Study: Psilocybin Mushrooms Stimulate Growth Of New Brain Cells

Psilocybin Mushrooms Via: Shots Studio.


by Aaron Kase

on May 28, 2015

Psychedelic mushrooms already have a reputation for helping people open their minds and broaden their perspective on the world. They have shown an ability to combat mental disorders like depression and anxiety. Now, research is showing that the magic mushrooms can actually help physically rebuild a damaged brain.

In a study conducted by the University of South Florida and published in 2013 in the Experimental Brain Research journal, researchers measured the effects of mushrooms on mice that had been conditioned to fear certain stimuli.

The results were striking: Not only could psilocybin, the main active ingredient in psychedelic mushrooms, help them get over their fear, it promoted cell growth and regeneration in their brains.

Psilocybin Mushrooms Via: Atomazul

Psilocybin Mushrooms
Via: Atomazul

During the experiment, mice were exposed to an auditory tone while receiving an electric shock, training them to fear the noise even when the shock was not administered.

Mice that received low doses of psilocybin, however, were quickly able to shed their aversion to the tone, while mice that did not take the substance took longer to return to normal. “They stopped freezing; they lost their fear,” study co-author Dr. Juan Sanchez-Ramos said to Live Science.

What’s more, the psychedelic mice showed growth in new brain cells, perhaps erasing memories of the fear response. Researchers think that the psilocybin is binding to brain receptors that stimulate growth and healing, acting on the hippocampus, a small part of the brain that is essential to learning and forming memories. Since PTSD is thought to result from a similar response in which patients cannot separate a stimulus from a traumatic event, psilocybin could perhaps help them heal their brains just like it did for the mice.

“Memory, learning, and the ability to relearn that a once threatening stimuli is no longer a danger absolutely depends on the ability of the brain to alter its connections,” study leader Dr. Briony Catlow of the Lieber Institute for Brain Development said to Real Clear Science. “We believe that neuroplasticity plays a critical role in psilocybin accelerating fear extinction.”

“It is highly possible that in the future we will continue these studies since many interesting questions have come up from these experiments,” Catlow said. “The hope is that we can extend the findings to humans in clinical trials.”

Psychedelics work, in part, by overriding the “default mode network” in the brain, which is thought to be responsible for wandering minds, self-criticism and an inability to focus on the outside world. Instead, the substances help people focus on living in the moment, similar to many Eastern meditation practices. That can also help with PTSD as well as other mental disorders like depression.

“People with depression have overactive default mode networks and so ruminate on themselves, on their inadequacies, on their badness, that they are worthless, that they have failed — to an extent that is sometimes delusional,” David Nutt, of the Imperial College London’s Neuropsychopharmacology Unit, said to Natural News. “[P]silocybin appears to block that activity and stops this obsessive rumination.”

The therapeutic value seems clear. “[Psilocybin] facilitates extinction of the classically conditioned fear response, and this, and similar agents, should be explored as potential treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder and related conditions,” the study concludes. However, despite its demonstrated success and unlimited potential, psilocybin is currently banned by the U.S. government, considered a drug of abuse with no medical value.

there are 4,749 Comments

Kristy Brooks

Damn man you seriously need to get your facts straight. Shrooms are harmless essentially. The psilocybin in the mushroom is broke down and turns into psilocin which triggers your brain to release extra seritonin which make you feel good. Extra seritonin make you feel happy, floaty, colorful, etc. I have heard colors and seen sounds on shrooms. It helps with depression not cause it. What do you think your brain releases to make you be happy? As far as dopamine going, it and seritonin work together some what in our brains but on different levels. But taking mushrooms it is just the seritonin levels that are raised. Also not all mushrooms are created equal. You may have a mushroom that weights .1 then you have one that weighs .5…. The bigger one could be less potent than the smaller one. That is why I like to dry them and grind them up and put them in a tea or in melted chocolate.

Aaron Camus

When I was in my late teens, I was on a road to self destruction. Anger, alcoholism, depression… I went into a weekend festival with black leather, steel, skulls, and darkness deeply embedded into my psyche. I was, at the time, the most dangerous kind of suicidal… the kind that takes as many with you as you can.

I was introduced to magic mushrooms – not for the first time, but for the first time in a loving, therapeutic environment. One night saved my life, and if there is such a thing, my soul. When fears and insecurities rule your life, your life is almost constant suffering. These little critters changed me. Over the course of the next few years, I re-visited them several times to further shed the toxic parasitic thinking that is so prominent in this society.

Here’s the kicker… I never found myself addicted – in fact they got me free from cocaine. Instantly. That my life was saved by these little fungi is no overstatement, and I for one would like to see more study into the medicinal aspects of these natural little wonders. I would support spending 1% of what we spend on war-making on finding all the benefits of fungi – from food to medicine – for the better of our global species. As many soldiers kill themselves unnecessarily after being immersed in the hell of war, we owe it to them, and to the children of our “enemies”, as well as to ourselves.


Exactly. They don’t want unafraid people. They ask too many questions….. 😐


ingredients? is caffeine an ingredient in coffee?

Tommie-Carol Norman Morgan

My daughter has a brain injury from a car wreck— I have read they help the brain reconnect– damage is on speech and motor skills side— kinda like a stroke on one side of body! Anyone know if they help!!!


Well Terence, that was very interesting, but flawed. I believe the US government initiated the ban on hallucinogens because they had the potential to reduce the government’s control, through fear, of the masses.
When they made LSD a controlled one substance, they effectively cut off any financial gain. It take extreme measures to even get access to use the drugs, even for research. So you’re money theory doesn’t hold water.


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