How Psychedelics You’ve Never Heard of Could Help Treat Mental Illness

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Ibogaine isn’t the only strange psychedelic drug with healing powers coming out of West Africa these days. Scientists at Northwestern University looking into treatments used by traditional healers in Nigeria have synthesized four new chemical compounds that could eventually lead to better treatments for people suffering psychiatric disorders.

The compounds are indole alkaloids found in various plants used by Nigerian healers to treat people suffering from conditions such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Indole alkaloids, of which more than 4,000 have been identified, include tryptamine and serotonin, as well as ibogaine, psilocybin and psilocin (magic mushrooms) and the fast-acting psychedelic DMT.

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