Years of Therapy or a Week of Magic Mushroom Drug? Mental Health Breakthroughs Achieved on Plant Medicine Retreats

August 9, 2020
Psychedelic therapy holds a great deal of promise for treating some very serious mental health conditions, and may one day offer new hope to vulnerable people with limited treatment options.

Tara Loader Wilkinson | South China Morning Post

  • Long used by indigenous tribes for spiritual healing, psychedelic drugs have the potential to treat serious mental health conditions when other therapies fail
  • Luxury retreats have psilocybin and ayahuasca courses, but there have been horror stories. Having a qualified coach, and support, can maximise drugs’ potential

It was the 1960s’ books of Carlos Castaneda, discovered on the shelves of her aunt’s library as a teenager, that first piqued Sarah’s (not her real name) curiosity about psychoactive plant medicine.

She was intrigued by the beautiful visions and spiritual healing Castaneda describes after taking peyote, a cactus with psychoactive properties, long used in tribal rituals.

Years later, an opportunity arose for her to try ayahuasca, a South American entheogenic – mind-altering, often in a spiritual or religious way – brew which, it is claimed, can reconnect you with the ‘locked’ parts of your subconscious.

As well as facilitating self-exploration, plant medicines such as psilocybin (magic mushrooms), San Pedro (cactus), and ayahuasca are also gaining credibility for their potential ability to improve mental well-being, ease suffering and heal past trauma.

To read Tara Loader Wilkinson's full article on South China Morning Post, click here.

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