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Magic mushrooms for Depression
Magic mushrooms are a natural type of psychedelic drug. That people use for recreational or spiritual purposes.
In the U.S., magic mushrooms are illegal. They contain the Schedule controlled substances psilocybin and psilocin. This drug classification means magic mushrooms have no accepted medical value. and a high potential for abuse( very wrong to believe this).
But scientific reports show that magic mushrooms can treat depression.
What are the pros and cons of using mushrooms for depression? And how does this treatment compare to other options?
The Pros of Using Magic Mushrooms for Depression
Effective for Treatment-Resistant Depression
Studies show that patients with treatment-resistant depression respond well to psilocybin. Results suggest psilocybin ‘reset’ the brains of these patients. Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris led one of the psilocybin studies. and says “similar brain effects” occur “with electroconvulsive therapy.”
“Psilocybin may be giving these individuals the temporary ‘kick start’ they need. to break out of their depressive states…”
Treatment-resistant depression is when depressive symptoms aren’t relieved by any tried therapies. including:
– Various medications
– Various talk therapies
– Lifestyle changes
– Alternative therapies
The Benefits of Mushrooms
Before we can discuss how chocolate and mushrooms work together to support your body. we need to talk about their individual benefits.
By now, you’ve heard about some of the incredible benefits of mushrooms. Medicinal mushrooms have been use in Eastern medicine. For centuries for health and well-being. And it’s no surprise, if you were to list the health benefits of mushrooms, it would be quite lengthy.
Although, each type of mushroom is unique and provides its distinct health benefits. They can help with everything from stress management to cognitive support. Below is a list of the eight (that’s right, EIGHT.) medicinal mushrooms we put in Malama’s Mushroom Chocolate . And their distinctive health benefits.
When you need to chill out, turn to reishi. Reishi is renown for its ability to help you relax and ease stress. This is thanks to a class of compounds called triterpenes, which reishi is chock-full of. In fact, Reishi’s binomial name, Ganoderma Luciderm. It’s derived from Ganoderic Acid – a triterpene that’s unique to reishi. Triterpenes have mood-boosting effects. Which is why reishi can help reduce anxiety and depression. While encouraging better sleep. (1, 2, 3, 4)
Studies show that reishi may also be able to aid in weight loss, support your immune system. Even fight cancer cells. But Reishi mushroom’s benefits on the nervous system don’t stop there. Other studies show that Reishi can help wounds heal faster too. (5,6)
Turn to cordyceps to get you through that afternoon slump or your next workout. They are a must when you need some extra vitality.
Cordyceps may improve exercise performance by enhancing blood flow. And optimizing the use of oxygen. This is especially useful for athletes or people who exercise. Not only can cordyceps help you work out harder and longer, but they can help also you recover faster too. (7,8)
Think of lions mane as nature’s smart drug. Research shows that this mighty mushroom can improve memory. learning, concentration, And cognitive performance. This is all thanks to hericenones and erinacines. Two compounds in lions mane that allow your brain to regenerate. (9)
Though more research needs to be done. they’ve shown promise for treating older adults with cognitive. impairment such as Alzheimer’s. (10, 11)
Chaga is an immunity-boosting master. They’re full of antioxidants. which makes them an excellent option for combating free radicals. inflammation, and oxidative stress.
Research suggests this mushroom can do some miraculous things for your body. Including preventing early skin aging, preventing or slowing the spread of cancer. And reducing lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol. (12,13)
If you’re looking to improve the health of your heart, turn to shiitake. This mushroom can help lower LDL and contains compounds that prevent the production. and absorption of cholesterol in the liver. Shiitake may also help maintain healthy blood pressure, circulation, and prevent plaque build-up. (14, 15)
Maitake is a versatile mushroom when it comes to health. Research suggests that maitake may be useful for lowering cholesterol. As well as glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes. (16, 17)
Other studies show that maitake may be useful for preventing and treating cancer. It has been shown to suppress tumor growth and increase the cells fighting against the tumor. (18, 19)
This mushroom is growing popular in the cosmetic industry. And it’s no wonder, tremella has impressive moisturizing and anti-aging properties. This is due to Tremella’s high polysaccharide content. which may help keep your skin hydrated, promote nerve growth, and support the brain. (20, 21, 22, 23)
Tremella’s nourishing benefits may be more than skin deep. Research suggests it might also improve your memory. One test-tube study. found that tremella extract may reduce brain toxicity caused by beta-amyloid. – a protein that’s been link to Alzheimer’s disease. (24, 25, 26, 27)
One of the biggest benefits of mushrooms. is they have anti-cancer properties due to their high amounts of antioxidants. But turkey tail takes it a step further.
