Updated March 11, 2022
This recipe is a magic mushroom tea that can be helpful for stress and trauma-related health conditions such as PTSD, depression, anxiety disorders, migraines / cluster headaches, chronic inflammation, addictions, brain injury symptoms, and digestion-related problems (psilocybin was used for thousands of years by Indigenous peoples, including pagan Europeans (e.g. in Ireland) and early Abrahamic religions, as a medicine and is currently being hailed by researchers across the globe as the next “breakthrough treatment“). I include a lot of information (and links to more details) and recommend reading through it all, especially if you are new to magic mushrooms or have had a negative or traumatic experience on them. This has been incredibly healing for me, and I have also shared this recipe with several other people who had similar issues and many have reported back to me that it was helpful.
I am not selling this recipe, the ingredients, or the prepared tea. I am sharing this information because I believe it has the potential to help a lot of people. If you wish to share or republish this material on your website, please feel free. It would be nice if you linked back here to credit me, but I’m not going to do anything if you don’t.
Yes, I realize magic mushrooms are currently illegal. This is capitalist bullshit (after all, antidepressants have been predicted to become a nearly 16 billion-dollar industry by 2023, and that was BEFORE the coronavirus). In the meantime, while I can’t know your particular situation, I wish you luck in finding a safe supply).
IMPORTANT NOTE: Psilocybin is not recommended for people under the age of 25 (and I do not recommend taking it if you are pregnant—due to a lack of study, there is no evidence as to whether it is safe—or unsafe—to do so), as it affects parts of the brain (the default mode network) that are not fully developed until a person’s mid-twenties to early thirties. As well, psilocybin binds to serotonin receptors, and so if you are currently taking other medications that affect serotonin (e.g. SSRIS), there is the possibility of interactions and it is a good idea to consult your doctor before trying magic mushrooms for the first time—it might also be a good idea to try to wean off or stop taking other psychiatric medication before trying psilocybin mushrooms, if it is safe for you to do so (note: stopping SSRIs too quickly can be very dangerous). Finally, if you are hoping to use psilocybin to treat mental illness, I also recommend working with a therapist or other mental-health professional for optimal results. It is also worth noting that psilocybin binds to serotonin receptors, and thus works on the serotonergic system in a functionally different way than selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which researchers speculate may be why they seem to be more effective (and have fewer negative side effects) than the popular pharmaceutical drugs.
The effects of psilocybin begin roughly half an hour after consumption, and last around 4-6 hours. Drinking a larger dose over several hours is a good way of becoming high slower (the visual hallucinations can be overwhelming, especially if you are new to psychedelics) and to have longer-lasting effects.
Psilocybin is not addictive, and while overdosing would no doubt be unpleasant, I am not aware of any cases of death caused directly by consuming magic mushrooms. In The Hacking of the American Mind, Dr. Robert Lustig reports that “few users of psychedelics demonstrated either dependency or withdrawal upon quitting . . . Virtually no emergency room visits, no spike in crime, and no users rushed into rehab, as is often the case when dopamine agonists (e.g. cocaine) or opiates (e.g. heroin) are withdrawn.” (pages 112-113).
Doses under 5 grams should be completely safe (unless you are a child or pregnant with a child). Tolerance builds quickly, so it is recommended for intermittent use (maximum 2-3 days per week, followed by at least 3-4 days off), not for daily use. If you microdose (take only around 0.5 grams), you should get some of the mental health and energy benefits without the visual hallucinations. In my healing process, I often took closer to 8-9 grams in a single day.
I don’t recommend drinking 5 grams in one go if you’re inexperienced with mushrooms, unless you want to get very, very high and possibly experience an ego-death.
Green tea, chamomile tea (or lemon balm), hibiscus / rose hips tea (I often use Lemon Zinger, which contains hibiscus, rose hips, and lemongrass; I’ve also used this incredible rose hips, nettle, and mint tea from Sḵwálwen Botanicals), marijuana (preferably an indica), psilocybin mushrooms, grapefruit juice (fresh squeezed), lemon juice (fresh squeezed), apple juice, extra virgin olive oil (or another fat, such as coconut oil or avocado oil), turmeric (and black pepper), and raw honey.
