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Psychedelic mushrooms, ayahuasca and other hallucinogens

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BentBuddha

(NaturalNews) They're technically illegal in all 50 states. But so-called "magic mushrooms," or what street dealers and those in the know refer to as "shrooms," are a highly medicinal reparative food that scientific research put out by the University of South Florida suggests could be used to improve cognitive function. Researchers at the school found that a prominent substance in shrooms known as psilocybin, which is considered an illegal Schedule I drug by the federal government, has the ability to regenerate new brain cells and potentially even cure mental illness.

Much like the cannabinoids found naturally in cannabis, the psilocybin in shrooms binds to special receptors in the brain that help stimulate growth and healing, in this case brain cell growth and regeneration. After testing psilocybin on several groups of mice, the research team found that psilocybin helps repair damaged brains cells and alleviate or even cure mental disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and clinical depression.

Dr. Juan R. Sanchez-Ramos, M.D., Ph.D., lead author of the study, arrived at this conclusion after testing the effects of psilocybin on mice trained to fear an electric shock when hearing a sound associated with that shock. Mice given small doses of psilocybin learned to stop reacting to the noise much more quickly than those given no psilocybin, illustrating the ability of the compound to literally rewire neurons and promote positive changes in memory.

Recognized as a "nootropic" agent, psilocybin appears to have numerous pro-cognitive functions that can help improve the overall function of the brain's hippocampus, or HP, which is responsible for learning and converting short-term memories into long-term memories. According to Dr. Sanchez-Ramos' research, the ability of the HP to perform these and other functions is dependent upon the generation of new neurons in the brain, which psilocybin is capable of facilitating.

"The proposition that psilocybin impacts cognition and stimulates hippocampal neurogenesis is based on extensive evidence that serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine or 5-HT) acting on specific 5-HT receptor sub-types (most likely the 5-HT2A receptor) is involved in the regulation of neurogenesis in hippocampus," says Dr. Sanchez-Ramos. "The in vitro and in vivo animal data is compelling enough to explore whether psilocybin will enhance neurogenesis and result in measurable improvements in learning."
 

Psilocybin as a side effect-free alternative to antidepressants

Because of its ability to stimulate new neuronal connections, psilocybin may also be effective in the treatment of depression. According to Higher Perspective, people who are depressed typically have an overactive prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain that is directly affected by psilocybin. Related research out of the U.K. confirms this, having found that psilocybin literally switches off the anterior cingulate cortex, allowing depressed individuals to experience relief.

"People with depression have overactive default mode networks and so ruminate on themselves, on their inadequacies, on their badness, that they are worthless, that they have failed -- to an extent that is sometimes delusional," says Professor David Nutt from Imperial College London's neuropsychopharmacology department. "[P]silocybin appears to block that activity and stops this obsessive rumination."

Be sure to check out Dr. Sanchez-Ramos' presentation at the Horizons 2011 gathering entitled "Effects of Psilocybin and other Selective Serotonin Agonists on Hippocampal Neurogenesis," which discusses in further depth how psilocybin affects brain function:
http://vimeo.com.

Sources for this article include:

http://vimeo.com

http://altering-perspectives.com

http://www.theguardian.com

http://science.naturalnews.com

 

http://www.naturalnews.com/043214_psychedelic_mushrooms_psilocybin_brain_cells.html

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Altostrata

Magic mushrooms are neuroactive, as are all psychiatric drugs. Whether magic mushrooms do this or not, proliferation of brain cells is not necessarily a good thing. Proliferation of brain cells sometime indicates neurological injury.

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scot
Altostrata

scot, we're not big on the recreational drugs here. They can make withdrawal syndrome a lot worse.

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Meimeiquest

I was treated once by a massage therapist who was sure she had permanent brain damage from some type of mushrooms. Not that's scientific, isn't it :) She believed she had to be on an AD because of it.

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rygolfer
Has Anyone Ever Heard of Ayahuasca?

 

With all herbal remedies there are no necessarily trustworthy sources of information.  The ones that want to promote it, make it sound like it can fix anything, and the ones against make it sound like you will drop dead directly after taking it.  I was curious if anyone out there has actually tried this treatment, and if they could share the results?  If you have opinions that are grounded in some sort of fact, I would like to hear those as well, I just don't want this post to turn into some sort of emotional mess   :)

 

Here is a link that a friend of mine sent me.  She has great intentions and wants the best for me, but admittedly has never tried this herself either.

