The amanita muscaria mushroom, also known as fly agaric, has been referred to as a sacred hallucinogenic mushroom. It also may be very dangerously toxic.
Use of a. muscaria has also been attributed to the Lappish shamans of northern Finland, where the mushrooms grow in profusion and have sacred uses.
Terrence McKenna, in “Food of the Gods,” wrote of his usage of fly agaric mushrooms from New Mexico that he felt euphoric and that the world became “different in an eerie, profound and unmistakable way.”
Different colored varieties are said to have different potencies, with red said to be stronger than yellow. Complicated recipes spell out the preferred ratio of cap to stem that should be observed, how to dry them, grind them into a powder, how much water and at what temperature should be mixed with the powder. Regarding how much should be consumed, the dosage often is referred to in terms of the number of mushroom caps, but this is dangerously vague, as a cap could be as small as half an inch or as wide as a dinner plate.
Reports about the flavor of the amanita muscaria mushroom vary widely. Opinions range from tasting fine to tasting terrible. Of course, there are several different colors of the mushroom. Mycologists (mushroom experts) categories them into six variations named from the color of the cap: white, red, red-orange, red-brown, yellow-orange and melon.
Drying the mushrooms evidently transform the harmful ibotenic acid into the desired substance muscimol. An advocate of amanita mascara who lives in Europe suggests that the nausea that accompanies the ingestion of the mushrooms is easy to counter with cannabis. Of course, this individual was living in a part of Europe where cannabis is not illegal.
Some individuals who have used amanita muscaria described their experience as so frightening, unpleasant and dangerous that they vowed never to do it again.
Another advocate of amanitas reported that a pleasant mental state was induced by smoking some of the skin that had been peeled from the red cap and dried. The effect was described as quite different from the effect caused by eating the mushroom, as well as uniquely different from smoking other hallucinogenic substances.
It is not uncommon for sellers of amanita muscaria mushrooms to describe them as “poisonous non-consumables.” They are listed as a poison by the Food and Drug Administration of the USA, and the author of this report does not encourage, recommend nor endorse the ingestion of Amanita muscaria mushrooms in any way.