Tag Archives | Magic Mushrooms

Magic mushrooms found in Buckingham Palace gardens

Andy Roberts (CC BY 2.0)

Andy Roberts (CC BY 2.0)

via Washington Post:

It seems that the Queen of England may have some hallucinogenics close at hand. Let she who has never let unidentified mushrooms flourish in the back yard cast the first stone.

During preparations for a TV special last week, film crews noticed that one of the many mushrooms growing in the gardens of Buckingham Palace — the home of Queen Elizabeth II of England — was of the “magic” variety. The AP reports that mushrooms in the garden are not used by the palace kitchens for recreation or ragout.

If you’re still suspicious, here’s the fungal 411: The mushroom that film crews spotted was the Amanita muscaria (known as the fly agaric). It’s that classic, shiny red shroom with white spots – think “Alice in Wonderland.”

But the hallucinogenic mushrooms that we talk about when we talk about drug use aren’t this species at all.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Treating Depression With Magic Mushrooms

Psilocybe semilanceata 6514.jpg

Psilocybe semilanceata 6514. Photo by Arp (CC)

When the New York Times runs an op-ed seriously suggesting the use of psilocybin (a/k/a magic mushrooms) for treatment of depression, one suspects a tipping point may have been reached in the struggle for psychedelics to be taken seriously as having medical worth:

I tried magic mushrooms out of curiosity and in middle age. I’d been on the amateur mycological circuit for a couple of years, but hallucinogenic species were rarely mentioned at the foraging expeditions and conferences I attended. It’s almost as if they were the black sheep of mycology: embarrassing to serious taxonomy jocks. I read some books on the subject, but most were tripper’s guides that didn’t utilize, um, specific language or current science. Psychoactive mushrooms had been in a kind of scientific ghetto ever since they were criminalized in 1968. But now the drug derived from the mushroom, psilocybin, is finally being re-examined for its medical applications.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Study shows the therapeutic benefits of Magic Mushrooms

Psilocybe_semilanceata_6514

Fruit bodies of the hallucinogenic mushroom Psilocybe semilanceata (Fr.) Kumm. Specimens photographed in Sweden. By Arp via Wikimedia Commons.

Color me unsurprised.

via News.Mic:

The research: One study concluded that controlled exposure to psilocybin could have long-lasting medical and spiritual benefits. In 2011, Johns Hopkins researchers found that by giving volunteer test subjects just the right dose (not enough to give them a terrifying bad trip), they were able to reliably induce transcendental experiences in volunteers. This provoked long-lasting psychological growth and helped the volunteers to find peace in their lives, all without side effects. Nearly all of the 18 test subjects, average age 46, were college graduates. Seventy-eight percent were religious and all were interested in finding a scientific experience.

Fourteen months later, 94% said their trip on magic mushrooms was one of the five most important moments of their lives. Thirty-nine percent said it was the most important thing that had ever happened to them.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Magic mushrooms expand your mind and amplify your brain’s dreaming areas – here’s how

Dried CubensisDefinitely safer than synthetic drugs, but still not for the faint of heart, here’s how magic mushrooms expand your mind, expounded by Robin Carhart-Harris, Post-doctoral Researcher, Centre for Neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London, at The Conversation:

Psychedelic drugs alter consciousness in a profound and novel way that increases the breadth and fluency of cognition. However, until recently, we were unable to offer an explanation for how the brain was altered to account for these effects.

In a new study, published in Human Brain Mapping, we scanned the brains of volunteers who had been injected with psilocybin – the chemical found in magic mushrooms which gives a psychedelic experience – and a control group who hadn’t, and discovered two key things: that psilocybin increased the amplitude (or “volume”) of activity in regions of the brain that are reliably activated during dream sleep and form part of the brain’s ancient emotion system; and that psychedelics facilitate a state of “expanded” consciousness – meaning that the breath of associations made by the brain and the ease by which they are visited is enhanced under the drugs.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Magic Mushrooms and Natural Intelligence

Simon G. PowellIn a time when Artificial Intelligence is getting all the headlines, English author and film-maker Simon G. Powell is making the case for Natural Intelligence – the idea that life itself is intelligent and nature has solutions to problems we have yet to even understand. And it was a series of mushroom trips – “like insights into the essence of existence” – which initiated and propelled his work.

