Can psychedelics treat Long COVID? A report from Time magazine, written by journalist Jamie Ducharme, sought to answer this question based on the stories of patients who have had positive results and research that needs to be conducted.
The article presents the case of Ruth, who suffered from Long COVID for more than a year, experiencing health problems such as shortness of breath, fatigue, and tiredness even after the virus was eliminated. To try to alleviate her symptoms, she used mushrooms, as she was aware of research on their possible therapeutic benefits.
As the journalist writes, this one trip was transformative. The next morning, Ruth already had a more fluid breathing and normal heart rate. Her menstrual period also stabilized, and the mental fog and motor dysfunction she felt disappeared.
According to the report, there is a growing interest among researchers in studying cases like Ruth’s. Dr. Joel Castellanos of the University of California is one example. He says he hears from many Long COVID patients who have either tried or are interested in trying psychedelics. In many cases, the improvements are very significant. Currently, Castellanos is working on a case study.
Dr. Sue Sisley, who researches psilocybin at Scottsdale Research Institute in Phoenix, believes that psilocybin from mushrooms can help Long COVID patients by stimulating new neuronal connections and tissue growth in the brain and reducing inflammation throughout the body. Recently, she advised the inclusion of Long COVID in the bill that will allocate $30 million to research the therapeutic potential of psilocybin for 13 different conditions.
According to Charles Nichols, a professor of pharmacology at Louisiana State University School of Medicine, some psychedelics have anti-inflammatory effects in rodents. If the same turns out to be true in humans, according to the expert, it’s logical to think psychedelics could bring some relief to people with Long COVID.
For now, despite the positive results, it is not possible to categorically assert that psychedelics are effective in treating the syndrome. As Sisley emphasized, “We’re dealing with very powerful psychoactive medications. People need to proceed with immense amounts of caution.”