Ratios are just recommendations for a place to start, everyone’s body, taste buds, and health needs are different and the best effects will be achieved when you experiment and determine your own ideal ratios.
(1) Finely grind the magic mushrooms (I recommend starting with a low dose if you are a newbie; a low dose is around 1 gram, while a high dose is around 4-5 grams; learn more about psilocybin and dosing here) and marijuana bud (if you want stronger effects of the marijuana, I recommend decarboxylation as a first step—you can learn more about different ways to steep marijuana into tea here).
(2) Steep the teas, marijuana, magic mushrooms, turmeric, and olive/coconut oil in hot water for at least 15 minutes (up to 30 can be better). Dosing depends on how much water you want to use, and how strong you want the tea to be. When I first started and was still quite ill, I preferred weaker tea that I had to drink more of, with higher quantities of the non-psilocybin and marijuana ingredients. As my health has improved and I’ve become more comfortable with the psychoactive effects of mushrooms, I’ve come to prefer a more concentrated tea that I drink less of.
(3) Pour the steeped ingredients into a large mug or thermos (note: mushrooms smell BAD so a thermos can be a really good idea), leaving about a third of the container empty. I recommend steeping out all the tea, marijuana, and mushrooms first, but there are some benefits to swallowing small amounts of the mushrooms in particular (however, most people would agree that swallowing the mushroom grounds can be a tad unpleasant-tasting).
(4) Add the rest of the ingredients. Squeeze half a grapefruit and half a lemon into the steeped tea, and add a splash of apple juice. Add a pinch of ground black pepper (to enhance the turmeric’s medicinal effects—this post used to say to add the turmeric here, but now I think it’s better to add it at the beginning). Add raw honey to taste (you probably want at least around half a tablespoon to make the tea taste good; if you want to use less honey, you can add more apple juice to sweeten the drink instead). Stir well.
(5) I recommend drinking the tea slowly—over the course of around half an hour or so—so the effects are milder and longer-lasting. (This was my preference when I was first trying psilocybin, but with more experience I now drink my tea much faster because I can handle getting high quickly).
Immediate and Long-Term Effects / My Experience
In addition to the psychotropic effects, consuming large quantities of psilocybin can cause nausea and vomiting (especially early in the trip), sweating, and increased blood flow that can lead to temporary swelling—I don’t really know a better way to describe the experience other than “toxins purging from your body.” How it affects you largely depends on your health and what toxins are in your system when you first try it.
To share my experience: While I have had problems with migraines, headaches, chronic back and neck pain, chronic anxiety, depression, and nausea and IBS-like symptoms since I was a kid (caused by my dysfunctional childhood, a family history of these problems, and a traumatic brain injury from falling a storey and cracking my head open on a cement floor when I was one), these issues became far more severe for me at the end of 2017 (age 29), when I was prescribed antibiotics for an infection and my micro-biome was wiped out (neither the doctor nor the pharmacist bothered to warn me that this could happen). I lost around 8 pounds in a few weeks and my anxiety disorder went into overdrive. I struggled to eat solid foods, and began to rely on beverages such as fruit smoothies, ginger ale, and Powerade for energy. As a result, I became addicted to sugar, a substance I had never before had a problem with (sugar is not a food, it is a drug). This was exacerbated by my existing dependence on caffeine, and the stomach issues became even worse due to some significant life stressors in 2019—to learn about how stress can impact immune functioning, check out Robert Sapolsky‘s Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers and/or Gabor Mate‘s When The Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress. I spent most of 2019 at home sick and depressed, often unable to get out of bed (for very long) and spending hours per day in the bath, smoking marijuana to manage my nausea. I was also taking way too much Ibuprofen for my headaches/migraines and chronic shoulder and neck pain (further fucking my stomach; this was obviously unwise, but when I have a migraine it’s hard to think about anything else). After gradually getting sicker for 2.5 years, I was becoming convinced that my problems would become chronic and I wouldn’t get better.
I started taking a low dose of atomoxetine for ADHD and chronic depression in late 2019, which made my stomach worse, but improved other symptoms for a while (I was prescribed atomoxetine instead of an antidepressant or a stimulant ADHD medication because I am considered at-risk for developing bipolar mania, as I have a relative diagnosed with this disorder). Then COVID-19 happened and the stress of it and some concurrent events in my personal life (e.g. I broke up with my boyfriend of four years in February 2020, but we were still living together when the lockdown happened) basically just fucked me. In late March, I went to the emergency room with a migraine, cyclical vomiting, and dehydration (and just because I know some people will assume this, no, I did not drink any alcohol, it was triggered by stress and I’m guessing failing to drink enough water).
