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Psilocybin and depression – Where are we currently at with the psilocybin revolution?

Written by Jonny Woodall

Psilocybe semilanceata

You may or may not be familiar with changing laws surrounding psychedelics around the world, but it seems that collective efforts by researchers, scientists & psychedelic activists are bringing in major changes in the west with the decriminalisation and in some cases even legalisation of the therapeutic use of psychoactive plant & fungi as medicine.

One of the most exciting areas of research and legislative developments is on the use of psilocybin to treat major depressive disorder (MDD) and treatment resistant depression [i]. Depression is the number one cause of disability in the world with approximately 300 million people affected. Costing an annual $210 billion dollars to the global economy [ii] with an estimated 10% to 30% considered treatment-resistant to pharmaceutical antidepressants [iii], MDD is a growing problem that requires healthcare systems to consider new methods of help.

This much needed help is looking like it is found within one of nature’s most magical gifts, the humble psychedelic mushroom. In recent decades ethnobotanists have discovered that the use of mushrooms for religious, healing and divinatory experiences spans across multiple indigenous cultures. From a herbalist’s point of view, what unites all of the global distribution of psychedelic mushrooms is the collection of potent neuro-active metabolites that inhabit each mushroom. Psilocybin being one of these inherent metabolites of particular interest to scientists, researchers and psychiatry.

After a period of intense, complicated and chronic illness in my early 20’s it was herbal medicine and holistic therapies that saved my life. I went back to university to study to become a medical herbalist, graduating with a first in 2017. I have since gone into clinical practice. My commitment is to facilitate change by helping my patients bridge the connection between their body, mind, lifestyle and behaviours. Herbs are a fantastic tool for helping us transcend states of ill-health and step into power, balance and transformation.

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