What is Amanita Muscaria?
The A. muscaria mushroom belongs to the basidiomycete division of fungi, one of two divisions that create the Dikarya subkingdom, commonly referred to as the “higher fungi.” This subkingdom of fungi forcibly dischargesballistospores into the air from their sterigma to reproduce. Most of them reproduce sexually through their ballistospores, but a smaller number reproduce asexually using this same method. The A. muscaria reproduces both sexually and asexually, depending on whether or not the spores come into contact with the spores of another mating type. It has a distinguished appearance with a bright red cap, white stem, and white-to-yellow warts covering the cap.
A. muscaria contains the psychoactive compounds ibotenic acid and muscimol, and is classified as poisonous. Despite this, people throughout the world eat this mushroom. Siberian shamans may have been using it since as early as the stone age. The mushroom loses its poisonous compounds when properly cooked. Essentially, parboiling the mushroom twice weakens the mushroom’s toxicity and activates the psychoactive compounds.
Different names for Amanita Muscaria
Common names for the Amanita muscaria mushroom include:
- Fly agaric
- Fly amanita
- Devil’s Hat
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