Interesting Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Magic Mushrooms
Magic mushrooms are not a group of mushrooms created by a magical elf in a fantasy kingdom, and they sure don’t look that way. Also called psilocybin mushrooms (or simply, “shrooms”), magic mushrooms have caused quite a bit of noise in recent times. A lot of this noise has come as a result of studies that show that shrooms “could treat depression, anxiety and addiction”. Considering the dangers of mental breakdown and other related mental illnesses in the world as we know it, this is big news.
Magic mushrooms are part of the about one hundred or so similar species that contain psilocybin, a psychoactive hallucinogen with the power to affect human perception. This psilocybin will easily metabolize into psilocin, a chemical with the same structure as serotonin, the happy drug in the body. This psilocin stops serotonin from being taken back into your nerve, leading to the serotonin effect. At the same time, it binds the serotonin receptors to radically increase the feelings of euphoria.
For all the wonderful upsides using this drug can provide, it has been given little coverage. For a long time, it has been resigned to the black market in the United States of America, and many other countries in the world, where it is referred to as a “controlled substance”. In other parts of America, like Central America, it has been used for some time in religious ceremonies and other celebrations.
Due to the fact that they have been controlled for so long, magic mushrooms have not been studied properly and most of its characteristics have not been understood or even known by majority of people. That is why we want to study some of the facts you probably didn’t know about magic mushrooms, so that you can marvel at it and appreciate it even more when next you see it.
Number One: Psilocybin Mushrooms are Really Old
Long before the expedition of Christopher Columbus and other Europeans to the New World (what we know as the Americas today), Central Americans have been enjoying the glorious benefits of psilocybin mushrooms. Journals show that there have been psilocybin mushrooms which provide hallucinogenic experiences. Most of these evidences are gotten from rock art, which depict figures holding mushroom-like objects.
There have been other drawings that have shown mushrooms growing behind anthropomorphic figures as well. Many people have debunked these claims and stated that those drawings or depictions might have been of flowers and other plant matter, so this fact is still an open matter.
Number Two: Magic Mushrooms Might have Something to do with Christmas and Santa Claus
Anthropologists have claimed that the culture around magic mushrooms might have something to do with why kids wait for Santa and his reindeers to bring gifts for them every year on December 25. Sierra College anthropologist John Rush explains that Siberian Shamans used to bring gifts each winter to various households, gifts of hallucinogenic mushrooms. The spirit animals of the Siberian Shamans were reindeers, and Rush suggests that the ingestion of magic mushrooms by people who were gifted by the Shamans could have caused them to hallucinate and believe that the reindeers were flying.
Another wonderful fact to be considered is that the red and white suit used by Santa is very similar to that of the Amanita muscaria, which is a kind of mushrooms that grow under evergreen trees (like a Christmas tree). Still, some of these facts might just be unproven connections and postulates from anthropologists who have probably tripped on the hallucinogen.
Number Three: Magic Mushrooms are not Addictive
Magic mushrooms, as ecstatic as they make us feel, does not cause addiction. This fact is surprising because of the type of the drug, but it is true. Scientists have stated that this happens because the intense experience caused by the use of this drug is a lot to take physically and mentally, and for this reason, many people will reduce their use of the drug.
Also, the human body builds a psilocybin resistance and tolerance very quickly, making it increasingly hard for the same dose of drug to work over and over again.
This reduced probability of addiction appeals to many who want the numerous benefits this drug offers without having to fear about getting addicted to it or struggling with withdrawal symptoms if they decide to stop.
Number Four: Magic Mushrooms can be used to deal with Nicotine Addiction
In addition to not being addictive, magic mushrooms can help fight other addictions. Psilocybin is a powerful hallucinogen that can lead to different perceptions and other activities in the brain, and that can eventually lead to a change.
Magic mushrooms have been used in studies to prove that they are valuable in treating nicotine addiction in longtime smokers, without having the same addictive effects themselves. A particular study done by Johns Hopkins Hospital showed that 80% of participants quit smoking after six months, a number which is significantly higher than typical success rates in smoking cessation trials. The study proves that psilocybin can “lead to deep reflection about one’s life and spark motivation to change”.
Several patients who claim anonymity have been said to live far better lives now than before, when they were severely addicted to other destructive drugs. One must be careful, though, when using magic mushrooms to “better their lives”. These studies were done in a controlled environment and with prescribed doses by doctors. It is not the same as ingesting uncontrolled levels of the drug once in a while.
Number Five: Magic Mushrooms can help you Handle Fear
A positive side effect of magic mushrooms is that they help you destroy fear. A study done on mice showed that they can help mice overcome the fear of noise which caused them to freeze prior to the test. Just a little ingestion of psilocybin can make a huge difference in mice, and scientists believe that the same can be used to help humans deal with PTSD and other disorders that are fear-related.
If their assumptions are true, that will lift a huge burden off the mind of backs of depression doctors, psychiatrists and therapists and help a lot of people deal with a lot of mental issues.
The rich history and wonderful studies of shrooms prove to us that this is more than a controlled substance we should outlaw. It is important that we support more research on the drug, and eventually, the relaxation of restrictions on psilocybin mushrooms if we are to get any good result from using the drug. Until then, you are advised to grow and use this drug with the highest precautions possible, and don’t abuse.
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