Mushrooms to Treat Anxiety and Depression?Jun 14, 2023
You may have read popular news articles (like this one) or watched Netflix documentaries (like Fantastic Fungi) about the potential psilocybin mushrooms have to improve our mental outlook, and help us see things from a new perspective. Let's take a look at how - and why - these mushrooms may be helpful for improving mental health.
'Magic' mushrooms have been revered by indigenous tribes for many hundreds of years for their healing and spiritually-connecting properties. Over the last few years modern science has been catching up and suggesting they could help us too. Multiple clinical trials suggest that psilocybin, the active compound in 'magic' mushrooms, can lead to profound experiences and significant reductions in anxiety and depression symptoms when used in a therapeutic setting.
So how does it work? Psilocybin binds to serotonin receptors in the brain, resulting in increased neural connectivity and the promotion of neuroplasticity. In simpler terms, it helps create new connections and opens up fresh perspectives. This mechanism is believed to contribute to the reported antidepressant and anxiety-reducing effects experienced by individuals undergoing psilocybin-assisted therapy. The journey often involves a sense of interconnectedness, enhanced introspection, and personal growth.
Beyond psilocybin, other mushroom varieties may also offer support for mental well-being. Research suggests that the beautiful lion's mane mushroom may support brain health and promote the production of nerve growth factors, vital for the growth and maintenance of brain cells. While more studies are needed, some individuals report improvements in mood, focus, and overall cognitive function when consuming lion's mane supplements or extracts - and many promote taking lion's mane and psilocybin mushrooms together as part of a 'microdosing' regime.
Remember, it's crucial to consult with healthcare professionals before incorporating mushrooms into your mental health regimen. Do also check your country's laws before choosing which mushrooms to grow, buy, or take.