A description of this altered state is that it is dreamlike, that it stimulates memory and the ability to think abstract, and that it has self-therapeutic qualities. Even though dimethyltryptamine is naturally occuring in the human body, thought to be produced in small amounts by the pineal gland in the brain during the dream phases of sleep, it remains an illegal substance in a number of western countries since the 1960’s and 70’s, when lawmakers prematurely criminalized many substances suspected of having any effect on the mind, including natural ones, due to the widespread moral panic at the time – regardless of the fact that many of them, including dimethyltryptamine, has never been proven unhealthy in any way, and has in fact been used by indigenous people, in the form extracted from plants, to successfully treat disease for centuries. Leaf juice from Chacruna has been used traditionally as a remedy for migraines and ant bites, and Jurema bark for treating burn wounds – significantly quickening regeneration of skin and scar tissue. Dimethyltryptamine also targets chaperone sigma 1, a receptor subtype expressed in both neurons and glia of multiple regions within the central nervous system, with capacity to modulate biological mechanisms implicated with neurodegeneration. Sigma 1-receptors present compelling targets for pharmacologically treating neurodegenerative disorders, and dimethyltryptamine acts as an endogenous Sigma-1 receptor regulator, but interactions between the two in association with motor neuron disease is not understood.

Although, several european countries have redefined their policy regarding many formerly frowned upon medicinal plants in recent years, much due to an increasing awareness and access to new and unbiased information regarding these plants, as well as up-to-date research. In Scandinavia, Sami native Urbi Svonni from Sapmi, Sweden, was recently aquitted from all charges in the court of law, for having brought Peruvian medicinal cactus into the country. The court established that natural plant material alone cannot be defined as a scheduled substance, and that the therapeutic work Svonni was doing, which included Echinopsis Pachanoi cactus, was indeed not a criminal act, but served the purpose to help and heal people. Another similar case with the same outcome involved ayahuasca additive plants. Cacti from the Echinopsis and Lophophora species are known for their soothing and restorative effects on the central nervous system, and are used as such in ethnobotanical medicine.

To be precise, the definition of Ayahuasca is any tea made from either the plant Banisteriopsis Caapi alone, or from B. Caapi + additional plants containing dimethyltryptamine. A tea made from B. Caapi alone does not have what is sometimes referred to as “visionary” qualities, as it is only the addition of dimethyltryptamine from the additive plants mentioned, or actually the combination from the mao-inhibiting alkaloids in B. Caapi together with dimethyltryptamine-containing plants that induces a state of mind formerly mislabeled “hallucinogenic”. It needs to be clarified though, that this word brings up negative associations in many people, and is thus feared and misunderstood. Unlike what some people tend to think, one does not hallucinate things appearing out of thin air after having consumed ayahuasca, but rather there are sequences of inner dreamlike visions taking place while resting, while still awake and fully conscious, provided a significant amount of tea has been consumed. It is actually quite undramatic, aside from the side effect of vomiting which does affect some people.

And herein lies the essence that is many times misunderstood: One does not have to take a great amount of ayahuasca for experiencing strictly its medicinal effects – without the abstractions and visionary effects some people are wary of. (Or the nausea/vomiting for that matter). Also, several of the medicinal health benefits can be obtained by using B. Caapi alone – without any additive plants, thereby ensuring no peculiar visionary effects experienced at all, should this be desired. It should be noted though, that the synergistic effect between the two plants used simultaneously will bring the best medicinal and bodily response. Exaggerations regarding ayahuasca is what made these medicinal plants overlooked for many years in the west to begin with, but its reputation has been steadily revised as more people with experience from these plants in a medicinal context have come forward, claiming the true medicinal value of ayahuasca relevant to medical conditions of different types – the field of neurological disease being the latest. Ayahuasca has already been effectively used for symptom relief from Multiple Sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, by a growing number of people in Europe since at least 2006. ALS, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease all share a lot of common ground, being that they all involve nerve cell degeneration of some kind. It is thus likely that any type of natural broad spectrum medicine able to affect the process of nerve cell regeneration, and that also has substantially antioxidative and cell protective properties, could prevent and slow the progression of neurological disease in general.

