Psilocybe Mushrooms or Holy Children

As many of us know, Mexico has an extensive culture beyond just food, arts, dance, or the different dialects or languages that, in addition to Spanish, are still spoken. 

This issue occurs in one of the most emblematic, controversial states, with margins of poverty and one of the greatest cultural diversities in the country – the state of Oaxaca. There, a Mazatec healer born in Huautla de Jiménez in 1894, María Sabina, witnessed the mushrooms in a ritual for the first time when her uncle was sick, and a healer treated him.

Thanks to that experience, she recognized the mushrooms while walking on a hill with her younger sister. Impulsively, they both tried the mushrooms, laughed, cried, and so she began experimenting with “The Holy Children,” as she called the Psilocybe. 

Later, María Sabina’s younger sister fell ill, and all the healers in the area assured her that she would die, María Sabina decided to hold a ceremony to try to cure her. Maria Ana got better, and word quickly spread about Maria Sabina’s healing abilities. 

Then, in 1955, Robert Gordon Wasson, an American ethnomycologist, arrives in Huautla to meet María Sabina and her mushrooms with a photographer and a translator from the town itself. This is how they arrived at her house to experience a ceremony with the mushrooms.

This testimony and visit were recorded in 1957 in Life Magazine, and caused a great scientific and social stir between the 60s and 70s due to the hippie movement. 

The publication brought many foreigners and visitors to the Sabina house. She was accused of drug use and arrested on two occasions. However, Maria Sabina was freed thanks to public pressure from international anthropologists and scientists. 

Today, thanks to Mary Sabina’s kindness, different types of mushrooms can be studied and their therapeutic uses investigated. There is also a historical and ancestral record that, thanks to Mary Sabina, is preserved to this day. 

In Mexico, there are 55 species of the psilocybe, among which the endemic variant Psilocybe mexicana stands out. 

Psilocybe mushrooms are a type of hallucinogen that contains psychoactive compounds such as psilocybin and psilocin. These compounds are responsible for the psychedelic effects experienced when consuming these mushrooms.

Psilocybe mushrooms have been traditionally used in shamanic rituals and religious ceremonies by various cultures in the southern highlands of Oaxaca. 

The effects of Psilocybe mushrooms may vary depending on the dose, individual sensitivity, and the environment in which they are consumed. Some common effects include changes in visual perception, alterations in thinking and consciousness, feelings of euphoria and connection with nature, and introspective and spiritual experiences. 

Dr. Laura Guzmán Dávalos, head of the mycology laboratory of biological and agricultural sciences, assures that there is a lot of misinformation regarding this type of mushroom, because on one hand, the law has them classified as narcotics, when they are not because they do not cause addiction. That is why the inhabitants of many communities in Oaxaca have been able to use them for many years. 

Psilocybe mexicana are known for their conical hat shape and coloration that varies between shades of brown and beige.

Psilocin and psilocybin 

Psilocybin is a psychedelic compound present in certain mushrooms, such as Psilocybe mexicana, which produces a series of effects in the body when consumed, transforming into psilocin. These are its most important effects: 

  1. Psychedelic effects: Psilocybin acts on serotonin receptors in the brain, causing alterations in visual, auditory, and tactile perception. Colors may appear more intense, sounds may be distorted, and the sense of time may be altered. 
  2. Changes in consciousness: Psilocybin can cause changes in consciousness and the way we perceive the world around us. This can lead to introspective, spiritual, or mystical experiences. 
  3. Euphoria and well-being: Many people experience feelings of euphoria, happiness, and well-being when consuming psilocybin. These effects can be accompanied by a sense of connection to nature, to others, or to oneself. 
  4. Intense emotional experiences: Psilocybin can intensify emotions and cause the release of emotional memories or trauma. This can lead to intense emotional experiences, both positive and negative. 
  5. Changes in thinking: Psilocybin can cause changes in thinking, such as generating new ideas, connecting seemingly unrelated concepts, or perceiving patterns in information. 

Psilocybin Metabolism 

When psilocybin is consumed, either through the ingestion of psilocybin mushrooms or a psilocybin extract, the body metabolizes it in several ways. The process of psilocybin metabolism in the body is described below: 

  1. Absorption: After ingestion, psilocybin is absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract and passes into the bloodstream. 
  2. Transformation into psilocin: Once in the bloodstream, psilocybin is quickly converted to psilocin by the enzyme alkaline phosphatase in the liver. Psilocin is the active form of psilocybin that interacts with serotonin receptors in the brain. 
  3. Interaction with serotonin receptors: Psilocin acts primarily on serotonin 5-HT2A receptors in the brain, triggering psilocybin’s signature psychedelic effects. 
  4. Metabolism in the liver: Psilocin is metabolized by enzymes such as monoamine oxidase (MAO) and catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT). These enzymes break down psilocin into inactive metabolites that are eliminated from the body through urine. 
  5. Duration of effects: The duration of psilocybin effects varies from person to person but generally ranges from 4 to 6 hours. After this time, psilocin and its metabolites are eliminated from the body. 

We must take into consideration some side effects when consuming this type of mushroom, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and some episodes of anxiety. Remember that we are facing an emerging field in the therapy of behavioral patterns, traumas, addictions, and depression. Therefore, consuming this substance or mushroom should always be done in the company of an expert and following his instructions.

Remember that the difference between a poison and a remedy is its dose. 


  • Dr. Irving Ramírez

    Dr. Irving Ramirez-Alvia, Naturopath, was born in Tepic, Nayarit, in 1992. After obtaining a degree in health and nutrition, Dr. Irving finished medical school and moved to Vallarta. His newly-opened office is at Lord Twigg’s Hotel and Boutique, Francisco Villa #424, Colonia Lazaro Cardenas; his online store features all-natural, homeopathic products and remedies. For an appointment with Dr. Irving in Puerto Vallarta or at FEDA Nutricion and Fitness, Calle Jacarandas 86, in Bucerias, or if you are interested in purchasing Dr. Irving’s CBD oil (5000mg or 10,000mg) without THC, please contact Loren Hayes on WhatsApp at 322-167-7570.

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