Czech team head to Amazon River to study hallucinogenic drink “ayahuasca iowaska”

23-11-2018

Czech scientists are preparing for a research trip to the Amazon Forest to study a hallucinogenic drink used by indigenous South American people, known as “ayahuasca iowaska” or “yagé” for short.

The Czech team will be led by neuroscientist and leading researcher of psychoactive substances Tomáš Páleníček of the National Institute of Mental Health.

Yagé is used by people in the Amazon River basin in spiritual rituals and is believed to have for the healing properties. Under clinical conditions, its therapeutic effects have been demonstrated on people suffering from depression.

However, the long-term effects of yagé on the brain have not been studied, according to Páleníček.