Have you ever wondered what effects magic (Psilocybin) mushrooms, or ‘shrooms’ as they are also known, can have on your life? Are you curious about how they differ from ordinary mushrooms, and can you tell the difference between a magic mushroom and poisonous one?
Since here at Avalon, we are knowledgeable and familiar with the use of magic mushrooms and their potential health benefits, we have compiled some useful information to help you make a more informed decision on whether this type of mushroom is right for your specific needs.
Below you will find information on the history of magic mushrooms, how they are used, their potential health benefits and side effects, and much more.
Magic Mushrooms’ Bad Reputation Is Undeserved
Magic mushrooms, also known as psilocybin mushrooms, are naturally occurring fungi and are considered one of the best known psychedelic substances in use today, even though they tend to have garnered a negative reputation with governmental bodies and sensationalist news outlets. While magic mushrooms were initially labeled as dangerous as LSD, new research is constantly being conducted and positive findings are emerging that confirm the medicinal benefits of these fungi.
The History of Magic Mushrooms
The use of magic mushrooms for medicinal and ceremonial purposes can be traced back thousands of years to indigenous people worldwide, including Europe and North and South America. The indigenous people used these mushrooms for religious communions, divination, and healing purposes.
Depictions of societies using magic mushrooms can be found on rock-etched murals in places like Australia that, according to archaeologists, date back to 10,000 B.C.E.
The first big push to learn more about magic mushrooms came in 1957 when American banker and mushroom-enthusiast R. Gordon Wasson published a photo essay in LIFE Magazine about magic mushrooms after he came across them being used by a indigenous tribe in Mexico while on a trip there.
Wasson sent a sample of the magic mushrooms to Dr. Albert Hofmann, a Swiss chemist and the man responsible for discovering LSD. Dr. Hofmann isolated psilocybin, the substance within the mushrooms that produce hallucinations and other well-known side effects.
For two decades, following Dr. Hofmann’s successful isolation of the psilocybin, clinical experiments were conducted by psychiatrists, scientists, and mental health professionals who felt that psilocybin might be beneficial in treating and managing many different psychiatric disorders.
What Happens to the Mind and Body When You Take Magic Mushrooms
The potency and effects of magic mushrooms vary greatly depending on the seasons they are grown in, their freshness and their country of origin. Some of the side effects your mind and body may experience when consuming magic mushrooms include the following:
- Euphoria and a sense of peace
- Introspection and distorted thinking, including impaired concentration
- Spiritual awakenings
- Derealisation – Feeling as though things around you are not real
- Depersonalisation – Feeling disengaged from what is going on around you
- Altered perceptions of time
- Visual and light distortions – Halos and vivid colors
- Feeling relaxed
- Drowsiness and yawning
- Dilated pupils
- Muscle weakness and lack of coordination
- Unusual sensations within your body you are not used to
An important factor to consider before ingesting magic mushrooms is your current emotional state. . While not guaranteed, there is the potential for magic mushrooms to worsen the symptoms of anxiety and depression if these emotions are already present. . This is why it is advisable to always have at least one other person present while consuming magic mushrooms.
Are Magic Mushrooms Right for You?
Magic Mushrooms are frequently used to help manage a wide array of conditions, including Alzheimer's Disease, Anorexia Nervosa, depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), opioid addictions, and other substance abuse disorders.
In addition, some studies have also shown that magic mushrooms can help cancer patients regulate their emotions following a diagnosis. Another study even noted that small doses of magic mushrooms could help provide relief from cluster headaches.
What Do Magic Mushrooms Look and Taste Like?
Magic mushrooms differ in appearance depending on where in the world they come from and what climate they are grown in. Liberty caps, or Psilocybe Semilanceata, for instance, are small and tan and they can be found all over the globe but they are most prominent in the Pacific Northwest and even in the UK favouring damp conditions.
Fly agaric on the other hand, are native to the UK and they also thrive in northeastern North America. They are red with white spots and they prefer woodland areas and heathland
As for their taste, psilocybin mushrooms do not taste anything like other edible mushrooms. Instead, magic mushrooms can be rather bitter and have a robust and earthy taste along with a rubber-like texture when fresh, and a more sunflower seed-like taste when dried.
How Are Magic Mushrooms Consumed?
Typically, magic mushrooms are consumed in tea or alongside a food item due to their bitter taste. You can also buy the powdered version and put it into a capsule. However, some people prefer to eat them straight after they are freshly picked, or in a dehydrated form.
In addition, you can also take liquid psilocybin drops, which are produced by extracting the psilocybin from the mushroom, and this is a clear pale brown color.
How Long Do the Effects of Magic Mushrooms Last?
There is no set time for how long you will feel the side effects associated with magic mushrooms. How long they last depends on several factors such as the dosage consumed, the person’s age, their weight, their personality, their mental health history, and their diet.
Are Magic Mushrooms Safe to Use?
If taken correctly, magic mushrooms are safe, and can even be beneficial, to use. However, since the effects from magic mushrooms can take an hour or more to appear, it often leads to people taking too much of the substance and experiencing adverse side effects, causing what is known as a ‘bad trip.’
These potentially troublesome adverse side effects can include psychosis, nervousness, paranoia, and nausea. That is why it is recommended that you are closely monitored when using magic mushrooms and that you take them in a safe place where professionals can watch your reaction to them.
It is never recommended to mix magic mushrooms with other drugs because combining the two can pose additional health risks that may be dangerous to the user. Some of the obvious drugs to avoid taking while using magic mushrooms are Tramadol, cocaine, amphetamines, and cannabis.
The biggest concern when taking magic mushrooms, though, is the possibility of consuming a poisonous one, which is another reason why it is strongly recommended that you work with a professional to make sure you consume them in a healthy and safe way.
If you think you may have ingested poisonous mushrooms, you should ask for medical help immediately and under no circumstances wait for potential adverse side effects to develop.
Start Your Self-Discovery and Healing Journey Today
At Avalon, we offer several retreats and ceremonies, including a therapeutic magic mushroom ceremony in Barcelona, Spain, at varying times throughout the year.
In all our ceremonies, we hope to guide you on your path to self-discovery and onto a deeper level of healing. Our ceremony experiences include a workshop featuring sharing circles, writing, art therapy, and ecstatic dance, as well as a meal and a one-to-one preparation video call.
If you would like to book one of our magic mushroom ceremonies, or you would like to experience one of our other healing retreats, please visit our official website and click on the Book Now link at the top of our site.
You can also contact us with any questions and concerns you may have. If a ceremony or a retreat is fully booked, please join our waiting list to be notified when newly added dates become available. Visit today to explore our upcoming events!