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Exploring the Frontiers of Psychedelics

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

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  • In his latest book, “How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us about Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence,” Michael Pollan delves into the potential benefits of hallucinogenic drugs
  • The term “psychedelic” is made up of the two words “psyche” (mind) and “delos,” a Greek word meaning to manifest or reveal. In essence, the drugs “reveal the mind”
  • In the 1950s, psychedelics were widely studied as treatments for addiction, alcoholism and depression
  • Driving the renaissance of psychedelics in the current day are well-respected institutions such as Johns Hopkins University, where researchers have investigated the benefits of magic mushrooms on depression in patients dying of cancer
  • Psychedelics quiet the area of the brain where negative narratives about ourselves are born, allowing you to get out of whatever destructive thought pattern you might be in. As such they may also be useful for obsessive-compulsive disorder and addictions of all kinds

In the video above, Tim Ferriss interviews Michael Pollan, author of seven books, primarily related to food. In his latest book, "How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us about Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence," he delves into the potential benefits of hallucinogenic drugs.

The interview took place at the recent South by Southwest event. As noted by Pollan, the term "psychedelics" was coined in 1957 by Humphry Osmond, a psychiatrist who explored the use of hallucinogenic drugs in the treatment of mental illness. A paper by Janice Hopkins Tanne describes how Osmond investigated the effects of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) on alcoholics.


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