Whatever wild or strange stories about ayahuasca that may occasionally be found circulating, they stem mostly from people who went to live with native tribes during the late 80’s and early 90’s, taking part in traditional ceremonial use of ayahuasca – consuming exceptionally generous or concentrated amounts of the medicine, enfolding themselves in deep cleansing experiences not necessarily easily endured. This medicine, like any other, should most definitely be well respected, but not subjected to exaggeration or downright misrepresentation – causing people to dismiss what they are simply uneducated about, which in turn may lead to people never getting the type of treatment that could slow the progression of their terminal health condition, or in some cases even reverse it. The vivid and fascinating visions induced by strong tea often seem to have a theme rooted in nature, perhaps tied into the underlying psychological expectations associated with the revered history of ayahuasca itself, as depicted quite beautifully in colorful paintings by Peruvian artist Pablo Amaringo (1938-2009). They arise from the simple fact that the alkaloids and tryptamines dissolved in the tea, combine to affect receptors that in turn stimulate the processing of memory relating to images and words – noticeably of relevance to Alzheimer’s research.

Ayahuasca is proven to be non-addictive, and is even used to aid people in breaking their drug dependencies, as ayahuasca has a detoxifying and documented effect of ridding the user of drugrelated abstinence issues.

The MAO-inhibition does, among other things, ensure that the uptake of dimethyltryptamine can occur in the body, as it is otherwise (without MAO-inhibition) broken down by enzymes in the stomach, unable to cause any effect. Dimethyltryptamine is molecularly near identical with the above mentioned psilocybin in Dr. Ramos research. Researchers think that psilocybin and dimethyltryptamine binds to brain receptors that stimulate growth and healing, acting on the hippocampus, a part of the brain that is essential to learning and forming memories, recieving sensory impulses and that has target cells and receptors for important signal substances. Hippocampus atrophy occurs when nerve cells die, or when abnormal levels of stress hormones prevent neurogenesis, and is a known sign in Parkinson’s disease. It is theorized that the unique combination of various harmala-alkaloids from B. Caapi, and dimethyltryptamine from additional plant sources used in ayahuasca, work on a cellular level to repair and restore nerve cells, stimulate and enhance motor neuron transmission, and to protect remaining nerve cells and other cells from degenerative damage. This is without doubt valuable from a neuromedical perspective.

Ayahuasca plants as packaged and sold in health food stores, Peru. Note the attached traceable source information and datemark. Various strains of this particular vine are available, each having a slightly different, but similar alkaloid profile.

As the non regulated B. Caapi alone has proven to have very positive abilities, potentially effective against neuro and cancer diseases, it is thus something real that may be a valuable alternative treatment option. For someone who experiences positive results to whatever degree, but does not live in a state or country where the use of plants containing dimethyltryptamine is permitted, there is then the possibility to travel to one of the many countries (or states) which by law allows the use of added secondary plants with their combined medicinal properties for evalution of full ayahuasca treatment. In Europe, Spain is one of several countries where ayahuasca is becoming established as an alternative therapy, and Spain is also the chosen location for an international conference 2014, where ethnopharmacologists, psychologists and researchers from all over the world gather around the topics of ayahuasca and other entheogens.

Among others, Ede Frecska, M.D., Ph.D, University of Debrecen, lectures on the possibilities of recreating braincells and regulating the immune defense system through this plant-based medicine and others. This event is held by ICEERS – International Center for Ethnobotanical Education Research and Service, and can be followed at:

http://www.aya2014.com/en/confirmed-speakers-2/

caapi_examine

Examination of Caapi medicinal vine specimen, World Ayahuasca Conference

Furthermore, besides their ability to aid and enhance the process of nerve cellular repair and the protection against cell oxidation, many of these entheogenic plants (and fungi), including ayahuasca, do possess psychotherapeutical qualities as well. Coping with degenerative illness is obviously stressful to patients, and a great deal of emotional relief, personal insight, and ability to better cope with one’s personal situation is achievable through the single or repeated experience of entheogenic medicinal plants/mushrooms in a comfortable and supportive environment, according to renowned Johns Hopkins medical university.