 

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/ayahuasca-amazonian-brew-may-be-most-powerful-antidepressant-ever-discovered

 

Thank you in advance anyone and everyone that takes time out to read and respond.  

Edited by Petunia
added title and merged topic with similar

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Darwin

I've tried it, just recently actually

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Darwin

2 weeks after the experience i had beautiful sleep. now I'm finding it more difficult 3 weeks later(after glow must be wearing off) . also i noticed i had more energy and was able to work out atleast 5-6 times a week, my mood has also changed. the symptoms that stayed are my brain fog,inability to focus,visual floaters, mini brain zaps,diarrhea,ringing in the ear.

although i think that's from my still dysregulated nervous system. My thought process before the trip was that if i can heal my brain or serotonin receptors from aya then maybe my body will eventually find it's way back and fix itself. i was wrong but i only did do it once and gain a couple of insights and benefits.
i wouldn't advise anybody to take ayahuasca unless you know what you're getting into, do tons of research first. it really isn't a drug to be taken lightly it will take you to a whole different dimension and take your soul out of your body until you don't know who you are anymore. it will also reveal many insights that you may or may not like. Part of me thought i wasn't going to make it out. the thing with it though is that you can't fight it you can only let go. it was as if i died and got reborn again.

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Petunia

This is not something you want to be messing around with while in withdrawal. Your nervous system needs stability in order to recover.

 


i wouldn't advise anybody to take ayahuasca unless you know what you're getting into, do tons of research first. it really isn't a drug to be taken lightly it will take you to a whole different dimension and take your soul out of your body until you don't know who you are anymore. it will also reveal many insights that you may or may not like.

 

Definitely not something which will support recovery. Many people become very sensitive to drugs and supplements after they've experienced withdrawal symptoms for even a short time. Do not count on taking the big risks you used to take. See: The rule of 3KIS: Keep it simple. Keep it slow. Keep it stable.

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bluebalu86

I've been interested in this for some time but too afraid to try it. My brain is a mess and don't want to risk making it even worse. I suppose this is for people who are more brave and willing to make experiments and risk their progress. I'm not willing to do that, not right now. But it's interesting to read of others' experiences. 

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Fresh

Hi rygolfer ,    whatever you read about individual experiences of ayahuasca is not applicable to someone during

drug withdrawal.   You do not have the brain chemistry of a normal person.

 

You are less than a month out after stopping . . . as Petunia says , your system needs stability , rest

and nourishment , not psychotropic substances.

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Altostrata

Throwing another neuroactive substance into the mix when your nervous system is already made vulnerable by withdrawal is highly, highly risky.

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oskcajga

2 weeks after the experience i had beautiful sleep. now I'm finding it more difficult 3 weeks later(after glow must be wearing off) . also i noticed i had more energy and was able to work out atleast 5-6 times a week, my mood has also changed. the symptoms that stayed are my brain fog,inability to focus,visual floaters, mini brain zaps,diarrhea,ringing in the ear.

although i think that's from my still dysregulated nervous system. My thought process before the trip was that if i can heal my brain or serotonin receptors from aya then maybe my body will eventually find it's way back and fix itself. i was wrong but i only did do it once and gain a couple of insights and benefits.

i wouldn't advise anybody to take ayahuasca unless you know what you're getting into, do tons of research first. it really isn't a drug to be taken lightly it will take you to a whole different dimension and take your soul out of your body until you don't know who you are anymore. it will also reveal many insights that you may or may not like. Part of me thought i wasn't going to make it out. the thing with it though is that you can't fight it you can only let go. it was as if i died and got reborn again.

 

Based on this description, I'm now officially scared of this herbal remedy - sounds much like someone explaining magic mushrooms or LSD.

