amanita muscaria

How High Can You Fly with ‘Fly Agaric’ (Amanita Muscaria)?

A very common mushroom in Western North America, Asia, Europe and Siberia, Amanita muscaria, also known fly agaric, grows under fir, oak, birch and spruce (scattered, solitary, in large rings or dense groups). It also grows along freeways and coastal pine forests where pines grow. Common name ‘fly agaric’ is in reference to using it as an insecticide, traditionally.

But while the ‘shrooms are considered poisonous, they’re popular in religious practices due to their hallucinogenic properties (Siberia). The main psychoactive ingredient is called ‘muscimol’ that simulates the brain-signaling chemical called GABA that can inhibit neuronal activity, causing decreased anxiety but increased relaxation.

Another active compound is called ibotenic acid, which evokes entheogenic effects (dose ranging from 50 – 100 mg), but muscimol causes psychoactive effects. After the consumption of ibotenic acids, a part of the material decarboxylates to muscimol producing the inebriation and a portion is excreted in an unchanged state in the urine, although small amounts of muscimol are excreted.

Amanita muscaria is eaten, but some people tried smoking it, which is minimally effective. For those who want to try, they can use the skin, which is said to be the most active portion. Otherwise, you may drink a lot of broth if you intend boiling it. But when dried, its effectiveness slightly decreases after several months. Dosage varies from one or two mushrooms, one or two caps (may vary in size) or 30 grams of dried caps. But just like consuming other substances, a user should start low with A. muscaria.

At low doses, a user may experience one or more of the following: euphoria, nausea, drowsiness, increased saliva and sweat, lowered blood pressure and mood changes. But take caution, as high doses can cause delirium and/or swollen features, along with bouts of agitation and intervals of quiet hallucination.

But is this Interesting (but unpleasant) story true? The medicine man (shaman) sometimes takes the mushrooms, and then the tribe drinks his urine, which may have been mainly water with the hallucinogenic compounds, if he was fasting. (Siberian Urinary Drug Recycling Practice)

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