By January 3, 2014 4 Comments Read More →

Study: Magic Mushroom Compound Could Help with Depression

Flickr - Mushroom - weegeeboredPaul Fassa, Natural Society
Waking Times

At least three different formal psychiatric studies on the effects of psilocybin, extracted from “magic mushrooms”, were performed on voluntary subjects who had never experienced psychedelics before. All had similar positive results. The motive for these studies was investigating the potential for treating depression and other psychiatric maladies with psilocybin.

Two of the studies (done in the UK) were conducted by Professor David Nutt, who was considered nutty by superiors when he was chairman of the Advisory Committee on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD). He was fired from the ACMD by Home Secretary Alan Johnson for resisting the decision to toughen laws on cannabis and publicly stating that alcohol was more harmful than cannabis and the magic mushroom compound, psilocybin.

The other study was performed by Johns Hopkins University Medical School, an institution that is never considered nutty. All three studies were conducted circa 2011 – 2012. All of them did follow up surveys 14 months after the subjects’ psilocybin experiences. The compound was often administered while participants were in MRI (magnetic resonance imagery) machines that were scanning their brain activity.

Surprising Results

The researchers were personally unfamiliar with psychedelic experiences, and they had expected increased frontal lobe activity. Frontal lobes are the brain parts used in day to day conscious activity and thinking, and excess frontal lobe activity is common among those who are depressed. Instead, things slowed down, both under MRI scrutiny and from study subjects’ feedback.

The subjects were advised to look inward. To help turn their attention away from medical machinery, they were usually given blindfolds and headsets piping in pleasant music. Around 60% of the subjects reported mystical experiences while all of them felt they were in a strange but pleasant world. And they all experienced a greater degree of openness, awareness, or empathy.

Here are the study results:

  • 83% given the higher doses of psilocybin said they felt greater well-being
  • 89% reported improvements in their behavior
  • 94% ranked the experience as one of the most “spiritually significant” in their lives
  • None of the subjects went crazy despite their prior inexperience with psychedelics

The study concluded:

“Under supportive conditions, 20 and 30 mg/70 kg psilocybin occasioned mystical-type experiences having persisting positive effects on attitudes, mood, and behavior. Implications for therapeutic trials are discussed.”

Big Pharma Relies on Ineffective, Harmful Antidepressants

I should note that LSD is a manufactured drug, while both mescalin and psilocybin are extracted from plants. Since they are plant derived, there is no patent potential until Big Pharma figures out how to synthesize them.

But for now, they’re making big bucks off anti-depressants that are no more effective than placebos and create adverse physiological side effects as well as manic, depressive, suicidal, and homicidal impulses that are too often carried out.

Reporting in the follow up surveys 14 months after, almost all of the subjects stated that the experiences were among the most significant life changing episodes of their lives, and their sense of well being, behavior, and relationships with others in their life had improved significantly.

All this without having to daily dose pharmaceuticals that demand other pharmaceuticals for side effects for those 14 months. No wonder this research isn’t going anywhere within Big Pharma controlled psychiatry.

Additional Sources:
The Guardian

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of WakingTimes or its staff.

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  • John Cook

    We are too tolerant. Why aren’t we hopping mad about how the PTB made these magical substances criminal? They lied to us and still they haven’t (and probably never will) apologised. People Still go to jail for injesting a sacrament.
    Cannabis is a wonder plant for health and as an agricultural crop, but they made it a crime.
    Think of how many other things there are like these two examples. I think that we could live in a paradise if the PTB (especially the banksters and the big pharma companies) had never corrupted government.
    If only we could get rid of them and be free…

  • cday

    Well shrooms are awesome, but I don’t think they’d be an effective long-term treatment for depression. 5HTP or sunlight are better choices. I like natural health alternatives, but I don’t like how natural health practitioners often divorce themselves of what actually goes on biochemically. Usually, people become depressed because they lack serotonin. Serotonin is made when the enzyme tryptophan hydroxylase combines tryptophan and light into 5HT. Then the liver converts 5HT or 5HTP into serotonin. So if you’re enzymes are naturally sluggish and you’re depressed, great natural health remedies that actually work on a daily basis are 5HTP and/or light. Antidepressants like Prozac work too, but they are usually fluoride-based. I’m sure shrooms work temporarily, but you can’t practically function high everyday LOLOL

    • Anonymous

      Mushrooms are natural (duh).. And they are not meant to be a long term treatment, just a catalyst to help change or shift the person’s thinking pattern. It “opens” the mind to a more spiritual realm which often helps to view the world from a more positive perspective. Serotonin and HTP alone cannot achieve that but it may help to sustain the positive mood/affect. People must understand that there are many biological aspects to being depressed, one of which is the nervous system but also the endocrine (ie thyroid), digestive (where 95% of serotonin is made) and the immune systems. They’re not saying that depressed people should be on shrooms all the time… That is pure silliness.

    • Zabelisa

      Mushrooms are as natural as the sunlight. In this context, they are used as a CATALYST to shift the affect of the depressed person. This change may be sustained with sunlight and HTP but these two cannot accomplish what the mushrooms can do. Nobody is recommending to do mushrooms all the time, that would just be silly. It is just something that help the patient refocus their thoughts on something more positive and usually of a spiritual nature. In a way, you could say that it helps to open their minds to other aspects that they may never even have had the chance to consider in the past. The energy/frequency generated by psilocybin is used to alter the transcription of certain genes/proteins that have been suppressed by the CNS and other important metabolic functions (ie endocrine, digestive, immune). Anti-depressant are just plain dangerous and do not address anything more than what a Band-Aid would do. Ayahuasca and Ibogaine have similar effect and have shown the same kind of results. Fluoride calcifies the pineal gland and therefore just leads to a numbness of the emotions, kind of like a robot thing. Some people seem to prefer that to their on-going negative thinking apparently.

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