Powell describes these first revelatory experiences in the latest podcast from The Eternities: “I had a mystical experience, what felt like divine energy [was] pulsing through me. It was like I tasted something that most people don’t taste and it was absolutely astonishing. ”

Powell went on to write The Psilocybin Solution: The Role of Sacred Mushrooms in the Quest for Meaning (2011), which traced the history of the sacred psilocybin mushroom and discussed its visionary effects, also examining the current science and lasting spirituality that surround it.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Do Psychedelics Have a Place in the Future of Medicine? With Brad Burge of MAPS and Army Ranger Tim Amoroso.

Via Midwest Real

“There really has been an exponential increase of media interest in what’s happening. I think that’s the result of new research, (and) the result of some major international conferences that are really establishing the field of psychedelic science and medicine.” Brad Burge of MAPS.

image  image

It seems we’re finally at a turning point in The War on Drugs.  All it took was a few decades of indoctrination, mass-incarceration, astronomical price tags and straight-up horrific body counts. Yet, society’s transition into a deeper understanding of these substances has been far from smooth. Yes, the people have clearly spoken on the subject of marijuana, and nearly half of all U.S. states have taken notice, putting some sort of marijuana-friendly law on the books. However, when it comes to Mary Jane’s more potent psychedelic cousins, the conversation is quite a bit more nuanced and controversial. Thankfully, for the first time in decades, the dialogue surrounding psychedelics is evolving.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

How Magic Mushrooms Alter Your Brain

magic mushroomsVia Ultraculture, Jason Louv on how magic mushrooms temporarily quiet portions of the brain that normally constrain us:

According to two new studies released this week, psilocybin mushrooms apparently work by decreasing activity in key areas of the brain, rather than increasing it. Blood flow decreases to the medical prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and posterior cingulate cortex (PCC). Overactivity in the mPFC is associated with depression, one reason why psilocybin can be associated with antidepressant effects; the PCC is often associated with consciousness and identity.

Researchers suggest that what may actually be happening with psychedelics is decreased blood flow to brain areas that constrain our sensory experience of the world and our sense of identity—allowing the brain to relax its grip on ordering reality and open up to a broader spectrum.

Professor David Nutt, from the Department of Medicine at Imperial College London, said: “We found that psilocybin actually caused activity to decrease in areas that… constrain our experience of the world and keep it orderly.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Low Dose Psychedelics Allow Mice To Generate Neurons And Unlearn Conditioned Fear

psychedelics

Psychedelic Frontier reports on another study pointing to the immense power (and hazards) of psychedelics:

A new study of mice published in Experimental Brain Research shows that low doses (but not high doses) of psychedelics increase the rate of neuron creation in the hippocampus, and help the mice to rapidly unlearn conditioned fear responses.

Mice injected with low doses of PSOP [psilocybin] extinguished cued fear conditioning significantly more rapidly than high-dose PSOP or saline-treated mice. PSOP facilitates extinction of the conditioned fear response, and this, and similar agents, should be explored as potential treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder and related conditions.

Research continues to confirm psychedelics’ ability to reduce the conditioned fear response, enabling patients to confront fearful stimuli without the usual baggage of anxiety and defense mechanisms.

With the right therapeutic approach, psychedelics allow us to rewire our brains in a positive manner. On the flip side, reckless use of these substances may cause lasting negative changes in the brain.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Bad Shroom Trip: The Opera

Performance artist and opera singer Joseph Keckler unveils an epic, original Italian operatic aria that explores the dizzying highs and lows of a tumultuous psilocybin experience. Visuals provided by Sifl and Olly creator Liam Lynch:
Continue Reading

More Than 30 Million Americans Have Used Psychedelic Drugs

psychedelic drugs

Is illicit use of hallucinogens in fact a part of normal behavior? Healthline reports:

A new study shows that an estimated 32 million people in the U.S. have used LSD, “magic mushrooms”, or mescaline at some point in their lives, many in the recent past.

Researchers Teri S. Krebs and Pål-Ørjan Johansen of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology used data from a sample of more than 57,000 individuals ages 12 and older who were questioned for the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

According to Krebs and Johansen’s study, the rate of lifetime psychedelic use was highest among people ages 30 to 34, with higher rates in men than in women. The authors also found that older adults were more likely to have used LSD and mescaline, whereas younger adults were more likely to have used “magic mushrooms.”

In our experience, people are surprised about the high rate of psychedelic use in the U.S.,” Krebs said.

Read the rest
Continue Reading