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Macro-Dosing Harm Reduction

On this page, you'll find information to try to help keep yourself out of harm's way as much as possible when macro dosing. Safe and responsible usage is of utmost importance if you are going to attempt to partake in the consumption of mushrooms containing psilocybin or other active compounds. 


While some of the dosing advice given might apply to micro-dosing, the majority of the advice given surrounding dosing and the experience that you will find on this specific page will predominantly revolve around macro-dosing. We have a separate page for advice specific to micro-dosing which can be found in the "Harm Reduction" drop-down menu. 

This page is not to be taken as stand-alone advice but is to be read in conjunction with the information found on our other pages in the "Harm Reduction" drop-down menu, to better facilitate safer practices.

Mushrooms that contain psilocybin are classified as a Class A substance in NZ. Possession of mushrooms containing psilocybin and psilocin (the compounds which cause their psychedelic effects) risks six months in prison. Cultivating or supplying them is risking lifetime imprisonment.

When is it an Emergency?


  • severe abdominal pain

  • vomiting

  • diarrhea and dehydration

  • convulsions/seizures

  • delirium

  • loss of consciousness


If you think you have potentially ingested a toxic mushroom, go to A&E immediately, even if you have vomited the mushrooms back up. You will most likely require liver tests if it is believed that you've consumed a toxic mushroom.

Try to bring a sample of the mushrooms consumed with you to A&E if possible. Taking photos of the mushrooms you are about to consume, before consumption, can be an aid to medical professionals in the instance that you do end up falling ill from consuming toxic fungi.

Psilocybin emergency situations, safety and harm reduction information for macro dosing of magic mushrooms in NZ
Galerina sp. and Psilocybe sp. comparison image showin the annulus on the galerina and spore deposit on the veil remnant giving the appearance of an annulus on the Psilocybe


It is of utmost importance to 100% correctly identify any fungi you intend to consume, especially when it comes to psilocybe lookalike species like Galerina sp., to avoid the presence of dangerous amatoxins. Amatoxins are highly toxic compounds found in certain mushrooms, including some Galerina species, and they can have severe and potentially fatal effects on the liver and other organs. These toxins are not destroyed by cooking or drying, making accurate identification essential for harm reduction. Differentiating between psilocybe mushrooms and their toxic lookalikes requires careful examination of key features, such as cap shape, gill color, stem characteristics, and spore print color. Consulting reputable field guides, mycologists, or experienced foragers can provide valuable guidance in correctly identifying mushrooms. Remember, the consequences of misidentifying and consuming toxic species can be fatal, so prioritize diligent research and accurate identification to ensure a safe and enjoyable psychedelic experience.

Decay and Rot - Food poisoning

Consuming wild foraged fungi that have begun to rot or decay carries significant risks of food poisoning or botulism. As mushrooms deteriorate, harmful bacteria can proliferate, leading to foodborne illnesses. Symptoms of food poisoning can range from mild gastrointestinal discomfort to more severe cases of vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration. Botulism, a rare but serious illness caused by the toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum bacteria, can also be a concern when consuming spoiled mushrooms. Botulism can lead to muscle weakness, difficulty swallowing, respiratory issues, and in severe cases paralysis or even death. While you may get away with consuming decayed fungi after dehydrating them cracker dry in most cases, the best way to reduce the risk of these illnesses is to only consume fresh, clean, healthy mushrooms and to avoid any specimens that show signs of rotting, mold, or decay. Proper identification, knowledge, and cautious harvesting practices are crucial when foraging for wild mushrooms to ensure your safety and well-being. Think about it like this: would you pick it off the shelf at the supermarket looking like that? Or would you bypass it for a better fruit?

Decaying Psilocybe aucklandie
What contraindications could be involved with taking prescribed medications with psychoactive fungi or Psilocybin mushrooms?

