Benjamin Mudge’s education in Psychiatry has been through personal experience: having lived with treatment-resistant Bipolar Disorder, and worked at Neuroscience research laboratories and GlaxoSmithKline’s headquarters. He gave up on pharmaceutical drugs after 17 prescriptions each had more side effects than benefits, and eventually discovered Ayahuasca. He has been researching the psychotherapeutic and entheogenic uses of Ayahuasca for 10 years, healing along the way. Having done a lot of self-experimentation with different Ayahuasca brews, he discovered that particular Ayahuasca brewing techniques and particular ceremony settings are all he requires to stabilize his own brain chemistry. Consequently, a Psychiatry department offered a scholarship to do both qualititative and quantitative research into the therapeutic potential of Ayahuasca for other people with Bipolar Disorder. His controversial theories have gradually become acknowledged as groundbreaking science.
The Therapeutic Potential of Ayahuasca for People with Bipolar Disorder
Given the evidence indicating ayahuasca’s efficacy for treating Depression, I question whether ayahuasca is safe and effective for treating Bipolar Disorder? There is concern that ayahuasca and other psychedelics would worsen manic/depressive symptoms in people with Bipolar Disorder, and I will provide anecdotes of dangerous outcomes that my qualitative research has found in this population. However this population is vulnerable to suicide and serious illness and therefore it is negligent for psychedelic science to exclude them from its research. My PhD also indicates that particular conditions of ceremony – involving ayahuasca teas made with particular brewing techniques – can facilitate a mood-stabilizing medicinal benefit for people with Bipolar Disorder, without side-effects. In addition to set and setting, brewing technique strongly influences the outcomes: there are dangers for people with Bipolar Disorder drinking ayahuasca brewed with too much MAOI content, fermented Ayahuasca, or ayahuasca combined with other psychoactive substances. This evidence will be explained with reference to the scientific facts of neurobiology and psychopharmacology, together with a novel hypothesis about 5-HT2A receptor binding times. The many positive anecdotes, together with lessons learned from bad experiences and laboratory research, will inform a specific protocol for people with Bipolar Disorder to drink Ayahuasca safely and with medicinal benefit. Practical tips will be provided.