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Darwin

 

2 weeks after the experience i had beautiful sleep. now I'm finding it more difficult 3 weeks later(after glow must be wearing off) . also i noticed i had more energy and was able to work out atleast 5-6 times a week, my mood has also changed. the symptoms that stayed are my brain fog,inability to focus,visual floaters, mini brain zaps,diarrhea,ringing in the ear.

although i think that's from my still dysregulated nervous system. My thought process before the trip was that if i can heal my brain or serotonin receptors from aya then maybe my body will eventually find it's way back and fix itself. i was wrong but i only did do it once and gain a couple of insights and benefits.

i wouldn't advise anybody to take ayahuasca unless you know what you're getting into, do tons of research first. it really isn't a drug to be taken lightly it will take you to a whole different dimension and take your soul out of your body until you don't know who you are anymore. it will also reveal many insights that you may or may not like. Part of me thought i wasn't going to make it out. the thing with it though is that you can't fight it you can only let go. it was as if i died and got reborn again.

 

Based on this description, I'm now officially scared of this herbal remedy - sounds much like someone explaining magic mushrooms or LSD.

 

who wouldn't be scared it rips you away of what you know of as the truth & gives you a different perspective on me,you, and everybody else's existence. but IME that feeling only lasts a brief moment until you're  shown the beauty of life and how precious everything is. I cried my eyes out knowing i was still very much alive after all i've gone through in life and how grateful i am to have the kind of parents to support me with how hard they worked to put food on the table. psychedelics are such a profound gift given to us by the universe and I'm saddened that our current society have given it a bad rep and look down upon it when Millions of suffering people could heal from it (people who are suffering from negative states of being, past trauma,and anxiety before death usually cancer patients,)

 

 

Yeah i gotta agree with you though that's a terrible description of it aha maybe the current state of my nervous system had a lot to do with my experience. My mind was definitely fighting back on a lot of it though. my subconscious part of me kept saying i wouldn't make it because of the damage on my nervous system but my conscious part kept telling me that nobody has ever died from proper use of ayahuasca & that i will make it; the best i could do at that moment was to stop fighting & to let go. that was the same moment when i got the biggest feeling of peace. I'm not looking forward to doing it again while in my current state though.

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rygolfer

Good conversation here and much appreciated.  I've just heard so many things...among those that it is a way to kind of wipe the slate clean emotionally, and undo some of the improper imprinting that your mind did so long ago (ultimately leading to the problems that I am trying to get treated for).  I'm not looking to try it anytime soon.  I'm feeling very good about the progress that I am making, and had a truly incredible day yesterday.  I felt actually normal.  A normalcy that I hadn't felt in YEARS.  It was like I was "feeling" for the first time.  I've already experienced the other side of the spectrum and felt the really ugly parts that I was trying to get rid of initially, start to come back as well.  But with each and every day, I have hope.  Hope that the best years of my life are still in front of me, and that my mind has matured enough to be able to handle the things that I couldn't handle before.  All of this sacrifice to ultimately feel what it is like to be alive again, and experience all of my thoughts and emotions.  If I am ready, I will count myself as truly blessed.

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JanCarol

If I were to look back at the South American native Ayahuasca traditions, this is not something you just "take."


 


There are Seers, who go on the journey with you.  They prepare you for a week before you go.  You live in a healing hut - alone in the forest for a month to digest the experience properly, coupled with daily diet and use of preparatory herbs. These shamans are trained professionals in the landscape of spirit, and they go on the journey with you, drumming and singing, and protecting you as you go.


 


Without such a navigator (and they do not accept people who have been on psych drugs, which we all have been), it is very dangerous indeed.  


 


I say this as an Experienced Traveller - recreational "renovations" of the brain are not advisable for healthy people.  For someone who has been on psych drugs - ever - and someone in withdrawal - never.

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Dan998

A clinical trial, which took years and significant money to complete due to the stringent regulatory restrictions imposed around the class 1 drug, has found that two doses of psilocybin, the active substance in the mushrooms, was sufficient to lift resistant depression in all 12 volunteers for three weeks, and to keep it away in five of them for three months.

 

All the volunteers had severe depression and had failed to improve on at least two standard antidepressants. They were initially given a low dose of psilocybin to ensure they had no adverse reactions (none did) and then a higher dose a week later. They were treated in a specially prepared room, with music playing and in the presence of two psychiatrists who talked with them throughout. The psychedelic experience lasted up to five hours.
 
The researchers said they did not know whether the effect of the drug was caused by chemical changes in the brain or whether the psychedelic experience, which people describe as spiritual or mystical, gives them a new perspective. Either way, they said psilocybin offered hope for those who had been depressed for an average of 18 years - the majority of the volunteers had been depressed most of their lives.
 
