Psilocybin mushrooms

Psilocybin mushrooms go by many names. Among the Aztecs they were known as teonanácatl (which could be translated as “Flesh of the Gods”), among the Mazatecs nti-si-tho- (“little bird that arises”), magic mushrooms or “monguis” among the hippie community and among the youngest, “holy children”, as the Mexican healer María Sabina called them.

But whatever the name used, they are all part of the large family of mushrooms that contain the psychoactive compound called psilocybin. Psilocybin (also known as 4-PO-DMT or 4-phosphoryloxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine) is a tryptamine alkaloid that is metabolized in the body to psilocin, a hallucinogenic compound responsible for the psychoactive effect of certain edible mushrooms.


Psychedelic or entheogenic substances are famous for causing extremely intense emotional and visual trips, but a relatively new phenomenon, that of microdosing, has been changing that appreciation for some years.

A microdose consists of a tenth or a twenty part of a normal dose of any psychedelic substance (be it LSD, psilocybin or ayahuasca, among the most used). They are usually taken every few days to improve mood, creativity, and general well-being. The dose is too small for someone to go on a full-blown psychedelic trip, but it is capable of providing a very light high that allows you to go to work or carry out various daily activities.

Those of us who defend the benefits of microdoses can ensure that they improve concentration and performance. And, somewhat similar to what happens with higher doses of psilocybin, thoughts can connect with emotions with some ease, leading to a better understanding and resolution of personal problems and past traumas. In other words, psilocybin allows parts of the brain that normally never communicate to “talk” and connect again.


The microdosing trend has become increasingly popular in recent years, especially in the San Francisco scene. Countless Silicon Valley computer scientists, writers and artists, as well as thousands of people from around the world, are now sharing testimonials about the benefits of microdosing. We must point out that a recent study carried out in the United States with more than fifteen hundred volunteers offered some quite promising results.

Migraine sufferers reported reduced intensity and duration of their pain. For their part, students reported improved grades and increased ability to concentrate, and some women who had experienced periods of great suffering and emotional damage reported that they were now experiencing healthier, pain-free cycles. Other participants reported improvements in their personal relationships, a greater sense of openness and gratitude, as well as a significant reduction in episodes of depression. And a pretty positive part of the whole process was that since the doses were so low, there were virtually no adverse effects.

As James Fadiman, renowned writer, researcher and expert on psychedelic microdosing, states, “The psychedelic trip happens with a higher dose. When you are on a trip, you need to be very aware of certain contexts; having a guide is very useful in these cases where you have perceptual distortions, synesthesia, angels and dragons. Microdosing, on the other hand, doesn’t cause any of that. Microdosing is probably the safest way to use psychedelics.” For his part, researcher Michael Pollan, author of the bestseller “How to change your mind” (“How to change your mind”), defends the beneficial effects that microdoses have on the mind, since they allow a kind of “reset of the brain ”. These benefits go far beyond having pleasant sensations, expanding neural networks or promoting neuroplasticity: this psychedelic-induced reset could benefit people who suffer from disorders characterized by mental rigidity, such as addictions, depression and obsessions.

Plant medicines can generally be classed as any plant that has medicinal properties for human beings. However, in today’s world the most common use of the words ‘plant medicine’ is in addressing the ancient and powerful medicines used by the world’s original peoples, most of which are psychoactive, inducing altered states of consciousness.

Microdosing of psilocybin from truffles

Psilocybin mushrooms usually grow in natural environments where cattle graze and it usually rains heavily. Latin America (with Mexico and Colombia in the lead) are two countries in which psilocybin abounds in its multiple varieties. Unfortunately, these types of mushrooms are rarely commercialized, not so much because of government bans that have been in place for decades (fortunately, the restrictions are becoming more lax in many countries and several states in the United States), but because the effects of mushrooms lose their effectiveness through packaging and transportation. They generally need to be ingested in situ. Fortunately, human ingenuity has found a perfect substitute: magic truffles.

Under the trade name “truffles”, which are legally marketed in the Netherlands, we are actually referring to the mycelium of psilocybin mushrooms. That is to say, the part of that fungus that, underground, solidifies, becoming what is known as “sclerotia of the mycelium”. These mycelia form a kilometric network of threads scattered in the subsoil of the forests, and they are what allow the transmission of information between the hundreds or thousands of trees and other plants that make up such habitats. And, for the matter that interests us, these mycelia or “truffles” also contain psilocybin, that is, the same psychoactive element of the mushroom that emerges above the ground. So it is a superfluous discussion to try to determine what is better (whether in the therapeutic field or eminently recreational): if psilocybin mushrooms or magic truffles. The effects are similar, and the variations, both in one case and in the other, depend on the dose and the different varieties of psilocybin mushrooms or truffles.

Benefits of truffle microdoses

Magic truffles, used in microdoses, are highly recommended tools for the treatment of various ailments, be it depression, anxiety, various addictions, obsessive thoughts and post-traumatic stress syndrome. And the reason is that, in addition to minimizing what is commonly known as a “bad trip”, they promote, among other aspects, an improvement in mood, a better emotional connection with the people around us, improvement in the physical performance, greater concentration and mental clarity, as well as a substantial improvement in the quality of our sleep.

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