Learn about the benefits, limitations and risks of treating ayahuasca as a medicine.

Taught by medical doctor and long-term ayahuasca drinker Dr. Brian Anderson, M.D., this course provides an empowering integration of medical and practical advice for drinking and serving ayahuasca.

In this short course, you’ll learn about:

  • The limitations and risks of medicalizing ayahuasca.
  • Differences between spirituality, shamanism and Western medicine.
  • Types of best practice for ayahuasca drinkers and communities.
  • The importance of community for the healing process.

"Presenting a depth of information in visually beautiful settings, the Kahpi ayahuasca courses instruct and delight."

Tom Roberts (PhD) Author of the book, The Psychedelic Future of The Mind.

Ayahuasca has become an increasingly popular type of alternative medicine for people in Western societies. But ayahuasca is no ordinary medicine. It requires a different way of thinking about medicine. Physician Brian Anderson has been drinking ayahuasca for ten years and has also spent time researching ayahuasca as an anthropologist. He brings a wealth of medical knowledge and practical wisdom about the benefits and risks of this non-ordinary spiritual medicine for individuals and communities.

Dr. Anderson also teaches us early psychiatric research into ayahuasca and how communities of ayahuasca drinkers in South America offer models for ayahuasca communities around the world. In this course, you'll learn about the potential risks and rewards of integrating ayahuasca with a Western medical model. You'll also gain advice on safety precautions and ways to prepare for and integrate ayahuasca experiences. 

Learn about the importance of community for the process of ayahuasca healing from an avid ayahuasca drinker and trained medical doctor.

Course curriculum

  • 01
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    • Introducing Dr. Anderson (2:24)
    • Introducing The Course (7:22)
  • 02
    The Untold Histories of Ayahuasca in Allopathic Medicine
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    • Early Psychiatric Writings on Ayahuasca (15:30)
    • Ayahuasca and Allopathy as complementary Medical Systems in Latin America: Brazil and Peru (7:34)
    • Ayahuasca and Allopathy as complementary Medical Systems in Latin America: Colombia (13:47)
    • The Significance of Personal Experience: Phenomenology and Biology (11:03)
    • Personal Experience and Public Debate (5:19)
    • The Significance of Personal Experience: Two Scientists (11:26)
  • 03
    Implications of Using Ayahuasca as “Medicine”
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    • Spirituality, Shamanism, and Allopathic Medicine (16:26)
    • When Spiritual Traditions become Medicalized: Possible Benefits (14:08)
    • When Spiritual Traditions become Medicalized: Possible Risks (13:08)
    • Differentiating “Serving Medicine” and “Practicing Medicine” (9:56)
  • 04
    Best Practices for Ayahuasca Healing
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    • Challenges of Applying the Concept of “Best Practices” to Ayahuasca (18:02)
    • Medical Ethics and the Regulation of Alternative Medicine: A Case Study (12:43)
    • Resources for Ayahuasca communities to Develop their Own Best Practices: Part 1 (8:51)
    • Resources for Ayahuasca communities to Develop their Own Best Practices: Part 2 (13:23)

Dr. Brian Anderson

Meet Your Instructor

Dr. Brian Anderson is a resident physician (Medical Doctor) in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco. He has been drinking ayahuasca for ten years. He earned his MD at Stanford University. He has an MSc in Biomedicine, Biotechnology and Society from the London School of Economics where he wrote his thesis "Classifying Ayahuasca: The Role of Subjective Experience in Psychiatric Research with Psychedelics." He has a BA in Biochemistry with a minor in Latin American and Latino Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. Beginning in 2005, he has conducted ethnographic research with communities of substance users in Brazil, the United States, Mexico, and the United Kingdom.
Dr. Brian Anderson


  • Do I Need to Start the Courses at a Particular Time or Place?

    No, all Kahpi courses are online, and you can take them from any place where you have an internet connection. All the teachings are pre-recorded so you can watch them at any time that works for you. You can also enjoy all the lessons on your phone and tablet.

  • How Much Time Do I Need to Complete The Kahpi Courses?

    We currently have 12 Courses for you to browse and learn from. Each course consists of several hours of teachings that are split into many 10 minute lessons. You can navigate the course panel in an easy-to-use way and choose whichever lessons you wish.

  • Can I Buy Each Course Separately?

    The courses cannot be purchased individually. With a Kahpi membership, you'll get full access to all 12 Kahpi courses.

  • What Does the Kahpi Membership Include?

    The Kahpi Membership includes: 1. Full access to all the Kahpi courses 2. An exclusive monthly newsletter with information about new Kahpi articles, scientific and cultural studies, and more, 3. A copy of our E-Booklet, "The Kahpi Guide to Ayahuasca", and 4. Access to the Members-only discussion forums for each Kahpi course. There are two great options to become a member and receive all of the above: You can become a Monthly Member or a Lifetime Member.

  • What if I Find Technology Difficult to Use?

    It's very simple to browse and watch the Kahpi courses. Once you signup or login, you are taken directly to your courses and can simply choose which lessons to watch. If you ever have any questions, our team can assist you immediately.

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  • What Should I Do When I Complete My Learning?

    It's very simple to cancel your Monthly Membership at anytime you wish. Students of Lifetime Membership can easily revisit lessons in the future to help with integration and the longer path of ayahuasca.

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