Amanda Feilding, founder of Beckley and co-director of the trial programme with Professor Nutt, said: “The results from our research are helping to understand how psychedelics change consciousness, and how this information can be used to find breakthrough treatments for many of humanity’s most intractable psychiatric disorders, such as depression, addiction and obsessive compulsive disorder.”
 
 

 

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line

A clinical trial, which took years and significant money to complete due to the stringent regulatory restrictions imposed around the class 1 drug, has found that two doses of psilocybin, the active substance in the mushrooms, was sufficient to lift resistant depression in all 12 volunteers for three weeks, and to keep it away in five of them for three months.

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/may/17/magic-mushrooms-lift-severe-depression-in-clinical-trial

 

 

 

It is important to consider the limitations of this pilot study; for example, although all patients showed some clinical improvements for at least 3 weeks after treatment, and no serious or unexpected adverse reactions were observed, enduring improvements beyond 3 weeks were not observed universally, and five of the 12 patients showed a degree of relapse at 3 months.
 
 
Do I get I right, that these are different findings?

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Dan998

I've been thinking long and hard about whether or not to divulge this information, but I have a confession to make. I used to do psychedelic drugs on regular basis.

 

It was back in the early 90's and LSD and mushrooms were cheap and widely available. Me and my friends would take a trip a couple of times a month. We would have done it more often, but we had an older friend who used to do LSD everyday, it sent him a bit funny and he repeatedly warned us about the dangers of overindulging.

 

Anyway, my point is that during this whole time, about 2 years, I was never depressed, anxious or miserable in any way. In fact, thinking back on it, these were the best years of my life and what I would describe as the real me. I was confident, sociable, optimistic and life was good. 

 

Then, the rave scene came along. All the cool kids saw psychedelics as something that hippies did and they went out of fashion. It was almost impossible to get hold of them. I tried MDMA, coke and speed, but never really got on with any of those, so just gave up drugs altogether, until I went on antidepressants many years later.

 

I'm definitely not suggesting that anyone in withdrawal should take magic mushrooms, in fact that would be downright irresponsible and possibly very dangerous.

 

All I know is that the mushrooms had hardly any side effects and no withdrawal symptoms, and when compared to SSRI's are probably the lesser of two evils.

 

There might be something to this study. If I had my time over again, and knew then what I know now about SSRI's, I would certainly have given the mushrooms a try before I went anywhere near the AD's.

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Buffy

Interesting.

 

I know a bunch of surfie boys who do regular holidays to bali for a mushroom milkshake - not the same not clinical, but none of them ended up like me. I wish I had gone with them instead of listening to pdoc who said I was too ill to travel.

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btdt

still a drug and maybe humans can't escape all drugs I don't know

 

I do know this:

 

"In fact, thinking back on it, these were the best years of my life and what I would describe as the real me. I was confident, sociable, optimistic and life was good."

 

that is what I would have said about myself on effexor not now but when I was taking effexor

 

Drugs are drugs are drugs... effexor like cocaine or booze all change our brains the amount of the drug length of time taken who knows.. we are in the infancy of understanding how drugs affect human brains. A lot of the information on the legal drugs is locked up in pharma vaults so it we may never know it all.  The last link I posted on the Grace E Jackson thread has some science on the damage done to our brains by psych drugs.  I would bet most street drugs taken every day for 20 years would show some of the same problems  

 

It does not say in the above study that the folks who were helped by mushrooms were past psych drug users... for us it maybe the only wise thing from here on out is to just say no. Always a very personal decision for sure but for me here on out it is a solid no... I can't even consider it. I am still pondering if I can risk a surgery I need cause of drug side effects. Weird the things we have to consider on planet earth these days.

 

Do you know what the active drug in mushrooms is... ?  I don't too lazy to look.

 

There were some old hippies in my town too who went on a trip and never quite came back I guess every age has it's drug victims. . 

 

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btdt

I looked it up the fact that mushrooms can cause hallucinations was enough to put me into code blue...after prozac and wd hallucinations... I don't ever want to hallucinate again. The idea is terrifying.  

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Dan998

Yep, drugs are drugs. I think the difference is that we, as a species, evolved alongside some drugs and our brians are able to cope with them a lot easier than the stuff they produce in a lab, which are totally alien to us. 