Contraindications With Medication

Consuming mushrooms containing psilocybin while on prescription medication can potentially have contraindications and should be approached with caution. It is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional or pharmacist before combining these substances. Certain medications, such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, and MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors), may interact with psilocybin, leading to adverse effects or unpredictable reactions. Combining magic mushrooms with medications that affect serotonin levels can increase the risk of serotonin syndrome, a potentially life-threatening condition. Additionally, drugs that suppress the immune system, like corticosteroids, may weaken the body's response to potential contaminants in the mushrooms. Considering these potential contraindications, it is essential to seek professional guidance to ensure the safe and appropriate use of magic mushrooms while taking prescription medications. To prioritize your well-being, it is crucial to not stop taking your prescribed medication without talking to your healthcare provider first, as abruptly stopping can worsen the symptoms that led to medication use in the first instance, so having a discussion surrounding your desire to consume mushrooms first will allow for more informed preparation and guidance during your journey.

Contraindications With Mental Health

If you have mental health issues and are considering taking mushrooms containing psilocybin, it is crucial to be aware of the potential contraindications to ensure your safety and well-being. Psilocybin mushrooms can profoundly affect your mental state, and for individuals with pre-existing mental health conditions, there may be increased risks. Conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, severe anxiety disorders, or a history of psychosis may be exacerbated by the psychedelic effects of psilocybin. It is vital to consult with a mental health professional who is knowledgeable about psychedelic substances to assess the potential risks and benefits specific to your situation. Self-medication without professional guidance can lead to unpredictable reactions, worsen symptoms, or trigger a mental health crisis. Prioritizing your mental health and seeking expert advice is crucial when considering the use of magic mushrooms in the context of pre-existing mental health issues. While they can help with some issues, they are not a silver bullet and can make some matters worse.

What contraindications could be involved with taking psychoactive fungi or Psilocybin mushrooms with a predisposition to mental health issues?
Buying psychoactive fungi from social media is almost ALWAYS a scam, and is unsafe as it is harder to identify already-dried fungi. Learn safer ways to source and identify fungi that you are potentially going to consume at Psilver Linings NZ

Stranger Danger-Safe Sourcing

When it comes to purchasing psychoactive mushrooms, it is of utmost importance to prioritize trust in the source and their knowledge level. Identifying dried mushrooms can be challenging, even for an experienced individual, and especially for inexperienced individuals. That's why it is highly recommended to learn how to identify and pick your mushrooms instead of relying on potentially unidentifiable products from unknown sources. Purchasing from strangers on social media accounts is particularly risky as it often leads to scams or unreliable products. By developing your knowledge and expertise in mushroom identification, you can ensure the quality, safety, and authenticity of the mushrooms you consume. Remember, the responsibility for your well-being lies in your own hands, so take the time to educate yourself and seek reliable sources for a safer and more enjoyable psychedelic experience.

Stranger Danger-Safe Dosing

It is crucial to remain cautious and vigilant of individuals who pose as shaman types or healers, particularly when it comes to psychedelic substances. Unfortunately, there are snake oil salesman types, or "Plastic Shaman" who exploit vulnerable individuals seeking spiritual or healing experiences, and as the use of psychedelics becomes more and more popular, there are more stories of people with predatory behavior hiding behind a plastic shield of "love and light", and a loving community behind them. These individuals may take advantage of the trust placed in them and misuse their position of authority. To protect yourself, it is strongly advised to avoid taking psychoactive substances with strangers. Instead, prioritize trusted company and a familiar environment when engaging in mind-altering experiences that put you in a vulnerable state.


Surrounding yourself with supportive, knowledgeable, and trusted individuals can provide a sense of security and help navigate any potential challenges that may arise during the journey. By exercising caution and choosing reliable companions to journey with, in a familiar setting, when having an experience facilitated, you can greatly minimize the risk of exploitation and promote a safer and more meaningful psychedelic experience.

It is also worth mentioning that even people who are sincere and not intentionally predatory still shouldn’t be considered qualified therapists or healers, but rather as experienced lay people.

Stanger  danger advice for doing of psychedelics and psycho-active fungi in NZ
What makes a good setting for a psychedelic experience with musrooms containing psilocybin? Find out at Psilver Linings NZ

Set and Setting

When embarking on a psychedelic experience, it is crucial to understand the significance of "set" and "setting" to promote a safe and positive journey.

