Amanita muscaria – Toadstool, Fly agaric

 

The toadstool is surely the most well-known of our indigenous mushrooms. The red cap with the white spots is typical, and makes it unmistakably. One can find it in pine and spruce forests in moderate zones. The toadstool is presumably identical with the Soma of the ancient Indian vedas.

Use: The mushrooms are gathered and dried in sunlight or inside an oven. The temperature can be, in contrast to drying psilocybin containing mushrooms, a bit higher (see also miscellaneous). One should not take more than one medium-sized mushroom, before the individual tolerance and the substance-content of the present mushrooms are known. This is especially important since the content of active substances in toadstools can easily vary by a factor of 100 and more – depending on the location, season and  weather conditions the mushroom strength can vary from almost ineffective to highly potent. Traditionally, the toadstool was also often soaked in vodka. A recipe following this application is as follows: “One dried skin of the cap per dose is soaked in about 150 ml vodka and after 3 months drunk, in a peaceful and prepared company.” The pulled off und dried skins of the caps are not rarely smoked, since the effects can be better controlled this way. But also in this form the effect takes place with delay – which lasts in this case only a few minutes. This seems to make cautious smoking advisable. The content is occasionally so little, that enough material can no longer be inhaled, even by heavy smokers. In these cases the use of a vaporizer can help. Unpleasant side effects appear rarer and less distinct while smoking. Be warned of the consumption of raw mushrooms since here the poisonous effects can appear very distinctly.

Amanita muscaria var. alba

Active constituents: Muscimol and ibotenic acid.

Effects: The effects vary considerably and depend on the habitat of the mushrooms, the dosage and the susceptibility of the consumer. Commonly, after 30 minutes a daze up to a doze, depending on the dose, takes place. Along this often colorful visions and an increased sensitivity for sounds can be observed. Hallucinations and distorted perception of sizes can occur. The whole state of inebriation lasts around 5–6 hours. Weaker states of intoxication that occur after smoking small amounts of the skin of the cap can fade already after a considerably shorter time. The hallucinations can occasionally be experienced as very real and by several people at the same time.

Getrockneter sibirischer Fliegenpilz
dried Amanita
Fliegenpilz gemischt mit Damiana
Amanita with Damiana
Amanita muscaria ExtractAmanita muscaria extract

           
Side Effects: The fly agaric is for sure much less toxic as commonly assumed. A text book of toxicology (Daunderer et al.) states the lethal dose as “at least 100g of the fresh mushroom” and says at the same time, that only 1 to 2 percent of all mushroom poisonings can be traced back to the fly agaric. Out of those, about5 % become lethal. Jonathan Ott however wrote in his Pharmacotheon, that he found only one case of a proven lethal fly agaric poisoning in the literature within the whole North American and Euro Asiatic zone; to that a case of poisoning due to the panther cap, Amanita pantherina, that contains the same active substances in considerably higher concentrations. Since the inebriation is occasionally introduced by a strong state of excitement, during which acts of violence can occur, and the side effects are sometimes felt as very unpleasant, experiments with fly agarics should not be undertaken alone. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea occurs, as well as uncertain gait and muscle contractions, which are in some reports falsely described as cramps.

 Muscimol Strukturformel

Muscimol

Miscellaneous: Ibotenic acid as contained in the fly agaric will decarboxylate through long storage and/or heating like roasting or drying in hot air into muscimol. Muscimol is distinctly more active and seems to be better tolerable. The most unpleasant side effects were reported most often after the consumption of fresh, raw toadstools. Before the introduction of alcohol, the fly agaric was the most important  intoxicant of Siberia. The active substances of the toadstool are excreted unchanged in the urine; formerly people made use of this in those regions and drank the urine of intoxicated persons.

Suppliers: Fly agarics are usually gathered by oneself; whereby it is often advised to prefer the specimen gathered in August.

Miscellaneous: In the another part of this site are experiences with fly agarics described.

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