Magic mushrooms are a special kind of mushroom belonging to the psilocybe genus and containing the natural psychedelic psilocybin. There are about 200 types of them, and people from ancient times use them in various spiritual and religious practices, or simply to get high.
The Body of God
Since ancient times, people, trying to understand the mysteries of nature and higher powers, have used psilocybin mushrooms as a guide to other worlds. The oldest evidence of their use by people was found in Africa and dates back to the eighth-fourth millennium BC. Drinks from hallucinogenic mushrooms were used in ancient India in the pre-Aryan era.
In ancient Greece, during the “Great Eleusinia” – the celebration of the victory of life over death, hallucinogens obtained from ergot were used during the mysterious “Eleusinian mysteries”. In pre-Columbian America, in the cultures of the Aztecs and the Maya, psilocybins were of great ritual significance. The Aztecs called Psilocybe the Mexican “teonanácatl” – “the body of God”, and only specially dedicated people were allowed to eat them. Special places of worship with sculptures of magic mushrooms with human faces were discovered in Guatemala. Some tribes of Central America still use “magic mushrooms” in their cult rituals.
The legendary fearlessness of the Scandinavian Vikings is partly due to their considerable addiction to eating fly agarics. The same obsessions are still characteristic of the shamans of the northern peoples of Chukotka, Taimyr, and Kamchatka. They learn many ways of preparing them, up to eating reindeer meat, previously fed with fly agaric. To boost endurance, shamans gave hunters young unopened fly agaric hats, peeled, since they contain the largest amount of active substances.
How psilocybin mushroom affects the human body
These mushrooms contain psilocybin, which is the active ingredient here and is gradually metabolized in the human body into psilocin. Their effect is similar to that of LSD, although significantly weaker than it. Psilocybin and its metabolite psilocin primarily interact with serotonin receptors in the brain. They have a particularly high affinity for 5-HT (serotonin) subtype 2A receptors. The first manifestations appear about twenty minutes after the use of psilocybes when taken on a full stomach, after two hours. Psilocybes are usually dried and chewed. Their taste, as a rule, is very nasty, but this does not stop the “travelers”. A moderate dose in the range of 1-2.5 grams usually produces a “trip” that lasts 3 to 6 hours. The threshold dose for perceiving the action of psilocin is usually in the range of 0.2-0.5 grams. The effect of the reception is extremely dependent on the individual characteristics of the person and the circumstances in which he is at the moment. A huge role is played by the degree of cognitive balance of an individual and the general level of his culture.
Initially, there is an effect of stunnedness, euphoria, similar to the effect of ghost train haze smoking, hands begin to tremble, hearing and vision become more acute, there is a feeling of misshaping of space and time, the perception of light, color and speed is disturbed. Unusual visions, hallucinations come, the sense of space and time disappears. A person may feel that he has flown out of his body and is watching him from the side. As a rule, a person is aware of the unreality of what is happening.