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The history of magic mushrooms and truffles
2 min

The history of magic mushrooms and truffles

Written by: Eva Zonneveld

For thousands of years, magic mushrooms (also known as psilocybin mushrooms) and truffles have been utilized by various cultures worldwide for their psychedelic properties. Although these substances are often associated with the counter-culture movement of the 1960s and 1970s today, their history extends much further back. Let's journey through time and explore how these intriguing organisms have influenced human civilization.

Ancient times

The earliest evidence of psilocybin mushroom use dates back over 9,000 years. Rock paintings in North Africa have been found that might depict rituals involving these mushrooms. Ancient Mesoamerican cultures, such as the Aztecs and Mayans, revered these mushrooms as divine. The Aztecs called them "teonanácatl", translating to 'flesh of the gods'.

Middle ages

While the use of magic mushrooms in medieval Europe isn't extensively documented, there are theories suggesting they might have been involved in certain pre-Christian European rituals. There are also hints that some witch brews might have used psilocybin mushrooms as an ingredient.

Modern era

The modern Western world only truly became acquainted with magic mushrooms in the 1950s. In 1955, two Americans, Gordon Wasson and Roger Heim, brought their experiences with these mushrooms from Mexico to Western attention. This led to the isolation and identification of the active compound, psilocybin, by Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann - the same man who discovered LSD.

The 1960s and 1970s saw a surge in interest and use of psilocybin, largely due to the counter-culture movement and the popularization of psychedelic experiences by figures like Timothy Leary.


Besides mushrooms, there are also magic truffles, essentially the underground growth of certain mushroom species. They too contain psilocybin and produce similar effects. In countries like the Netherlands, where psilocybin mushrooms were outlawed in 2008, magic truffles remain legal and have become a popular choice for those seeking a psychedelic experience.


Magic mushrooms and truffles possess a rich and diverse history interwoven with human civilization. From ancient rituals to modern experiments, these natural psychedelics have aided humans in exploring consciousness and attaining spiritual insights. As scientific research into their therapeutic potential continues to expand, their captivating history stands as a testament to the profound bond between humanity and nature.

Eva Zonneveld
Meet Eva, an author who merges her literary talent with a deep fascination for magic mushrooms, crafting stories that unravel the hidden realms of consciousness and the mycelium's wisdom.