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What Animals Eat the Fly Agaric Mushroom?

What Animals Eat the Fly Agaric Mushroom?

The fly agaric mushroom is a famous, fascinating, and toxic fungus if not prepared properly. Despite some of their toxic components, some animals feed on them. These animals include slugs, red squirrels, and fungus gnats. Fungus gnats lay their eggs on the mushroom, and once they hatch, the larvae eat the mushroom`s fruiting.

So, what animals eat fly agaric mushrooms? Fungus gnats, slugs, and red squirrels.

Fly agaric is among the most conspicuous in the fungus species, with its white stalk and eye-catching red cap appearing in video games, numerous stories, and even TV shows. It is mostly found in parks, woodlands, and areas with spread out trees. Naturally, it grows under birch trees, spruces, and pines. Their vibrant fruiting bodies are typically seen from late in summer to early winter.

Similar to most fungi, the visible parts are the mushrooms or their fruiting bodies. These shoot up from an unnoticed network of small filaments known as the Hyphae, and together they structure the mycelium. The fruiting bodies then produce the spores for reproduction. However, fungi can similarly reproduce asexually through fragmentation.

The fly agaric`s mycelium regularly develops a symbiotic relationship with the surrounding trees, enfolding in the roots area and providing them with nutrients sourced from the soil. In return, the mushrooms receive the sugars released by these trees. Usually, it grows in areas with acidic and sandy soil.

If not appropriately prepared, fly agaric mushrooms are highly toxic. Cases of death are rare though ingestion of wrongly prepared Fly agaric mushrooms can cause hallucinations and stomach aches.

Identifying fly agaric mushrooms

Also known as Amanita Muscaria, or Fly Amanita, these unique mushrooms feature a rounded or flat red cap, usually with scattered white spots and a white stalk, and underneath the cap are the gills.

Typical ways of consuming Fly agaric mushrooms

The safest way to consume these mushrooms is by drying them, and then you can ingest or smoke them. How you dry them solely depends on how you plan to eat it; the process is slightly different depending on whether you intend to smoke or ingest it.

Ingesting Fly Agaric

It would be best if you dried your fresh Fly agaric mushrooms to ensure that any toxic compounds are destroyed before consuming them. To dry them safely, put them on a cloth, then leave them in a dry and moisture-free place. Usually, the process takes a few weeks. To accelerate the process, you can cut the mushrooms into smaller pieces or place them in an oven and heat them at a maximum of 750 Celsius.

Once the drying process is completed, your mushrooms are safe to ingest. You can eat them after you get them out of the oven, or you can bake them, or even prepare them as tea. For the tea, you crush them into a powder or small pieces and then put them in boiling water. This obtains the psychoactive components from the fly agaric and into the boiling water.

Smoking fly agaric

Drying these mushrooms for smoking purposes is slightly different from drying them for eating. You need first to peel the gills` orange sludge and the red skin. After removing the skin, place it on the pan with the red part facing up. Put the mushrooms in an oven, set it at just under 750 Celsius, and regularly check them. In case of some air bubbles form, press the mushrooms down using a fork to guarantee the piece dries properly. When they are dry, you can crush them in a grinder and smoke them using a pipe or other means.

fly agaric mushroom

Uses & benefits

Fly Agaric mushrooms are full of nutrients that make it healthy to consume. Here are some of their uses and benefits;

· Fly agaric is used as a treatment for arthritis and sore throat.

· This mushroom`s dilution was used for issues associated with menopause and dealing with bladder cramps.

· A few drops can be poured beneath the tongue to boost short-term cognition.

· Fly agaric solution acts as a pain reliever for joint and back pain, body pain, and so on. It can also be smeared on external infections like skin conditions and nail fungus.

· Euphoria/excitement

· Boosts your immune system

· Improved strength and virility

· The mycelium has antimicrobial properties

· Eliminates pain once you apply it to the area of pain

· Small amounts almost entirely stop Lyme disease symptoms – some people have come out to say that their pain from Lyme disease has completely disappeared over some time.

· Elevated energy levels

· It can reduce or completely stop depression in some individuals.

· Comes in handy in detoxifying the body

· Significantly reduces inflammation

· Some studies show that fly agaric can assist in managing some illnesses and managing neurotoxins.

fly agaric mushroom

Safety precautions

Like all mushrooms, misidentification can be risky, although Fly agaric`s unique look reduces this. The second risk is the wrong preparation, which leaves toxins behind, such as ibotenic acid.

Even though people appreciate the health benefits of consuming this mushroom, improper preparation can lead to severe kidney and liver damage. The side effects can include excess salivation, nausea, diarrhea, dilated pupils, excitability, excess perspiration, watering of the eyes, among others, due to muscarine and other poisonous alkaloids present. These side effects begin to kick in within several hours of consumption, and recovery happens within 12 hours.

