Psilocybin is a mind-altering
compound similar to LSD or DMT (Dimethyltryptamine) found in
over 200 species of mushrooms.
Often called magic mushrooms,
these edible North American psilocybin fungi have effects
"euphoria, visual and mental hallucinations, changes
in perception, a distorted sense of time, and spiritual
experiences," according to
Clinically, magic mushrooms have
helped people quit addictions
according to Johns Hopkins.
It is also shown to be an
effective natural treatment for,
Below is a personal account of
micro-dosing psilocybin mushrooms:
Despite swelling evidence that it
has many potential medical uses, psilocybin remains illegal in
the United States.
The US government lists
magic mushrooms as a Schedule 1 controlled substance.
However, courts have ruled that
Native Americans are legally allowed to use peyote for
Ayahuasca is fast becoming one of
the most accessible hallucinogenic plant medicines.
Ayahuasca is a psychedelic brew
originating from indigenous people in Amazon regions of South
America. A tea is made by combining dimethyltryptamine (DMT) - containing
plant species. It is typically taken orally in shaman-led
Participants report a deep learning
about themselves and the natural habitat. Many liken it to a
spiritual awakening, revelations, or a cleanse.
Don Jose Campos, author of
The Shaman and Ayahuasca - Journeys to Sacred Realms,
"people may experience profound
positive life changes subsequent to consuming ayahuasca.
Vomiting can follow ayahuasca ingestion; this purging is
considered by many shamans and experienced users of
ayahuasca to be an essential part of the experience, as it
represents the release of negative energy and emotions built
up over the course of one's life."
The physical cleanse also serves to
help expel unwanted tropical parasites, according to
The psychedelic effects of
ayahuasca include visual and auditory stimulation, the
mixing of sensory modalities, and psychological
introspection that may lead to great elation, fear, or
Its purgative properties are
important (known as la purga or "the purge"). The
intense vomiting and occasional diarrhea it induces can
clear the body of worms and other tropical parasites.
Once wild child, Lindsay Lohan,
credits her sobriety and straightening out her life to a single
Although many people have shared
their incredible experiences with ayahuasca, not many clinical
studies have been conducted.
Yet the scientific journal Nature
a pilot study to test
ayahuasca's effectiveness at treating depression. Brazilian
scientists also claim that ayahuasca could
treat people's cancer.
Ayahuasca is in a legal gray zone.
The plants are not technically illegal but the active
ingredient, DMT, is. Despite its questionable legality,
ayahuasca retreats are popping up all over the world to help
people detoxify their trauma.
Kratom is made from the leaves of a
tropical tree in the coffee family. Its common medicinal uses
are pain management and mood alteration.
Philip Smith of Stop the Drug War
wrote this about kratom:
Kratom is a substance that falls
on the more innocuous side of the psychoactive spectrum.
is the leaves of the kratom tree, mitragyna speciosa, which
is native to Thailand and Indonesia, where the leaves have
been chewed or brewed into a tea and used for therapeutic
and social purposes for years.
According to the online
repository of psychoactive knowledge, the
Vaults of Erowid, kratom acts as both a mild stimulant
and a mild sedative, creates feelings of empathy and
euphoria, is useful for labor, and is relatively
Of course, any psychoactive
substance has its good and its bad sides, but kratom's
downside doesn't seem very severe.
Erowid lists its
negatives as including a bitter taste, dizziness and nausea
at higher doses, mild depression coming down, feeling hot
and sweaty, and hangovers similar to alcohol.
There is no
mention of potential for addiction, and while fatal
overdoses are theoretically possible, especially with its
methanol and alkaloid extracts, in the real world, ODing on
kratom doesn't appear to be an issue. No fatal overdoses are
known to have actually occurred.
Reported medicinal uses for kratom
are relief for
anxiety and depression and it's being studied as a
treatment for addiction. It's also said to help people
overcome social anxiety.
Watch a beginner's guide to kratom
Although some states are attempting
to ban it, anyone can currently buy kratom online.
Iboga, or Ibogaine, is the root bark
of the Iboga tree found in Africa.
Usually administered by
shaman, Iboga induces a trance-like psychoactive state. Iboga
stimulates the central nervous system when taken in small doses
and induces visions in larger doses.
Users report psychological
introspection and spiritual exploration while in the trance. It is gaining a reputation as a
powerful alternative treatment for drug addiction and post
traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
In the video below, a veteran
of the Canadian Navy explains how Ibogaine helped him conquer
PTSD, depression and substance abuse:
The organization for
Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)
currently studying ibogaine therapies in Mexico and New
Meanwhile, healing centers and retreats are popping up
all over the Western world. At this time it remains illegal
under the US Federal Controlled Substances Act as a Schedule 1
Best of all, millions of people take
plant-based psychedelics with very few dangerous health effects,
especially when compared to pharmaceutical options currently on
the market to deal with anxiety and depression.
psychoactive plants remain illegal in the United States and
around the world.
That, too, may be changing as more
establishment players acknowledge the benefits.