Peace signs reigned in the 70s. Yin yangs were the symbol of the 90s. And today? Mushrooms have become the token of our generation.
Mushrooms. Are. Everywhere. You’ll find them on and in everything, from home decor to health foods, festival campgrounds, and your morning beverage. Our ancestors used mushrooms for thousands of years, so why did fungi fever hit so suddenly in the 2020s?
Trend or Truthsayer?
Civilization is at a turning point. Climate activists fear the worst, mental health issues are at an all-time high, and the political landscape seems more tumultuous than ever. With fear and uncertainty all around us, our collective whole-body and societal health is suffering, and people are desperate for solutions.
It’s no secret that the Western healthcare model wasn’t designed to cure the root of illnesses, but instead, to address their symptoms. While pharmaceuticals can be lifesaving, they’re not a sustainable treatment for long-term use for many illnesses, with side effects that sometimes cause more harm than the initial diagnosis. Patients may be better served by combining the cutting-edge science of Western practices alongside the ancient wisdom of Eastern modalities. Enter the mushroom.
Therapists, practitioners, and doctors have begun to take a holistic approach to caregiving by incorporating plant medicines into their protocols. Innovators and entrepreneurs are taking action too, developing mushroom-based products to enhance the body’s natural ability to protect itself from toxins, stressors, and ultimately, to heal itself. Canada-based Mind Mend carries a full line of capsules, gummies, and fruiting bodies they say were designed to address the current health crisis.
“People are turning to psilocybin in their search for alternatives to traditional mental health treatments,” Mind Mend founder Matt Smith told Psychedelics Today. “They’re disheartened by the side effects and potential dependence associated with pharmaceuticals, and we provide access to the healing benefits of mushrooms – a natural, plant-based solution.”
“We encounter a prevalent myth: that psilocybin mushrooms are solely recreational or even harmful. We’re here to challenge that. We see psilocybin as a valuable tool for mental health, capable of therapeutic wonders when used responsibly,” Smith continued. “It’s not solely a substance for supporting creativity and freedom, but a potential lifeline for those struggling with mental health issues.”
*While psilocybin has shown promise for improving mental health or performance, it’s strongly advised that those curious about utilizing them, magical or otherwise, do personal research and seek resources that are vetted by community and/or industry professionals.
Form & Fungtion
There are over 50,000 (!) species of mushrooms, and many have various benefits including boosting immunity, increasing energy levels, aiding in digestion, improving sleep, and enhancing cognitive performance. Functional mushrooms, or adaptogenic mushrooms, are non-psychedelic fungi that contain biologically active compounds that have been used for thousands of years due to their superfood characteristics.
The most popular include reishi, chaga, lion’s mane, cordyceps, tremella, and turkey tail, and even non-mushroom lovers can reap their rewards. Functional mushroom company Fungies offers three delicious, vegan gummy blends which include lion’s mane for brain health, cordyceps for energy and performance, and reishi for immunity and stress. And this conscious company also gives back with every purchase.
Rob Kaufman, Fungies co-founder explains, “After the birth of my son I realized how important proper nutrition was for both expecting mothers and children. That’s why we’re proud to partner with Vitamin Angels to help provide women and children with the nutritional support they need to build the foundation for a healthy life. For every bottle of Fungies sold, we make a 1-for-1 donation to provide a pregnant woman or child with life-changing nutritional support around the world and here at home. We’re helping to build a healthier world, one gummy at a time.”
In addition to the tangible health benefits of functional mushrooms, psilocybin-bearing mushrooms have more abstract, yet deeply impactful advantages. Psilocybin can heighten our sensory perceptions and awareness of self. Research is also showing promise in treating end-of-life depression, suicidal ideation, addiction, traumatic brain injury, PTSD, and more. Psilocybin can conjure feelings of wholeness and connectedness within those partaking, and those perspectives may remain even after the trip fades.
