Observation 8571: Amanita muscaria var. guessowii Veselý
When: 2008-07-16
No herbarium specimen

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Danny
By: Erlon (Herbert Baker)
2013-10-27 20:26:08 PDT (-0700)

I believe the comment you were referring to was talking about the possibility of a Psilocybe mushroom being Soma.

The effects of psilocybin are much different than muscimol as you probably know, daily use of muscimol has a calming effect, it does not have the tolerance issues associated with it that psilocybin does. Soma is said to had been used many days in a row; you simply cannot do this with psilocybin(as you pointed out). Among other reasons, it points away from a Psilocybe mushroom being the “elixir of immortality” as described in the Rig Veda. You are also correct to say that the toxicity of psilocybin/psilocin is extremely low.

It’s interesting that you mention the use of a fly agaric brine for arthritis issues. I have used muscaria “water” in the bathtub, and found it to be effective for aches and pains also. Muscimol is a GABA antagonist (it mimics GABA), GABA is involved in the regulation of a number of physiologic functions, including sensations of pain and anxiety.

Check this out. http://flyagarictincture.blogspot.com/

.
By: Sporulator
2011-04-21 02:44:27 PDT (-0700)

I can fully confirm the antidepressant effects of Amanita muscaria. But the same is true for the Psilocybin molecule. Most interesting are the positive long-term neuroplastic effects of Psilocybin. I assume that
you know the Psilocybin study led by Griffiths et. al. (Johns Hopkins University, 2008).
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18593735 (Free PMC Article)

And from NATURE: “The neurobiology of psychedelic drugs: implications for the treatment of mood disorders.”
http://www.nature.com/nrn/journal/v11/n9/abs/nrn2884.html

Free text: http://www.scribd.com/...

Herbert
By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2011-04-21 00:40:24 PDT (-0700)

What a monumental and enlightening post. For now, short of a point-by-point reply, I at least wanted to raise the question of what these harmful long term effects of regular Psilocybe use are that you speak of. It’s been my understanding that psilocin/psilocybin is neither habit-forming nor debilitating even with frequent use, and that the body’s rather rapid build up of tolerance to these substances acts as its own deterrent from overuse.

myxomop
By: Erlon (Herbert Baker)
2011-04-16 15:24:24 PDT (-0700)

Thank you for that interesting and encouraging response. I wish more people could “see the forest for the trees” like you do.

It would probably be a good idea at this point, if I quoted Stephen L. Peele, the curator of the Florida Mycology Research Center (FMRC).

“As usually used by people in this country, large quantities of the rather nauseating dry mushrooms are imbibed, the person gets sick for a while, then has a rather fearful and scary trip. Thus, the rather grim reputation of muscaria gets perpetuated. People who gather it from the wild and eat it by mistake usually get hysterical when they feel the onset of nausea and psychic effects and have a royal freak-out (it starts with, “I’ve eaten a poisonous mushroom! I’m going to die!!!”). This also perpetuates the dark repute of what is probably Mother Nature’s finest winter tonic and a wonderfully benign life-enhancer WHEN PROPERLY USED! Why do I seem to be the only modern person who has ever thought of using this stuff in a safe and sane manner? People are less original than they think, and ancient tribal taboos are more potent than supposedly sophisticated modern academics realise…

I have used Amanita muscaria continuously for several months at a time, and I think it is a real health-enhancer when correctly used. The key factor is dosage.

Basically, use no more than 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, and no more than about half a cup in a day. If muscaria agrees with you, you can use it every day if you like throughout the cooler months of the year. I think it is too warming for the hot days of summer, but fine the rest of the year, and it can really help you to stand up to winter cold.

The first problem is supply. There are sources for the dried mushroom and “extracts”, but they are rather questionable and extremely expensive and I don’t recommend them at all. You should gather this mushroom from the wild when it is in season. You can ask your local mushrooming club (unlike, say—-morels, they won’t be secretive about sources of A. muscaria unless they think they are protecting you from suicide), or consult books or a specialist in the regional mycology at your local university, but be prepared to do some research. It is found throughout the country in forested areas, and while the season is short, the mushroom often fruits in great abundance, and you can easily gather a year’s supply. In some areas there are two seasons, one in summer and the other in the fall. If you have a choice, gather the summer mushrooms as there is evidence that they are more potent and have less physical side effects.

