Czechs love their mushrooms, but none seemingly so much as Filip Tylš, a researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health outside of Prague whose experiments with psilocybin, the psychoactive substance contained in certain mushrooms are aimed at treating a variety of mental illnesses.
As recently reported by iDnes, Tylš and his research team have begun conducting research in the facility’s tapestry-draped “tea room” basement where patients go on carefully supervised drug trips, some of them reportedly seeing vibrant colors, fabulous scenery, avatars, and Tibetan cats.
A young volunteer told the publication: “You’re alone in a place you do not understand, and nobody’s learned how to behave in it. During the peak you do not know who you are. I was able to feel the infinite love.”
Tylš is both a member of the research team as well as a psychedelic sitter who observes the volunteers while they explore altered states of consciousness. He says that the clinical study of psilocybin intoxication could lead to help with everything from depression to obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Research of this kind recently began in the Czech Republic after a 40-year hiatus; mushrooms have since then proved more adept at treating mental disorders than LSD which was first studied in Czechoslovakia by Dr. Milan Hausner in the 1960s.
These are not your standard Czech houby, however; the institute imports the controlled substance from Germany (2 grams costs 750,000 CZK).