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    whole natural products psychedelic research therapy ICEERS study

    Whole Natural Products in Psychedelic Research and Therapy


    Towards the use of whole natural products in psychedelic research and therapy: synergy, multi-target profiles, and beyond

    Genís Oña, and José Carlos Bouso.

    Frontiers in Natural Product Chemistry



    About the study

    This chapter culminates, at a theoretical level, the work that the authors have been doing to combine two recent paradigms: psychedelic assisted therapy and polypharmacology.

    The section of natural products explains in detail how the interactions between components of these products work, how synergy occurs, why natural products modulate a large number of biological targets, giving evolutionary, chemical and biological explanations.

    The section on ethics and reciprocity analyzes the ethical and sustainability dilemmas of the use of psychedelics with a natural origin, offering examples of how things were done wrong in the past, and also some of how they were done right.



    Interest in psychoactive ethnobotanicals such as ayahuasca or Psilocybe mushrooms for clinical uses has increased over the last two decades. While clinical and experimental approaches have focused on using isolated compounds of interest (such as psilocybin), an emerging trend in drug discovery involves a more comprehensive approach.

    The polypharmacology paradigm, as it has been named, suggests that promiscuous drugs could be safer and more effective than highly selective ones. This is especially relevant with regards to complex diseases, like most mental health problems and neurodegenerative diseases, and for natural products, including psychoactive ethnobotanicals.

    Natural products not only show a multi-target profile, but they also contain several compounds capable of interacting with one another and producing synergistic effects.

    In this chapter, the use of whole natural products instead of isolated compounds is suggested in support of combining two recent paradigms: psychedelic assisted therapy on the one side and polypharmacology on the other.


    Link to the book


    Contact ICEERS Research team

    Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash.

    Categories: Studies & papers , Polypharmacology
    Tags: scientific research , study , psychedelics , polypharmacology , psychedelic therapy , book chapter , synergy , natural products