Fortunately, there is nothing really dangerous that looks like this most distinctive of all mushrooms, but in most of the Eastern U.S., Fly Mushroom is golden rather than red in color,(this kind is called Amanita muscaria formosa) and you need to be more careful. Trust me, it is well worth the trouble to research this mushroom to be able to gather it safely! Don’t be too open about what you are up to, as people are very apt to freak out if you tell them. A. muscaria is not in any way a controlled substance however.

Beware of what you read from the “authorities” on the effects of this mushroom. An absolutely INCREDIBLE amount of misinformation has been printed about Amanita muscaria, and I probably know as much about its medicinal effects as anyone in the country.

Once you have your mushrooms, you need to think about preservation. The traditional way to do this is the one you should avoid, namely drying. It gives the mushrooms a bitter, metallic taste and makes them rather nauseating. You can keep them in the fridge a few days wrapped in paper towels provided you cut off the usually maggot-containing stalk. You can mince the shrooms with garlic and pickle in vinegar and salt, preserved in the fridge (a spoonful or so is great in a salad dressing). To keep longer, dip the mushrooms in brandy (or rum, or whatever spirit you like…) and freeze them. You must include a preservative when freezing or the mushrooms will spoil even while frozen. You can also sauté the mushrooms in olive oil or butter and freeze cooked, if you want to avoid alcohol.

These mushrooms have an absolutely delicious taste when properly prepared, and are one of the outstanding gourmet fungi of the world. The intensity of the flavor seems to have some correlation with the potency, so you can get an idea of the quality of the raw mushrooms by tasting a little bit. If the mushroom is strong, the meaty flavor will fill your whole mouth. Amanita muscaria seems to especially favour rich French sauces and hearty Italian ones. It can really enhance the flavor of meat dishes, even in amounts as small as a teaspoon or two, and I have used it in this way as a flavor enhancer. It is far finer than MSG. For some reason, it does not seem to go well with chile or Mexican dishes. It is also excellent in omelets and scrambled eggs. One of my favourite ways to prepare it is to sauté it with minced shallots in butter, then add a little sour cream and salt and pepper. Served over a slice of toasted French bread, it is simply wonderful! It is also superb in pastas.

Please remember not to be beguiled by the wonderful flavor and overindulge. There is a record of a man eating a hundred mushrooms at a meal and soon after going into a coma. They were able to save his life, though I honestly don’t know how after such an insane overdose. Keep everybody’s total intake to no more than 1 to 2 tablespoons per person. Eaten at breakfast, amanita will make everybody cheerful and energetic. Consumed in a fine dinner in the evening with a good wine, it will make people happy, talkative, sociable and relaxed. I have never seen its equal as an overall social mood-enhancer, and despite using it on many occasions, I have never had anyone report a negative experience. The only complaint I have received is from people who say they feel nothing, but even these become noticeably more cheerful and talkative.

My mother sometimes puts a little in my stepfather’s dinner to keep him awake instead of falling asleep immediately after eating. Keep it away from pets, especially cats who are lethally sensitive to it. I feel it should be kept from children too, especially small ones. We both like to include some in breakfast when we need extra energy for the day.

The basic value of muscaria, besides being a delightful tonic, is in dealing with seasonal and weather related depressive conditions. It really helped me to get through my first real winter in Flagstaff (we had twenty feet of snow and the temperature got down as far as 25 below zero) after a lifetime of living in the desert. I would wake up on a grim, iron-gray morning wanting to spend the day hiding under the blankets, feeling stiff and depressed and chilled to the bone. I would trudge down to the kitchen and have a cup of coffee, then cut off two tablespoons of frozen muscaria from a package in the freezer and sauté it in a little butter. I scrambled it with eggs and cheese, and enjoyed the rich flavor. Within 15 minutes I would feel a surge of energy and cheerfulness. I became toasty warm and invigorated.

The morning would look beautifully pearly-gray, and I anticipated all the things I was going to happily do. I used A. muscaria daily throughout the cold winter months and it wonderfully enhanced my winter-hardiness. It really got me through the acclimatization process. When muscaria works well, it puts a subtle tension in your muscles and makes you want to go out and do something. I am prone to seasonal affective disorder, but muscaria completely counteracts that. It even made Christmas a genuinely happy occasion. For the first time, I experienced the holidays without a hint of depression. If I sound a little bit in love with the stuff, you are correct.