I had no experiences with psychedelics prior to May 2020, having always been too nervous to try them as a party drug because of my personal and family history of mental illness (I would later learn that stories about psychedelics triggering schizoaffective disorders largely appear to be myths, and that psychedelics use is actually associated with lower levels of psychological distress, suicidality, and mental illness). However, two different health professionals I know personally (as in, a non-professional context) recommended I try magic mushrooms, and coached me through what to expect from the experience (I think this kind of coaching / support is important if you are using them therapeutically).
I began taking mushrooms in May 2020, and developed the tea recipe over the course of several weeks (with the help of several books, most notably Dr. Robert Lustig’s The Hacking of the American Mind, and countless articles). While I started with smaller doses, I quickly started taking much higher amounts (3+ grams on the days I had them; during this period I usually took them for 2-3 days in a row, then stopped for 3-4 days so my tolerance wouldn’t build up and I wouldn’t lose too much weight, as psilocybin is an appetite-suppressant even if you don’t feel nauseous), as I immediately felt benefits to my mental health, energy levels, and general desire to do things like clean my apartment and buy and cook healthy meals, and, having grown up in a “pain-is-gain” “suck it up, princess” type of household, I am the sort of person who will induce a ton of short-term suffering if I think it will benefit me in the long-term. And, well, suffer I did (I had to take around 3-4 showers per day, my face looked and felt inflamed for about two weeks, and I had one bad trip where I freaked out about how much weight I had lost and became convinced that my body was eating all of my muscle and bone and that I was vertically shrinking, which I obviously was not), and benefit I did (depression lifted, anxiety reduced to manageable levels, off ADHD medication, off sugar, off caffeine, developed a new aversion to alcohol, gradual improvements to my digestive health and ability to eat solid foods (by late fall 2020, my gut seemed to be more or less healed), and no migraines and only the occasional and mild tension headache since June; my face also looked several years younger and the olive tone returned to my skin, as I had been very washed-out before).
In an article for MAPS, James Kent proposes an explanation for how psilocybin heals both mind and body (as I very much experienced): ” . . . one point that is often overlooked in the mind/body discussion is that the mind is made of cells, the same thing our bodies are made of, and thus mental healing and physical healing both rely on the same process: Cellular regeneration in response to stress, inflammation, and trauma. Let’s assume that psychedelics heal by promoting cellular regeneration, and through this regeneration psychedelics can assist in building both mental and physical resilience. This would mean that in addition to producing hallucination, psychedelics also stimulate cellular repair, cellular proliferation, and potential apoptosis, or cell death, in response to damaged or infected cells.” read the whole article
Should you experience the same swelling / increased blood flow that I did, I found it soothing to massage MCT oil onto my face (or, more accurately, to ask my new-boyfriend-now-husband to), and to blend a little bit of honey with olive oil and apply it to the inflamed skin (lots of people also add egg, but I haven’t tried that). It’s important to understand that my underlying health caused my skin to react this way; once I was healthier, additional doses of psilocybin have not caused any swelling and far less sweating than before.
Psilocybin mushrooms also contain many of the essential nutrients in other popular edible mushrooms, such as Vitamin D (see below) and Vitamin B5.
Why the other ingredients?
Not only will preparing the tea with all 11 ingredients make it taste pretty good (magic mushrooms are notoriously foul-tasting), but there are multiple known health benefits of each ingredient. One of the effects of psilocybin is that it increases neuroplasticity and has the potential to help heal damage to the serotonergic pathways in the brain-gut axis (fun fact, 90% of the body’s serotonin is produced in the digestive tract). Psilocybin stimulates neurogenesis, the process of forming new neurons, and this occurs in both the brain and gut (the gut contains around 500 million neurons). This means that your brain-gut can quickly rewire to stop craving unhealthy foods and substances and start craving healthier ones with the help of psilocybin.
