They are known as psilocybin mushrooms, shrooms, magic mushrooms, and so forth but they are not known as medicine. Though it is a natural plant it is been banned by the U.S. Government, but it may hold medicinal properties. These mushrooms might find their place on the natural medicine shelves has they have the abilities eradicate mental illness, improve cognition, and treat depression.
The University of South Florida as released research stating that the active component in psychedelic mushrooms, psilocybin, is the ability to grow new brain cells.
The study was published in Experimental Brain Research and states the psilocybin can attach to receptors in the brain that specializes in growth and healing. Researchers found that psilocybin helped mice relieve or even cure depression and PTSD while repairing damaged brain cells.
Dr. Juan R. Sanchez-Ramos, lead researcher, was able to test the effects of psilocybin on mice by training them to fear a noise that is associated with an electric shock. When given psilocybin, the mice stopped reacting to the noise-trigger at a faster rate than the mice who did not receive the substance.
Dr. Sanchez-Ramos stated that, “The proposition that psilocybin impacts cognition and stimulates hippocampal neurogenesis is based on extensive evidence that serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine or 5-HT) acting on specific 5-HT receptor subtypes (most likely the 5-HT2A receptor) is involved in the regulation of neurogenesis in hippocampus,” and continued with, “the in vitro and in vivo animal data is compelling enough to explore whether psilocybin will enhance neurogenesis and result in measurable improvements in learning.”
Psilocybin is a ‘nootropic’ agent, meaning that it can enhance cognitive functions or memory. The health of the hippocampus, the area of the brain used for converting short-term memory to long-term as well as learning, can be improved by this compound which will lead to an overall healthier brain.
Like marijuana the research on these mushrooms has been limited, but that may change now that a medicinal use has been found. Though psychedelic mushrooms are in the Schedule I classification of illegal substances we may start to see more research to place them into a medical classification.