Fly Agaric, also known as Amanita Muscaria, is one of the many well-known species of Fungi. Commonly mistaken as the "death cap", you'll find countless articles on the internet advising new mushroom foragers to steer clear of this bright red fungi in their outings.
With an extensive history dating back thousands of years, it's mainly known for encompassing a fierce cocktail of both hallucinogenic and poisonous compounds. So, what's the deal? Is eating an amanita muscaria mushroom a death sentence, or is it just a psychedelic mushroom that has the potential to make you a little feverish?
Let's find out!
What is in Amanita Muscaria?
To get down to the bottom of this, we first have to understand what even is in an Amanita Muscaria mushroom. Found in a variety of locations across the globe, this vibrant mushroom's chemical composition includes a variety of alkaloids that are known for their psychoactive properties - muscarine, ibotenic acid and muscimol.
What is Muscarine?
Found in a variety of species of mushrooms, muscarine is one of the main active compounds found in the Fly Agaric mushroom. Usually found in low concentrations, Muscarine is known for being a main catalyst for many of the poisonous effects that have clouded the reputation of this beautiful mushroom.
Due to the low oral bioavailability of muscarine in many mushrooms, including Amanita Muscaria, the symptoms that follow ingestion are fairly minimal unless large portions are consumed.
That's not to say muscarine is safe though. When consumed in said large amounts, you can expect to experience a wide range of symptoms. Among these symptoms are sweating, salivation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, myosis, and overall general discomfort. In extreme cases, respiratory distress caused by bronchospasm and increased bronchopulmonary secretions are possibilities as well, which usually subside in six to 24 hours, if not fatal.
Ibotenic Acid & Muscimol
Ibotenic acid and muscimol are the key factors that gives Amanita Muscaria some of it's well known effects.
For simplistic purposes, imagine for a moment that these two compounds are nearly identical. However, ibotenic acid is the imposter of the two, known for it's more "toxic" affects.
So what's the difference?
In short, ibotenic acid is a prodrug of muscimol, aka basically the pre-cursor to muscimol before being digested. The remaining ibotenic acid that doesn't convert to muscimol can create a wide variety of affects, ranging from nausea, vomiting, and drowsiness.
After the initial effects, you can expect the onset of other effects such as confusion, slight euphoria, visual and auditory, and other effects.
Muscimol, on the other hand, is known for similar effects, with the exception of the vomiting, and other less desireable effects. In addition to the mild hallucinogenic effects, muscimol also has been known to have effects similar to dissociative compounds.
What happens when you eat raw Amanita Muscaria?
Depending on how much you consume, you can expect a variety of effects. The most common effects are increased alertness, elevated mood, increased energy, feelings of well being, and slight hallucinations. However, alongside this, you are also likely to experience a variety of the less desirable effects that come from eating Amanita Muscaria.
Some of these effects, such as nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting, are among these undesirable reactions.
Although there are many cases of Amanita Muscaria being eaten raw over thousands of years without fatal effects, many expert mycologists advise against eating them. Some could attribute this to the fact that each individual'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 Amanita Muscaria?
When taken in appropriate amounts, the effects of consuming Amanita Muscaria are quite the journey. Similar to other psychedelic options, amanita muscaria is a great way to explore ones mind and even take a break from the day-to-day grind.
Luckily, there are ways to enjoy this marvelous fungi with minimum risks. You can always go foraging with expert mycologists in a group hunt in your area (if they are commonly found there).
Another alternative, if purely for research purposes and non-consumption, is that you can browse through PsiloMart's collections of Amanita Muscaria products. Our team takes pride on our unique proprietary blends, made with the goal of mind and body exploration. One of our collections is solely focused on offering infused products that include a balanced blend originating from Amanita Muscaria Mushrooms. This allows for the perfect culmination of the good alkaloids - not the bad ones!