Psilocybin natural remedy migraine headaches

Psilocybin: A natural remedy for migraine headaches

If you’ve suffered from chronic migraines, you may have found yourself googling “Psilocybin natural remedy migraine headaches” in recent years as there is more and more evidence coming out to support the potential of the drug in helping them. Read on as Frshminds chats with a migraine sufferer who has used psilocybin to manage their chronic condition.

What are migraine headaches?

Poorly understood by those fortunate enough not to suffer from them, migraine headaches are an affliction that presents in a variety of ways and can run from painful to utterly debilitating. Until the 1970’s, it was not even clear that migraines were a distinctly physical issue; it was widely believed that they were innately tied to depression and other mental disorders. But as awareness and research compounded, it became clear that migraines were very much real, caused by severe constriction in the blood vessels around the brain. Pharmaceutical treatment options have since proliferated, with some afflicted people finding relief. But as the son of a migraine sufferer, watching mom spend days on end in bed, curtains shut, lights off, tears in her eyes, I can say from personal experience that the current roster of pharmaceutical remedies simply doesn’t cut it, certainly not for all sufferers. But now, a new and more effective treatment option has emerged on the horizon: psilocybin.

Psilocybin: A natural remedy for migraine headaches

According to a newly-released study from the Yale School of Medicine, even one, relatively small, dose of psilocybin can alleviate days of migraine suffering over at least the next several weeks after the drug was administered. Though the sample of the study was quite small (only 10 patients were tested, with 5 receiving a placebo), the results were dramatic. In the patients that received the small dose (just 10 mg per 160 lb adult was administered, twice, two weeks apart), they reported that their migraine symptoms were substantially reduced, or eliminated, for an average of 1.6 days per week during the trial. As a migraine can persist for several days before abating, a reduction of 1.6 days per week might practically mean no migraine at all. And for a migraine sufferer, this represents a new lease on life. It was also clear from the study that the degree of ‘trip’, or psychotropic activity, as it’s known to the scientific community, had little or no impact on the degree to which the patient’s suffering was reduced. While more study is required, the results of this study were clear and compelling, and will definitely draw attention to the efficacy of psilocybin for this terrible affliction.

Psilocybin helps to alleviate migraines…but will sufferers take it?

Assuming this study holds up to deeper and longer-term scientific scrutiny, it is clear that psilocybin will ultimately be taken to market as a powerful new preventative remedy. But what is the willingness of migraine sufferers to get past their fears, and the stigma, associated with the use of a substance that has been vilified for so many years? Your intrepid reporter decided to ask the one person he knows with first-hand knowledge of the subject: his mother.

RN: Hi mom, thanks for agreeing to provide your thoughts here today.

MN: Of course. I’m just happy you called me.

RN: Right. Staying on topic, I’ve told you that a recent study was done that corroborates an anecdotal belief that taking a small dose of psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) can bring tremendous relief to migraine sufferers. Maybe we can start off by you sharing with our readers your history with migraines.

MN: Sure, migraines are often hereditary, and my mother, and I’m pretty sure my grandmother, both suffered from migraines as well. By the time I finished university, I was already getting migraines almost every month, like clockwork. And they were debilitating. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t talk as the volume from my own voice was just intolerable. I’d have to sit in a dark room, with a cold rag on my head, sometimes for hours, sometimes for days. And the worst part was, it seemed to be activated by things outside my control, like changes in the weather, or my cycle. Sorry but I have to tell you that.

RN: That’s ok mom, I’m a big boy, I can handle it.

MN: Of course. And then after I had you and your sister, they just became more frequent. I remember us having to cancel vacations, dinners, missing work, at least once or twice a month, and this went on until I was in my early 50’s, when they finally started going away.

RN: So, 30 years of agony?

MN: That’s a good summary, yes. I never got aura or anything like that, but I would get very sick to my stomach, sometimes for days, and basically, I couldn’t function.

RN: I remember that, it was terrible to know that you were in such pain. I do remember you taking some different medications for it and hoping that something would give you relief.

MN: Yes, a doctor prescribed Imitrex for me back in the ‘90’s, and that provided a bit of relief. I guess it’s still considered the leading drug. I feel like it really only helped about one-third of the time. I also tried some alternative remedies, I remember someone suggesting I take ‘tiger balm’ and rub it on my forehead – it basically felt like I lit my forehead on fire, and it was hard to tell if it made the migraine better or if it was just so painful in its own right that I couldn’t focus on the headache anymore!

RN: Have you ever taken a psychedelic, even recreationally?

MN: Well, I’ll admit to you I was a child of the ‘60’s, but I wasn’t that into it, I might have tried shrooms, when I was a teenager, like 6 or 7 times. I was always pretty cautious about taking too much and being very uncomfortable, so I usually restricted it to a small dose. My hands would get tingly and I would get giggly, that’s all I recall.

RN: There’s quite a bit of science emerging that suggests that psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, can significantly reduce the intensity and frequency of migraine headaches. If you were still suffering, is that something you would consider trying?

MN: Oh god…I mean, I can’t imagine anyone on earth who legitimately suffers from migraines, as I did, saying no to anything short of decapitation. What’s the downside?

RN: Quite honestly, I don’t know, but not significant. Magic mushrooms do come with the potential for adverse side effects and long-term flashbacks, but generally, they’re thought to be pretty benign.

MN: Oh, yes, I would have signed up to receive that treatment, 100%. I remember thinking about all of the time that I missed when you and your sister were small, I always felt so guilty about that, I would have tried just about anything to get rid of the pain. Is it expensive?

RN: Well, to buy them on the street is not exorbitantly expensive but also not recommended; a lot of the research today focuses on the coming medical legalization of psilocybin, and how its effects can be enhanced if overseen by a trained therapist.

MN: Wow, how cool. Well, I don’t suffer anymore, but if I did, I’d be first in line!

RN: Mom, I’ve taken up enough of your time already, thank you so much for your contribution here.

MN: It’s my pleasure, now don’t forget to call me.

Sam Hannigan

About the Author

Mental health advocate with a personal experience using psychedelics for mental wellness.

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