“There is no use trying,” said Alice; “one can’t believe impossible things.” “I dare say you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” -Lewis Carroll
Nothing about drug use is new. Psilocybin’s in particular, have extensive history. Native Americans were participating in their medicinal effects long before European arrival on New World shores. In fact, the only things that have changed are our methods of manufacture and rights of consumption.
Why is it that prescription drugs are permitted while introspective drugs are prohibited?
Rather than dive in to the logistical explanation of law and order, I’m writing in favor of magical mushrooms and their fellow counterparts as naturopathic alternatives to prescription drugs (those specifically aimed at improving cognitive function).
I’ve chosen Adderall as my target because it’s America’s drug of choice when it comes to enhancing cognitive function. Adderall (consisting of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine) serves to combat hyperactivity and attention deficit. lt is one of the most widely distributed prescription drugs within the US, and also suggested to be the most abused.
Adderall has been adopted as a cognitive enhancer: a drug that high-functioning, over-committed people take in order to become higher functioning and excessively over-committed.
Instead of feeding an over-active mind amphetamines shouldn’t we find ways to calm and ground ourselves?
Interestingly enough, once we slow our mind we are able to focus, clarify, and accomplish much more. Cognition, like everything else can be learned, practiced and promoted. Understanding the depths of your own consciousness is vitally important to enhancing cognitive performance.
I’m certainly not advocating that we all take our children off Adderall and begin feeding them psilocybins. We could however benefit from an alternative approach.
10 NATUOPATHIC ALTERNATIVES TO ADDERALL
1. Rhodiola Rosea extract (RR), aka Golden Root, is a powerful adaptogen (meaning it helps the body adapt to new or stressful situations). If you can’t concentrate on a mental task for long periods, RR may be able to help. This herbal extract fights mental fatigue and stimulates brain activity, especially when you are tired or under stress.
2. L-Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid used to make the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine. Stress depletes your body’s supply of tyrosine, preventing it from making more neurotransmitters. L-Tyrosine is found in protein rich and nutrient dense foods. Wheatgrass is an exceptional natural supplement ensuring you’ll receive your daily dose of amino acids.
3. L-Theanine, like L-Tyrosine, is an important amino acid involved in maintaining proper brain function. L-Theanine promotes calmness and clarity when the body is undergoing stress. Aside from wheatgrass, L-Theanine can be found in green tea.
4. Bacopa Monnieri, known to most as Brahmi, is a plant commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine. It has an age-old reputation for being an effective and powerful herb for improving memory and reducing stress.
5. Vinpocetine is an extract from the seeds of the periwinkle plant (Vinca minor). Vinpocetine is a vasodilator that increases the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the brain. It achieves this principally by facilitating cerebral metabolism and improving blood flow in the brain. Increased oxygenation and glucose utilization leads to overall improved cerebral function.
6. Lion’s Mane Mushroom has the unique ability to stimulate the body’s production of nerve growth, which means it may help regenerate nerves better and faster. Increased neural connections ensures a sharper, more precise thought process.
7. Huperzine A (HA) is an alkaloid extracted from the Chinese herb Club moss. HA blocks the enzyme acetylcholinesterase – a harmful enzyme that degrades acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter that helps with learning and memory.
8. Meditation. A simple daily reflection and appreciation of the present moment is incredibly healing and growth promoting.
9. Avoid food additives & preservatives. Color additives in-particular have been directly linked to the proliferation of ADHD.
10. Magical Mushrooms inspire introspection and existential thought processes.