Amanita muscaria L.
The mushroom :
Fly agaric, Amanita muscaria L.
It is a common mushroom, it is dangerous, however very rarely lethal.
- Cap : Globular, ageing to flat (6-25 cm). Red or red-orange with little white or yellowish scales.
- Stalk : 12-25 cm, white. Ring white or yellowish. Volva is formed with 3 or 4 scaly rolls .
- Gills : Free, white or whitish.
It is a venenous mushroom, but confusion with Amanita caesarea is possible.
Toxicity of fly agaric is well known. In the past, in Siberia, people used fly agaric during collective ceremonies, but the mushroom was rare in Siberia, so someone ate mushroom at first, then the others drank urine of him, because hallucinogenic substances are eliminated in urine in active form.
Today, fly agaric is used as hallucinogenic mushroom.
Substances in question : muscazone, muscimol, muscarine, ibotenic acid and bufotenine (also present in toad's venom)
Muscarine : present in low concentration in fly agaric, induces attenuated symptoms (bradychardia, myosis, salivation, sweat and gastro-intestinal troubles)
Muscazone, muscimol, ibotenic acid and bufotenine : most important substances implicated in intoxication. These substances are hallucinogenic. Major symptoms are : delirium, angry, drunkenness, auditory and visual hallucinations.