 

It's interesting research but, don't worry, I've had my fill of brain altering chemicals and I'm not going to go anywhere near any drugs ever again either. 

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Altostrata

As everybody knows, we here at SurvivingAntidepressants.org do not advocate experimenting with magic mushrooms or any gray-market drug. You never know exactly what you're getting and results are unpredictable even in people whose nervous systems have not been compromised by adverse drug reactions.

 

If you try street drugs or gray-market drugs and have an adverse reaction, we may not be able to provide you support as you recover and may ask you to leave the site.

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FarmGirlWorks

Saw writer/professor Michael Pollan at a talk last night for his new book "How To Change Your Mind" about hallucinogens. I am pro-hallucinogens as medicine but not using during WD until my CNS calms down. And, I know, this is not a place to advocate for them. What I want to mention here, is that I was heartened by was the mainstream skepticism toward Big Pharma. The audience was large (he sells out), multi-racial and a lot of older more conservative-looking folks, not just young long-hairs with man buns. Frankly, at 51, I was in the middle of the audience bell curve.

 

He immediately talked about SSRI's, the NYT article and how they are coming to be seen as not a good "tool" when it comes to psychological health. And how big wigs in psychiatry (the head of NAMI and The APA) are positive about more studies with psychedelics. I am skeptical of that as there is so much $$$ being poured into psychiatry by pharmaceuticals. And, like he said, psychedelics are not addictive, there is diminishing returns with frequent use and pharma wants something you have to ingest every day. That is, they are not money-makers. It will be interesting in the next decade to see how this shakes out. My brain is cynical but my heart hopes.

 

As a final note, he talked about how psilocybin (the activating part of magic mushrooms) depresses the portion of the brain that is responsible for ego solidity; this was shown in fMRIs. The same part of the brain is depressed in experienced meditators, also shown in fMRIs. Ego dissolution provides us with different patterns in our thinking -- clears the ruts -- and progresses toward "neutral" mind where rumination can't exist. As a pro-ruminator, I am doing everything I can to get out of this habit. Currently, I am using "change the channel" which is effective and meditating when I go to yoga. However, I am adding it to my pre-bed routine... hope to addit in the norning soon as well (haven't gotten there yet). 😏

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brassmonkey

Folks this discussion is getting too close to advocating the use of illegal or highly controlled drugs.  SA does not condone this sort of drug usage.  In future posts please confine your discussions to the acceptable topics.

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Altostrata

I cannot stress enough that if you have had a bad reaction or withdrawal symptoms from any psychiatric drug (or, for that matter, any psychoactive substance), your nervous system is probably sensitized and you should not experiment with other psychoactive substances, whether they're touted as "miracle" drugs or not.

 

Psychoactive drugs are trendy now to treat so-called psychiatric disorders. The glowing reviews you read are from people who have not had adverse reactions to them and whose nervous systems probably are not compromised by previous drug use. This is very important to remember: If your nervous system has been sensitized by withdrawal, whatever psychotherapeutic effect supplements, herbs, adaptogenics, and hallucinogenics might have DOES NOT APPLY TO YOU.

 

Experimentation with psychoactive substances is for people whose nervous systems are stable. If you do it, you could make yourself a lot worse, and the only remedy is to cope with your symptoms until they go away. We don't have any magic potions for you.

 

If you have a bad reaction to a psychedelic or other street drug, since you hurt yourself despite our warnings and we probably can't help you, you may be asked to leave SurvivingAntidepressants.org.

 

SurvivingAntidepressants.org is a site for going off psychiatric drugs. If you feel compelled to discuss experimentation with psychoactive substances in depth, please join a site such as http://www.bluelight.org/vb/content/ We take no responsibility for anything you might learn there or any encouragement you might get to experiment with drugs.

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Altostrata

We're all watching with curiosity and amusement the experiments with psychedelics for psychotherapeutic purposes. It will be interesting to see what psychiatry does if undeniable benefit comes out of taking psychedelics in therapeutic settings.

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NobodySpecial

I'm much more excited to see the ways people start incorporating practices like David Berceli's Trauma Releasing Exercises and various other neurogenic-tremor inducing practices to stimulate a parasympathetic state - that's what is really called for in this arena!

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