Could Psychedelic Toad Milk Treat Depression?
Could Psychedelic Toad Milk Treat Depression?
Respect the Toad — How Secretions from the Sonoran Desert Toad can Alleviate Depression
Could trippy toad milk in a corn cob pipe be a doorway to happiness?
In A Man Without a Country , Kurt Vonnegut recalls counterculturalist Abbie Hoffman’s practical joke on the FBI:
Hoffman “announced that the new high was banana peels taken rectally. So then FBI scientists stuffed banana peels up their asses to find out if this was true or not. Or so we hoped.”
If only dear Abbie had instead suggested psychedelic toad milk, the world would be brighter — and the FBI a helluva place to work. Scientists have recently discovered that consuming secretions from the Sonoran desert toad can alleviate depression.
Thankfully, the psychedelic toad milk need not be taken rectally to do the trick. Any old corn pipe will do. I suppose milking a toad and then smoking the result is silly enough — without sticking it where the sun never shines.
Smoking Psychedelic Toad Milk — It’s Science!
We’re serious — kind of. It may sound like some cuckoo story you might hear in line for nitrous at a Phish show — but this is bonafide science.
The Colorado river toad, or Bufo alvarius as its scientifically known, secretes a white milky substance. Turns out the milk actually contains 5-MeO-DMT — a component similar to that found in the entheogenic tea from the Amazon, ayahuasca. When dried and smoked, the toad medicine unleashes a short yet mind-blowingly intense emotional experience that can dissipate the ego to Kingdom Come.
After hearing reports of people smoking the milk of psychedelic toads in Colorado, researchers decided to get to the bottom of whatever the hell was going on.
Ego Tripping by the Numbers
In the study, scientists ran psychiatric tests on 42 toad milk smoking participants. Within a day following the study, depression rates were found to decrease by 18%, anxiety by 39% and stress by 27%. A followup analysis 4 weeks later found depression rates dropped 68% below baseline, anxiety and stress dropped 56% and 48% respectively.
“Inhalation of the vapor from dried toad secretion containing 5-MeO-DMT produced sub-acute and long-term improvements in subjective ratings of satisfaction with life, depression, anxiety, and stress,” researchers reported in the study.
Sure, it could be a research fluke or factors “not related to a pharmacological effect from the inhalation of vapor from dried toad secretion containing 5-MeO-DMT.”
But we’re sliding our chips to a more fascinating arrow on the Purple Vegas Velvet of Cosmic Possibility — the natural world is teeming with medicines and can be a trippy place.
“Though a contributing role of expectation cannot be completely ruled out, there is also good evidence to suggest that changes in affect and cognition observed in the present study were related to the actual psychedelic experience,” researchers allowed. “Correlational analysis demonstrated that ratings of satisfaction with life were positively correlated to levels of ego dissolution and oceanic boundlessness, whereas ratings of stress and depression were negatively correlated to the level of ego dissolution.”
Yep — toad milk. Who knew?
Dear D.A.R.E. Officers of America
This isn’t the first time science suggests psychedelics can be beneficial.
Study after study has found psilocybin mushrooms to be beneficial in treating depression, addiction, and obsessive compulsive disorder. Psilocybin has even been found to promote optimism — in this day and age, practically as rare as a velveteen bunny pooping golden nuggets on a heart-shaped pillow.
And the same holds true for peyote, which has been found to encourage happiness, treat anxiety, and relieve suicidal thoughts. It can even teach a connection to the mystical synergy in the universe and actually make you feel good about yourself.
Ditto for a wide range of psychedelics — it all holds up. William Wilson, more commonly known as Bill W., the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, believed they held great promise as remedies to addiction — after observing alcoholics undergoing LSD treatment and trying it himself.
Wilson reasoned psychedelics could provide alcoholics a “power greater than themselves,” a religious experience to open up inner spiritual awareness — a proverbial 3rd Step on a lickable postage stamp addressed to the center of the pituitary gland.
“I am certain that the LSD experiment has helped me very much,” Wilson wrote in a letter in 1957 to Gerald Heard, the science writer and philosopher. “I find myself with a heightened colour perception and an appreciation of beauty almost destroyed by my years of depressions.”
Play the tape — we’ve heard this stuff before. Turns out the Most Dangerous Man in 1970’s America wasn’t Timothy Leary but Richard Nixon. John Lennon was right — time wounds all heels.
Toad Nipples & Other Caveats
But don’t start milking river toads just yet. You’ll look ridiculous and the nipples are tiny! We’re kidding. Toads are amphibians, not mammals. The substance is whitish and looks like milk. But it’s really just melt-your-face-off trippy slime gunk — or, medicine for depression.
It should be noted that the Colorado River Toad is endangered — and you don’t want that on your conscience — especially while navigating a psychedelic magic carpet of ego dissolution into the oceanic boundlessness of cosmic divinity. Thankfully, there is a vegan option — the toad medicine has been created in laboratories as well. Careful with that axe, Eugene.
A freelance writer for hire, Matt Gallagher is the face and voice behind Web Copy Magician. He enjoys Bear Blend as a tea to spiritually reconnect with nature and the therapeutic wonders of chlorophyll.
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