The fact that many of these medicinal plants are becoming revived as they recieve scientific approval, is great news in many ways. Sustainability and environmental issues comes to mind, and so far the outlook is positive. Many organic farms have developed in south and central america, cultivating ayahuasca plants for both local use and for export, providing work and income for people in rural areas otherwise struggling with poverty. This also serves as a way for many locals to reconnect with their cultural past, as ayahuasca is declared a national heritage in Peru among other places.

Sustainable ayahuasca plantation, Brazil. These Chacruna trees take several years before reaching their mature height of 2-3 meters.

DMckennaDennis Mckenna, PH.D, one of the world’s most renowned ethnopharmacology researchers speaks on the importance of sustainability, regarding cultivation of ayahuasca and the preservation of rainforests. This should concern all people out there, who benefit from treatment using ayahuasca medicinal plants. Dr. Mckenna is co-founder and director of ethnopharmachology at Heffter Research Institute, New Mexico. He is also a faculty member of the Academic Health Center at the University of Minnesota, and was key organizer in the Hoasca Project, an international biomedical study of ayahuasca, funded by the Stanley Medical Research Institute. The plants can actually be grown at home in gardens anywhere in the world where the climate allows, or indoors or in heated greenhouses elsewhere, and the seeds are both cheap and abundant – available from numerous online ethnobotanical vendors worldwide, ensuring the survival of these medicinal plant species and their sustained availability for future generations.

It used to be that this formerly unknown plant medicine was completely overlooked, but as we have begun to understand its potential, neglect has been replaced with knowledge, and the scientific groundwork on this matter is becoming firm. People should not be led into thinking this is some kind of natural miracle cure, but if anything it could provide a longterm aid in the restorement of body and mind function in people with certain neurological conditions. Together as a community we can all help to inform people in an unbiased, ethical and safe way about any viable alternative treatment options, and about the medicinal and therapeutical value of entheogenic plants in general.

Common sense should be applied when working out dosage to ensure a sufficient degree of medicinal activity, while not being overwhelming. A clean diet is essential in conjunction with ayahuasca, in order to minimize side effects and to maximize benefit and utilization of medicinal compounds, and basic knowledge on the process of preparation of the medicine is helpful in order for the plants to synergize correctly. The help and information needed for these purposes are provided to participants in the below pilot study.

There is currently an ongoing community-based international Pilot study involving people diagnosed with ALS, documenting the use of this plant medicine, the gathering and evaluation of results being processed at this point.

To follow this project, or if you are interested in joining this study, click on the following link: https://ayahuascatreatment.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/natural-als-treatment-pilot-project/

Ayahuasca has been used for a very long time historically, and only recently for treatment of the conditions brought up in this article. Any substantial health improvement from this natural medicine in cases of motor neuron disease would be likely to reveal itself long-term at first. Initial updates from people taking part in the ayahuasca ALS treatment pilot study report a few things in common; the feeling of a somewhat wider range of movement, weight gain in muscle mass, tension relief in muscles, reduced spasticity and slightly improved grip strength in affected limbs, though it should be noted that none of these had lost all of their muscle control prior to treatment, and that whether or not this effect will prove to be permanent is not known at this moment.

Summary of Key Points:

Ayahuasca could effectively be used in treatment of ALS and other motor neuron diseases based on the fact that studies suggest uniquely antioxidative effects that seem to protect brain/nerve cells, targeting motor neurons through a unique biochemical transport system, and that it and other moleculary similar substances, also naturally occuring, stimulate neurogenesis – the development of new brain/nerve cells, and the communicative capacity between these. In studies it has been found to reduce symptoms in Parkinsons’s patients – all neurodegenerative diseases share common ground, thus making it likely that something that improves a given neurological condition could also be beneficial to other conditions nearly related. Also based on credible personal accounts from people having used ayahuasca for symptom relief from their multiple sclerosis (once again – the common ground of neurodegenerative diseases), documented in books about ayahuasca, and from descriptions of early stage minor improvement by those with various types of ALS now participating in the treatment project, already having used this medicine for a period of time. Studies also indicate ability to normalize metabolism in mitochondria, crucial to motor neuron survival, and to regulate and decrease levels of excitotoxicity in the central nervous system.

