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A New Species Of Psychedelic Lichen Found To Contain Psilocybin & DMT

A species of lichen has been discovered in Ecuador that contains both tryptamine and psilocybin dispelling the myth that ‘magic mushrooms’ are the only species that posses this hallucinogen.

Lichens are scientifically interesting because they both exhibit plant-like characteristics but neither are actually plants, instead they are composite organisms. 

There has been speculation about this particular lichen for a while, after a local tribe told of its hallucinogenic qualities, however more rigorous testing needs to be done to affirm the properties of the lichen although psilocybin is a known psychedelic compound.

It was the Waorani tribe in Ecuador who first brought the attention of this lichen to enthobotanists Jim Yost and Wade Davis in 1981. Yost had heard of this lichen, but had doubted he would ever find it due to it being so rare. 

He had been searching for it for 7 years. In a paper written in 1983 detailing their discovery, the enthobotanists wrote:

In the spring of 1981, whilst we were engaged in ethnobotanical studies in eastern Ecuador, our attention was drawn to a most peculiar use of hallucinogens by the Waorani, a small isolated group of some 600 Indians. … Amongst most Amazonian tribes, hallucinogenic intoxication is considered to be a collective journey into the subconscious and, as such, is a quintessentially social event.

The Waorani, however, consider the use of hallucinogens to be an aggressive anti-social act; so the shaman, or ido, who desires to project a curse takes the drug alone or accompanied only by his wife at night in the secrecy of the forest or in an isolated house.

The tribe referred to it as nɇnɇndapɇ, and told that it was so rare even they did not posses it. They told to researchers that they had not used in in “four generations — approximately eighty years – when ‘bad shaman ate it to send a curse to cause other Waorani to die.’ ”

This story only spurred them on to find it, which they did astoundingly soon after they set out to, making them the first ever westerners to see the special lichen.

What Did the Research Reveal?

It was only in 2014, a full 30 years after the research was conducted, was the lichen tested and confirmed as a new species.

Michaela Schmull and her team of researchers studied the lichen, which also goes by the name of Dictyonema huaorani. The lichen tested positive for psilocybin, tryptamine, 5-meO-DMT, 5-MeOP (5-methoxytryptamine), 5-MEO-NMT and 5-MT.

This combination is the only time in nature these properties have been found together, making this lichen exactly as special as was previously thought. The researchers concluded:

“Due to our inability to use pure reference compounds and scarce amount of sample for compound identification, however, our analyses were not able to determine conclusively the presence of hallucinogenic substances.”

As medicine moves forward and the stigmas of psychedelic drugs are reduced to people realising their health benefits, more research will be available to the testing of substances including marijuana, psilocybin, MDMA, ayahuasca, and LSD. 

There has been promising results form previous studies on these drugs for treating cancer, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, addiction, anxiety, and more. To learn more about the healing powers of psychedelics, please see the links below.

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A New Species Of Psychedelic Lichen Found To Contain Psilocybin & DMT Reviewed by C C on 08:33:00 Rating: 5