All the secrets of an unprecedented adventure into the realm of psychedelics.
Psilocybin mushrooms, or magic mushrooms, have been known in our civilizations for a very long time. After a real boom in the 60s and 70s, they have recently regained popularity as a natural alternative for consciousness exploration. Scientific research is now focusing on their effect on mental health (depression and anxiety) and many people are seeking to experience altered states of consciousness under their influence.
Let's discover together their history and significance in traditional cultures.
Psychedelic mushrooms contain psychoactive substances such as psilocybin and psilocin, which can produce psychedelic effects. Users often report experiences such as hallucinations, sensory distortions, and alterations in consciousness. Psilocybe mushrooms are often consumed in dried, fresh, or brewed form.
The mystical use of psychedelic mushrooms dates back thousands of years. They have been used in indigenous cultures in many regions of the world, where they were considered sacred plants and used for shamanic rituals.
In the 1950s and 1960s, psychedelic mushrooms gained popularity in artistic and intellectual circles in the West. This popularity led to the prohibition of psilocybin and psilocin in the United States in 1968. More globally, from that time onwards, all psychedelic drugs, such as LSD, ayahuasca, and Salvia divinorum, were banned in most countries around the world.
Psychedelic mushrooms have been used for religious and spiritual rituals for centuries. In some cultures, they are considered gateways to the spiritual world and can be used to connect with ancestors, gods, and nature spirits.
In South America, shamans still use psychedelic mushrooms today to heal physical and mental ailments, as well as to connect with the spiritual world. Mexican shamans also use mushrooms to communicate with ancestors and to predict the future.
The active compound in mushrooms, psilocybin, is increasingly being studied in scientific research for its potential effects on mental health. Studies suggest that psilocybin may help treat depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other psychiatric disorders.
Researchers have also studied the effects of psilocybin on neuronal growth, synaptic plasticity, and brain connectivity. Studies have shown that psilocybin can increase connectivity in brain regions involved in emotion and thought regulation. If confirmed in the future, this research could pave the way for new therapies and approaches for mental health.
In the biological family Fungi, there are numerous varieties of psychedelic mushrooms, each with different effects and geographical distribution. They share in common the ability to produce experiences ranging from mild euphoria to profound introspection.
Psilocybe Cubensis, one of the most common varieties, is native to Central and South America, but can also be found in other regions of the world, including Asia and Australia. Psilocybe Semilanceata, also known as the "Liberty Cap", is common in Europe and North America, while Psilocybe Azurescens is endemic to the West Coast of the United States.
Magic Truffle is another form of psychedelic mushroom, often seen as a legal alternative to magic mushrooms. Psychedelic truffles are an underground form of mushroom that contains similar levels of psilocybin and psilocin as magic mushrooms. However, psilocybin truffles have a sweeter taste and are typically consumed in larger quantities to achieve similar effects. Psychedelic truffles are legal in some countries where magic mushrooms are banned, such as the Netherlands.
They contain psychoactive substances that affect the perception of reality : after eating magic mushrooms, the consumer may see colors in a kaleidoscopic form or feel a strong sense of harmony with others or with nature.
In addition, the ingestion of magic truffles or mushrooms seems to improve people's ability for introspection, giving them access to repressed thoughts or feelings. The links between the subconscious and psychedelic substances are poorly understood today, but several therapists are interested in how to treat trauma after a psychedelic experience.
This phase of personal exploration can start with paranoid thoughts or anxiety before abruptly transforming. Once the initial ordeal is passed, users generally feel euphoria, well-being, or inner peace.
The physical effects can include nausea, vomiting, chills, an increased heart rate, and dilation of the pupils. However, the substance is not known to be addictive, unlike cocaine for example.
The effects of psychedelic mushrooms can last from 4 to 8 hours, depending on the dose and type of mushroom consumed.
Consumption of psychedelic mushrooms can have negative effects on mental health, particularly in individuals predisposed to mental disorders such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.
While there is not really a risk of a bad trip, mushroom consumption can trigger time-limited episodes of panic or anxiety.
In cases where the person is not supervised, the consumption of psychedelic mushrooms can lead to physical risks such as injuries caused by a loss of coordination or an alteration in the perception of pain.
As with any use of psychoactive substances, it is recommended to take many precautions when consuming psychedelic mushrooms.
It is better to consume the mushrooms in a safe and comfortable environment, in the company of trusted people, and not to drive or use dangerous machinery during the effects of the mushrooms. It is also important to check the legality of psychedelic mushroom or truffle in the country or region before seeking to obtain them.
Finally, it is recommended to consult a healthcare professional before consuming psychedelic mushrooms, especially for individuals with a history of mental health disorders.
One can eat or drink psilocybes in the few countries where it is legal. But beware, as some poisonous mushrooms closely resemble their psychedelic cousins, it is better to avoid picking them yourself.
Moreover, it is not advisable to consume any psychedelic substance if you are taking medication, such as antidepressants, or if you have a history of psychological disorders.
To go further, preparation and guidance are essential to have a pleasant psychedelic journey. Always choose a comfortable and safe environment to avoid stressful or unpleasant situations during the psychedelic experience.
There are professionals who are capable of guiding this type of process and taking care of you throughout your inner journey. Depending on the country, they can be psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, or facilitators.
One of the most common methods of consuming magic mushrooms is simply eating them. To eat magic mushrooms, first choose quality specimens, remove any dirt, and eat them raw, cooked, or dried. But be aware that unlike magic truffles which have a mild taste, mushrooms have a strong and sometimes unpleasant odor.
To start, a small dose is always preferable to ensure your body's reaction.
Drinking psilocybin mushrooms in the form of tea or Lemon Tek is a common method of consumption. In the Lemon Tek, the mushrooms are soaked in fresh lemon juice to accelerate the breakdown of psilocybin. Mushroom tea involves steeping the mushrooms in hot water to create a drink. These methods can be faster and more intense than consuming raw mushrooms.
Psychedelic retreats are organized events where participants consume psychedelic mushrooms under the supervision of professionals.
These retreats are often intended for therapeutic purposes and can provide a safe and controlled environment for exploring the psychedelic effects. Additionally, the principle of a psilocybin retreat is to provide support and guidance for participants before, during, and after the experience to help them achieve concrete and positive effects. Retreat facilitators address personal and traumatic issues so that participants can access deep and repressed emotions.
The presence of experienced professionals in countries where psilocybin is legal provides a guarantee of safety for newcomers.
Magic mushrooms can offer a unique psychedelic experience, provided they are consumed responsibly and one is informed about them. Online resources, books, and documentaries can provide valuable information about the effects, risks, and best practices for consumption.
You can start, for example, with the documentaries "Magic Medicine" or "Fantastic Fungi".
Likewise, there are support groups or online communities to discuss experiences and get advice from people who have already practiced. The exchange with knowledgeable individuals will always have the advantage of allowing you to avoid mistakes or disappointment.