Liberty caps (Psilocybe semilanceata) are a species of psilocybin mushroom. They are one of the most widely popular psilocybin mushrooms in nature, as well as one of the most potent.
They have a recognizable appearance (reflected in the name “liberty cap”) and the first documented account of their psychoactive effects is an interesting one.
The History Of Liberty Caps
On October 3 1799, Dr. Everard Brande was called to the London home of a poor family who was experiencing an array of symptoms. They felt they had been poisoned.
Brande wrote a full description of the incident for the Medical and Physical Journal. The father of the family, who Brande identified as “J.S.”, had begun his day as usual in the autumn.
He went down to Green Park at dawn to collect small field mushrooms to serve to his family for breakfast as part of a broth.
But, about an hour after their breakfast, the family developed some strange and alarming symptoms. “J.S.” developed vertigo, a loss of balance, and black spots spreading across his vision.
The rest of the family complained of poisoning, stomach cramps, and their extremities becoming cold. The father left the house to get some help.
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