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Psychedelic mushrooms (sometimes referred to as “magic mushrooms) are a catch-all term for a collection of almost 200 mushroom species containing the active ingredient psilocybin. Unlike artificial psychotropic substances like LSD, use of mushrooms can be traced back to human civilizations thousands of years old. When consumed or, if prepared accordingly, brewed into a tea, this ingredient has a powerful effect on thought, mood, perception and consciousness. It’s these properties that, when consumed in responsible quantities, make psilocybin an incredibly effective remedy for intense pain as well as several serious psychiatric disorders. 


People suffering from cluster headaches, one of the most painful chronic conditions recognized by modern medicine, have found relief in psilocybin—even when consuming quantities too small to produce psychoactive effects. This technique, known as microdosing, is carried out by consuming a tiny amount of the remedy at regularly scheduled intervals. It has been linked to increased creativity, productivity, mood and focus. Many people like using precise measuring equipment to distribute doses into empty pill capsules. It’s up to the individual, though; the microdosing process is one of experimentation and personalization.


Additionally, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that remedies containing psilocybin can be used, in conjunction with psychotherapy, to help people dealing with OCD, ADHD and PTSD manage their disorder. It has also been shown to restore emotional responsiveness in people with treatment-resistant depression. While this body of evidence is growing, there is still a very real stigma surrounding natural psilocybin-containing mushrooms. That’s why organizations like MAPS work to fight that stigma and champion all the ways psychedelics can change and restore lives.

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