What You Should Know
Psilocybe mexicana is a psychedelic mushroom that contains psilocybin and psilocin compounds. It has a conical or flared fruiting body; ocher or dark brown color varies in some specimens to gray and yellowish tones. Some of us can see blue and greenish spots. It grows alone or in small groups among moss along roadsides and trails, humid meadows, or cornfields, in particular in the grassy areas bordering deciduous forests. Common at elevations between 300–550 metres (980–1,800 ft), rare in lower elevations, known only from Mexico, Costa Rica and Guatemala. Fruiting takes place from May to October.
Like several other psilocybin mushrooms in the genus, Psilocybe mexicana has been consumed by indigenous North American peoples for its entheogenic effects.
In the Western world, sclerotia of Psilocybe mexicana are sometimes cultivated for entheogenic use. The sclerotia have a lower content of active substances than the actual mushrooms themselves.
Other mushrooms in the genus include Psilocybe atlantis and Psilocybe samuiensis. Ramirez-Cruz et al. (2013) considered Psilocybe acutipilea from Brazil to be a possible synonym of Psilocybe mexicana, in which case it would be the senior synonym, but the type specimen was too moldy for them to be certain.
Psilocybe mexicana Mushroom Identification
(0.5)1 — 2(3) cm in diameter, conic to campanulate or subumbonate and often with a slight papilla, hygrophanous or glabrescent, even to striate at the margin, ocherous to brown or beige to straw color in age, sometimes with blueish or greenish tones, easily turning blue when injured.
Adnate or adnexed, gray to purple-brown with whitish edges.
4 — 10(12.5) cm tall x 1 — 2(3) mm thick, equal, hollow, straw color to brownish or reddish-brown, becoming darker where injured, annulus absent.
Odor and Taste
Spores 8 — 12 x 5 — 8 μm. Ovoid and smooth. Cheilocystidia 13–34 μm, fusoid-ampullaceous to sublageniform, sometimes with a forked neck. Pleurocystidia sublageniform or absent.
Psilocybe mexicana Medicinal Uses
In sub-threshold doses, Psilocybe mexicana have been used in Mexico to treat stomach and gastrointestinal upset, seizures, migraines, and broken bones. The Aztecs also used Psilocybe mexicana therapeutically to treat gout and to lower fevers (Ratsch 1998). In addition to direct medicinal applications, Psilocybe mexicana and related species also play an important role in healing veladas, enabling a curandero to receive insights about the source of a sick person’s illness, as well as the type of medicine and treatment to be used for healing that illness (Letcher 2007).
Psilocybe mexicana Cultivation
When growing magic mushrooms, choosing a substrate is an important decision. A substrate is any substance where mycelium can grow. Many different materials can be considered a substrate – from logs to coffee grounds.
Some of the most common substrates (arranged from the best to least optimal) are:
Rye Grass Seed (RGS)
Wild Bird Seed (WBS)
Brown Rice Flour (BRF)
The following are the steps to prepare substrate from rye berries:
Brew a full pot (2 quarts) of strong coffee.
Heat 2-2.5 gallons of water in a separate pot and add the coffee.
Add two teaspoons of gypsum and stir.
Measure your rye while the water and coffee mixture is heating.
You need to use a cup of rye for every quart jar.
Rinse the grains to remove debris and once the water runs clear and the coffee/water mixture is hot, turn off the stove and dump in the grains.
Stir the mixture and cover. Let it sit for 4-24 hours.
Bring it back up to a boil for 10-15 minutes.
Turn off the stove and strain the grains. Make sure the surface of kernels are completely dry.
Once completely dry, store them in jars with synthetic filter disks.
Cover the lids and put a layer of aluminum foil on them.
Pressure cook these jars for 90 minutes then remove.
Once the jars are room temperature, remove the foil.
Inoculation with Psilocybe mexicana
Once you have a spore print or a spore syringe you can easily inoculate the substrates.
Shake the syringe to dispense the spores equally.
Put the needle into the jars and push the spore solution into the substrate jars.
If the needle comes in contact with any unsterile material or surface, you will have to re-sterilize it. Heat the needle using a Bunsen burner until the needle glows red. After that, let the needle cool off for a few seconds before using it.
Once you’ve successfully inoculated the substrate, sit back and watch them grow.
The sclerotia or the truffles will usually form before the mycelium fully colonizes the substrate. If you see stones forming a little early, understand that it’s perfectly normal.
Also, it’s not necessary to shake the jar at 30% colonization as opposed to what other online resources say.
Harvesting the Truffles
After a couple of months, your truffles should be ready to harvest.
Get a spoon and sanitize it with alcohol.
Scrape out the substrate and separate it from the sclerotia.
Clean the truffles with a sterilized brush and store them in fresh paper bags for weeks or you can dry them to store them for a longer time.
Photo 1 - Author: Alan Rockefeller (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)
Photo 2 - Author: Alan Rockefeller (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 3 - Author: Alan Rockefeller (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 4 - Author: A. Cortés-Pérez (Alonso) (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 5 - Author: A. Cortés-Pérez (Alonso) (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)