Turkey tail has an immune system stimulating compound called polysaccharide-K (PSK). It has shown to boost the survival rate of certain cancers, fight leukemia. And strengthen the immune system of people receiving chemotherapy. (28, 29)
The History and Health Benefits of Chocolate
Chocolate made from the fruit of the cacao tree or Theobroma cacao. These trees are native to Central and South America, but today they grow in Hawaii’s tropical climate. (30)
The cacao tree’s fruit, called pods, contains roughly 40 cacao beans that are coat in a gum-like tangy flesh. These beans harvested, dried, and processed to make cocoa and chocolate. (30)
Theobroma Cacao translates to “Food of the Gods.” The name bestowed upon the cacao tree by the ancient Mayans and Aztecs. who believed the plant was a gift from the God of wisdom – Quetzalcoatl. They brewed cacao beans into a frothy drink like hot chocolate and drank it. In some situations, it was mixe with sacred mushrooms. (30, 31, 32)
Cacao was so valuable to the ancient central Americans that they used it as currency. One cacao bean could buy you a tomato while a turkey would cost you 100. When the Spaniards arrived. The Mayans and Aztecs baffled by their obsession with gold. After all, gold is too soft to be use as a tool or weapon and not as delicious as cacao beans. (30, 31, 32)
Instead, the Mayans and Aztecs placed value on mood-enhancing. elixirs made from cacao beans. They were on to something. Thousands of years later, people still go gangbusters for mouthwatering chocolate.
The health benefits of chocolate are as rich as its flavor profile. In fact, there are so many benefits of chocolate. That we have two other blogs dedicated sole to chocolate. You can find those here:
To break it down, chocolate does your whole body a lot of good. Some of the benefits of chocolate are…
It’s very nutritious. Dark chocolate contains essential vitamins and nutrients that your body needs. Including:
Chocolate is full of antioxidants. Dark chocolate is load with polyphenols, flavanols catechins. and other organic compounds that function as antioxidants. One study revealed that dark chocolate has more antioxidant activity. than any other fruit tested. It even beat blueberries and acai. (34)
It’s good for your heart. Chocolate is a vasodilator, which means it relaxes your arteries. And makes it easier for blood to circulate your body. This means it can help lower your blood pressure. (35, 36, 37, 38)
Chocolate may also help reduce your risk of heart disease. Studies have shown that chocolate may help decrease oxidized LDL or “bad” cholesterol. At the same time, it can reduce the risk of calcified plaque in your arteries. (39, 40)
Chocolate might help keep your skin healthy. The flavanols in chocolate may help improve blood flow to your skin. And increase skin density and hydration. (41)
One study suggests that chocolate may also help protect your skin. from sun damage by increasing your minimal erythemal dose (MED). MED is the least amount of UVB rays required to cause redness in the skin after sun exposure. (42)
It could improve your brain function. Research suggests that eating dark chocolate can help. increase blood flow to your brain. Dark chocolate may also improve verbal fluency. and cognitive function in elderly people with mental impairment. (43, 44)
Why Chocolate and Mushrooms Are a Powerful Food Combo
The individual benefits of chocolate and mushrooms are incredible. But when the two foods team up, that’s when the magic happens.
Chocolate can boost the nutritional value of mushrooms. This is because chocolate is an ideal carrier. to help your body absorb the nutrients in the mushrooms. It assists your body in absorbing mushrooms in three ways:
First, we mentioned earlier that chocolate is a vasodilator. This means that chocolate relaxes your blood vessels and improves your circulation. This makes it easier for the nutrients in mushrooms throughout your body. (35)
Second, the natural fat in cacao butter is an excellent carrier mechanism. for the nutrients in mushrooms. Studies show that eating a little fat with vegetables increases nutrient absorption. (45)
Third, chocolate tastes delicious which makes it easier to eat more mushrooms. Especially if you’re a person who wants to reap all the nutritional benefits of mushrooms. but you don’t particularly like the taste.