Consuming psilocybin along with nutrient-dense anti-inflammatories and antioxidants can have powerful healing effects on the micro-biome and our serotonergic system, can improve our micro-biome diversity after only a few days (leading to healthier food cravings), and can provide a window of opportunity for a person to unlearn harmful patterns and learn healthy new ones. For more information on the health effects of plant psychedelics and why diet can be an important part of the process, I recommend reading or listening to the audiobook of Dr. Joseph Tafur’s The Fellowship of the River: A Medical Doctor’s Exploration into Traditional Amazonian Plant Medicine.
Many (all? who knows, I am not a food historian and have no medical training whatsoever, I am merely an unusually thorough researcher) of these ingredients have been used for hundreds or thousands of years in Indigenous and traditional medicines, which, unlike most of Western medicine, are centred more around prevention instead of cures, and with stimulating the body’s natural healing mechanisms (as Hippocrates famously said, “Let food be thy medicine”). This is not to say that there is no value in Western medicine, but rather that the weaknesses of Western medicine should be acknowledged along with the strengths of non-Western medicines and healing practices (and I think that non-Western medicines should be covered by Canada’s health plan; prior to using mushrooms, the most effective treatment I found for my digestive issues came traditional Chinese medicine, which cost hundreds of dollars out-of-pocket).
More information on each ingredient is available if you click on the name, which will link you to a relevant article about the substance on the website Healthline. Healthline articles are fact-based and include links to relevant sources.
Green Tea. Rich in polyphenols, which reduce inflammation; Contains a catechin (EGCG) which can prevent cell damage; Contains antioxidants, which can reduce risk of certain illnesses such as cancer; Can boost fat-burning and metabolic rate; Good for your liver. If you are sensitive to caffeine, you might want to skip this ingredient.
Chamomile Tea. Contains apigenin, an antioxidant which can help with sleep, alleviate anxiety by “turning off thinking“, and increase brain connections, among other benefits; Contains anti-inflammatory properties that can improve digestive health; May help lower blood sugar levels; Contains flavones, a type of antioxidants that can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Chamomile is relaxing and can prevent anxiety while tripping. Lemon Balm can be also be used here (tastes better, but I don’t find as effective), and has many of the same anti-anxiety and calming effects. Lemon balm also can help with nausea.
Hibiscus Tea. Rich in antioxidants; May help lower blood pressure and blood fat levels; Can improve liver health, and increase drug-detoxifying enzymes in the liver. The hibiscus also really improves the flavour of the tea. Can also use a Rose Hip Tea (Lemon Zinger has both).
Marijuana. This is an optional ingredient to help with the nausea. If you smoke marijuana, you can leave it out of the tea and smoke a joint as you drink to lower nausea. However, if you want to avoid the marijuana high, steeping it in tea releases the precursors to THC and CBD, giving you the anti-nausea and anti-inflammatory effects without tripping. Decarboxylating your marijuana prior to steeping it will release the THC and CBD, giving you more of the usual high. (If you don’t want to use weed, you could try ginger).
Olive Oil. You need to include a fat for the marijuana to bind to; it will also enhance the effects of the turmeric. Olive oil also contains oleic acid, antioxidants, beneficial fatty acids like vitamins E and K, and can reduce inflammation. It is also good for your liver. Make sure you purchase a good-quality olive oil, as many popular brands with Italian names are fraudulent (Costco’s Kirkland brand is pretty good). If you don’t have or want to use olive oil, coconut oil is another good option (I’ve also gotten feedback that coconut oil is tastier!).
Grapefruit. High in Vitamin C and Vitamin A; High in antioxidants; Can improve immune system health; Good for your liver. Grapefruit can interact with several pharmaceutical drugs, so this is another ingredient that some people might want to leave out. For the best effects, include some of the pulp in your drink.
Lemon. High in Vitamin C; May reduce risk of heart disease, anemia (by improving absorption of iron from other foods), kidney stones, digestive issues, and cancer. For the best effects, include some of the pulp in your drink. Lemon can also intensify the psychedelic experience (“Lemon Tek“s are a thing, which people speculate is because it helps convert the psilocybin faster into the active ingredient, psilocin).
Apple Juice. Sweetens the tea (so it isn’t too sour and bitter); Rich in polyphenols and Vitamin C.
