What kinds of detox should I do before a trip?
When it comes to a magic mushroom trip, it's important to do some kind of physical detox before the journey. This can include fasting, abstaining from alcohol and keeping the diet light.
How should I prepare my mind before a mushroom trip?
Keep one day before the journey reserved for meditating, walking in the forest, or reading books. At least one day before journeying should be dedicated to quiet time.
Should I avoid any herbs or supplements before a mushroom trip?
Avoid adaptogenic herbs before a mushroom journey.
How can I ensure I have a great trip?
Having a question or intention helps to inform your journey, keep yourself grounded during the experience, and acts as a guiding tool throughout your magic mushroom trip.
You might be preparing for your first magic mushroom trip; you might be preparing for your tenth. Either way, how you prepare for a magic mushroom trip in the days leading up to it can affect a) how positive your mushroom trip is and b) how strong and vivid it is.
Certain foods and herbs can impact the way that we experience magic mushrooms. Alcohol, for example, can interfere with the clarity of the journey and make it confusing. Adaptogenic herbs (found in many supplements) can diminish the effects of a magic mushroom trip, making it more subtle and less profound. And stimulants like caffeine can intensify the effects of a magic mushroom journey. With all of these things considered, you can prepare for your journey in a way that’s most conducive to what you would like to feel and experience.
As you’re going to learn, astral traveller, there’s more than one way to skin a cat. Sometimes, preparation is also about preference. But as you’ll also learn, taking mushrooms and preparing for the trip turns into something like a ritual. How you perform your ritual will be all about you, but we have some guiding advice to make your mushroom experience as safe and pleasant as possible for your mind and body.
Allow a detox for 1-3 days before a mushroom trip.
Almost all civilizations that had an ethnobotanical culture emphasized the importance of preparation before a psychedelic journey. For example, the Shipibo people of Peru abstain from sex, alcohol, pharmaceutical medicine, red meat, garlic, and onions in preparation for an Ayahuasca ceremony. There is sometimes an element of fasting, too. Underneath all of these practises is the concept of detoxification.
The point of detoxifying the body is twofold:
- Firstly, detoxifying the body also detoxifies the mind.
- The less toxins that are in the body and mind, the more you are able to experience the “spirit” of the psychedelic without interference by other things
For example, alcohol has a “psychoactive” effect all on its own. Drinking that in the days leading up to the journey may cause the effects of alcohol to “bleed” into the mushroom experience, confusing the purity and clarity of the mushrooms themselves.
There is also the chance of experiencing nausea with magic mushrooms, so having a clean, empty stomach and detoxified digestive tract can reduce some of these unwanted side effects.
You can detox by eating clean, whole, healthy foods. Include lots of vegetables and white meats (fish and chicken) but abstain from red meats. Drink lots of water. Don’t take any other recreational drugs leading up to a mushroom journey and abstain from alcohol for at least 3 days prior.
Have quiet time for at least one day.
In The Psychedelic Experience by Timothy Leary, he strongly advocates the importance of mental quietude around the time of taking psychedelics. Just as it’s important to detoxify the body, it’s also important to quiet your mind from the distractions and chitter-chatter of every day life.
For those who are looking for a deeper, more profound psychedelic experience from magic mushrooms, this is a very important preparation step. The more you can clear your mind from mundane thoughts like which day is trash day, when rent is due, what’s on for work and the like, the more space there is to invite in an enlightening experience.
Spend the day before your mushroom journey in a quiet space, enjoying music, meditating, stretching, doing mild exercise, and just generally focusing on yourself. It doesn’t matter what you do, so long as you aren’t busying yourself with tasks. Reading a book, taking a bath, taking a walk, and hanging out with furry creatures are all totally acceptable forms of quiet time.
Avoid adaptogenic herbs for at least 3 days before a mushroom trip.
It’s quite common for those taking magic mushrooms to be on some sort of herbal or vitamin regime. Often, these herbal tinctures and supplements contain adaptogenic plants. For example, chaga, reishi, maca, ashwaghanda, and tulsi are all adaptogenic herbs. These herbs are commonly used in health products, so make sure to stop taking them for at least 3 days before a mushroom journey.
The rationale behind stopping adaptogenic herbs is that adaptogens are extremely grounding herbs that help the brain and body adapt to stress. Adaptogens are like stress vaccines — that’s literally how they’ve been referred to by scientists. This might sound really conducive to a magic mushroom trip, but it can actually reduce the strength and overall profundity of the experience.
Adaptogens keep you cemented to the ground. But you really don’t want that during a magic mushroom trip.
For the record, adaptogens are fine to use while microdosing because the objective of microdosing is entirely different. For macrodosing, it’s best for your body to be clear of any adaptogenic herbs and plants.
Forming an intention or question informs your journey.
Finally, in the days leading up to your magic mushroom journey, you can take time to think about an intention or question for your journey. It can be something as simple as finding a lost object or you might just go in with the simple intention of curiosity. It could be something as deep as reconciling traumas or damaged relationships. Whatever it is, having a clear idea helps to inform and guide your journey.
Sometimes when you take magic mushrooms, it can be strong and overwhelming. Visual perception, mental perception and emotional activity all change under the effects of magic mushrooms. It’s sometimes easy to get lost in all of the experiences you're having. Having an intention or question and being able to remember and circle back to that helps to keep you focused and less overwhelmed.
You might even be surprised by what happens when you go in with a specific intention, too.
Be prepared for the unexpected.
A magic mushroom journey is different every single time. That’s why no matter how many times you’ve done it, you never really know what to expect. Having a preparation ritual helps you settle into a comfortable place in your mind and body so that when the unexpected occurs, you’re cool, calm, and collected.
If you were about to go on the greatest journey of your life to meet a great wise sage, you would prepare. You might prepare your questions or your greeting, or you might prepare by brushing up on your knowledge of some scripture. It’s the same with mushrooms. Just because taking them doesn’t require you to walk out of your house, doesn’t mean it’s not a journey — and doesn’t mean it’s not worth the preparation.
Preparation for a magic mushroom trip doesn’t necessarily make you more prepared for what’s about to happen. As we said, it’s unexpected every single time. But preparation helps you to be ready and strong for the unexpected, and puts you in a welcoming space for profound thoughts, feelings and visions.
What are your most important preparation rituals for a magic mushroom journey? We'd love to hear from you in the comments.