The summers have been too dry recently for muscaria, but I hope we get lucky this year and I can store some up.

During the early fall, before it got cold and when I had large quantities of fresh mushrooms, I experimented with larger doses (but no more than 1 cup total in a day). With 4 tablespoons at a meal, I often had a little nausea, and would either get drowsy or become hyper and speedy. In the latter case, I often became hyperaware, with a distinct feeling of the heebie-jeebies, like you get when you sleep in an old house and can hear every crack and creak. Both this and the nausea would wear off in half an hour. If I continued such doses throughout the day, I felt a pleasant but distinct sense of intoxication and an oddly detached feeling like being wrapped in a soft fuzzy blanket. By nightfall, I would have rather pretty closed-eye visuals of what looked like jewel-encrusted objects. I would go out into the nearby woods to meditate at night. The darkness was deep and velvety and welcoming and house lights were supernally luminous and beautiful. In meditation, I felt wonderfully expanded and immersed in a blissful ocean of quiet yet profound peace and joyfulness.

I have read the 9th Book of the Rig Veda (the one with the Soma Hymns) under the full influence of Amanita muscaria and I am absolutely convinced that it really is the Sacred Soma of Ancient India; it was remarkably easy to identify the sentiments the authors expressed with what I, myself, was feeling. I don’t think anything else would have the same effect, certainly not Syrian rue (completely non-euphoric) or psilocybe (physically gruelling if you attempt extended use). Two things the ancient poets mentioned that I also found true was that Soma gave you deep, restful, healing sleep when you were ill, and it banished fearfulness and gave courage without also banishing your common sense.

The ancient poems clearly describe using Soma for multiple times per day (Vedic Law allowed you to use it three times in one day) and taking it daily for extended periods as a tonic and medicine, just as I had done. Such usage would be SERIOUSLY harmful and counterproductive if you tried doing it with psilocybe mushrooms!

The courage thing matters too. I am somewhat prone to shyness and social phobia, but not with A. muscaria. If I ever try parachuting, I suspect that the only way I would be able to get myself to jump out of the airplane that first time would be to use a little muscaria before-hand. Perhaps it could be useful in dealing with phobias and shyness. The ancient poems certainly suggest that.

I didn’t use such high doses again after winter started, but I experimented with abruptly ceasing use temporarily after that period to test for addiction potential. I liked it so much that I was a little concerned about this. It took 3 days to completely come down after extended use of muscaria, but there were no withdrawal effects and no craving. I had the same experience when I ran out of my frozen mushrooms the following spring. I think it is reasonably safe in that regard. The Siberian natives often used muscaria rather abusively in the winter with some signs of physical harmful effects (very similar to those associated with kava kava addiction), but this reflected the horrendous winters they had to endure and the lack of any alternatives. The natives say that the potential harm of muscaria was trivial compared to the harmfulness of the Russian vodka which replaced it. They also used it as a medicine to give restful sleep to the seriously ill and as a stimulating tonic for hard work in the winter. I and a friend have confirmed this winter tonic effect. The potency is increased if you combine it with Oriental Red Ginseng; such a combination can give great endurance and cold-resistance. On the other hand, I did not find muscaria particularly helpful by itself in straight depression; it is primarily meant for seasonal and weather-related depressive conditions and possibly shyness and phobias. A wonderful gift from Sweet Mother Gaia!

In animal experiments, muscaria had the ability to potentiate tranquilizers, sedatives, narcotics and other pharamaceuticals that effect the central nervous system, and should probably not be used with potent examples of these agents (I had no problems with OTC medicines or Tylenol#3 with codeine, however). It can also increase muscle tone (mild overdoses cause noticeable twitching) and should be used cautiously in people with back or orthopedic problems. In small doses, the active ingredients show anticonvulsant and antispasmodic effects, but the opposite is true with large doses, so it should probably not be used by epileptics, especially those requiring medication. It also has very perceptable appetite-suppressing effects (far stronger than amphetamines in animal experiments), which may be a good thing or a bad thing depending on the situation. I have used it for weight control. I find that a fairly small amount of amanita-laced food completely satisfies the appetite and makes you more physically active to boot, so it may have potential here…

Anyway, don’t take my word for it, explore this wonderful fungus for yourself, just don’t overindulge! I have never used it in seriously entheogenic doses, I found it far too spooky and unnerving long before I got to that point, but you can read vivid accounts in various “trip reports” available on the web. Most people who have used it in such large doses tend to become afraid of it and avoid it, so such usage is an entirely different matter than the uses I have described here. I can’t help you with that."

