It’s not as far-fetched as it may sound. Psychedelics, specifically psilocybin mushrooms, are being used more and more to self-medicate by women across the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Why? Many of these women claim psychedelics benefit their health in multiple ways, including helping to process trauma, reduce anxiety, and improve depression.

According to Marie Claire, an award-winning internationally recognized women’s culture publication, thousands of women are already self-medicating with microdoses of mushrooms that contain the psychedelic compound psilocybin.

Audra, an advertising creative director in New York diagnosed with anxiety and ADHD, shared about her microdose experiences with Marie Claire, stating it wasn’t a magical cure-all but, 

“When I do have bad days, I’m able to separate myself from a feeling of worthlessness and stop telling myself the story that I shouldn’t try to connect, shouldn’t be curious, shouldn’t create,” Audra says. “Microdosing helps me recognize that I’m still whole.”

Mercedes, a 36-year-old yoga instructor diagnosed with PTSD, shared that,

“Microdosing is like defragging your computer, but for your brain or soul. Psilocybin helps me realize my connection to everything around me in an amplified kind of way, to remind me I’m not alone in my feelings. I’m not alone at all. None of us are.”

There seem to be numerous testimonies like Audra’s and Mercedes’, who swear by the benefits of psychedelics for women’s health. Could this be a new frontier in medicine?

The History of Psychedelics and Women’s Health

Entheogens, like mushrooms containing psilocybin, have been used for centuries in various cultures for religious and spiritual purposes. Traditional healers have long understood their potential to heal both the body and mind.

Now, modern science is beginning to catch up. Early research suggests that psychedelics could potentially benefit women’s mental health in many  ways, including helping them to process trauma, reduce anxiety, and improve depression. 

Could Psychedelics Help Relieve Menopausal Symptoms?

October is World Menopause Month, and psychedelics may also help some women cope with the emotional turmoil that comes with menopause. As any woman who has gone through menopause can attest, it can be an emotionally trying time. This is due in part to hormonal changes, but also because of the societal expectations surrounding women aging.

The good news is that psychedelics could potentially help ease some of the symptoms associated with menopause. Mindy Stern, a screenwriter, and novelist wrote about how microdosing psilocybin mushrooms helped her with menopause in Medium. We recommend reading the entire article, but some notable thoughts Mindy shared include,

  • “A few months ago, a friend gave me a microdose capsule of psilocybin. A very low, sub-hallucinogenic dose of magic mushrooms. I took it and it changed my life.”
  • “I didn’t trip. Nothing melted or slithered or burst. I was just present in a different way, more open.”
  • “Psilocybin microdosing allowed me to go deeper and to let go. There is no high, no euphoria or crashing come down. It’s a low grade incline to a sense of wellbeing with a shift that lasts.”

Testimonies like Mindy’s suggest women are already self-medicating with microdoses of psilocybin mushrooms, and with seemingly positive results. Research on psilocybin has been shown to ease anxiety and depression, two conditions that are diagnosed more often in women, and often go hand-in-hand with menopause.

The Future of Psychedelic Medicine for Women’s Health

While research on psychedelics for mental health is still in its early stages, the signs are positive. Clinical trials are currently underway to test the efficacy of psychedelics in treating a variety of mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, PTSD, addiction, and eating disorders. New research is even indicating psilocybin can positively influence physical conditions like breast cancer.

If you’re struggling with any of these conditions, it might be worth considering psychedelic-assisted therapy as a possible treatment option. That is, if and when, psychedelic therapies get approved by state or federal lawmakers.

Countries like Canada, are already making progressive moves to address the growing mental health crisis by passing laws that legalize several types of psychedelic-assisted therapies. The U.S. is expected to make a similar decision sometime soon, but until laws are changed, anyone consuming these psychedelic substances like psilocybin are still considered criminals, even if they are only seeking improved wellbeing. 

For more information on the potential benefits of psychedelics for women’s health, we recommend watching this webinar, Sex, PMS, Postpartum, and Menopause: The Potential of Psychedelics & Ketamine in Women’s Health, featuring a panel of four female leaders in psychedelic medicine for women.