The fly agaric (and another similar species, Amanita pantherina) are fungi of the order Agaricales. They are found in many habitats in temperate regions and the Northern Hemisphere. It grows in low-altitude and alpine areas, especially in coniferous forests such as spruce and black pine. As well as in oak and birch forests, it usually appears during the last months of summer, especially in autumn.
This fungus shows cyclic growth, initially surrounded by a universal membrane, collapsing with the fungus’s development, leaving marks on the legs, forming lumps and “white dots” on the eyelid or operculum. It is a fungus that has become famous for its use in fiction and real life, with many properties and effects.
General information about this colorful mushroom
Historical records such as cave paintings, woodcuts, and engravings demonstrating the psychoactive effects of A. muscaria have been known on all continents since ancient times. And similar practices have been observed related to the use of A. muscaria. It has been used for religious, neurological, therapeutic, and social purposes.
This fungus as an intoxicant is based on a linguistic analysis of North Asian languages from 4000 BC. C. And, the etymology of the words “drunk” and “fly agaric” seem similar. Multi-colored paintings have been found on rocks in the Sahara desert dating back to the Paleolithic period. They represent what appears to be a fungus of the genus Amanita, possibly Muscaria.
The fungus grows naturally in the highlands of Mesoamerica and is represented in various myths and inscriptions using A. muscaria. As in Guatemala and southern Mexico at the dawn of the Mayan civilization, about 1500-1000 years ago.
Evidence also shows that it was used in ritual practices in North America. By members of the Dogrib Athabascan tribe in the Mackenzie Mountains of Canada and the Ojibwa and Ahenshinwabig Indians of the Lake Michigan region.
The first Western reports of the use of toad mushrooms came in 1730 from Philip Johann von Strahlenberg. A Swedish soldier who had been imprisoned in Siberia for 12 years. He notes how A. muscaria is used as an anesthetic in shamanic settings.
Amanita muscaria, on the other hand, is used by North American indigenous groups for magical and religious purposes in the western Washington region.muscaria is widely distributed in Africa, Europe, Asia and, Australia, America. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that this species’s ancestral populations may have evolved in Siberia and parts of the Beringian Bridge.
Chemical composition of Amanita Muscaria
The fly agaric contains numerous alkaloids, whose pharmacology is complex and poorly understood. The most relevant alkaloids are ibotenic acid, muscazone, muscarine, and muscimol.
The amount and percentage of alkaloids in mushrooms depend on many factors. Mushrooms harvested at high altitudes have higher concentrations of ibotenic acid/muscimol, while mushrooms harvested at low altitudes have more muscarine.
Ibotenic acid is a reasonably unstable molecule converted into muscimol mainly by temperature. Therefore, dried mushrooms are generally stronger than fresh mushrooms because ibotenic acid decarboxylates to muscimol when dried. Ibotenic acid stimulates, and muscimol has a more depressing effect.
Muscimol is the psychoactive ingredient, along with amniotic acid, responsible for the psychoactive effects of Amanita muscaria. It is one of the most famous and beautiful mushrooms with hallucinogenic properties (its primary psychoactive substance is muscle). And it has played an essential role in the world of shamanism.
Its principal property is tonic, which is why it has been used as a tonic since ancient times. When taken orally, it is also toxic to the intestines and liver, so if ingested, seek medical attention. Perform a swallow test and recommend liver function tests to rule out permanent damage.
According to the famous novel, the dwarfs live in this fungus. Some authors suggest that this relationship is due to the distorted appearance of mushrooms caused by an entheogen after ingestion. Among its many effects on the nervous system, muscarine causes a distorted perception of shape and distance. Therefore, the first time you see a mushroom suffering from this effect, it appears as a villain.
General characteristics of the Amanita muscaria
This fungus is found worldwide and often grows at the base of trees such as birch, oak, and spruce. Because these trees are symbiotic with their roots, they can develop rapidly. This relationship tion between these organisms is why Amanita muscaria cannot be deliberately cultivated.
This variety grows in Europe, Asia, and North America and has a distinctive red cap covered in white spots. A typical mushroom used in comics to represent poisonous mushrooms. If we look at the species of this fungus that grows in Central and South America, we can see that it has a red hat decorated with yellow dots.
It has a reasonably large cap with a diameter of 10-25 cm. As they grow, they change from spherical to convex. When fully grown, it is entirely flat. Many species of amanita are isolated in this way. The hood cover is removable and dark red.
Therefore, already fully grown specimens can turn orange. In this hat, we find a lot of white universal veil arrests. They usually have a cotton fabric and are arranged in concentric circles. Although it turns yellow over time, it is white in color.
This fungus is like a key that opens the world of the unconscious. In other words, having a hallucinogenic effect allows us to travel through the beautiful worlds we create in our minds. It works differently for everyone. The dosage is the first thing that affects when performing different effects. It is also essential to consider the circumstances in which the fungus is ingested and the individual susceptibility.