Psychiatrist Dr. Simon Ruffell on the Science and Philosophy of Ayahuasca | #08

Psychedelic retreat centers have become big business, providing a way for curious minds to engage in psychedelic treatments in areas where they are legal. One perfect example are retreat centers located throughout South America where participants gather to drink the strange cocktail of tryptamines and harmalines in a brew called “ayahuasca”. But are these treatments effective?

Dr. Simon Ruffell is a psychiatrist that has specialized his research on understanding exactly what goes on in these ayahuasca ceremonies and how they impact the physical and mental health of participants. To do so, Dr. Ruffell traveled to Peru to spend time in the jungle participating in ayahuasca ceremonies, collecting data from participants and even following up with participants long after a ceremony to understand just what might be going on.

In this episode of Isn’t Life Curious? we dive into this strange world of ayahuasca to unpack both the science and philosophy surrounding this psychedelic brew as we continue our mini-series, Serious About Psychedelics.

To learn more about Dr. Ruffell’s work with Ayahuasca, check out The Ayahuasca Foundation at

Stay curious and take it easy!