Jochen Gartz is a chemist and mycologist at the Institute for Biotechnology in Leipzig, Germany. He was born in Mansfeld, Germany in 1953 and studied chemistry at Merseburg college. He has also done medical research in Leipzig.
Since 1983, Dr. Gartz has been studying psilocybin mushrooms, the compounds they contain, and the metabolic byproducts of mushrooms. He also studies other psychoactive substances. He is well known for his 1996 book “Magic Mushrooms Around the World.”
Dr. Gartz was the first to isolate the magic mushroom compound aeruginascin from extracts of Inocybe aeruginascens.1 From further analysis, he discovered that the concentration of aeruginascin in the mushrooms was comparable to that of psilocybin and baeocystin.2 Dr. Gartz also observed what is known today in cannabis research as the entourage effect, but in the psychedelic experience brought on by I. aeruginascens. He analyzed 23 cases of the accidental hallucinogenic mushroom poisonings and noticed that people who had ingested I. aeruginascens reported only euphoric experiences.2 Dr. Gartz described the experiences of those ingesting mushrooms without aeruginascin (and high in psilocybin and psilocin) as an “often slight and in some cases deep dysphoric mood” accompanied by psychosis, panic, and anxiety.
Dr. Gartz hypothesized that aeruginascin modified the psychedelic effect of the compounds in the mushrooms (the entourage effect), culminating in an overall euphoric feeling. Specifically, he stated:
It seems that the significant amounts of the indole derivative aeruginascin can modify the pharmacological action of psilocybin to give an (sic) euphoric mood during psychosis with hallucinations due to ingestion of I. aeruginascens. 2
One of Dr. Gartz’s recent papers details his co-discovery of a new caerulescent (bluing) species of Psilocybe mushroom in Germany called Psilocbye germanica sp.nov.3