Magic Mushrooms And How They Affect Cluster Headaches

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Magic Mushrooms And How They Affect Cluster Headaches

Magic mushrooms are most commonly known for the psychedelic state they can induce if ingested in certain amounts. This change in perception is catalysed by the substance within them known as psilocybin, a powerful molecule capable of inducing a range of experiences from the clarity of thinking of a micro dose, all the way to the apparently profound states of a heroic dose. Although largely recognised for this ability alone, it appears magic mushrooms may have the potential to play a major role in the treatment of cluster headaches, as displayed in a video featured by National Geographic.


The video segment features a man named Dan, who can at first be seen sorting a fine powder into a capsule machine, in what looks to be a medicine making process. This shot is closely followed by somewhat of a contrasting image, with people laying on a bed in agonizing pain, hands placed over their heads in a attempt of desperate relief.

This image shows the devastating pain induced by the condition of cluster headaches, a condition that affects around 1 in 1000 people, that can induce periods of extreme pain for up to hours at a time.

To get a general idea of how exactly a cluster headache feels, Dan describes them as, “It feels like a hot dagger is being poked through one's eye, all the way through one's brain”. This condition cannot be underestimated, as Dan makes clear. He states a time when living with the condition became overwhelming to the point of him considering taking his own life.

Dan describes in detail the occasion, lying in bed and thinking about what he would wear when he would take his life, thinking about the last time he saw his kids. Clearly the condition affected his life to such a devastating degree.


Having tried almost everything to relieve the cluster headaches, options were running out. Dan’s wife, Leanne, was researching cluster headache groups online and came across accounts of people using magic mushrooms. Although this seemed like a far out attempt, they decided to give it a try. After doing so, Leanne states that, “It was the best medicine we ever found”.

The video then shows Dan growing his own magic mushrooms, describing the perfect environment needed in order to yield the psilocybin containing mushrooms that seem to provide him relief against the debilitating cluster headaches. Dan dries the mushrooms and stores them for later use, he is able to create a supply that can last him years at a time.

Dan’s daughter explains that if people knew that her father needed magic mushrooms to save his life, they would most likely not believe it. However it appears if Dan does not take the mushrooms every two months, the cluster headaches return.


With such powerful anecdotal account existing, it is clear that research needs to be conducted in this area to explore this potentially life saving medicine for those that suffer from cluster headaches. However the unfortunate truth is that, in many parts of the world, psilocybin mushrooms are illegal and often placed in the highest classification of prohibited substances.

Not only do such classifications slow down research and scientific discoveries regarding magic mushrooms, they also pose the threat of prison sentences for those who need to grow them in order to potentially help themselves and others.

As magic mushrooms are studied more thoroughly, it is hoped that rationality and reason will overcome poor political decision making.


Cluster headaches are relatively rare, yet can affect anybody, more so within the age range of 30 - 40. These headaches can set in almost immediately and with intense sharp, piercing and burning pains. Symptoms often include red and watering eyes, sweating of the race, a running nose and swelling of an eyelid.

The exact cause of this condition is yet to be identified, however they have been linked to activity within a part of the brain called the hypothalamus, responsible for the production of certain hormones within the body that control physiological functions such as hunger, sleep, mood and temperature.

Certain external factors such as drinking, smoking and strong smells have been associated with triggering cluster headaches.

Cluster headaches seems to strike in cycles, that may last from weeks to months, with periods of remission in between.