Ayahuasca: Spiritual Pharmacology and Drug Interactions

Psychedelic Awareness Salon Ayahuasca: Spiritual Pharmacology and Drug Interactions

2017 March 28

TITLE: Ayahuasca: Spiritual Pharmacology and Drug Interactions


Ayahuasca is unique among psychedelic sacraments in that it requires an interaction between two plants to obtain its full effects. This interaction is responsible for the profound healing that ayahuasca is known to have, although also introduces potential for adverse reactions if the wrong foods or drugs are taken concurrently or in close proximity to drinking ayahuasca. The purpose of this talk is to describe what’s known about ayahuasca’s pharmacology, outline adverse food and drug combinations with ayahuasca, and provide an overview of current clinical data supporting treatment of mental illness with ayahuasca.



Dr. Benjamin Malcolm earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Pharmacology from the University of California at Santa Barbara before deciding to pursue his Doctorate of Pharmacy at Touro University California. While at Touro he additionally attained a Master’s degree in Public Health. After graduation he completed post-doctoral residency training programs in Acute Care at Scripps Mercy Hospital and Psychiatric Pharmacy at the University of California at San Diego. He currently serves as Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Western University of Health Sciences where he teaches psychopharmacology and the clinical use of psychiatric medications. His primary research interest is psychedelic-assisted therapies for the treatment of psychiatric morbidity.


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