Since there are literally thousands about at the moment I thought I’d give it a try. Picked about 10kgs in probably 15 mins, but made the mistake (I think) of washing them well before cooking ie.
removing a lot of the ibotenic acid and muscimol.
Seem to be getting a slight mood enhancement from a small 3tblspns and my mum (she’s 75) want’s to eat a heap of them due to the taste which she describes as “absolutely beautiful”. Ed must do many and more extensive bio-assays before mum can have a meal of them, but the above article so far seems to bear weight. Will post more info when a conclusion is reached
ed

They grow all over the world. They seem to be sparked by temperature change. Just about the time of the first frost, or right after the first frost, is when you want to start looking for them. It is at this time a hormone signal is sent to the roots from the tree. It is this same signal that causes the fruiting . In a lot of areas, this could be around Thanksgiving. Down here on the Gulf Coast, I find them around the end of November or the first part of December. As you move further North, the time is earlier. That is the only time they fruit until the following year. You can many times find hundreds of them. Best to dry and store away if you want to have any. There usually won’t be any more until the same time next year……..slp/fmrc"

I should note that the mushroom in the southeast that has been masquerading as A. muscaria subsp. flavivolvata is actually A. muscaria var. persicina as mushroom that is due to get its own species status because of recent DNA work by Geml.

And from the experiences of Waser (1979), who experimented on himself the effects of the pure compounds (ibotenic acid and muscimol).

“A 20 mg ibotenic acid dose ingested in water tastes like mushrooms, but produces little immediate action. Within half an hour a warm and slightly flushed face was noticed, without changes in blood pressure or heart rate, with no physic stimulation, but lassitude followed by sleep. A day later a migraine with classical one-sided visual disturbance developed for the first time in my life. The occipitally localized headache continued in a milder form for two weeks.

Next I turned to muscimol. A dose of 5 mg in water orally ingested had little effect except a feeling of laziness. Ten mg produced a slight intoxication after 90 minutes with dizziness, ataxia and elevated mood, psychic stimulation (in psychological tests), no hallucinations but slight changes in taste and color vision. Some myoclonic muscle twitching followed, then sleep with dreams. After two to three hours I felt normal, rested and able to undertake anything, even work. During the next night I slept well, deep and long. No other signs followed.

With 15 mg of muscimol administered orally the intoxication started after 40 minutes and was more pronounced. Dizziness made walking with closed eyes impossible, but reflexes were not changed. Speech was sometimes inarticulate and dysarthric. Appetite and taste were diminished. After a phase of stimulation, concentration became more difficult.
Vision was altered by endlessly repetitioned echopictures of situations a few minutes before. Hearing became noisy and sometimes was followed by echo. Most disturbing were repeated myoclonic cramps of different muscle groups. I felt sometimes as if I had lost my legs, but never had hallucinations as vivid and colorful as with LSD. The pupils remained always the same size. After 2 hours I fell asleep, but I cannot remember any dreams. Two hours later I awoke again and was glad that the muscle twitching was less frequent. I did not feel relaxed and fresh as after 10 mg muscimol but rather dull and uncertain. Blood pressure was only a little elevated during the psychoactive phase.

Muscimol induces a state of psychosis with confusions, dysarthria, disturbance of visual perception, illusions of colour vision, myoclonia, disorientation in place and time, weariness, fatigue and sleep. Concentration tests showed improved performance with small doses (5 mg) but diminished performance and learning with an increased number of errors with higher doses (10 to 15 mg)."

A few common misconceptions floating around regarding these mushrooms, one is that you need to heat them in order to convert the actives, this is false, ibotenic acid is decarboxylated into the 10x more active muscimol naturally as part of the drying process. Heating simply speeds the drying time.

Ibotenic acid and muscimol are highly water soluble, a good rain shower may cause the mushroom to lose some of its actives. This could inpart account for the varying reports on potency.

Drinking carbonated beverages may not be a good idea as the muscimol could be recarboxylated into ibotenic acid rendering the mushrooms less potent.

Regarding the urine drinking, when ibotenic acid is ingested virtually no conversion to muscimol takes place in the body, what your getting from re-ingesting is the unmetabolized muscimol that passes though.