Turmeric. Powerful anti-inflammatory effects; High in antioxidants; Boosts brain-derived neurotropic factor; Can help fight depression; May delay aging and fight age-related chronic diseases. Turmeric is a natural MAO Inhibitor, and so can also prolong or intensify the psychedelic experience. Turmeric works best when consumed with black pepper so you should also grind a pinch into your tea or grind some onto a snack you eat around the same time.
Raw Honey. Rich in antioxidants; Can improve cholesterol levels; Can lower triglycerides (a risk factor for heart disease); Promotes wound and burn healing; Works well as a cough suppressant. Consuming honey with psilocybin, while also cutting all processed foods and added / refined sugars during the same period, also helps treat sugar addiction. Honey is also pretty essential if you want the tea to taste good. Also there is a good chance the tea will make you vomit, and honey can help heal / soothe your esophagus. Raw honey is better than pasteurized honey, as pasteurized honeys can contain added sugars. Detailed research on the health benefits of honey is available here.
Other Recommended Foods & Activities to Do While High on Psilocybin to Achieve Optimal Benefits
Healthy Whole Foods. While you are taking the mushroom tea, eliminate all processed foods, alcohol, and added sugars from your diet (with the exception of honey, and other healthier natural sugars such as maple syrup). Eat multiple small meals made up of nutrient-dense whole foods, including hard cheeses, nuts, fruit (especially berries), dark chocolate, bone broths (e.g. homemade chicken soup), cooked vegetables and vegetable-based sauces, foods high in probiotics (e.g. Greek yogurt, kefir, parmigiano-reggiano, miso, kombucha, and others), and healthy carbohydrates (e.g. sourdough, whole grains). I recommend eating foods that are calorie-dense as well as nutrient-dense (e.g. olive oil, avocados, walnuts, higher-fat yogurts)—the healthiest way to eat is to try to maximize how much nutrition your brain receives while taking up the smallest volume in your stomach. This is dietary advice that’s pretty common to a lot of diets and cleanses, but the difference here is that psilocybin will make it A LOT easier to do by shutting down cravings. I recommend satisfying hunger whenever you detect it instead of forcing yourself to wait for set meal times or trying to fast. Try to “listen” to your micro-bacteria (or, as I like to think about it, listen to your people) and figure out what they crave. If you are craving sugar, have fruit or something with raw honey in it. If you are craving fats, go for nuts or cheese. You get the gist. Studies have found that changing from a Western diet to a healthier one such as the Mediterranean diet can alter your gut bacteria in a matter of days, leading to “improvements in cognitive function and memory, immunity and bone strength,” (yes, I’m obviously biased toward Mediterranean food because I have an Italian grandparent and grew up on the stuff, but nutritionists pretty consistently say this is the healthiest diet in the world). Here’s an interesting lecture about the connections between health, mental health, diet, the micro-biome, and neurotransmitter production.
Vitamin D. You want to get your Vitamin D from direct sunlight, if possible (supplements and Vitamin D added to diary products can be helpful, but do not work as well as direct sunlight). Go outside for at least 15-30 minutes while the tea is in your system. Do not use sunscreen, as it blocks Vitamin D absorption and most sunscreens include harmful chemicals (e.g. oxybenzone) which can seep into your bloodstream and cause hormonal imbalances. I also strongly recommend avoiding most skin”care” and make-up products; as we absorb nutrients through our skin, and our skin has its own micro-biome, a good rule of thumb is to only put substances on your skin that are also safe to ingest (again, I might be biased because I’ve only used water, soap, and edible oils such as olive oil, MCT oil, coconut oil, and rosehip oil on my skin for nearly a decade). Research has shown that Vitamin D helps regulate the production of serotonin (and so will positively interact with the psilocybin), and a Vitamin D deficiency can lead to numerous health problems, including mental health problems, fatigue, bone and muscle pain and weakness, increased risk for opioid addictions, lowered immune functioning (and increased risk for COVID-19) and poorer wound healing.