Similar to cannabis, different strains and types of mushrooms offer various benefits and they can be consumed in many forms. Take Brain Flow honey for example, by Haj Botanics. Their proprietary microdosing honey formula combines the innate antioxidant and antimicrobial properties of raw honey with their specially cultivated Shakti psilocybin mushroom blend, designed to help unlock creative potential, enhance mental clarity, and offer relief from anxiety and ADHD symptoms. Their Brain Buzz line is an adaptogenic, non-psychedelic blend formulated to bolster energy, enhance skin and heart health, and improve cognitive function. All of their lines are available both as infused honey and vegan capsules, ensuring accessibility for diverse dietary preferences.
Mushrooms have served as agents of transformation and healing in the lives of Haj Botanics’ founders, Hayley and Taj. Hayley is a courageous sex trafficking survivor whose journey to recovery led her to mushrooms. Their ability to provide not just temporary relief, but enduring, deep-seated healing, brought about profound change in her life and opened her eyes to their power and effectiveness. Taj, who once struggled with ADHD and the complexities of racial identity, found solace and understanding through his work with mushrooms. His personal experiences of enhanced focus, calm, and emotional resilience through microdosing illuminated a path towards holistic mental wellness that was not previously clear to him.
Honey and gummies are just the tip of the shroom-berg. Coffee replacements, beverage elixirs, tinctures, teas, and chocolates are inundating our IG feeds and DMs. But in addition to mushroom-infused consumables, mushroom experiences are gaining popularity, too.
With the rise in demand for psychedelic therapists and coaches, it’s essential that clinicians be practically trained with professional guides to safely provide sessions to those in need. Psychedelics Today is working alongside Kiyumi Retreats to offer legal opportunities in the Netherlands for practitioners to work with psilocybin in a group setting. We’re not only holding a container for personal healing, but our Vital students are able to work with the medicine and be a facilitator for their colleagues. So regardless of psychedelic comfort level, mushrooms in all their beautiful forms are becoming more accessible by the minute.
Not only are mushrooms valuable in enhancing the human experience in mind, body, and spirit, but they have superpower-like abilities in remediating environmental distress. Unlike plants that get their energy from the sun, mushrooms thrive by decomposing organic matter like plants, animals, and other substances potentially toxic to humans. Organizations like Corenewal are actively conducting mycoremediation projects on sites damaged by oil spills, chemical leaching, and wildfires; they are researching how fungi can clean contaminated waterways and soils polluted with heavy metals – mushrooms are not a phase, but our future!
Maybe the best part about them is that they are able to be grown anywhere and even in the comfort of our homes. From home-grow companies like Wonderbags, you can purchase a kit today and learn how to cultivate your favorite strains.
Zach Dorsett, Wonderbags founder says, “Mushrooms are a model for our society. In the mycelium, individual cells connect with each other, work together, and share resources for the benefit of all of the cells. They recycle waste into resources for growth and elevate one another to higher purposes. Mushrooms can greatly impact physical health, provide food security and sustainability to local economies. Many mushrooms are not only nutritious, but in some cases, give us access to superfoods that can only be found in them. Lions mane, for instance, is the only known source for Hericenones and Erinacines which have been shown to have powerful neurogenic and neuro-regenerative properties. I have a lot of gratitude for the community of Indigenous people that paved the way for us to heal with mushrooms.”
Shroom Bloom or Gloom?
While we support the exploration of psilocybin (and other mushrooms) for their healing potential, it’s worth acknowledging that there is no quick fix for mental illness or centuries of humanity’s planetary impact. Doing deep work is essential to discovering the source of our dis-ease in order to heal ourselves, our society, and the environment.
So while the explosion of the mushroom market is promising, remain cautious about companies claiming to cure this and solve that. Education is paramount, understanding topics like personal dosing, legality, set and setting, and mental health history, can make or break an experience. There is still much work to be done to heal our culture, but a future with more mushrooms may be a brighter one for humanity. If we can learn anything from them, it’s that symbiosis is key – we are all interconnected and the health of one is the health of all.
Featured products and discounts:
https://www.wonder-bags.com/ – Use code PSTODAY for 25% off
https://www.mindmend.co/ – Use code MEND10 for 10% off (Canadians only)
https://eatfungies.com/ – Use code TODAY20 for 20% off
https://www.hajbotanics.com/ – Use code honeydrip10 for 10% off