Dr.Karol, MD

The doctor with alternative solutions

Radical Remedies: The Health Benefits of Magic Mushrooms

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Today’s Radical Remedies topic is perhaps the most interesting so far. With increasing legality of medical marijuana and the increasing flow of positive evidence of its health benefits, it is no surprise that renowned university research centers have undertaken studies of magic mushrooms.

A study performed by John Hopkins University has found that low doses of the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, called psilocybin, had an antiaging effect on “openness”. Openness relates to the ability to see and appreciate beauty, to imagine, to be aware of our own and other people’s feelings, and to be curious and creative. Normally these traits attenuate as we age, as we become more rigid. Magic mushrooms have been found to reverse this process with long lasting effects, on average up to a year or longer.

Research volunteers have reported increased feelings of interconnectedness to all people and things, feeling of peace and joy, a sense of sacredness, and of stepping outside of “normal time and space”.

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Psilocybin is a hallucinogenic substance capable of increasing visual and auditory acuity, and causes visual hallucinations such as vivid colors or “breathing surfaces”, auditory hallucinations in the form of sounds being visualized as passing colors, and profound “mystic” experiences, being defined as a “sense of interconnectedness with all people and things accompanied by a sense of sacredness and reverence”.

Other important studies show that psilocybin at low doses is also very effective for OCD, PTSD, depression and anxiety disorders, and even the growth of new brain cells.

A few cautionary notes: a small dose of psilocybin usually means 1 to 2 grams of dried mushrooms, although this depends on the species. Anything above 2 grams is considered a high dose and can cause profound experiences leading to anxiety, fear and panic, which may even cause a heart attack. Furthermore, magic mushroom experiences are highly influenced by our surroundings and mood. If they are negative, the experience can be very negative, and vice versa. Finally, although the sale of mushroom kits is legal in Canada, the growth of mushroom spores and the possession of psilocybin still have an illegal status.

Perhaps these promising studies will open the eyes of politicians.

Author: Dr. Karol, MD

Alternative medicine expert, educator, medical health advisor and author. Recognized as a health expert who is highly knowledgeable in conventional medicine, supplementation, botanical medicine, clinical nutrition and diet and exercise programs. Karol graduated with a B.Sc. with distinction from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. Following this Karol completed a doctor of medicine degree as well as the medical post-graduation internship in Europe. Karol started his media career by hosting the radio Radical Remedies portion of The Natural Health Show. The Natural Health Show brings together a collection of health experts to discuss natural health solutions in a way that’s easy to understand. Karol also speaks on health matters and the potential of healthy ingredients on video blogs and at health tradeshows. He currently works closely with and represents some of Canada’s leading health product companies. Karol is currently the Medical Director of Vitarock.com, an online store for all things healthy. Here Karol reviews the products considered by Vitarock to ensure they meet the company’s four core pillars; to be pure, green, safe and fair. He also interacts directly with Vitarock’s online shoppers, being available by phone to provide a free medical consultation and to recommend the best possible products. He is also a senior advisor for dicentra, one of Canada’s leading regulatory and scientific consulting firms. Karol reviews science and compiles reports for Health Canada and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help companies bring new and exciting products and ingredients to market. His overall philosophy is that as a society we should implement a more personal approach to our existing medical system showing more empathy, personal attention, as well as emotional and psychological support to individuals in need of help. He also believes in the value of integrating modern Western medical practice with natural remedies, exercise, time spent with nature, and a healthy diet rich in super foods.

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