According to world statistics, around 20-40% of people who menstruate will experience pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS), and 2-8% will experience premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Common symptoms of PMS include mood swings, breast tenderness, fatigue, irritability, and period pain. PMDD has more severe PMS symptoms and due to the severity of the symptoms, PMDD can disrupt daily life and damage relationships.
Managing these symptoms can include taking OTC medication, contraceptive pills, and/or antidepressants. Unfortunately, these treatments have side effects, and they can only address one specific symptom at a time. As a result, more and more menstruating individuals are turning to alternative therapies that can offer natural and effective relief. These options range from essential oils to psilocybin found in magic mushrooms.
Can Magic Mushrooms Help With PMS Symptoms?
Psilocybin for PMS/PMDD Mood Swings
PMS and PMDD can definitely affect your mood. The most reported psychological symptoms are irritability, depression, anxiety, and fatigue.
So, how does one’s menstrual cycle impact their mood?
One theory is that hormonal changes can cause fluctuations in serotonin, a brain chemical that’s responsible for sleep, digestion, nausea, and mood regulation.
A patient study from Leipzig University Hospital found that shortly before menstrual onset, serotonin levels decreased. To combat this, the team recommended that patients take antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
SSRIs work by increasing levels of serotonin in the brain. Unfortunately, they have side effects that include anxiety, agitation, feeling or being sick, diarrhea or constipation, dizziness, and blurred vision.
Thankfully, psilocybin may effectively address mood-related issues without the symptoms. Psilocybin is a compound found in magic mushrooms, and it’s responsible for the plant’s hallucinogenic effects. In recent years, however, psilocybin has been touted as the future of mental health treatment.
“There’s some emotional numbing, there’s some physical numbing; it’s harder to cry, it’s harder to climax. I think psychedelics for a lot of women are really more of a thorough solution to their problems instead of a Band-Aid.”
One study published in Cell Reports Medicine suggested that psilocybin was effective in treating individuals whose mental health issues could not be treated with medications like SSRIs.
Psilocybin for Period Pain
Another debilitating symptom of PMD and PMDD is pain, whether in the form of cramps, headaches, or ovulation pain. While anti-inflammatory and OTC medications can offer relief, some menstruating individuals may require higher doses. If prolonged, higher doses of medication can cause issues like nausea, confusion, and even internal bleeding.
That said, research has found that psilocybin can offer pain relief, which is good news for those struggling with period pain.
A study published in the PAIN journal found that in individuals with chronic pain, psilocybin provided robust pain relief and decreased reliance on traditional anti-inflammatory medications.
Taking magic mushrooms for PMS
If you’re hoping to use psilocybin to help manage your PMS/PMDD symptoms, it is advisable that you microdose. This means ingesting small amounts of the compound. The amount is low enough to not produce any whole-body effects, but high enough to trigger cellular changes in the body.
But wait, is it even legal to microdose psilocybin? Well, not exactly.
For one, psilocybin is a Schedule I substance, which makes it illegal to possess, obtain, or produce. Yes, Oregon officially legalized the adult use of psilocybin earlier this year. Yet, the only way the residents of Oregon can get psilocybin without getting a criminal record is through a licensed service center. Also, you can only consume it on the premises under the supervision of a licensed facilitator.
If you are struggling with menstrual symptoms, and feel that nothing helps to relieve these symptoms, try speaking to your doctor and asking about the possibility of microdosing psilocybin.
MAIN IMAGE CREDIT Marcos Mesa Sam Wordley/Shutterstock
Longevity Live Disclaimer: This article does not endorse the use of any psychedelic for recreational use.
Want to know more?
The last thing you want to do during that time of the month is exercise. As crazy as it sounds, exercising during your menstrual cycle has many benefits.
Gao, M., Zhang, H., Gao, Z., Cheng, X., Sun, Y., Qiao, M., & Gao, D. (2022). Global and regional prevalence and burden for premenstrual syndrome and premenstrual dysphoric disorder: A study protocol for systematic review and meta-analysis. Medicine, 101(1), e28528. https://doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000028528
Lyes, Matthew*; Yang, Kevin H.; Castellanos, Joel; Furnish, Timothy. (2023). Microdosing psilocybin for chronic pain: a case series. 164(4):p 698-702. | DOI: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000002778
Mann J. J. (2023). Is psilocybin an effective antidepressant and what is its Mechanism of action?. Cell reports. Medicine, 4(1), 100906. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.xcrm.2022.100906