Experimenting with psychedelic drugs was once, and arguably still is, considered like dancing with the devil. Yet, with more studies showing the mental and physical health benefits of microdosing medicinal mushrooms, fungi are now gaining a new reputation around the world.
Notably, clinical trials proving effective in treating post-traumatic stress disorder have been extremely promising in tapping into the potential mental health benefits of magic mushrooms. Some researchers even consider it to be one of Mother Nature’s best-kept secrets. But what are exactly the origins of psilocybin mushrooms? Can they seriously transform our entire approach to health and mental well-being? You might need a strong coffee for this one…it’s going to get heavy!
The Origins Of Magic Mushrooms
Let’s kick things off by taking a step back in time…or by heading down the psychedelic rabbit hole! So where did psychedelic mushrooms originate and why did humans began using them?
According to history, indigenous peoples in many regions of the world, including Europe and the Americas, have a long history of both therapeutic and ceremonial usage of psychoactive mushrooms dating back thousands of years. During the 13th-16th centuries, statues and depictions of reverent mushroom usage were made by people in Aztec, Mixtec, and other cultures in Central America. One can even wonder whether psychedelics helped these ancient civilizations build such monumental structures with virtually no machinery! Although, let’s not delve into ‘ancient alien’ theories as we could go completely off tangent!
Unfortunately for civilizations such as the Aztecs, when European travellers, traders, missionaries, and colonisers took control of their land, they attempted to forbid and outlaw mushroom usage, deeming it unholy, indulgent, and dangerous. ¹ Although ironically rock paintings in Spain indicate magic mushrooms were known and used by prehistoric people in Europe in 4,000 BCE. ² Which some argue may hold the answers to human evolution!
The Stoned Ape Theory
We can’t talk about magic mushrooms without mentioning The Stoned Ape Theory by Terence McKenna! This theory argues that the one thing that separated Homo Sapiens from Homo Erectus, other than minor physical differences, was a higher consciousness. This change happened only when Homo Erectus started consuming psychedelic mushrooms! According to Terrence McKenna’s theory, this triggered an immense level of creativity that helped rapidly evolve mankind into what we know today! ³ Pretty awesome, right?
So, if psychedelics, or magic mushrooms such as psilocybin, are what helped our species thrive, why have they been criminalised over the years? Perhaps our creativity and ability to think outside the box is being held back…
Psilocybin is a hallucinogenic chemical that occurs naturally and can be found in certain types of mushrooms. When consumed, it creates mind-altering effects comparable to those generated by LSD and other hallucinogens. Think Alice in Wonderland’s Mad Hatter! Mad or misunderstood genius? Because of its capacity to induce strong hallucinations, both visually and aurally, as well as shifts in perception and disposition, psilocybin also goes by "magic mushrooms." ⁴
Psilocybin mushrooms remain illegal in most countries. But with ongoing medical studies and astounding mental health benefits, their status as a class A drug may change in the future.
In recent years, an extensive amount of research has been conducted on the health advantages of psilocybin, and evidence finds that the naturally occurring molecule can give significant therapeutic benefits such as reducing anxiety and depression symptoms, improving quality of life, helping cope with challenging emotions and difficult life circumstances, boosting creativity and focus, improving relationships, and even assisting with addiction recovery.
The issue, however, is that different types of psilocybin mushrooms have varying levels of psilocybin concentration, resulting in a wide range of possible dosages. ⁵ But this is where microdosing comes in!
The Art Of Microdosing Medicinal Mushrooms
While psilocybin mushrooms remain illegal in most countries, you can start experimenting with medicinal mushrooms at home. But to effectively unlock their wide range of health benefits you’ll need to know how microdosing works.
What Is Microdosing?
Microdosing is when you take small doses of a substance, such as medicinal mushrooms. This allows your body to build tolerance and reap the health benefits without the intense experiences. Here are a handful of medicinal mushrooms you can microdose without being an outlaw!
Lion’s Mane - microdose this powerful nootropic to improve memory and boost your body’s natural anti-inflammatory response. A powerful immune-boosting mushroom, you can microdose lion’s mane powder by adding a teaspoon amount to your morning coffee. While you won’t experience a high or feel like a stoned ape, it’s going to make you feel a sense of mental clarity and alertness. Don’t exceed one teaspoon a day!
Reishi - also known as the king of the mushrooms, Reishi has been used for centuries as an adaptogenic herb in traditional Chinese medicine. It is a powerful medicinal mushroom with many health benefits, including reducing stress and anxiety, promoting better sleep, improving the immune system, and protecting against cancer. Reishi is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation in the body, as well as its ability to balance hormones and boost energy levels. You can microdose Reishi in a powdered form by mixing 1 teaspoon into a smoothie bowl.
Chaga - is another powerful medicinal mushroom with a wide range of health benefits. Packed with antioxidants, which can help protect your body from free radicals and reduce inflammation, Chaga is also known for its immune-boosting properties. Add it in its powdered form to a hot drink and take it daily. Don’t exceed 2,000mg a day or 1 tablespoon.
Mushrooms To Enhance Your Health
Mushrooms ultimately have the power to significantly enhance our health in a variety of ways. From boosting our immune system to improving mental well-being, fungi offer a wealth of benefits that should not be overlooked. But what is perhaps most thought-provoking about psychedelic and medicinal mushrooms is the fact that they may hold the key to addressing some of the most pressing health challenges of our time.
With increasing research and global acceptance of psychedelic benefits, the use of magic mushrooms could help revolutionisethe way we think and approach healthcare as a whole. And when you think about it…we’re just as organic as mushrooms themselves. So, the next time you enjoy a savoury mushroom dish or microdose a morning mushroom supplement, take a moment to reflect on the incredible potential of these remarkable organisms to level up not just your own health but the health of humanity as a whole.
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