A Phrygian cap, also known as the 'liberty cap' - one of over 200 species of fungi producing Psilocybin (Photo: CC)
Nibbling on one side of a psychoactive Fly Agaric mushroom caused Alice to grow while the other side made her shrink
The hallucinogenic, often spiritual, influence of Psilocybin has long been well known (Photo: CC)
The use of mushrooms by man for practical, culinary or recreational purposes is said to date back to at least Paleolithic times, with perhaps the best-known variety in recent times being Amanita muscaria or Fly Agaric. Nibbling on one side of this fungus made Alice grow in size and the other made her shrink, leading to some rather bizarre adventures and inspiring one of my favorite songs - White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane. The favored psychoactive mushrooms of the drop-out 1960s, though, were members of the Psilocybe genus. Researchers now believe that they have found the optimum dose of the pure chemical found in those so-called magic mushrooms, a level which offers maximum therapeutic value with little risk of having a bad trip.
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