Yes! Contrary to popular belief, the Fly Agaric mushroom is not poisonous ‘if’ prepared correctly. This mushroom is not only edible but one of the sweetest of the toadstool family. Funny considering that it derives its name from its ability to kill flies.
Also known as the Fly Amanita or the Amanita Mascara, this mushroom is eaten in different forms as long as you first par-boil it a couple of times to weaken the psychoactive properties and extract the bitter elements that will make you sick if ingested. Make sure you throw out the water and rinse off the mushroom once the extraction is complete. Just Like cashews that need to be roasted or steamed to remove the toxic urushiol resin, the Fly Agaric needs a similar process to toxins and psychoactive compounds to make it a culinary mushroom. Never eat them fresh, you will get nauseous and sick. You can identify it by its large, white-gilled, red cap, and also white-spot appearance.
For recreational uses, the process is different and not covered in this article.
Why is it okay to eat the Fly Agaric?
The Fly agaric has many health benefits making it famous all around the world. These are;
1. Reduce inflammation
There is a presence of ergothioneine, a known antioxidant found in the Fly Agaric mushrooms. This antioxidant helps to reduce inflammation, especially when one is suffering from swollen lymph nodes.
2. It is rich in vitamins B and D.
Vitamin B in the fly agaric makes it popular, especially to vegetarians, as it helps the body break down food into the required energy. Vitamin D in mushrooms is usually at its purest form since it grows under little to no sunlight at all, limiting its exposure to Ultra Violet rays.
3. Reduce the aging process
There is a high presence of ergothioneine and glutathione, which help reduce the aging process hence slowing down the aging process and its attributes such as menopause.
4. Lower cholesterol
The Fly Agaric mushroom is cholesterol-free. It also has the beta-glucan and Chitin fibers, which help reduce cholesterol level in the body.
5. Helps cancer patients
When it comes to cancer, mushrooms have proven to suppress cancer cells’ growth, reduce the adverse effects of chemotherapy by significant levels, boost energy by increasing the breaking down of food, and boost immunity by using polysaccharides to balance the immune system.
The presence of vitamin B in the mushrooms has shown a significant reduction in period pains. Research says that vitamin B’s inflammatory ability, preferably a capsule with all 8 B vitamins, helps reduce period pains in women.
7. Improve cognitive abilities
Its psychoactive properties are known to enhance once clarity of mind as well as improved memory. The antioxidants present in the fly agaric mushroom help prevent memory loss and language derailment, especially in people over 60.
Research has shown that the more mushrooms people eat, the better they perform in their respective daily activities.
How do you eat the Fly Agaric Mushroom?
Now that we know that this mushroom is edible and highly beneficial to your health let us look at some of the exploratory ways you can consume them.
The most critical part while preparing the Fly Agaric Mushroom is to boil it. Using a lot of water, boil the mushroom at least twice, each time draining all the water. This boiling process helps reduce the psychoactive properties to a level safe for human consumption.
Once you have effectively boiled and strained the water, you are free to consume it as you best see fit in small bits. Its highly hallucinogenic effects last for about eight hours.
Known ways to prepare the Fly Agaric Mushroom;
· Using a food dehydrator, dry it thoroughly. Then store it in tiny pieces. You can consume it as it is. If you do not have a food dehydrator, you can dry it by piercing a whole mushroom and hanging it out to dry in a warm area or even under fire.
· After drying, you can cut into small pieces, then fry on a pan using low-fat vegetable oil and eat.
· You can eat as salted pickles.
· You can fry with other vegetables and make it a meal itself.
· You can make it a sauce for different meats, such as steak.
Be innovative, as long as you enjoy it.
Unless prepared well, every food is poison. If you look at the Fly Agaric Mushroom benefits mentioned above, you will realize that many people miss out on the mushroom’s numerous benefits due to a lack of knowledge. Well, not anymore. With the increase in the species’ research, more and more uses are being discovered, all of which outweigh the side effects you may have heard.