Music, Singing, and Sound Therapies. Singing has been shown to improve mental health, relieve stress (reduce cortisol levels), release endorphins (reducing pain), improve immune system functioning, improve lung capacity, and stimulate circulation, among other health benefits. Listening to singing voices (without autotune) has similar benefits for mental health and stress hormone levels (personally, I went with musicals, in particular The Sound of Music and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, as my psilocybin soundtrack, also because I am an inexperienced singer and the songs are relatively easy to sing along to). (Update: Encanto!!! New favourite.) Studies have found that singing songs you enjoy along with other voices increase our levels of serotonin and dopamine (in addition, I find it much easier to sing without anxiety and to hit notes correctly while high on psilocybin). Other types of music and sound therapy may also be beneficial, depending on individual preferences. I also found it helpful to meditate while listening to binaural beats (this could be the placebo effect, but it’s harmless to try so why not?). The YouTube channel Magnetic Minds has several available to listen to for free.
Oxytocin, Touch, and Social Connection. If you are planning on taking a larger dose of psilocybin, this is ideally done with a close friend, trusted family member, romantic partner, or with a trusted mental health professional. This is partially because a trip-sitter can help should you have a bad trip (e.g. frightening visual hallucinations) and because touch-hunger (craving for hugging, cuddling, and skin-to-skin contact with another person) is common as you are coming down from the high. However, another reason is that you want to stimulate release of oxytocin, known colloquially as the “love hormone,” and the best way to do this is by connecting to another person. Oxytocin has several positive benefits such as promoting attachment / connection, decreasing stress and cortisol levels, reducing drug cravings, relieving depression, reducing pain (or at least anxiety / awareness of pain), and improving sleep. In addition, oxytocin modulates the serotonergic system. If it’s an option, I’m pretty sure sex with someone you’re really into is one of the best ways to release oxytocin (as well as vasopressin, dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine). Sex also has been show to help our immune systems and lower blood pressure. Love heals, as they say. Furthermore, sex on psychedelic drugs is fantastic. If you’re flying solo, options for boosting oxytocin levels include yoga, meditation, cuddling a beloved pet, listening to music (see above), and going for a massage.
Exercise. I think almost all of us know why exercise is good for you, so I’ll keep this brief and just say that I found yoga / stretching, dancing to music, and sex the best way to exercise while on magic mushrooms. If it’s an option for you, going for a hike or a run in the woods is also good (psilocybin increases awareness of our senses, and things like traffic can be upsetting). Psilocybin also causes visual hallucinations, so I personally would avoid most sports if you are taking a higher dose. You can read more about the health benefits of exercise here.
Water. Drink LOTS of water in addition to your tea, as it will dehydrate you. The tea is likely to cause sweating (which is healthy, as long as you hydrate) and even pimples (I got a few in places I hadn’t gotten a zit in since I was a teenager), so you will want to shower, possibly multiple times a day (I think I got up to around four). If the tap water in your area has fluoride in it, you might want to use a water purifier, if it’s an option, as too much fluoride can affect your magnesium absorption, leading to cascading negative health effects, including poorer mental health (and worse COVID-19 outcomes). You can read more about the health benefits of water here.
Connect with Nature. Looking at fractal patterns—the self-similar repeating geometric patterns that make up the natural world around us—are very soothing because our visual system is hardwired to understand these patterns. (The same can be said for the auditory system and music and other sounds that are soothing to us—these tend to follow fractal patterns). Indeed, some academics have speculated our consciousness itself might be fractal in nature. As well, gardening has been found to help boost mood, reduce stress (cortisol), aid in addiction recovery, and foster a sense of connection, among other health and mental health benefits. For example, “forest bathing“, or immersing oneself in nature / greenery with therapeutic intention, has been linked to better recovery from surgery, better stress management, and improved immune functioning. To learn more about fractal patterns in nature and in the human body, check out the hour-long documentary Fractals: Hunting the Hidden Dimension over on YouTube.
Sleep and Melatonin. Get a lot of sleep if you’re using psilocybin to heal health problems. Psilocybin will keep your mind awake, so make sure you stop drinking the tea at least five hours before you want to go to bed (ideally six or seven hours before). You will get the best effects if you sleep while it’s dark out and wake up to natural sunlight. Serotonin is the precursor to melatonin, the hormone released by the pineal gland that aids in sleep. Secretion of melatonin is strongly affected by light exposure, which is why it’s important to get outside for some natural sunlight and Vitamin D (a Vitamin D deficiency is linked to sleep disorders), to avoid screens before bed (I’m terrible at this, but it’s still good advice!), and to sleep while it’s dark out.
