There are many beneficent effects that psychedelic mushrooms have on the brain– from treating deep depression and anxiety, to helping people open their minds and enhance the way they perceive reality and the world as a whole. New research is now revealing how these mystic fungi are healing a damaged brain by stimulating its cell growth.
In 2013, a study conducted by the University of South Florida was published in the Experimental Brain Research Journal. The study used mice that had been conditioned to fear certain stimuli to see how they reacted to the psilocybin found in magic mushrooms.
The striking results revealed how this active ingredient helped the mice surpass their fear by stimulating cell growth and regeneration in their brains. The experiment relied on playing a certain sound whenever the mice received an electric shock to train them in fearing this tone even when the shock was not administered.
Mice under the influence of psilocybin were able to get rid of their distress caused by the tone easy enough, while those who didn’t take the substance took longer to recover. “They stopped freezing; they lost their fear,” said co-author of the study Dr. Juan Sanchez-Ramos.
The most intriguing find was that mice had their brain cells growing again, possibly because of their fear response being erased by the psychoactive effect. Researchers consider that psilocybin plugs into brain receptors that stimulate growth and healing on the hippocampus, a region of the brain indispensable to learning and building memories.
Because PTSD is believed to originate from a similar experience in which patients cannot break a stimulus from a traumatic episode of their lives, psilocybin could probably bring a cure by working inside the brain to heal it, just like it happened with the experimental mice.
“Memory, learning, and the ability to relearn that a once threatening stimuli is no longer a danger absolutely depends on the ability of the brain to alter its connections,” study leader Dr. Briony Catlow of the Lieber Institute for Brain Development said to Real Clear Science. “We believe that neuroplasticity plays a critical role in psilocybin accelerating fear extinction.”
“It is highly possible that in the future we will continue these studies since many interesting questions have come up from these experiments,” Catlow said. “The hope is that we can extend the findings to humans in clinical trials.”
Psychedelics tend to override the “default mode network” in the brain, thus helping people live in the present moment and have various revelatory thoughts and experiences. This benevolent effect could also treat PTSD and other mental afflictions such as depression.
“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,” David Nutt, of the Imperial College London’s Neuropsychopharmacology Unit, said to Natural News. “[P]silocybin appears to block that activity and stops this obsessive rumination.”
The study concludes that “psilocybin facilitates extinction of the classically conditioned fear response, and this, and similar agents, should be explored as potential treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder and related conditions.”
Although there is plenty of evidence indicating the unlimited potential of magic mushrooms, they are still being treated as an illegal, high-risk drug in the majority of countries. Our governments are still ignoring the healing Impact psilocybin has on the mind and spirit and continue to classify it as a drug of abuse with no medical value. (Source)