Medical Mushrooms – The Future of Cancer Treatment?

By Alex Pietrowski

Cancer rates are on the rise worldwide, which means that in coming generations more and more people will have their lives turned inside out with a diagnosis, and with having to turn their attention to battling this new plague. The psychological effects of having your world turned on its so quickly can be devastating, and often put people in a depressed, anxious and negative emotional state.

With so many types of cancers affecting people these days, there is no such thing as a single cure for cancer, because each type is different and will respond to different remedies. Finding the miracle cure often requires an intense search, deviation from standard doctor’s recommendations, a huge investment of time and money, and tremendous amount of hope, belief and faith. Not everything works for every cancer, but, some things consistently aid in the struggle with all cancers, like the right diet, appropriate exercise, and a proper mental attitude and outlook.

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Having a positive mental outlook may, or may not, actually help one survive cancer, but without question, having a positive disposition while battling cancer makes the battle easier and can help one to be more accepting of any outcome, including the possibility of losing the battle.

Few things are available to cancer patients to help them achieve and maintain a state of positive acceptance, free from the anxiety, fear, melancholy and despair that ordinarily accompany this struggle. However, science has repeatedly confirmed that psilocybin mushrooms, and synthetic psilocybin, offer provable psychological benefits in the treatment of depression, anxiety, and the dark moods associated with coming to grips with terminal illness and one’s certain death.

Here is an interesting and detailed account of a clinical psilocybin ‘trip’ taken by a 27 year old leukemia patient who had suffered through years of traumatic chemotherapy before undergoing a clinical trial of the effects of psilocybin:

“‘Good luck,’ Ross said, handing Fernandez the pill, which he washed down with water that he drank from a large antique chalice. Then he slipped on the headphones, put on a face mask to block out the light, lay down on the couch and waited.

About an hour later, as the drug began to take effect, the blackness inside his head turned into an onrushing cascade of white dots that swiftly morphed into a kaleidoscope of geometric patterns – gears, stars, triangles, trapezoids – in all the colours of the rainbow. He started to hear an insistent voice in his head, telling him over and over: ‘I’m going to show you what I can do.’ Fernandez slowly suspended his skepticism and reluctantly surrendered to the experience. What he perceived to be his spirit guide took him on a Marley’s ghost-style journey, with stops at his own funeral, a hellish place littered with skulls that smelled of death where he was in excruciating pain. Once his agony reached an almost unbearable crescendo, his spirit guide catapulted him through hundreds of light years of space, allowing him to escape the pain. ‘I went into this mystical state, and this intense visual palate took over my mind,’ Fernandez said.

He suddenly found himself in Grand Central Terminal, which was filled with hundreds of people he knew dressed in tuxedos and ball gowns, dancing happily to symphonic music. He spied his girlfriend, Claire, across the dance floor. They walked towards each other and embraced, which filled him with intense feelings of bliss and joy. Soon he was again catapulted, down into the sewers of the city, and then to the top of the Empire State Building where he serenely surveyed the city just as dawn broke its rosy glow over the skyscrapers. The spirit guide took him from there to a cave in the forest where he went shopping for another body, but the only body to be had was his own. This realisation gave Fernandez a new appreciation of his body, and all it had been through: the workouts, the swims, the bike rides, the sickness when the cancer cells had taken over, and the chemotherapy drugs that had destroyed them. ‘For the first time in my life, I felt like there was a creator of the universe, a force greater than myself, and that I should be kind and loving,’ he said. ‘Something inside me snapped and I experienced a profound psychic shift that made me realise all my anxieties, defences and insecurities weren’t something to worry about.’” [Source]

This description is rather common and fairly consistent in terms of how the psychological effects of ingesting this natural substance can have on the mind and spirit.

It is easy to understand how an experience like this can help someone get out from under an emotional pattern of doom and gloom, and move into a mental space with more freedom to feel ‘healed,’ and be more accepting of one’s fate. The experience can give people a real and genuine opportunity to let go of negative patterns of thought, because it can in very real terms help people see through the veil of material life, into the spiritual dimensions, often drawing information and insight about life that simply cannot be garnered in any other way.

Psilocybin and Depression

Recently, the results of a John Hopkins study into the effects of psilocybin on depression were released, and the results were quite revealing, pointing directly to the fact that the experience to be found in a few hours of a medically administered ‘trip’ can have profound and long-lasting psychological benefits in many people.

“The researchers were personally unfamiliar with psychedelic experiences, and they had expected increased frontal lobe activity. Frontal lobes are the brain parts used in day to day conscious activity and thinking, and excess frontal lobe activity is common among those who are depressed. Instead, things slowed down, both under MRI scrutiny and from study subjects’ feedback. 

The subjects were advised to look inward. To help turn their attention away from medical machinery, they were usually given blindfolds and headsets piping in pleasant music. Around 60% of the subjects reported mystical experiences while all of them felt they were in a strange but pleasant world. And they all experienced a greater degree of openness, awareness, or empathy.

Here are the study results:

  • 83% given the higher doses of psilocybin said they felt greater well-being
  • 89% reported improvements in their behavior
  • 94% ranked the experience as one of the most “spiritually significant” in their lives
  • None of the subjects went crazy despite their prior inexperience with psychedelics

The study concluded: “Under supportive conditions, 20 and 30 mg/70 kg psilocybin occasioned mystical-type experiences having persisting positive effects on attitudes, mood, and behavior. Implications for therapeutic trials are discussed.” [Source]


Science still does not understand why these deep, emotionally liberating experiences happen, and for this, it is unfortunately difficult to persuade the scientific or legal community to validate this as a legitimate form of medicine, and to open the gates for the possibility of making this medicine publicly available.

Science cannot also explain the propensity for human beings to have spiritual experiences, which are as much a part of being human as is using our logical mind to navigate the material world.

With so much research under way and having been done, the question is no longer, ‘can it be proven that psilocybin mushrooms offer needed psychological relief to suffering people?’ Instead, we should be asking, ‘when will the law and the medical community rediscover and embrace psilocybin mushrooms as the beneficial medicine that it has always been, and when will it be made lawfully available?’


Alex Pietrowski is an artist and writer concerned with preserving good health and the basic freedom to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. He is a staff writer for and an avid student of Yoga and life.

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