"Set" refers to your mindset, emotional state, and personal readiness for the experience. It is important to approach psychedelics with a positive and open mindset, free from significant stressors or unresolved emotional issues unless your intent is to heal or confront an unresolved issue, in which case it should be the only issue at hand to be focused on. Cultivating a sense of intention, curiosity, and respect for the substance can contribute to a more meaningful experience.

"Setting" refers to the physical and social environment in which the experience takes place. Choosing a comfortable, familiar, and safe space where you feel secure and at ease is essential, usually the comfort of your own home or, for the more experienced, a place in nature away from people with a trusted friend, are typical settings that people choose to have their psychedelic experiences. You should try to ensure that the environment is conducive to a stress-free and calming experience - clean up beforehand, place things you might want or need for the experience readily available within reach (a playlist ready to go, water, a blanket, some fresh fruit to snack on maybe?). Minimizing external distractions, such as noise or interruptions, can enhance your focus and engagement with the psychedelic journey. Surrounding yourself with supportive, trusted individuals who are experienced or knowledgeable in psychedelic use can also provide a sense of reassurance and guidance. By carefully considering both set and setting, you can optimize your chances of having a positive and transformative psychedelic experience while reducing the likelihood of negative or overwhelming effects.

Safe Dosing - How Much?

When dosing psilocybin mushrooms, it is crucial to prioritize safety by starting with a low dose and gradually increasing the dose size with each subsequent experience if desired. Each mushroom and even each patch can vary in terms of their potency and the amount of active alkaloids present. Therefore, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the strength of the specific mushrooms you are using. Begin with a conservative dose, such as 0.5g if consuming wood-lovers and no more than a gram for dung-lovers, to assess how your body reacts and to gauge the intensity of the experience. This allows you to acclimate to the effects and gain a better understanding of the potency of the mushrooms. Remember, it is always easier to increase the dose in subsequent experiences rather than dealing with an unexpectedly strong trip. By starting low and progressively increasing the dosage each time, you can more effectively navigate your psychedelic experiences and reduce the risk of overwhelming or challenging effects. Re-dosing during an experience to try and increase the effects isn't considered a good idea as tolerance builds rapidly and it quite often won't have much effect, but it can increase the risk of serotonin syndrome. A good rule of thumb is to wait at least 2 weeks minimum before embarking on another journey, to allow tolerance levels to reset to baseline as well as give your mind time to integrate the experience to learn and grow from it. Mushrooms containing psilocybin can vary in potency from fruit to fruit drastically, just as the potency can vary between fruit, it can also vary drastically from patch to patch, so it is important to be wary of this and remember that your doses will vary in their effects even if you're dosing with the same amount from the same patch.

Dried Psilocybe subaeruginosa being weighed on  set of scales in preparation to be micro-dosed for mental health benefits.
An impression of a person experincing woodlovers  paralysis (WLP) during a psychdelic experience on mushrooms containg psilocybin by Beau Ewen of Psilver Linings NZ.

Wood-Lovers Paralysis

Wood-Lover's Paralysis, also known as "WLP" is a rare but important phenomenon associated with the consumption of certain saprotrophic mushrooms. This condition typically manifests as a temporary and reversible paralysis that affects the muscles, often starting in the lower extremities and progressing upwards. The paralysis can last for several hours or even days before subsiding and has also been known to have late onset in some people, causing them to experience WLP up to 36 hours after the psychedelic experience has ended. While the exact cause of Wood Lover's Paralysis is still not fully understood, it is believed to be related to compounds present in certain species of mushrooms. It is important to note that Wood Lover's Paralysis is generally considered a self-limiting condition and does not cause permanent harm. If you experience WLP, try to remind yourself that it's temporary and focus on your breathing until it subsides. However, if you experience paralysis after the mushroom experience has subsided, it is crucial to seek medical attention to rule out other potential causes and to ensure proper care and support during the episode. As with any mushroom consumption, careful identification, proper preparation, and responsible dosing are essential to minimize the risk of adverse effects. While it is hard to gain data on WLP as it isn't all that common, there was a recent survey performed in Australia to try to understand how it affects people and what may cause it that had around 500 participants. Some good data was acquired and some good ideas have been put forward for areas of potential further study that might hold answers. Click the link below to watch a presentation given by Caine Barlow and Symon Beck on the results of this survey and to hear their hypothesis:

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