Magic mushroom study and empathy

Consuming magic mushrooms and the health benefits that have surfaced have captivated scientist around the world. A new study proves that taking psychedelics could enhance a person creativity for up to seven days after the trip.

The team of Dutch researchers discovered that psilocybin, the active ingredient in psychedelic mushrooms not only increases a person’s creativity, empathy, and feeling of well-being while a user trips. It also increases these areas for up to a week, providing insight on how experts could connect therapeutic value to hallucinogenics.

According to the recent study published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, the team of researchers from Maastricht University recruited 55 attendees from the Psychedelic Society in the Netherlands.

Experts requested the participants, to complete multiple tests designed to measure their levels of creativity, empathy, and general satisfaction with life three times: After ingesting a tea made from psychedelic mushrooms in the evening, once the morning after drinking it, and then after seven days.

“We found that psilocybin, when taken in a naturalistic setting, increased aspects of creativity and empathy the morning after, and seven days after use,” researcher Natasha Mason explained to PsyPost. “Furthermore, psilocybin also enhanced subjective well-being.”

Mason did mention how the study had some limitations, which was the lack of a control group, and the way they choose the subjects- the participants voluntarily decided to attend a psychedelic retreat.

Despite those limitations, she still believes that the current study produced important information into the way therapeutic use of psychedelics could benefit people.

“These findings are important in trying to understand psychedelics’ therapeutic utility in the treatment of specific pathologies,” Mason announced in an interview. “Specifically, in a therapy session, enhancements in empathy could increase feelings of openness and trust between patient and therapist, thus strengthening the therapeutic alliance.”

“Furthermore, enhancements in flexible, creative thinking could allow individuals to break out of their old patterns of thought, and generate new and effective cognitive, emotional, and behavioral strategies,” she added. “Importantly, our data suggest that these effects outlast the acute phase and persist over time, thus potentially opening up a ‘window of opportunity’ where therapeutic interventions could prove more effective.”

The study, “Sub-Acute Effects of Psilocybin on Empathy, Creative Thinking, and Subjective Well-Being“, was authored by Natasha L. Mason, Elisabeth Mischler, Malin V. Uthaug, and Kim P. C. Kuypers.