There are a lot of exciting studies going on right now regarding muscimol, it will be great to see its massive potential unveiled after being shrouded in the clouds of mycophobia for so many years.

I still use the northeastern orange/yellow species, A. muscaria subsp. americana, to treat my PSTD and general anxiety disorder, although now I need it much less frequently as I’ve been able to work through and come to terms with my issues with help of this wonderful fungus. It has really been a god send for me.

I think that a lot of people that are on antidepressants like Prozac, and anti-anxiety medication like Valium would benefit from this mushroom in low dosages, as a substitute for those synthetic medicines. :)

What a thread!
By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2011-04-12 00:47:47 PDT (-0700)

I guess in the absence of a forum (double wink, double nod, Jasthan) the deep discussions just have to be stumbled upon.

@Herbert: I’m fascinated by your account of using A. muscaria for alleviating PTSD, and would be very interested to hear more. I once met an elderly woman in the small, rural town of Luga (about 75 miles south of St. Petersburg) who kept a gallon jar of A. muscaria buttons in brine. She applied the liquid to joints as an arthritis remedy, apparently with great success. For a brief while I took an interest in exploring the potential of A. muscaria’s active compounds in the treatment of epilepsy; an informal research project undertaken on behalf of a friend whose anti-convulsant regimen was wreaking more havoc on her mind and body than her seizures were. The body of research on the pharmacology and folk uses A. muscaria may be modest for now, but it’s certainly growing. I expect we’ll see great things from this complex as it gets more attention in the medical community. Such a fascinating organism for so many people for so many reasons.

As for the lethality of the A. muscaria species complex, the NAMA figure is the toxicological standard I’ve always gone by. In his recent lecture to the Oregon Mycological Society, Dr. Dennis Benjamin recounted several instances of fatalities masquerading as mushroom-related deaths — whether reported as being caused by A. muscaria or others — which were documented without taking things like infirmity, dosage or preexisting medical conditions into consideration. He remarked on how once established, even completely unfounded and outright erroneous records of poisonings attributed to one mushroom or another will appear in popular (and occasionally professional) literature for centuries in perpetuity until the original source material comes under scrutiny. A. muscaria has received such unfair treatment perhaps more than any other species of mushroom on Earth.

Still waiting
By: Erlon (Herbert Baker)
2011-02-18 12:14:47 PST (-0800)

;-)

Hmmm
By: Erlon (Herbert Baker)
2009-09-18 07:42:18 PDT (-0700)

Is there a link to the mushroom poisoning?

Are there photos of this southeast red form of A. amerimuscaria, im pretty sure it does not occur in the southeast..

Debbie
By: AmatoxinApocalypse (AmatoxinApocalypse)
2009-09-18 06:36:08 PDT (-0700)

The southeast does have some red ones, amerimuscaria (formally subsp. flavivolvata)

Poisoning yesterday
By: walt sturgeon (Mycowalt)
2009-09-17 17:14:07 PDT (-0700)

I’m traveling but got a belated report of a poisoning in Ohio yesterday. The blurry photo looked like our usual yellow orange muscaria. Symptoms came on quickly. No other details available to me.

Something to consider
By: Erlon (Herbert Baker)
2009-05-23 07:39:00 PDT (-0700)

Dispelling fear through education is great, but that is not what happened with A. muscaria, unjust fear of the species was created through inaccurate information, and the fear still persists to this day.

From my own use with muscaria, it has been one of the only things that has helped me with PTSD.
Ingesting about 1 or 2 tablespoons calms my nerves amazingly, ive never slept so well.

The main difference between PTSD and general anxiety disorder is PTSD sufferers can usually pinpoint a cause, the effect is the same.
Drugs that are used to treat GAD can also be effective for PTSD
Muscmol is much like Valium in small doses, you have to be on the drug for it to work, its not a cure, but it will help diminish the symptoms of PTSD.

I have read both of these references already…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-05-22 17:25:22 PDT (-0700)

and in fact, rather than creating fungiphobia in Eastern North America, the tremendous press given to the lurid de Vecchi poisoning at the time served to increase local mycological interest and popularize both mushroom societites and the concept of mushroom field guides. Dispelling fear through education is a worthwhile goal that we modern day mushroom societies still try to emulate.

