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50 Years Ago

Science Past from the issue of September 12, 1959

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Mushrooms aid mental ills — The mentally ill may be able to get peace and quiet with their steak and mushrooms, providing they eat some special mushrooms described at the 9th International Botanical Congress meeting in Montreal. The clue to the possible medical usefulness of these mushrooms was uncovered as a result of studies of the Mexican Indians and their religious rituals.… After years of research in several European laboratories, scientists are now ready with a synthetic substance that duplicates some of the beneficial effects of the mushrooms. Taken in large doses, as [one researcher] did himself for experimental purposes, the substance is a powerful hallucinogen.…In small, therapeutic doses its effects can be beneficial.

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