For years, magic mushrooms have been known to give people remarkable spiritual experiences enabling members of ancient tribes such as the Aztecs to communicate with their gods. Now consensus is building among researchers that shrooms aren’t necessarily the harmful and addictive drugs they’re made out to be. In fact, they could provide the key in holistic healing for human beings.
Here’s a look at 8 Benefits Shrooms:
1. Shrooms Soothes Anxiety
If you’re the kind of person who suffers from bouts of anxiety, there’s some good news for you. Psilocybin mushrooms can help reduce your anxiety levels. A study conducted by a team of scientists at John Hopkins showed that moderate doses of shrooms in conjunction with psychotherapy helped terminally ill patients overcome anxiety and depression caused by their diagnosis. After a 6 hour treatment almost 80% of the participants showed significantly reduced anxiety and depression, results that were still evident 6 months down the line. 83% of those treated reported they were more satisfied with their quality of life, while two-thirds admitted their psilocybin session was one of the five most important experiences in their lives.
2. Magic Mushrooms Lowers Depression
You may or may not know this, but Canadians are ranked as one of the highest users of antidepressants in the world. OECD, which released this statistic says that as much as 9% of Canada’s population is on one medication or other for fighting depression. Luckily a lot of research has been done on psilocybin therapy in relation to depression. In fact, psilocybin therapy has been given “breakthrough therapy” status by the FDA for the treatment of depression meaning its approval for such use is now being fast tracked.
Among the more promising outcomes of research is a 2017 study by the Imperial College London which found that psilocybin “may effectively reset the activity of key brain circuits known to play a role in depression.” A different study also showed that psilocybin combined with psychological support can revive one’s emotional responsiveness. It suggested that the chemical works without emotionally blunting patients as is the case with conventional antidepressants.
3. Shrooms Alleviates OCD Symptoms
You’re probably familiar with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), a condition that’s associated with unreasonable thoughts and fears that result in compulsive behaviors like constantly washing your hands for fear of germs, or the need to arrange things in a specific way. Patients suffering from bipolar disorders are usually the most affected. Studies done by the University of Arizona showed that magic mushrooms were able to successfully treat the symptoms related to this disorder.
According to Dr. Francisco Moreno and Dr. Brian Bayze who work at the university, psilocybin works together with various serotonin receptors in the brain, including those which control certain brain regions of individuals with OCD. By treating them with multiple doses of shrooms, the binding activity of serotonin receptors changes thereby reducing such symptoms.
4. It Can Treat Addiction
Whether you’re addicted to smoking, alcohol, or cocaine, psilocybin mushrooms could provide the answer to breaking these habits. One pilot study conducted by John Hopkins University researchers revealed that psilocybin therapy enabled participants to abstain from smoking for a period of 12 months during which follow-up was done.
Matthew Johnson, an associate professor of psychiatry, who led the study believes shrooms can potentially treat other substance abuse disorders like alcohol and cocaine addiction. According to him, these disorders are caused by “a narrowed mental and behavioral repertoire”. Such people can be shaken out of their routines using well-coordinated psilocybin therapy sessions.
5. Magic Mushrooms Stimulates Growth of New Brain Cells
We know that psilocybin can help the brain establish new connections across its different regions but, get this, it can also help the growth of neorons in the brain. Research done by the University of South Florida showed that psilocybin enabled lab rats to overcome their fear by promoting the growth of new neurons in their brains, a phenomenon known as neuroplasticity. To put it differently, psilocybin repairs and grows brain cells by binding itself to receptors in the nerve cells that stimulate healing. Dr. Briony Catlow, the study leader, hopes the findings can be extended to humans in clinical trials.
6. Psychedelic Mushrooms boost your creativity
It’s no secret that magic mushrooms improve your mood. At higher doses shrooms can send you into a euphoric state, but they can also promote a sense of creativity and insightfulness even at lower doses better known as microdoses. A 2018 study published in the journal Psychopharmacology corroborates this. It found that participants who microdosed on psychedellic mushrooms came up with more ideas on how to solve a task. The researchers found that they “were more fluent, flexible and original in the possibilities they came up with”.
7. They Can Change Your Personality
Although brain function generally returns to normal after psilocybin psychotherapy session, research has shown that some effects can last longer. One such study, published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, found that psilocybin can result in long-term changes in behaviors, attitudes and values. While studying its effect on five broad domains of personality- neuroticism, extroversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness, it demonstrated that there were “significant increases in openness following a high-dose psilocybin session.”
Openness refers to an individual’s attitude towards new experiences, and goes hand in hand with characteristics like imagination, creativity and aesthetic appreciation. In the study researchers reported that openness not only increased during the psilocybin sessions with participants, but almost 60% of the participants maintained a significantly higher level of openness more than one later. However, those who went through this personality change are only the ones who had a complete mystical experience during their high-dose session. The study went on to explain that the high dose should be administered under supportive conditions.
8. Shrooms Can Potentially Treat Alzheimer’s
Following the findings by scientists that psilocybin promotes neuroplasticity in the brain, psychiatrists like Prof. Roland Griffiths from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine think there’s an opportunity to study the effects of psychedelics in people with early Alzheimer’s disease. Speaking to Forbes, he said, “To the extent that these drugs produce neuroplasticity, there may be some enduring effects on cognitive process,” Although that’s in the future, he’s happy that for now they know they can treat depression that comes with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis using magic mushroom drugs.
As much as magic mushrooms provide the health benefits described above, it’s good to remember that higher doses are administered in a controlled clinical situation. If you’re not highly experienced in taking psilocybin mushrooms we recommend that you start off by microdosing then increase your dosage as you get used to their effects.
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