THURSDAY, Nov. 17, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Ayahuasca, a powerful psychoactive drug derived from a South American plant, is a traditional Amazonian-based medicine and an increasingly popular hallucinogenic brew used by devotees worldwide.
But what is the ayahuasca experience really like?
An international survey of thousands of men and women who have tried the drug for religious, therapeutic or recreational purposes provides some clues.
On the downside, the vast majority said the drug induced some significant side effects, ranging from nausea and vomiting to the onset of nightmares, disturbing thoughts and a feeling of disconnection.
On the upside, however, only a very small minority said they needed medical care to handle their physical discomfort.
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Which begs the question: Do the pros really outweigh the cons?
Erin Bonar, an associate professor of psychiatry with the University of Michigan Addiction Center who reviewed the findings, said that really depends on whom you ask.