OPEN Foundation

G. Guzmán

New Studies on Hallucinogenic Mushrooms: History, Diversity, and Applications in Psychiatry

Abstract

This paper is a review of the new studies or new explanations of the hallucinogenic mushrooms, regarding their diversity, history, traditions, and problems in their recreational use, new taxonomic studies, and their modern applications in medicine, all of them since the 1970s to the present.

Guzmán, G. (2015). New Studies on Hallucinogenic Mushrooms: History, Diversity, and Applications in Psychiatry. International journal of medicinal mushrooms, 17(11). 10.1615/IntJMedMushrooms.v17.i11.10
Link to full text

On the Origin of the Genus Psilocybe and Its Potential Ritual Use in Ancient Africa and Europe

Abstract

On the Origin of the Genus Psilocybe and Its Potential Ritual Use in Ancient Africa and Europe. The role of altered states of consciousness in the production of geometric and figurative art by prehistoric cultures in Africa and Europe has been hotly debated. Helvenston and Bahn have tried to refute the most famous hypothesis, Lewis-Williams’ neuropsychological model, by claiming that appropriate visual hallucinations required the ingestion of LSD, psilocybin, or mescaline, while arguing that none of these compounds were available to the cultures in question. We present here mycological arguments that tell another story. A prehistoric worldwide distribution of the mushroom genus Psilocybe, and therefore of psilocybin, is supported by the existence of endemic species in America, Africa, and Europe, the disjunct distribution of sister species, and the possibility of long-distance spore dispersal. It is more difficult to point to instances of actual prehistoric ritual use in Africa and Europe, but there are a growing number of suggestive findings.

Froese, T., Guzmán, G., & Guzmán-Dávalos, L. (2016). On the Origin of the Genus Psilocybe and Its Potential Ritual Use in Ancient Africa and Europe1. Economic Botany, 1-12. http://http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12231-016-9342-2
Link to full text

Phylogenetic inference and trait evolution of the psychedelic mushroom genus Psilocybe sensu lato (Agaricales)

Abstract

The genus Psilocybe contains iconic species of fungi renowned for their hallucinogenic properties. Recently, Psilocybe also included non-hallucinogenic species that have since been shifted to the genus Deconica. Here, we reconstruct a multigene phylogeny for Psilocybe, Deconica, and other exemplars of the families Hymenogastraceae and Strophariaceae sensu stricto (s. str.), using three nuclear markers (nLSU-rRNA, 5.8S rRNA, and rpb1). Our results confirm the monophyly of Deconica within Strophariaceae s. str., as well as numerous robust infrageneric relationships. Psilocybe is also recovered as a monophyletic group in the Hymenogastraceae, in which two principal lineages are recognized, including several nested subgroups. Most sections of Psilocybe following classifications based on morphological features are not supported in these analyses. Ancestral character state reconstruction analyses suggest that basidiospore shape in frontal view and spore wall thickness, commonly used to characterize sections in Deconica and Psilocybe, are homoplastic. Chrysocystidia, sterile cells located in the hymenium, evolved on at least two occasions in the Strophariaceae s. str., including in a novel lineage of Deconica.

Ramírez-Cruz, V. Guzmán, G., Villalobos-Arámbula, A. R., Rodríguez, A.,  Matheny, P. B., Sánchez-García, M., & Guzmán-Dávalos, L. (2013). Phylogenetic inference and trait evolution of the psychedelic mushroom genusPsilocybesensu lato (Agaricales). Botany, 91, 573-591. http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjb-2013-0070
Link to full text