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Magic Mushroom
by admin on: October 25th, 2011

The word “psychedelic” is translated as “mind manifesting.” Psychedelic drugs are known to cause out-of-body visions and hallucinations. Carlos Castaneda studied psychedelic, and other medicinal plants, used by different groups of indigenous peoples from the United States of America.

Aside from tasting fantastic, some mushrooms have hallucinogenic properties. Not all of them, obviously, but the ones belonging to the genus Psilocybe do. Some specific examples include: the species Psilocybe cyanescens, Psilocybe semilanceata, and Psilocybe cubensis. They contain the prodrug Psilocybin present in the hallucinogen psilocin. The mushrooms that contain prodrug have been used for recreational purposes as well as for spiritual purposes in the rituals of various indigenous peoples.

Psilocybin is converted into psilocin, which is the pharmacologically active metabolite of the drug. This occurs via a dephosphorylation reaction, which, in turn, is helped along by the action of a group of enzymes known as phosphatases. The chemical structure of psilocybin is derived from tryptophan and has an indole ring configuration. It is structurally similar to serotonin, a neurotransmitter.

Psilocibin-induced states cause perceptual distortions and mystical experiences. Effects of these drugs include a sense of being connected to people, the universe, nature, and a general feeling of ecstasy. Amazingly, these mushrooms are niether addictive nor physically harmful. In fact, theNational Institute for Occupational Safety and Health rated these “magic mushrooms” less harmful than asprin.

The first reports of this drug came from a Wall Street banker, R. Gordon Wasson and his wife Valencia. They found out about these mushrooms being used in a village in Mexico, and published their findings in ‘Life’ in 1957. The mushrooms became a part of the popular culture after many anthropologists and chemists studied the mushrooms’ effects, some of them even writing books, like Carlos Castaneda.

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