So, Basically, You’re Saying Do a Bunch of Healthy Things All At Once
Yes. Our bodies are extremely complex. But you’ll notice that the common thread here is serotonin. In short, I believe that combining these therapies while using magic mushrooms can heal the serotonergic system and the body’s brain-gut axis, and reduce inflammation throughout the body and especially in the brain.
I also realize that many of the items listed here are not options for many people, for reasons beyond their control. I am a proponent of a wealth tax (along with a bunch of other reforms) to pay for social supports and services, in particular to tackle our mental health and addiction crises.
Government policies that would empower people to try the therapies above include:
(1) Legalizing psychedelic drugs, in particular psilocybin. Covering psilocybin and therapy under the Canadian health plan, and training mental health practitioners in psychedelic therapies.
(2) Government regulation of the food industry to include warning labels about the dangers of processed foods on our health, and policies to ensure that healthy foods are available and affordable in all regions. Implementing regulation to prevent food industry lobbyists and funding bodies from influencing research or advertising their products using misleading or false claims. Banning advertising for all junk foods. Revising Canada’s food guide using the latest research in nutrition and endocrinology, and revising the health curriculum in high schools. Obviously, it would be unethical to force people to eat in any particular way if they do not want to, but it is a human rights issue that not all people have the option or information to make healthy decisions.
(3) Ensuring that clean water is available to everyone (it’s really appalling that this hasn’t happened yet).
(4) Implementing a universal basic income, and decreasing the workweek. This would empower people to turn down exploitative and unethical jobs, increase the number of jobs available, and give people more free time to get those much-needed sunlight hours, sleep, exercise, and time to relax with friends and family. This would decrease the overall stress (cortisol) levels of the general population, leading to better overall health and health outcomes. Affordable housing for all is also a critical part of this: essentially, no one in the country should have to worry about their access to food and shelter. (This suggestion is also based partially on the premise of David Graeber’s book Bullshit Jobs, which contends that around half of jobs in Western society do not really need to exist. I’ll admit to a long-standing deep-seated dislike of bureaucracy, which I think is a major contributor to poor mental health of workers.) I also think we need to culturally re-normalize being a stay-at-home parent or a parent who only works part-time, as caregiver burnout is incredibly high and parental stress and busyness has a negative impact on early childhood development (the new mom in me says parenting is one of the most important jobs!)
(5) Ensuring access to nature for all by investing in public parks, and public transit out of cities.
(6) Investing in social programs to improve community life, in particular for at-risk groups. This would also require an investment in infrastructure to create or update sports facilities, arts venues, community centres, etcetera (e.g. ensuring spaces are wheelchair accessible and subsidizing spaces so that they are financially accessible to all).
(7) Implementing a Green New Deal, or similar program, as environment destruction is very much linked to all of this, as it poisons food and water supplies, negatively impacts people’s access to green spaces, and results in pollutants and toxins that harm our health.
(8) Creating affordable housing in all suburbs, especially the most wealthy ones. Right now, people are forced to commute long distances to work because they are unable to afford to live close to their jobs (for example, most of the working-class people who work on the affluent North Shore commute, often up to an hour, leading to constant traffic jams). This creates a lot of unnecessary pollution and stress, and, besides, class segregation is bad for everyone.
The truth is, I don’t think it’s very likely that the current Canadian government will do any of these things (Trudeau is dangling a wealth tax, but I think this is an example of narcissistic future-faking, which his government has a history of . . . remember when he promised election reform and to ensure access to clean water for all Indigenous peoples? Yeah, that never happened). This is why, when we get the chance to, it is important for the health and well-being of all Canadians (except the pocketbooks of the very rich, but, hey, fuck them) to vote for the New Democratic Party (NDP), whose platform includes a wealth tax, a Green New Deal, and affordable housing for all, among other life-saving policies. (UPDATE, Feb 4, 2022: Okay, I take it back . . . after over a decade of supporting the NDP, I’ve really lost faith in the party over the past year. I still don’t like the Liberals, but I don’t feel confident in my “vote NDP” stance anymore. I have no advice, just feeling a little jaded about the whole political situation in Canada. Sigh.)