What Are Psilocybin Mushrooms?
Psilocybin mushrooms are one of the oldest and most sacred medicines in the world. They have been used by many ancient cultures such as the Aztecs and other prehistoric nomadic tribes (which left for posterity the paintings in the caves in Algeria, for example).
These “magic mushrooms”, as they have been called frequently, have been used in spiritual ceremonies, for healing purposes and spiritual exploration. They are one of the safest and friendliest psychedelics known to man. What makes them so special and what is the biochemical mechanism through which they have these “magic” powers?
How Do Psilocybin Mushrooms Work?
Psilocybin mushrooms contain two main psychoactive compounds – psilocybin and psilocin. These two compounds replace serotonin as one of the main neurotransmitters helping the brain to interpret its surroundings. Hence, quite literally (and figuratively) we can access a new reality, a new vision for our life while consuming magic mushrooms. We can view reality through a different type of lens, helping us overcome our stubborn psychological and emotional debris.
200 species of “magic mushrooms”
There are more than 200 species of “magic mushrooms”, out of which many are psilocybin mushrooms. Different strains have different degrees of potency so an actual dose is hard to recommend. However, I would suggest to start slowly and gradually from a small dose.
The most common strain is called psilocybe cubensis, which is a pretty strong strain. A typical dose would consist of approximately 3 grams of dried mushrooms.
How Safe Are Psilocybin Mushrooms?
Not only are they not addictive in any way, magic mushrooms have the potential of empowering individuals to transcend their vices and addictions (The Atlantic). Conventional medicine and the media have started to acknowledge (NYTimes) the great healing power of psilocybin mushrooms (and psychedelics in general).
More specifically, psilocybin mushrooms have been proven to help patients suffering from depression, anxiety, OCD and other mental health conditions (Huffington Post).
Psilocybin Mushroom’s Effect on the Body
They also seem to have an interesting effect on how the whole brain wires together. Functional MRIs performed during the psychedelic experience induced by psilocybin mushrooms suggest that these “magic mushrooms” wire different parts of the brain together, making them collaborate more efficiently – facilitating a much smoother communication between its various parts. (The Journal of the Royal Society Interface)
Another study done by Johns Hopkins University researched the psychological, emotional and spiritual effects of psilocybin mushrooms. They were shocked by the results.
Out of 36 test subjects, a third said that their experience was the most significant (spiritual) experience of their lives, while over two thirds stated that it was definitely in their top five most significant life experiences.
More so, 79% of the subjects reported increased well-being in the months following the study.
In spite of this, research is only slowly emerging on the healing power of magic mushrooms due to their illegal use (as they are still classified as Schedule 1 drugs) – and they are forbidden by law to consume or grow in most countries. The only country to make an exception from this rule is the Czech Republic.
Wat Happens When You Take A Dose of Psilocybin Mushrooms?
This is quite difficult to explain as the experience in itself is very subjective and specific to the user. People who were courageous enough to undergo such an experience describe a wide range of experiences, from hallucinations to euphoria, nausea or vomiting.
If you would do a quick online search for “psilocybin mushrooms experiences”, you would find a wide variety of experiences, ranging from the most sublime and spiritual to the most terrifying and fearful experiences. This is not due to the mushrooms themselves but rather due to the user – their psychological baggage, their emotional make-up, the set and setting in which they consumes these powerful medicines and so on.
Make sure that you consume these powerful medicines with someone who knows how to facilitate such an experience. It is better to start off with a smaller dose than with a bigger one. The set and setting in which you consume magic mushrooms is of crucial importance and it can make the difference between an empowering life-changing experience and a traumatic experience.
Psilocybin mushrooms are potent sacred healing tools for spiritual exploration, psychological and emotional healing as well as for personal development. You do not have to be “sick” to experiment with this sacred medicine – all you need is the willingness to try something new, an open-mind and the knowledge to create a safe context to enjoy them properly.
Learn more about psilocybin mushrooms by reading our Beginner’s Guide to Magic Mushrooms.