As to the shortened form of the rat experiment that you sent, I read the more lengthy published paper, which stated that the lingering effects of severe stress (continuous or intermittent tail shock or having to tread water without rest) was eliminated ONLY if the rats were drugged during the stress trial itself; it had no effect when given post stress. Which makes sense; take away the normal state of mind and those memories of the exact same experience will not be the same.

Interestingly, this ties in with the theories of muscaria use by berserker Vikings (increasing physical strength or feeling of such, and loss of fear) a perfect battleground drug. Beyond that tho…I for one am not so enamored of the thought of making our military women and men into berserker zombies so that they can kill and be killed w/out the normal and life-preserving attitude of fear.

Heres a few
By: Erlon (Herbert Baker)
2009-05-22 10:33:05 PDT (-0700)

Hi Debbie,
I think there is great potential for muscimol as a treatment for seasonal depression, anxiety, phobias, ADD, as a sleep aid, weight control and maybe even epilepsy.
It doesn’t work for everyone; what drug does. One thing is clear, the history of the chemistry of Amanita muscaria demonstrates the tortuous path and halting progress of science.
http://www.ivanhoe.com/...
http://uwnews.org/article.asp?articleid=45318
Journal
http://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Number/9189459

Heres a good read also.
The Poisoning of Count Achilles de Vecchi
and the Origins of American Amateur Mycology
http://74.125.93.132/...

Herbert

examining muscaria mythology
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-05-22 09:59:11 PDT (-0700)

Hi Herbert,
please provide links to those studies on the use of muscimol to treat PTSD or other psychiatric maladies; what I could find online was ambiguous.

hard to pin widespread American/English fungiphobia on the negative experiences of one individual. Count deVecchi may have had pre-existings, but the muscaria overdose is what pushed him over. Still, I agree; with one statistically insignificant glaring exception, this is not a deadly mushroom.

Debbie

Count de Vecchi
By: Erlon (Herbert Baker)
2009-05-22 08:33:42 PDT (-0700)

In the case of Count de Vecchi, he had chronic preexisting health conditions.

The fear that was generated by the death of Count de Vecchj triggered much of the fungiphobia we experience here in the U.S

New studies with muscimol show it to be an effective treatment for a number of ailments, including post traumatic stress disorder.

Water can be toxic also, its all a matter of quantity.

I agree that these are not a normally deadly toxic mushroom.
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-05-22 07:51:48 PDT (-0700)

even tho they have been painted as such thru the centuries by various cultures, esp. in North America.

The only death attributed to muscaria that I know of was Count de Vecchi in the late 1800s who ate one to two dozen large caps, and died of convulsions.
Supposedly, his convulsions were so dramatic that he broke the hotel bed that he was lying in!

This one example, however, is an exception to the rule, and also a reminder not to be greedy, no matter how tasty these mushrooms may be (and I can attest to their good flavor from first hand experience). Parboiling and disposing of the water removes most if not all of the ibotenic acid. Amanita pantherina, also apparently a tasty mushroom, is much more toxic, and frequently causes serious poisonings in the PNW.

dogs and cats have also died from eating this mushroom, but I am not wholly convinced that they weren’t in some cases euthanized by veterinarians prior to a “natural” death, while still being in a drug induced coma.

and sometimes, as you noted, these mushrooms are eaten specifically for the psychoactive effects that their toxins may provide, altho individual results, as well as the toxic components in different populations of muscaria most definitely vary!

Muscaria are not deadly toxic..
By: Erlon (Herbert Baker)
2009-05-22 07:21:48 PDT (-0700)

Any death attributed to muscaria should be suspect, “In humans, there are no reliably documented cases of death from toxins in these mushrooms in the past 100 years, though there is one case where a camper froze to death while in the comatose state.” NAMA

I often eat these in small amounts as a natural tonic that calms the nerves.

color and toxin variation in muscarioid taxa…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2008-07-31 08:53:08 PDT (-0700)

Yellow and red muscarias can both cause death when ingested in sufficient quantity.

The case of the yellow taxa was (unfortunately) demonstrated by an Italian diplomat living in the U.S. in the early 20th century. He is reported to have eaten more than a dozen caps. Siberian shamans are reported to say that one should not eat more than 13 caps (which in their case are sundried rather than cooked). Note that cooking did not change the outcome for the infamous Italian gourmand. I suggest not fiddling with any muscarioid taxon.

