Hardcore trip enthusiasts have been using psilocybin mushrooms for years in an attempt to gain access to the Technicolor trapdoor into the unknown. Of course, there are also those who just want to watch their friends’ faces melt off and listen for subliminal messages on all their favorite records.
The scientific community, however, says there is more to the “magic mushroom” than just an emotional glimpse inside the looking glass of the universe, but similar to our friend marijuana, it also has medicinal properties that could one day be used to cure a myriad of mental afflictions.
Researchers from the University of Florida recently published a study in the journal Experimental Brain Research that suggests specific components of psilocybin mushrooms have the ability to create new brain cells. The discovery can be used to develop ground breaking new treatments for severe mental conditions…even improve learning.
In fact, researchers suggest that when given to mice, psilocybin mushrooms proved successful in restoring crippled brain cells as well as easing the symptoms of conditions like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression -- sometimes even working as a cure.
To establish these results, lead researcher Dr. Juan R. Sanchez-Ramos conditioned laboratory mice to be fearful of an electro shock, and then monitored the animals after a dose of psilocybin. What he found was the mice on “shrooms” became more relaxed and less likely to react to fear than those left untreated.
“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,” said 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.”
Dr. Sanchez-Ramos adds that psilocybin has a way of infiltrating the hippocampus portion of the brain, which can assist in improving memory and overall brain function.
Two UK studies published earlier this year corroborate Dr. Sanchez-Ramos’ latest findings, concurring that psilocybin has the potential for alleviating depression and other psychiatric disorders.
Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in High Times, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.