The Amanita Muscaria mushroom primarily grows in woodland areas in leaf litter. The color of the mature cap (pileus) ranges from a striking red to yellow or orange. The hat is noted for having scattered "flakes" (scales) on the highest surface, which are remnants of its protective covering (veil or volva) that it grows through its maturing process. Within the mature mushroom, these scales can appear to be in concentric circles. Although not seen during this image, the stem (stipe) would have a skirt (ring) of tissue around it and have a rough appearance at rock bottom third. Under the cap of this mushroom are white gills and spores without laminates.
The toxins are primarily ibotenic acid and muscimol. These chemicals have GABAergic and glutamatergic effects (agonist to glutamate and GABA receptors). The symptoms of Amanita Muscaria poisoning include delirium and hallucinations, vomiting, dizziness, dysphoria, nausea, ataxia, myoclonic movements, lethargy, and seizures.
The 2016 Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers' National Poison information system shows almost 6,000 calls to poison centers about mushroom exposures but only four deaths.
Amanita Muscaria is usually referred to as Fly Agaric because the cap can be placed during a saucer with milk, which both attracts and kills flies that use the liquid.
Although deaths are uncommon, exposures and illnesses from mushroom ingestions aren't rare. Many myths purportedly assist neophyte mushroom hunters in differentiating poisonous mushrooms from edible ones. Myths include that safe mushrooms have a pileus (cap) which will be peeled or grow on a particular side of a tree; that poisonous mushrooms cause old money or onion to show black while they're being cooked or burn your mouth once you eat them; that cooking the mushroom inactivates the poison; which insects only land on safe mushrooms. None of those myths are true.
History and Popular Culture
The mushroom features a long history of getting used in religion, particularly in Asia. it's been utilized in a sacred and hallucinogenic ritual drink called soma for quite 4,000 years. it's also been the subject of a Hindu religious hymn.
Muscimol is excreted within the urine of these intoxicated with the mushroom, resulting in followers seeking to drink the shaman's urine for its hallucinatory properties.