Health Benefits of Psilocybin for Senior Citizens

Is it time to get the Grandparents microdosing? While the idea may sound a bit out-there initially, studies suggest there are numerous health benefits of psilocybin for senior citizens.

Cognitive decline is a major worry for those approaching their golden years. One UK study suggests that cognitive decline more than doubled in adults 65 to 99 between 2009 and 2018. Cognitive decline is a strong predictor of dementia. While the increase in cognitive decline incidences may be a positive indictor that doctors are more adept at diagnosing cognitive decline earlier on, the number of adults living with dementia is expected to rise as the proportion of older adults grows. The number is expected to rise from 55 million adults living with dementia today, to 78 million in 2030 and 139 million in 2050. What if we could prevent this? Let’s take a look at some of the health benefits of psilocybin for senior citizens.

Prevent Aging Disorders

Mushrooms are currently being studied for their role in preventing cognitive decline because they increase neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to change). The use of microdosing psilocybin mushrooms to prevent cognitive decline is a new and innovative breakthrough in the medical field. Way back, the scientific consensus was that we are born with a finite amount of brain cells (neurons), and as we grow up, these cells slowly die, and we can not create more (as oppossed to say, skin cells, which constantly generate more of). As a result, our brains and personality as adults are pretty much set and hardwired. This in itself contributes to a whole host of issues, but what if there was a way to change our minds?

In recent decades, the concept of neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to reshape itself to adapt to the environment) and even neurogenesis (the body’s ability to create new nerve and brain cells) are becoming scientifically accepted. While there are many things that seem to promote neuroplasticity and neurogenenisis, such as exercise, mindfulness, getting enough sleep, and learning new skills, the factors involved in adult neurogenisis are still being studied.

Psilocybin can increase Neurogenesis

Studies on mice have suggested that low doses of psilocybin can increase neurogenesis (growth of new nerve cells) in brain regions other than the hippocampus. People who want to use psilocybin mushrooms to prevent aging disorders should start by taking small doses of the substance. Microdosing is the practice of regularly taking small doses of a drug, such as psilocybin, LSD, or ketamine. The benefits of microdosing are often overlooked because of the negative stigma associated with psychedelics in society.

The idea behind microdosing is that it provides more sustainable relief from symptoms of depression and anxiety without psychedelic experiences induced by higher doses that may not be suitable for everyone. Thus, older adults can regularly take a minimal dose to increase their neuroplasticity, without interference with their daily routine. This type of practice is practically useful for those who are still working, want to take mushrooms as a precaution rather than treating an existing condition, or are afraid of the effects of a high-dose mushroom trip.

Using mushrooms to reduce end-of-life anxiety

Some historians believe that people have used psilocybin mushrooms as far back as 9000 B.C as a medicinal and spiritual agent. Current research has shown that psilocybin can help people with terminal illnesses by assisting them to come to peace with their diagnosis. Psilocybin can significantly reduce the anxiety of people nearing the end of their lives. It also relieves symptoms like paranoia, which are expected at this point of progressive diseases. Taking a large dose for a full-on trip (as opposed to microdosing), participants experience a spiritual experience, leading to changes in their emotions and views on life.

The recent documentary Dosed 2: The Trip of a Lifetime follows a woman with a terminal cancer diagnosis as she uses psychedelics to aid her in her journey towards the end of her life. We follow as she learns to accept, with the help of psychedelics, that she may only have a year or two to live. Not only does she deal with the fear of death, but the knowledge that she is leaving her children and other loved ones behind. What is usually a lonely and terrifying experience has the opportunity to become spiritual, profound, and perhaps even peaceful.

The benefits of non-psychedelic mushrooms in slowing the aging process

A study on Singaporean seniors found that those who consumed several portions of mushrooms per week had 50% reduced odds of cognitive decline. Another study identified 11 types of mushrooms that have compounds that may benefit the brain. Lions Mane and Reishi mushrooms are two of the most popular medicinal mushrooms. They are used to help people with neurological disorders, mental health issues, and other aging-related problems.Reishi mushrooms have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. They are believed to help treat insomnia, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels, as well as reduce inflammation, relieve chronic pain, promote brain health, and improve memory.

Lions Mane mushroom is also traditionally used in Asian medicine as an immune system booster, and it is believed that it can reduce symptoms of Parkinson’s disease as well as Alzheimer’s disease and Huntington’s. Lions Mane is also believed to play a role in reducing anxiety and depression, improving sleep quality, and regulating blood sugar levels. We utilize Lion’s Mane, Reishi, and other potent mushroom extract powders in our psilocybin microdose formulas.  More information on microdosing can be found in our useful guide, “How to microdose mushrooms.”

Should we interfere with the aging process?

Some may feel that aging is a natural process, but aging disorders exist, and can cause extreme distress. The most common are cognitive disorders affecting the brain’s ability to carry out its functions. Dementia doesn’t just affect the patient. Watching our loved ones slowly fade away and lose themselves is a painful process, particularly when they stop recognizing us, and may become paranoid, agitated, and even aggressive. Using mushrooms can slow the decline and possibly even make it easier to care for those we love most.

Health Benefits of Psilocybin for Senior Citizens

Psilocybin mushrooms can also reduce anxiety and depression in cancer patients and others with terminal diagnosis. Using psychedelics seems to have long-term benefits in palliative care as well. They also demonstrate an effect on the quality of life by reducing pain, while improving mood, sleep, and general well-being. The goal of using magic mushrooms in one’s elderly years is not to fight the course of nature and live forever. Instead, the hope is to allow people to go out of our world as peacefully and painlessly as possible, with an expanded consciousness, and dignity intact.

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