Amanita Muscaria may be a mushroom variety which will be found almost everywhere within the hemisphere . The fruit-bodies have a particular look - bright red or yellow caps, speckled with white spots (btw, those spots are washed off of the cap when it rains) - wherein the mycel itself forms a symbiosis with trees.
Amanita Muscaria are often found near Birches, Pines or Firs, in North/South America, all of Europe, northern Asia and western Alaska, but it's also been found in symbiosis with eucalypti in Australia, to thrive in pure Linden forests in Norway and in mixed forest with other trees. The overwhelming majority of mycology sources denote fly agaric as poisonous and it's barely used as a psychedelic inebriant.
The potency of the mushrooms isn't predictable and - a bit like with magic mushrooms - varies greatly and induces an uncertain high (or not, is has been reported that some mushrooms had no effect at all). Numerous traditional cultures made/make use of this (highly underrated) mushroom with its psychoactive substances muscimol (also referred to as muscamol) and ibotenic acid - they appreciated the psychedelic effects whereas the latter nations demoted it to a fly repellent, hence the commonly known name Amanita muscaria .
Amanita Muscaria features a bright to blood red cap, is 2-10" (5-30 cm) in diameter and therefore the youngest mushroom is entirely covered with a white film. This film forms those typical white (sometimes yellowish) warts because the mushroom matures - (repetitive and/or hard-) rain can wash them off completely.
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The color of the cap may fade drastically in direct sunlight or after a soaking rainstorm and while the fruit-body ages fly agaric often occurs in concentric circles, but can appear randomly also .
AMANITA MUSCARIA: CHEMISTRY
Amanita Muscaria contains ibotenic acid (alpha-amino3-hydroxy-5-isoxazole acetic acid), muscamol (3hydroxy-5-aminomethy1 isoxazole) and possibly muscazone, with Muscamol appearing to be the first active substance. A partial quantity of ibotenic acid decarboxylates into muscamol after ingestion, which causes the intoxication.
AMANITA MUSCARIA: EFFECTS
A "trip" on fly agaric is completely different from one on mescaline, LSD or psilocybin. Typical effects are (among others): distorted and/or altered hearing and taste, change of visual and sensory perception, total tranquility of mind and pure euphoria. Known side-effects are excessive salivation, ataxia and mild cases of increased transpiration.
Amanita Muscaria induces - a bit like magic mushrooms - hit or miss high, sometimes amazing , and will only be ingested by experienced users. The duration of an fly agaric experience are often anything from 4 to 10 hours.
AMANITA MUSCARIA: VARIETIES
Commercially, there are extracts made from fly agaric on the market - with a dose being ten times stronger than a daily dose of dried amanitas. The fine consistency of the extracts makes it much easier to live out a selected dosage rather than experimentally trying to seek out out what percentage caps of the dried mushrooms you've got to consume.
AMANITA MUSCARIA: USAGE & MEDICAL USE
Usually the dried mushrooms are simply eaten. Another method of preparation is heating water up to close simmer point, to about 190°F (88°C; don't let it boil) and add the mushrooms extract. Let this mixture simmer for about 30-60 minutes, stir well then drink the entire brew. The mushrooms are said to taste quite OK, but some can't stand the taste and ingest their dose in gel-caps.
The drying of the mushrooms is important if you would like to make certain your blend will show the specified effects - this process not only multiplies the potency by an element of 5 or 6 by turning ibotenic acid into muscimol, but it also decreases bad side-effects.
Shamans traditionally used the sacred Amanitas for both spiritual and physical healing; in Kamchatka it's ingested in small quantities as a remedy for a pharyngitis . within the Western medicine the primarily reported effect is that it's a high potential as an analgesic.
AMANITA MUSCARIA: DOSAGE
For a primary experience, 5 grams or less are an appropriate dose - from there one can gradually increase the dose until the specified effect is reached. 5-10 grams (or 1-3 medium caps) are considered a medium experience and a robust dose 10-30 grams (or 2-6 medium caps).
Varying greatly from person to person, the primary effects are often felt about half-hour after ingestion. Ibotenic acid is active at 50-100 mg; muscimol is effective at 10-15mg (both values ask oral ingestion).