A British study has found magic mushrooms could be an effective antidepressant.

A study from the UK’s Imperial College London has found that a drug made from psilocybin mushrooms can be as effective as an antidepressant for those with depression

The randomised controlled trial found that the psychedelic compound psilocybin had similar results as the antidepressant drug escitalopram in a group of patients with moderate-to-severe major depressive disorder.

After six weeks on either psilocybin or escitalopram, the small trial of 59 people showed that self-reported depression scores improved by an average of 8 points in the psilocybin group, and 6 points in the escitalopram group. 

Although the group taking psilocybin showed greater improvement in depressions scores, the difference between the two groups was not significant. 

The incidence of adverse events was similar in the trial groups, and no serious adverse events occurred. 

The researchers say larger and longer trials are required to compare psilocybin with established antidepressants.

The Federal Government recently put up funds for research into using psychedelics to treat mental illness.

Additionally, former federal trade minister Andrew Robb has become an advocate for psychedelic therapy, saying “the misuse of these drugs for recreational purposes had a very bad effect” in the past, but recent studies have shown “spectacular” results.