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The Book of Vegan

[Medicine] New Magic Mushrooms Could Fix Depression, Addiction, Epilepsy, and More

 

In the late 1950s, Albert Hofmann, the Swiss chemist who “discovered” LSD mostly by accident, started experimenting with something even more powerful: magic mushrooms.

Indigenous people in Mexico had been observed using mushrooms in religious rituals by western visitors several years earlier. One of the interlopers sent a sample to Hofmann, who became the first western scientist to identify, isolate, and artificially synthesize the active ingredients, compounds called psilocybin and psilocin.

Recognizing the medical value of the mushrooms, Hofmann’s employer, the pharmaceutical giant Sandoz, soon packaged them into a pill and started marketing a drug called Indocybin. Therapists and researchers were thrilled. Here was a safe pharmaceutical drug, with immense potential to treat a wide range of mental-health pathologies, including depression and addiction!

But then the drug war happened. Psilocybin was classified as a Schedule I drug in 1970. Research, as well as treatment, halted. Indocybin disappeared from pharmacists’ shelves and from therapists’ arsenals. Novartis, Sandoz’s parent company, does not even mention Indocybin in its company history.

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Magic mushrooms: A magical cure for depression?


Psilocybin ("magic") mushrooms have recently gained popularity in the scientific community after many years of being illegal. This video summarizes the history of this drug as well as the recent research on psilocybin mushrooms for the treatment of depression.


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