Amanita muscaria: Basic Info

Fundamental data

Amanita muscaria (and one other related selection, Amanita pantherina) is a mushroom of the agaricales order that seems in very broad habitats of the temperate and boreal zones of the Northern Hemisphere. It grows each in low altitudes and excessive mountainous areas, particularly in coniferous forests equivalent to fir and black pine, in addition to in beech and birch forests. It often seems in the course of the finish of summer season months and is particularly prevalent in autumn.

Its look is well-known by the crimson shade of the cap, lined with white dots, in addition to the white stem.

This mushroom comprises two psychoactive alkaloids, ibotenic acid and muscimol, along with many different alkaloids. It has been used since antiquity as an intoxicating substance in addition to in shamanic contexts and divination.

The identify getrockneter Fliegenpilz comes from the paralyzing impact it has on some bugs. It’s recognized by different names equivalent to hongo matamoscas in Spanish, falsa oronjareig bord or farinera borda in Catalan, and fly agaric in English.

Origin/Historical past

Historic information equivalent to cave work, wooden carvings and sculptures counsel that the psychoactive results of A. muscaria have been recognized since historic occasions on all continents, and related practices have been noticed concerning the usage of A. muscaria in teams each geographically and culturally distant. A. muscaria has been used for spiritual, divination, therapeutic and social functions.

The primary proof of the usage of A. muscaria as an intoxicant is predicated on linguistic analyses of North Asian languages from 4000 BC, during which the roots of the phrases “drunkenness” and Amanita muscaria seem like the identical. Polychromatic work have been discovered on Saharan rocks relationship again to the Paleolithic interval; depictions of what seem like mushrooms of the Amanita genus, in all probability of the muscaria species.

The fungus grows naturally within the highlands of Mesoamerica and a few mushroom myths and sculptures counsel the usage of A. muscaria in Guatemala and southern Mexico on the time of creation of the Mayan civilization, round 1500 – 1000 BC. Some symbolic similarities have been present in Guatemalan and Asian populations regarding the idea that the mushroom is born in locations the place lightning strikes. These parallels may very well be defined by the migrations that possible occurred from the Asian continent to the Americas through the Bering Strait, thus the data about the usage of A. muscaria would have been relayed.

There may be additional proof of its use in North America by the Dogrib Athabasca tribes within the Mackenzie Mountains in Canada in addition to within the ceremonial practices of the Ojibwa and Ahnishinuabeg Indians within the Lake Michigan space of the USA, who referred to A. muscaria by the identify of miskwedo and whose practices have survived till no less than the top of the 20th century.

The primary Western report on the usage of A. muscaria was made by Filip Johan von Strahlenberg, a Swedish soldier who, in 1730, was imprisoned for twelve years in Siberia. He noticed how A. muscaria was used as an intoxicant in shamanic contexts. At present the Ostyak and Vogul tribes, west of Siberia, and the Kamchadal, Koryak, and Chukchi tribes within the east, proceed to make use of A. muscariaof their rites.

These Siberian tribes relied completely on A. muscaria as an intoxicating substance till the introduction of alcohol by the Russians. They collected the Amanita, dried it within the solar and consumed it both entire, in a water or reindeer milk extraction, or combined it with plant juices to sweeten its taste.

These tribes additionally exhibited the follow of consuming the urine of people that had eaten A. muscaria, as they realized that the alkaloids of the Amanita are eradicated unchanged by means of urine, so they continue to be lively and might be reused for as much as 4 or 5 cycles.

As for Amanita pantherina, some native North American teams use it for magico-religious functions within the western a part of the state of Washington.

Chemical composition and dosage

Amanita muscaria comprises a excessive amount of alkaloids and its pharmacology is complicated and never totally understood. Probably the most related alkaloids are ibotenic acid, muscimol, muscarine and muscazone.

For a while, muscarine was believed to be the psychoactive alkaloid of the Amanita, however in 1964 unbiased researchers in Japan, England, and Switzerland remoted ibotenic acid and muscimol, and found their psychoactive properties. Muscarine is the alkaloid liable for undesired results and the sensation of intoxication (discomfort, upset abdomen and vomiting).

The amount and proportion of alkaloids contained within the mushroom relies on a number of components. Mushrooms collected at greater altitudes seem to have greater concentrations of ibotenic acid/muscimol, and people collected at decrease altitudes, extra muscarine.

Ibotenic acid is a reasonably unstable molecule, which is transformed into muscimol by publicity to temperature and different components. Thus, the dry mushroom is often extra highly effective than the contemporary specimen, as a result of in the course of the drying course of the ibotenic acid is decarboxylated into muscimol. Ibotenic acid has stimulant results, whereas muscimol has extra depressant results.

  • Dosage of ibotenic acid: this alkaloid causes psychoactive results in doses of 50 – 100 mg.
  • Dosage of muscimol: equal doses are within the ranges of 10 – 15 mg. Thus muscimol is stronger than ibotenic acid.
  • Dosage of Amanita muscaria: the concentrations of alkaloids are extremely variable relying on the peak and particular ecosystem the place the mushroom grows, so the dosage may be very troublesome to find out and the doses indicated listed here are merely orientative.

Low dose: a small or medium measurement cap.
Common dose: from 1 to three medium measurement caps.
Excessive dose: 2 or extra medium measurement caps.


Each muscimol and ibotenic acid have psychotropic results. After oral administration, the results take fairly a very long time to seem, and it often takes 2 to three hours to succeed in the utmost results. The length of the results is about 6 or eight hours, relying on the dose.

The character of the results might be extremely variable, additionally relying on the dose, in addition to the variability and private variations.

Results could embrace:

  • A primary part in which there’s stimulation, elevated power and muscular vigor (not at all times).
  • A second part in which there’s decay, tranquility and drowsiness.
  • A 3rd part during which the psychedelic results seem and there could also be experiences of a mystical nature, consciousness of non-ordinary realities, blissful or terrifying sensations.
  • Visible distortions.
  • Lack of steadiness.
  • Muscle spasms.
  • Experiences of a dream-like nature.
  • Dizziness.
  • Visible and auditory impairment.
  • Issue concentrating on exterior duties.
  • Sensation of macropsia and/or micropsia (perceiving objects as both very massive or very small).
  • Nausea and vomiting.

Each A. muscaria and A. phanterina include ibotenic acid and muscimol, though every species comprises these lively substances in several concentrations, so the intoxication can also be totally different. A. muscaria comprises extra excitatory ibotenic acid and fewer of the depressant muscimol in comparison with A. pantherina. Because of this, poisonings with A. muscaria current with extra confusion and agitation in comparison with A. pantherina poisonings, which mostly current with comatose signs. m

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