Ayahuasca and other entheogens can and will gain the credibility and amends they truly deserve, and bring new possibilities to many out there living with diseases that lack conventional healthcare treatment options. Meanwhile, these medicinal plants remain available for the personal evaluation of the individual who chooses to explore the option. In relation to the medical conditions brought up in this article, these plants may have the future role as a powerful tool for the reversal of the progression of ALS and related diseases. Hopefully, you found this information valuable. Share it, should you find it an important topic.

This article is currently being translated to Portugese and Spanish. If you would like to help this website and project by translating it to another language – please contact: ayahuascatreatment@hotmail.com

References:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2828149/pdf/nihms156585.pdf

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2828149/

(Ayahuasca and neurological disease)

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4773875/

(Neurotherapeutic ayahuasca potential in pharmacology)

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0019264

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110526131244.htm

(Ayahuasca harmala-alkaloids and Alzheimer’s disease study)

http://www.sram.org/media/documents/uploads/article_pdfs/5-3-01-Serrano-Duenas.pdf

(B. Caapi and Parkinson’s disease)

http://beckleyfoundation.org/2016/06/16/ayahuasca-stimulates-the-birth-of-new-brain-cells-latest-findings-from-the-beckleysant-pau-research-programme/

(Ayahuasca neurogenesis study)

http://www.stichtingopen.nl/en/component/content/article/research/study-shows-no-evidence-of-adverse-mental-health-effects-in-long-term-ayahuasca-users

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0042421

(Study proving ayahuasca safe from a health point of view, and to not have any longterm side effects)

http://smo.sagepub.com/content/1/2050312113508389.full

(Ayahuasca cancer research)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2014/07/03/psychedelic-drugs-put-your-brain-in-a-waking-dream-study-finds/

(Psilocybin study showing increased memory function in subjects)

http://health.usf.edu/medicine/neurology/faculty/sanchez_ramos.htm

(Dr. Juan Ramos profile)

(Psilocybin brain research)

http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0042421

(Study proving regular intake of ayahuasca leading to increased longterm wellbeing and general mental health)

http://iceers.org

(ICEERS – International center for ethnobotanical education research and service)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23627784
http://bitnest.ca/external.php?id=%257DbxUgY%255CC%2540%251BD%252A%253A-D%251BU%255BP%2500JIqc%2560%2515T
(Canadian studies of ayahuasca as treatment for drug/alcohol abuse)

http://www.heffter.org/research-jhus.htm

(Johns Hopkins university studies on the the therapeutical benefits of psilocybin medicinal mushrooms)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6682439

(Echinopsis and Lophophora cactus central nervous system study)

http://bioweb.uwlax.edu/bio203/2011/toellner_kayl/Medical.htm

(Lophophora cactus medicinal properties)

http://www.newsweek.com/chemical-ayahuasca-has-potential-treat-diabetes-313780

(Ayahuasca diabetes research)

https://vimeo.com/39251248

(Dr. Gabor Maté on Ayahuasca and stress related disease)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aufjjU0EYxk

(Ayahuasca and neural pathway redevelopment in the neocortex)

http://www.iceers.org/docs/science/ayahuasca/ICEERS2012_Ayahuasca_literature_compilation.pdf

(Compilation of scientific literature on ayahuasca)

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3220934/

(Harmine and glutamate transporter expression study)

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1347861314000267

(Role of Sigma 1-receptors in neurodegenerative diseases)

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/24004971_The_Hallucinogen_NN-Dimethyltryptamine_DMT_Is_an_Endogenous_Sigma-1_Receptor_Regulator

(Publication on dimethyltryptamine and Sigma 1-receptor regulation)

http://www.movementdisorders.org/MDS/Journals/Clinical-Practice-E-Journal-Overview/Movement-Disorders-Clinical-Practice-Vol-3-Issue-1/

(B. Caapi Postencephalitic Parkinsonism therapy)