The Potential Health Benefits Of ‘Magic Mushrooms’

A psychedelic drug recently banned by UK law has gained a lot of attention from psychiatrists and spiritualists, who claim it can have a positive effect on human development. ‘Magic mushrooms’ have been used for centuries as part of shamanic and pagan rituals; with some even claiming that their use was responsible for religious revelation. The dialogue about this issue remains controversial, but it is clear that the topic deserves proper attention from the complementary health industry.

Research into people’s subjective experience of psilocybin, the active ingredient in ‘magic mushrooms’, has highlighted the potential application of the drug in therapeutic contexts. It is said that the use of psilocybin can help some individuals deal with depressive conditions and destructive behaviours. The intense experience of psychedelic drugs tends to spiritualise people’s outlook and, in feeling at one with the universe, they can benefit from a greater sense of optimism in the rest of their life.

The goal of recent studies at John Hopkins is to find out if the use of psilocybin can have a long-lasting positive effect. In a recent trial, 94% of participants rated a ‘magic mushroom’ trip as one of the top five spiritual experiences of their lives. Eighty-nine per cent of participants were found to benefit from positive behavioural changes, including a greater sense of spirituality, increased psychological wellbeing and improved relationships. Higher doses of the substance were more likely to lead to fear and anxiety, induced by the hallucinogenic effects of the drug. It seems that the benefits highlighted in the study are available only to those who take carefully controlled amounts of the drug.

The discussion about the use of recreational drugs for spiritual or wellness practice continues to raise eyebrows and provoke debate. Researchers responsible for many of the recent trials have been careful to emphasise that recreational use of psychedelics in no way guarantees positive results in your life. In fact, psychedelic drugs are well known to trigger schizophrenia in those genetically predisposed to it, so are definitely not something to play with. They continue to be a subject of fascination for spiritualists, psychiatrists, governments and party-goers alike.

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