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Monday, May 2, 2016

What are Hallucinogenic Mushrooms?

Mushrooms, a kind of fungus, come in many varieties. From those on a pizza to those in spaghetti sauce, mushrooms enhance our cuisine and flavor our lives. But not all mushrooms are so harmless. Some contain toxic and/or hallucinogenic compounds. Hallucinogens are substances that alter or produce false perceptions of sight, sound, taste, smell or touch. Some toxic substances in mushrooms can cause severe illness and even death. Most hallucinogenic substances, including synthetic ones such as LSD, are illegal.

Historical Background
The hallucinogenic properties of certain mushrooms have been known for centuries. The discovery of mushroom sculptures in ancient Central and South American ruins suggests that hallucinogenic mushrooms were used by native people during religious ceremonies. The Aztecs used the term "teonanacatl" meaning "flesh of the gods" to describe hallucinogenic mushrooms. Historians have proposed that Aztec spiritual leaders used these hallucinogens to induce an altered state of consciousness that they believed would allow them to communicate with their gods and other spirits.

https://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/mush.html