There have been many victims in the War on Drugs, from families being torn apart to victimless criminals rotting in a cage for possessing marijuana. But one victim of the war on drugs that is seldom mentioned is alternative medicine.
There has been plenty of research lately showing the near miracle medicinal properties of cannabis, from curing cancer to treating diabetes, but little has been said of these three “psychedelic drugs” which are illegal, however hold some amazing medical properties.
(Pictured above) According to Wikipedia, Ayahuasca, also commonly called yagé is a psychedelic brew made out of Banisteriopsis caapi vine alone or in combination with various plants. It is either mixed with the leaves of dimethyltryptamine (DMT)-containing species of shrubs from the genus Psychotria or with the leaves of the Justicia pectoralis plant which does not contain DMT. The brew, first described academically in the early 1950s by Harvard ethnobotanist Richard Evans Schultes, who found it employed for divinatory and healing purposes by the native peoples of Amazonian Peru, is known by a number of different names. Image credit: theairspace.net
In a post on The Atlantic, Roland Griffiths, a professor in the departments of psychiatry and neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University—and one of the first to resume work on these drugs— published a study five years ago that demonstrated how effective they are at improving how a person feels.
“That first study blew me away,” he says. “Nearly all the participants reported significant positive changes in attitude and behavior, and those changes were also observed by the participants’ friends, family, and colleagues. It was remarkable.”
Anecdotal evidence suggests that Ayahuasca can successfully treat depression, anxiety, addiction, as well as being used by natives to treat nearly any illness.
If you want to give Ayahuasca a try, make sure to be aware of local laws which may prohibit importing it and the risks involved in taking it. You can find it here or elsewhere on the internet, or you can take a trip down to South America to get the authentic experience. Here are a few useful recipes.
Psilocybin, or magic mushrooms, have long been used by people all over the world to reconnect with nature. Many have talked about the therapeutic values of these mushrooms, but only recently have scientific studies confirmed what many have been saying. Image credit: Flickr/uair01
According to Natural Society, research from the University of South Florida shows psilocybin, the active component within psychedelic mushrooms, is able to grow new brain cells—potentially offering treatment for mental illness and improving cognition.
The study, published in Experimental Brain Research, says psilocybin is able to bind to special receptors in the brain that stimulate healing and growth. In the case of these mushrooms, brain cell growth occurs. In mice, the researchers found psilocybin to actually help repair damaged brain cells and cure or relieve PTSD and depression.
Recent research from the Psychiatric University Hospital of Zurich, suggests that magic mushrooms have the ability to improve test subject’s moods over long periods of time. According to Reset.me,
“In the study, researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging to show that psilocybin influences the amygdala in a way that allows for better processing of negative stimuli. Not surprisingly, this led to an improved mood in the participants given psilocybin. Scientists say the results indicate psilocybin shows promise as a treatment for anxiety and depression.”
Commonly know as ‘Molly’, and the main ingredient in Ecstasy, MDMA has long been a party drug commonly found in the electronic music scene. But recent research has found that this drug can be used medically, not just for recreational purposes.
At least two studies have shown a positive health impact of MDMA treatment for people who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
According to The Guardian,
“The research was a follow up to an earlier study published in 2010 in which a group of 12 patients with chronic treatment resistant PTSD were given MDMA, and compared with another group of eight patients who were not, during and after psychotherapeutic treatment for their PTSD.
The new paper, which is published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, has followed up all but one of the original participants, up to six years after they were treated with MDMA. The researchers found that their PTSD symptoms remained reduced, they didn’t go on to abuse drugs, and there was no harm to memory and concentration after the treatment.”
While the FDA and ‘Big Pharma’ are enjoying their monopoly over ‘modern medicine’, the tides are changing in the way Americans, and people all over the world view illegal drugs. Over 22 American states have already legalized medicinal use of marijuana with many more states voting on marijuana measures in the coming election. Cannabis has been decriminalized in at least 18 other countries.
However, other drugs –just as the ones mentioned in this article– are not being talked about much on the political stage. The truth is that the drug war is not only a failure and a waste of money, it’s also very deadly. The War on Drugs has cost Americans an estimated $1 Trillion over the last four decades, with very little progress to show. Addiction rates remain high, drug use remains high, and patients are being denied their medicine. America’s incarceration rate is now the highest in the history of humanity, with the poor and minorities are taking the brunt of the negative impacts of the War on Drugs. Our policies have caused a massive turf war between rivaling drug cartels competing for the lucrative American illegal drug market, taking the lives of 50,000 people since 2006 and driving a record numbers of refugees to the US from Latin America.
We can’t forget about the staggering rise of ‘legal’ prescription medications. Doctors, many times, will just throw pills at people instead of figuring out why they are ill, leading to and epidemic of over-medication. In fact, the rise of dangerous prescription drugs have led to a huge amount of deaths. There are now more people dying from ‘legal’ drug related deaths than die from illegal drugs including meth and heroin, but they don’t mention these facts on prescription drug ad funded TV news stations.
The fight against the drug war is being won, but we cannot stand for a partial victory. All drug use and addiction should not be treated as a criminal activity, it should be treated as a health issue. The time for putting people in cages for committing victimless crimes, using drugs which disconnected bureaucrats deem illegal, is over. And we can’t forget that many of the so called ‘illegal’ drugs have some pretty awesome health benefits.