A hallucinogen is defined as any chemical substance that distorts the senses and produces hallucinations. Psilocybin, a chemical released during the ingestion or “magic mushrooms” is most commonly associated with hippies and stoners. However, since the 90’s work has begun on psychadelic drugs such as psilocybin and there potential to be used as a tool for psychologists.
Did you know that in 2011 a study found that after a few sessions of taking psilocybin, volunteers found positive effects on their moods, behaviors and attitudes? This was followed up 14 months later and the effects were found to have been sustained. People close to the volunteers also reported this increased positivity and most volunteers described it as a substantial personal and spiritual experience with significant impacts.
Certain cultures around the world have been using hallucinogenic substances as a treatment for mental illnesses and spiritual awakening for centuries. The native Americans have been using peyote in religious ceremonies as a sacred medicine. Mexican Native American have used the seeds of Ipomoea tricolor (also known as ‘Morning glory seeds’) and there have been reports documenting this tradition dating back to the Aztec times. The Kava Piper Methysticum is also a known hallucinogenic in the western pacific that has been used till this day and has properties that encourage social behaviour, calming effects, clear thinking, relaxed muscles, and euphoric sense of well-being. These are just a few of the hallucinogenics that are linked to culture and history, find more here.
In the following short interview, Amber Lyon talks about her experience in travelling all over the world to discover the power of hallucinogens. This is a must-see!
The Power of Hallucinogens (must-see!)
More on Psilocybin:
Wikipedia on Psilocybin (Source: Wikipedia)
Magic Mushrooms Expand the Mind By Dampening Brain Activity (Source: Time magazine)
Griffiths, R.R. et al. (2011) Psilocybin occasioned mystical -type experiences: Immediate and persisting dose-related effects, 218 (4), 649-665