What foods can cause hallucinations

Many people think that hallucinations in healthy people can be solely the result of exposure to the brain of alcohol, drugs or certain drugs. But in fact, certain food products, which we are accustomed to consider as completely harmless, can also act as hallucinogens.


Someone considers this drink useful for health, someone harmful. But recent scientific studies have shown unequivocally that caffeine is a psychoactive substance. It is not for nothing that some people argue that after a cup of coffee they feel not only nervous excitement, but also something like intoxication, their perception of the world around them changes ... Caffeine contributes to an increased concentration of cortisol, a stress hormone in the blood, and if you overdo it with a drink, it can manifest itself unforeseen effect.

So, in 2009, employees of the University of Durham conducted a study, during which it turned out that students who drank three or more cups of strong coffee daily were more likely to complain that they were suffering from hallucinations. In particular, they said that they felt the presence of dead people nearby.

Study leader Simon Jones states: “After drinking too much coffee, some people see visual hallucinations, some hear voices. Nothing like this has happened to them in the usual state before. "

Rye bread

When we are going to eat a slice of bread, we usually do not expect any dirty tricks. Meanwhile, the bread can be infected with the ergot fungus, which contains the psychoactive substance ergotamine, which was once used to treat migraines.

During the Middle Ages, ergot poisoning (ergotism) was common. But it never occurred to people that it was the bread they ate that was to blame. If a person began to behave inappropriately, he began to have visions, he could even be declared a witch or a sorcerer and burned at the stake! Later, when rye began to be treated with insecticides, such cases decreased significantly.

Bagels with poppy seeds

Everyone knows that poppy is a raw material for drugs. Poppy seeds contain the alkaloids of opium, morphine and codeine, hence the narcotic effect. For example, Spanish poppy contains about 0.025% morphine. But in order for you to have hallucinations, you will have to eat just a huge amount of bagels or bagels sprinkled with poppy seeds. If you only eat a few, it will be completely safe for you.

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Stilton cheese

This is an elite English moldy cheese with a specific smell. Here in the mold, now and then, it is a penicillin culture of Penicillium roqueforti, which has psychoactive properties. British scientists in the course of the experiment found that a small 20-gram piece of stilton caused strange visions in people. They were exposed to 75% of men and 85% of women from among the subjects.

True, according to doctors, this type of cheese also has positive properties. In particular, it soothes the nervous system and relieves nightmares.

Sea bream

Who would have thought that some species of this fish contain a hallucinogenic neurotoxin! In some species, the body produces it on its own, while others get it from algae. In particular, we are talking about the subspecies Sarpa salpa ("sleepy fish"), which lives in the waters of the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. When such fish is eaten, the hallucinogens never go away. This property was known even in ancient times. So, the ancient Greeks ate Mediterranean bream specifically to fall into a trance.

In 2006, the journal "Clinical Toxicology" published the results of a study, according to which people who ate sea bream dishes saw monsters, they also had auditory hallucinations - they fancied someone's screams and a bird's whistle ... the condition was passing.

By the way, doctors say that in some cases, eating sea bream has only a relaxing effect, while in others you can "earn" both hallucinations and food poisoning.

Spicy condiments

“When you think of hallucinogens, you probably don't expect to find them among the spices in your own kitchen, ” writes British chemist Andy Branning in his book Metabolism. What to expect from asparagus, or Why is food unfair to us? "

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Some of the spices are truly psychedelics. So, the British doctor Ian Rothwell checked this on himself by trying a spicy curry in one of the restaurants. He came to the conclusion that burning food, for example, from the heart flavored with hot pepper, increases the level of endorphin production, and such a strong hormonal shift may well cause a person to fall into an altered state of consciousness.


The narcotic properties of nutmeg were known back in the Middle Ages. It contains an organic compound called myristicin, which has psychoactive properties. In case of an "overdose" of this spice, an effect similar to narcotic intoxication may occur. A person's eyes turn red and watery, dry mouth appears, he feels sick, problems with urination ... He also loses orientation in space and ceases to adequately perceive reality. “1-2 mg of nutmeg per 1 kg of body weight

can affect the central nervous system, warns Andy Branning. "Some symptoms, such as problems with vision, balance and concentration, do not go away for more than a week." Nutmeg can only be put into dishes in minimal doses - on the tip of a knife, says the scientist.

Of course, you should not go too far and refuse to use the above products altogether. As a rule, the hallucinogenic effect only appears if you overdo it with the amount. And in large doses, as you know, everything is harmful!