By Therin Miller | March 1, 2023
Paul Stamets, the founder of MycoMedica and the king of magic mushrooms, has been recognized for his contribution to the global appreciation of fungi.
Recently, a new species of magic mushroom has been discovered in the cloud forests of Ecuador and named "Psilocybe Stametsii" in honor of Stamets. "Psilocybe Stametsii" has a pointy, dark brown cap atop a matchstick-sized stem, and it has only been found twice so far.
It's the first Psilocybe mushroom named after Paul Stamets, who himself discovered two new species of psychoactive mushrooms in the mid-nineties and has dedicated much of his life to studying them.
Additionally, Stamets has been issued a patent exploring the medicinal properties of psilocybin, a major psychoactive component of the Psilocybe mushrooms.
Fungal medicine has the potential to offer a significant value in medicine. Penicillin, for instance, which was derived from the Penicillium fungus, has saved about 200 million lives since its discovery.
Stamets believes that fungi have much more to offer, and his new patent, which was recently issued and published after being filed six and a half years ago, explores how unique psilocybin combinations can improve mental health and neurogenesis.
The compound has also been used, along with therapy, to treat severe depression. Stamets co-authored a recent study that revealed that microdosing of psilocybin may improve mood and mental health compared with non-microdosing.
The medical community is also investigating other compounds like ketamine, DMT, LSD, and MDMA for their healing properties.
The vast majority of fungal species on Earth, believed to be fewer than 10%, have not yet been identified. Within the 90% that we haven't discovered yet, there could be untapped compounds with applications ranging from building materials to catalysts for biomanufacturing, including new psychoactive medicines.
Stamets is deeply honored by the recognition of having a species of magic mushroom named after him, and he plans to go on a field expedition to see this new species in its natural habitat. He feels a keen responsibility to protect the mycodiversity of fungi in all their forms, and he hopes to continue his study of fungi and their medicinal properties.
As Giuliana Furci, founder of the Fungi Foundation, said, "His contribution to the global appreciation of fungi is undisputed and unparalleled."