Benjamin Mudge

PhD Candidate

Psychiatry Department, Flinders University, Australia

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 Glaxo Smith Kline’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.

Presentation Topic: 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 would trigger mania in people with Bipolar Disorder, but my research indicates that particular conditions of ceremony - involving ayahuasca teas made with particular brewing techniques - can facilitate a mood-stabilising medicinal benefit for people with Bipolar Disorder, without side- effects. There are cases of manic/depressive symptoms worsening with ayahuasca, so I analyse the circumstances influencing these results. 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. 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.