Top Five moments in psychedelic history: Part 2, Psychiatry

I got inspired by this series idea, so I’ll definitely be bringing a few more. This week I want to focus on psychiatric history of psychedelic experimentation. Not only because it’s very interesting as general reading, but also because it showcases some of the amazing potential of consciousness altering drugs. Ancient Shamanism Since ancient times, man has used psychedelics as a means to enter the spirit world. The primary task for such states was to diagnose and heal illnesses – typically taken to mean by modern folk as colds and the like – but anything manifesting as ‘mental illness’ would have been brought to the medicine man, or shaman. In some culture’s naturally occurring altered states like this were taken as the birth of a new shaman. In one African village, such people were taken into the mountains to find a totem. A pretty vast contrast to our pills and mental wards. But we can see the link actually when we see that not only do many ancient herbal medicines actually work scientifically, but the use of psychedelics has since …

Natures Highs Part 1: Chocamine, the limitless legal stimulant?

Legal natural highs in New Zealand

Legal Highs are still available in New Zealand I’m writing a series here on entheogens and legal highs in NZ. It’s been a confusing time since the psychoactive substances act came into force. While the law has not yet provided a scientific path to legal high drug testing (at least not without animal testing), it has however opened up a black market far scarier than what Peter Dunne and the public had ever imagined. The new law also created some confusion around the definition of a psychoactive substance and what natural plants may or may not fall under the new bill. Getting high or catching a buzz from your local health store or supermarket in NZ As it turns out… nature, industry and the majority of middle class kiwis got to keep all their habitual highs, and some of them are pretty good. The way the law was applied allows for religious, cultural, gardening, food and medicinal exceptions. It quite rightly ignores the majority of herbs that are mild enough to be sold in most major supermarket chains. You’d be surprised that there …

Scientists have figured out how shrooms open your mind

It’s one thing to say that psychedelic mushrooms “open your mind,” but it’s another entirely to demonstrate its dream-like effects in a scientific study. Yet, that’s what one group of researchers appear to have achieved in a study published today in Human Brain Mapping. In the experiment, researchers injected a dose of psilocybin — the chemical that gives “shrooms” their kick — into a group of 15 participants, reports The Washington Post. Another group, the control, didn’t receive the drug. Then, using brain imaging technology, the researchers looked at the areas of the brain that were activated in both groups. This allowed them to determine that psilocybin increased the volume of activity in regions of the brain that are usually activated when we dream, during sleep. It also increased brain function in regions that are associated with emotion and memory. According to the researchers, these effects are akin to what we experience when we dream. Read more http://www.theverge.com/2014/7/3/5869465/scientists-figured-out-how-shrooms-open-your-mind

How Psychedelics Can Cure Our Collective Insanity

Amber Lyon, 3-time Emmy award winning journalist, describes how her work as a journalist covering social justice issues lead to her suffering from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and how experience with Ayahuasca cured her of the disorder and led to a radical spiritual and career shift. For more visit reset.me