What is Amanita Muscaria?

What is Amanita Muscaria?

We can all recognize the Super Mario mushroom, or the mushroom houses that the Smurfs called home, the ones with the big red cap with white spots on it. Those are Amanita Muscaria! But even though this is a common fairy tale mushroom, Amanita Muscaria is often times very misunderstood and thought of as deadly!  Truth is this is a very powerful psychedelic mushroom, with years of safe ceremonial use, that is also legal in all 50 states!

History’s Mushroom

Amanitas have a strong hold in human history.  Although, somewhat stigmatized in modern times as unsafe and poisonous. We can trace Amanita Muscaria use all the way back to ancient times.

Vikings and Amanitas

Vikings warriors would eat these mushrooms and receive burst of energy that would have them “go berserk” on the battle field, mauling down everything in their path.

Viking Berserker eating Amanita Mushrooms before battle
Viking Berserkers would enter in a trace like state before storming the battlefield by eating Amanita Muscaria

Visions from the Gods

The Greeks and Romans would use Amanitas quite a bit. Romans believed that this mushroom was a magical result of a lightning strike because they would grow well right after it rains. Consumed during ceremonies the Greeks and Romans would receive visions and witness what they interpreted as the power of their gods.  Their traditions spread all over the Northern Hemisphere from indigenous Siberian tribes by the north pole to African tribes all the way down by the equator.

Ancient Roman Mosaic Depicting Amanitas
Ancient Roman Mosaic Depicting Amanitas

Pest Control

This is why the Amanita Muscaria is also known as fly agaric!  These mushrooms were used for centuries all over the world as a pest control solution. People would soak these mushrooms in bowls of milk.  The active compounds in the mushroom would mix with the milk.  When the flies would come to drink the milk, it would be too much for their nervous system and they would die.

Santa!

What is even more surprising is the link between this mushroom and the legend of Santa Claus! Many people contribute Santa’s red and white suit to Coca Cola advertisements, but it is possible that Santa dresses in red and white due to these mushrooms easily distinguishable red and white cap.

It’s related to the influence that this mushroom had among the indigenous tribes who lived in Siberia around the North Pole. During the winter solstice, many of their religious and ceremonial practices involved amanita muscaria. People would hang them upside down as ornaments in pine trees. Shamans would take just enough of the mushroom to have a great time, and who knows, maybe even shower people with gifts!  So, between the red and white theme, the magical wonder of the North Pole, and reindeer possessed with magical powers of flight, it’s easy to see where we get the Santa Claus legend from.

Amanita Muscaria’s Active Ingredients

Amanita Muscaria contains absolutely no psilocybin!  Which is the active ingredient in most magic mushrooms. This is also why they are legal in the United States because psilocybin is what is illegal by law. So, what makes this mushroom “magical”? What are the Active Ingredients that make you trip?

Ibotenic Acid and Muscimol

Ibotenic acid and muscimol are the properties of this mushroom that provide the psychedelic effects. These two properties are closely related, they are nearly identical in molecular structure. Ibotenic acid can be decarboxylated, or changed into, muscimol.

This is the key, cause high levels of Ibotenic acid can cause a wide range of affects that include purging and drowsiness, but can also include confusion slight euphoria, visual and auditory enhancements, and other effects. Muscimol can produce similar effects without the purging and with some mild disassociated psychedelic effects.

Amanita Muscaria Vs Psilocybin

The effects of psilocybin and Amanita Muscaria are close to one another.  Both compounds produce a deep alteration in perception, which is described by feelings of intense ecstasy or blissfulness and an altered sense of awareness. In both cases, this experience is accompanied by a shift in sensitivity to anxiety and fear, as well as a shift of the user’s way of processing negative thoughts and emotions.

Psilocybin has been used for centuries in religious ceremonies, but it was not until recently that scientists began to investigate its potential therapeutic benefits. A major pinpoint towards this research can be attributed to the opening of the psychedelic research center at Johns Hopkins, which debuted in 2020.  As well as treating depression, psilocybin has shown a fair amount of promise in addressing health conditions such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and alcohol dependence.

Amanita muscaria, on the other hand, is an alkaloid compound that produces a slightly different effect, depending on the amount consumed. At low doses, amanita muscaria induces euphoria and increased energy, while higher doses can lead to hallucinations, disassociation, and heightened emotional states.

What Happens When You Eat Amanita Muscaria Raw?

This depends highly on how much you consume. You can expect very different effects with a large dose. The most common effects are increased alertness, elevated mood, increased energy, feelings of wellbeing and hallucinations. Seems like fun, but if eaten raw without decarboxylation, you can feel an urge to purge, diarrhea, vomiting, etc.

Although Amanita Muscaria has been eaten raw by indigenous tribes for over thousands of years without fatal effects many mycologists don’t suggest eating them raw. Some could attribute this to the fact that everyone’s digestive system processes these alkaloids differently, and also the fact that dosage of these amazing mushrooms isn’t fully understood yet.

Where Can I Find Safe Amanita Muscaria?

When taken in appropriate and properly prepared amounts, the effects of consuming Amanita Muscaria are quite the journey. Like other psychedelic options, amanita muscaria is a great way to explore one’s mind and even take a break from this stressful life. There are ways to enjoy this mushroom with little to no risk.

IF you are going to forage for mushrooms do so with an expert mycologist and make sure you prepared the mushroom properly. If you don’t have the time… explore these products….

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