As to cap color, that matter has been previously discussed on this site. Cap pigment varies in A. muscaria (broadest sense). There are old illustrations of the European red muscaria with yellow and red in alternating stripes like the petal of a tulip. Sunlight causes fading into the tan range for the N. Amer. dominant red subspecies that we know from the Pacific Coastal states, southern Alaska, the Rocky Mountains, the isolated mountain groups in the SW USA, Mexico and southward.

DNA studies show that white- (I’ve never personally found one that was not a depigmented or pigmentless YELLOW variant) and yellow-capped specimens do not form unified “clades” when examined via molecular phylogeny (DNA sequencing, etc.). Instead the yellows and whites of the Pacific NW appear sprinkled around in the leaves of the evolutionary tree of the Euroasian red muscarias; and the yellows and whites tested from the rest of North America are from consistent populations that have DNA that causes them to be sprinkled around in the leaves of the evolutionary tree of the N. American dominant red muscaria (A. muscaria subsp. flavivolvata Singer).

This info is based on Jozsef Geml’s DNA work at the Univ. of Alaska, Fairbanks. Many of the specimens involved came from collections of Alaskan mycologists, with many others from my personal herbarium. Incidentally, my segregation by microscopy was seconded by the DNA studies’ ability to segregate the same material. It’s nice when two methods that are so different produce mutually supportive outcomes.

R

color and toxin variation in muscarioid taxa…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2008-07-31 08:52:30 PDT (-0700)

Yellow and red muscarias can both cause death when ingested in sufficient quantity.

The case of the yellow taxa was (unfortunately) demonstrated by an Italian diplomat living in the U.S. in the early 20th century. He is reported to have eaten more than a dozen caps. Siberian shamans are reported to say that one should not eat more than 13 caps (which in their case are sundried rather than cooked). Note that cooking did not change the outcome for the infamous Italian gourmand. I suggest not fiddling with any muscarioid taxon.

As to cap color, that matter has been previously discussed on this site. Cap pigment varies in A. muscaria (broadest sense). There are old illustrations of the European red muscaria with yellow and red in alternating stripes like the petal of a tulip. Sunlight causes fading into the tan range for the N. Amer. dominant red subspecies that we know from the Pacific Coastal states, southern Alaska, the Rocky Mountains, the isolated mountain groups in the SW USA, Mexico and southward.

DNA studies show that white- (I’ve never personally found one that was not a depigmented or pigmentless YELLOW variant) and yellow-capped specimens do not form unified “clades” when examined via molecular phylogeny (DNA sequencing, etc.). Instead the yellows and whites of the Pacific NW appear sprinkled around in the leaves of the evolutionary tree of the Euroasian red muscarias; and the yellows and whites tested from the rest of North America are from consistent populations that have DNA that causes them to be sprinkled around in the leaves of the evolutionary tree of the N. American dominant red muscaria (A. muscaria subsp. flavivolvata Singer).

This info is based on Jozsef Geml’s DNA work at the Univ. of Alaska, Fairbanks. Many of the specimens involved came from collections of Alaskan mycologists, with many others from my personal herbarium. Incidentally, my segregation by microscopy was seconded by the DNA studies’ ability to segregate the same material. It’s nice when two methods that are so different produce mutually supportive outcomes.

R

Various colored A. muscaria
By: Dan Molter (shroomydan)
2008-07-31 07:50:23 PDT (-0700)

Those are some pretty yellow A. muscaria. In ohio I frequently find patches that range in color from pale brownish-yellow to vivid yellow-orange, but never red. The all white variety can also be found here. Rummer has it that only the red variety are safe for experimentation, and that the yellow varieties can cause death. Do you know if there is any truth to that rummer? It seems to me that if two different kinds of mushroom produce different toxic effects when ingested, then that difference might reasonable be used as a character for splitting them into two different species.

Color seems like a reasonable character too. In some genera, the individual species can not be distinguished one from another without lab work, but within A. muscaria clearly distinct natural kinds share a common species epithet. That has always puzzled me.

used to be called formosa…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2008-07-30 19:27:12 PDT (-0700)

and it’s just another color variant of muscaria. The SE doesn’t get red ones…

var. guessowii?
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2008-07-30 17:12:28 PDT (-0700)

Wow – these are neat Amanitas, gorgeous…

Created: 2008-07-30 15:50:31 PDT (-0700)
Last modified: 2016-10-27 20:11:05 PDT (-0700)
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