Manufactured in the laboratory – University Clinic Zurich tests jungle drug against depression and anxiety


A team of researchers tested the drug ayahuasca on test subjects. The effect is said to help with depression, addictions or anxiety disorders.

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The drug ayahuasca is being researched at the university clinic.

20min/Lynn Sachs

In the long term, the drug is often said to have fewer side effects than classic drugs.

In the long term, the drug is often said to have fewer side effects than classic drugs.

Lucerne police

In South America, shamans have been using the traditional ayahuasca plant stock as a remedy in spiritual rituals for centuries. In a kind of trance state that lasts for several hours, one can relive one’s most emotional memories with consumption.

According to studies, under controlled conditions these substances can help certain patients with severe depression, addictions or anxiety disorders. In the longer term, these people would often have fewer side effects than if they took traditional medication every day. Milan Scheidegger from the Psychiatric University Clinic Zurich is researching the effects of two ayahuasca ingredients for precisely these reasons.

His colleague Dario Dornbierer has this even in the laboratory isolated from plants and processed pharmaceutically, as the “Tages-Anzeiger” writes. “It is much better tolerated than the ayahuasca from the Amazon region because it does not contain any vegetable bitter substances,” says Scheidegger, who has so far examined the new preparation in a total of 44 healthy men in studies.

Not harmless

However, this psychedelic drug can also wash up negative experiences and trigger dangerous horror trips. Later on, this could make it difficult for consumers to process what they have experienced. According to Scheidegger, however, moderate self-confrontation can be valuable from a psychotherapeutic point of view. Those who consciously turn to their most intimate feelings may have the chance to reassess and classify them.

So far, there have been extensive tests with healthy men between the ages of 20 and 40. His team is currently preparing the first clinical studies with patients suffering from anxiety and depression.

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