Overview of Amanita muscaria
Amanita muscaria, also called Fly amanita, is a yellow-to-orange capped wild mushroom. It grows in symbiosis with arboreal timber reminiscent of Birch, Pine or Fir, in each Europe and the Americas. Its historical past has it related to each shamanic and magical practices for at the least the final 2,000 years, and it’s most likely the Soma intoxicant spoken of within the Indian Rig-Vedas. The next piece particulars each the generic in addition to the esoteric historical past and pharmacological profiles of the Amanita muscaria. It additionally introduces analysis which reveals that psychoactivity associated to this species is seasonally determinant. This determinant can imply the distinction between poisoning and nice, therapeutic functions, which embrace psychedelic experiences. Connections between the physiology of sleep and the plant’s inside chemistry can be outlined.
This examine is split into two elements, reflecting two complementary however totally different approaches to the identical matter. The primary examine, offered by Francesco Festi, presents a important overview of the mycological, ethnobotanical, chemical and pharmacological information that are referred to the Amanita muscaria (by way of 1986). Within the second half, additionally Italian writer and mycologist Antonio Bianchi studies on private experiences with the Amanita muscaria taken from European samples. The next experimental information –far from constituting any closing solutions –are solely a proposal and (hopefully) an pleasure for additional investigations.
Half I: Mycological, Chemical and Neuropharmacological Elements
1) Mycological Define
Amanita muscaria (L. ex Fr.) Pers. ex Hooker — The Fly Agaric — is likely one of the oldest classifications of fungi recognized. It has persistently appeared in all of the naturalistic fields all through historical past. Linnaeus recognized it as Agaricus muscarius and initially launched it into the genus. He included it together with different gill fungi he categorized and which had been categorized by most Northern European botanists. These similar botanists had been historically mycophobic. This, sadly, led to the bypassing of different essential mushrooms and fungi of their research.
The generic identify, coined by Persoon, derives from the Greek amanitai, means “fungi with none particulars” (or from Amanos, a mountain place between Cicilia and Syria). The particular epithet re-proposes a connection for which we are going to spend some phrases later. One will have the ability to acknowledge these within the fashionable names of the fungus: Fliegenpilz or Fliegenschwamm in German; Mukhomor in Russian; Amanite tue-Mouche in French, and The FIy Agaric in English.
The typus of the species has a cap of between 5-25 cm. It’s at first globe-shaped (within the embryonic stage it’s bred from the fabric of the common veil in typical egg-shape that’s attribute of the genus Amanita) It retains this form extra utterly till reaching an applanate or flippantly depressed space across the middle kind, with the margin kind of streaked. The pores and skin of the cap is peelable, brilliant crimson or leaning to orange (generally with yellow colours, particularly close to the margin). It’s shiny and viscous when moist, strewn with white (or whitish) warts (generally absent in mature specimens due to washing away). The flesh is white into the cap and stripe, however yellow or yellowish within the stripe just below the cuticle, having no particular style or odor to people. After drying it places on a darker coloration (from darkish cream to pale brown) and an acrid, nauseating style. The stalk is white, cylindrical and discontinuous (simply discemable from the cap), with a bulbous base and a volva sometimes fragmented in warts organized in a concentric circle; white (to whitish), broad and membranaceous, in a kind of streaked ring. The spore print is white, with the spore 9-11 X 6-9 microns, elliptical-ovate, clean and never amyloid (Ricken, 1915; Gilbert, 1918; Bresadola, 1927-41; Kuhner & Romagnesi, 1953; Moser, 1967; Wasson, 1967b; Cetto, 1970-87; Heim, 1969, 1978; Flammer and Horak, 1983; Roth, et al., 1984; Bresinsky and Besl Regensburg, 1985, and plenty of others). Amanita muscaria is a typical species of the septentrional latitudes. At lesser latitudes it’s current notably within the mountain areas. It’s broadly unfold all through Europe, North (in a distinct kind) and Central America, North Africa, Asia and Australia. The Amanita has a choice for acidic soil, and a situation for sprouting consists of the presence of arboreal species reminiscent of Pine, Fir or, sometimes, Larch and different timber. This inter-plant bond comes from the mycorrhizic relation (a commensalistic symbiosis shared with many different species of fungi. This is essential, amongst different issues, for the ecology) between timber and fungi.
Strictly tied to muscaria are different related species (A. emilii Riel., A. aureola Kalch., A.regalis Fries, and so forth.) These, nevertheless, most likely do not transcend the subspecific rankings of fungi. In all probability essentially the most fascinating on this context could be A. americana Helm, typical of Canada and the U.S. It is totally different from Amanita muscaria with its slender stalk with fibril turning into brown on the finish and the lighter cap (being pale to yellow- orange (ibid.).
One other species of genus Amanita additionally value remembering right here is Amanita pantherina (DC ex Fr.) Seer., which is definite to comprise the identical psychotropic brokers as Amanita muscaria [see following references]. Amanita pantherina produces a extra poisonous than hallucinogenic syndrome, nevertheless, when ingested. A predominance of nonspecific confusional results, psychomotor pleasure and critical anxious (or anxiety-laden) states typically happen [John, 1935; Bosman, et al., 1965; Gerault & Girre, 1977; Lincoff & Mitchel, 1977; Helm, 1978; Rumack and Saltman, 1978; Flammer, 1980; Gelfand and Harris, 1982; Flammer & Horak, 1983; Roth et al., 1984; Bresinsky & Besl Regensburg, 1985]. Amanita pantherina has a cap of 6-12 cm. broad at first, then globe-shaped. It’s then barely flattened or depressed close to the middle. The colours are from chestnut brown to gray-olive inexperienced, with a striated margin and a cuticle which is peelable. That is strewn with white or greyish warts that are simply eliminated by way of washing. The stalk is discontinuous at 6-15 cm. X 2-20 mm. It’s white, stuffed after which hole. It’s fibrillose or glabrous, bulbose on the base the place it’s ornamented with a volva of 2-Three membranaceous girdles that are superimposed. These are white and slender, with annules barely (or by no means) streaked. The flesh has a sweetish style with out particular odor (to people). That is white or brownish as far as the subcuticule layers. The gills are free or simply adnexed. These are white or mealy on the margin. The spore print is white, the spores measuring Eight-12 X 7.Eight microns. They’re elliptical-ovate, clean and never amyloid (see the references for Amanita muscaria, and so forth.) . It grows with conifers timber, within the wooden, in Europe, North America, North Africa and Asia.(1)