Chocolate and mushrooms might sound like an odd flavor combination to some. Although they actually complement each other. This might be because chocolate and mushrooms both contain two occurring compounds. called aldehydes and pyrazines. Aldehyde creates a nutty flavor while pyrazines enhances roasted flavors.
This would explain why these two different foods work so well together. Some say that mushrooms bring out the savoriness of chocolate. and boost the intensity of the flavor.
Give Your Tastebuds, And Your Health, A Treat With Chocolate and Mushrooms
Once you consider all the health benefits of chocolate and mushrooms, they’re not as odd of a duo as they may seem. Especially when you realize their flavor profiles can complement each other. And let’s face it, we all can appreciate extra reasons to eat more chocolate.
Curious to try this one-of-a-kind flavor combination for yourself? Pick up a bar, or 10, from Malama Mushrooms. And treat yourself to the incredible health. and flavor benefits of chocolate and mushrooms. Your taste buds, and your body, will thank you.
Research demonstrates that relief lasted up to five weeks. after two doses of psilocybin. Separate studies show that a single dose of psilocybin. can lift anxiety and depression in cancer patients.
In contrast, many depressed patients need to take antidepressants every day. and/or attend therapy every week to get similar benefits. These forms of treatment can also continue for years.
According to Professor David Nutt of Imperial College London, “Our study has shown psilocybin is safe and fast acting so may, if administered carefully, have value for these patients.”. In one study on magic mushrooms. all the depressed patients showed improvements after one week.
The fast-acting nature of psilocybin mushrooms for depression is attractive since antidepressant medication. and/or therapy can take weeks before patients feel benefits. This can prove problematic if your depressive symptoms are severe. Self-harming behavior or suicidal thoughts call for immediate treatment.
Researchers state that magic mushrooms help depressed patients reconnect with their emotions. They contrast this effect with antidepressants, which relieve depression by dulling your emotions. Many patients who use antidepressants. say they help reduce low mood, but they blunt positive mood as well. This can leave you feeling numb or flat.
Psilocybin seems to offer patients benefits by increasing emotional processing. After the psilocybin experiment, patients said they were more willing to accept emotions. They felt that previous treatments encouraged them to “reinforce emotional avoidance and disconnection.”
The nature of psilocybin’s effects and its short-term use means there are few side effects. Magic mushrooms lack the side effects of various antidepressant medications, which often include:
– Increased appetite and weight gain
– Loss of sexual desire or other sexual problems (erectile dysfunction, decreased orgasm, etc.)
– Fatigue and drowsiness
– Dry mouth
– Blurred vision
– Indigestion and stomach aches
– Diarrhea or constipation
The Cons of Using Magic Mushrooms for Depression
Magic mushrooms are illegal in the U.S. . including for clinical use. so patients with depression can’t receive the treatment. outlined in the studies above unless they enroll in new experiments.
Magic mushrooms are legal in some countries. And you can even find ‘magic mushroom retreats’ in the Netherlands and Jamaica. These retreats don’t cater to people with depression. even though some people attend them for that reason. They’re also not controlled or structured in the same way psilocybin studies are. And there may not be psychotherapists guiding the sessions.
Researchers warn against people using magic mushrooms as a form of self-medication. This is because it involves some risks that you may not be able to cope with on your own. These include:
– Frightening hallucinations, both auditory or visual in nature
– Derealization (the feeling that your surroundings aren’t real)
– Depersonalization (a state in which your thoughts and feelings seem unreal)
– Distressing thoughts
When you don’t have a trained mental health professional to guide you through a difficult experience . or process it after, it could be unsettling in the long-term.
If you decide to use magic mushrooms for depression in the U.S., you are committing a crime. Most patients don’t want to have to break the law to treat their mental health condition. Also, knowing you have a controlled substance may increase your unpleasant emotions. like paranoia, during an experience with magic mushrooms.
TMS Therapy As an Alternative Option
While many people are hopeful that using magic mushrooms for depression. will be a legal therapy in the future. it’s hard to say if that will ever be a reality.
But you don’t have to hold your breath for fast-acting, med-free treatment!
Evidence shows that transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is an effective treatment for depression.
In fact, TMS therapy is more effective than meds and it’s covered by insurance and Medicare.
The sessions are quick and provide long-lasting relief even from treatment-resistant depression. When combined with a healthy lifestyle for maintenance.
TMS can help lift your fog of depression when nothing else seems to work.