Recent scientific studies are discovering the power of magic mushrooms, and we’re not referring to their ability to send you on a fugazi trip whilst in Amsterdam.

Small early-stage studies and scientists at Imperial College London have discovered that psilocybin, the psychedelic compound found in magic mushrooms, can help treat symptoms of depression, effectively helping the fight against one of the rising issues we are facing.

Since the anti-depressant drug Prozac hit the market, there have been countless other drugs for depression and anxiety that have generally been variations on the same theme. Yet, many people have experienced them stop working after some time, unwanted side effects, or are useless in the first place. Studies have indicated that psilocybin is as effective as traditional antidepressants currently in the market, with the potential to improve an individuals well-being. Great news!

You may be wondering what the trial involved? A group of 59 people who has suffered from moderate or severe depression were given a significant dose of either psilocybin or escitalopram, plus either a placebo or a negligible dose of psilocybin. Then quizzed on a range of topics to assess the effects, including sleep, energy, appetite, mood, and suicidal thoughts.

Tested over six weeks, the psychedelic drug performed considerably better when it came to measures of work and social functioning, mental well-being, and the ability to feel happy.

Professor of psychiatry at the University of Oxford made it clear that this study was “not a quantum leap” in the treatment of depression. He commented, “it is underpowered and does not prove that psilocybin is a better treatment than standard treatment with escitalopram for major depression,” he said. “However, it offers tantalising clues that it may be”.

There is still a long way to go but it certainly looks promising for the use of magic mushrooms.