Always ensure you prepare your agaric mushrooms correctly. The third risk is as a result of considerable differences in potency found in different mushrooms, specifically when harvested during the different seasons or regions.

Most severe fly agaric poisoning victims have been treated successfully with a blend of penicillin, thioctic acid, and glucose or bypassing their blood via a charcoal filter. You can avoid this by not eating mushrooms that have not yet been established as edible.


Fly Agaric mushroom is a beautiful mushroom with plenty of nutrients. On the other hand, you might suffer from mushroom toxicity if you do not prepare them well. Mushroom poisoning generally happens when one consumes mushrooms with toxins and mostly in the name of hunting for nontoxic ones. Mushrooms are the fruiting bodies for the different fungus evolving with plants over the years. They are distributed all over the world. There are no rules for identifying edible mushrooms. In over 90% of mushroom poisoning cases, it occurs due to misidentification.

fly agaric mushroom
Can You Eat the Fly Agaric Mushroom?

Can You Eat the Fly Agaric Mushroom?

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.

6. cramps

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.

fly agaric mushroom

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.

fly agaric mushroom

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.

fly agaric mushroom
Can Amanita Muscaria Kill You?

Can Amanita Muscaria Kill You?

Amanita Muscaria (or fly agaric or fly amanita) will not kill you that easily. When ingested directly, a fatal dose should be about 15 caps.

But, you can also vomit yourself to death – if it comes back up after the original poisoning, be careful not to swallow back or inhale some of your vomit.

If you’re already at the puking stage (or someone in your vicinity is), do everything you can to not lay on your back. If you’re too weak to sit somewhat upright and hug the porcelain throne (or a close-by tree trunk), at least lay on your side. Also, whenever possible, rinse your mouth out well with some plain water.

How toxic are Amanitas?

A single Amanita muscaria contains enough psychoactive substances to intoxicate an adult human. Two substances of note are muscimol and Ibotenic acid, both of which are known to be very potent opiates and hallucinogens.

The exact amount of both in each cap depends on numerous factors, from the season to their geographical location. However, you can also expect the spring and summer crops to have up to 10 times more of these compounds than the ones you can find in fall.

So, if one cap can get you high, how many can get you sick? Well, the answer is just one as well. Even if you pick them in the fall, chances are that muscimol, Ibotenic acid, or any other present biologically active agent may cause you to have a bad reaction – from a bad trip to numerous physical symptoms.

Symptoms and treatment

There’s no universal set of symptoms to Amanita poisoning since they will all depend on both your location and yourself and your medical history. However, some things you should watch out for are nausea, drowsiness, sweating, salivation, twitching, low blood pressure, vision and sound distortions, vertigo, euphoria, ataxia, etc. Even more serious symptoms can be delirium, hallucinations, seizures, and even coma.

The bad news, we don’t have an antidote, The best way to deal with it is to get it out of your system ASAP. Making yourself (or the other affected person) vomit is a decent form of first aid, though you will still need to seek proper medical attention.

Active charcoal is most often given to the patients so they can empty their stomachs, but when that’s not working, there’s also stomach pumping.

Previously, the syrup of ipecac was on the first treatment list, but it was proven not to be effective in helping the body get rid of the toxic substances.

fly agaric mushrooms

So, why is anyone taking this thing?

Mostly for the high, though Amanitas were used as food in certain parts of Siberia.

One of the effects is lucid dreaming – the state that has been credited for centuries as a path to inspiration and enlightenment. Even today, many influential people admit to taking magic mushrooms and credit their success to the insight they gained through them.

It’s easy to imagine that some kids go foraging for Amanitas because they are trying to unlock the mystical genius of Jim Morrison or the Beatles, but what would you say if I told you that in Silicone Valley they are micro-dosing the psychedelics to boost productivity?

Pharmacological uses

As of now, none of the compounds are actively being used to make medicine, even though some psychologists believe in the use of psychedelics in the treatment of various mental illnesses.

Just like Alex Hoffman (the man who synthesized LSD) thought that psychedelics can unlock our mental barriers and speed up the treatment of numerous psychological disorders, some doctors believe that consumption of Amanitas in a controlled environment can be beneficial as well. And even though they are not approved for this use, you will find some therapists using them in their treatments.

fly agaric mushrooms

Shamans, Berserkers, and revelations

But before there were hippies and stoners, there were shamans and berserkers.

All around the world, the consumption of mushrooms was related to religious practices and worship. In most of those cultures, they were considered to be mediums that help them communicate with the gods or foretell the future.

One of the most famous prophecies in human history is the Book of Revelations from the Bible. It was written on the island called Patmos which is not only steeped in toxic fumes but can also boast an abundance of Amanitas. And speaking of prophecies, Nostradamus who was first an apothecary before he started predicting the winners of the 2032 Olympics, was no stranger to the magic of mushrooms as well.

Though shamanism and divination are rather obvious, there’s also a fascinating possibility that Vikings used to use shrooms to induce their famous berserker rages. Considering that the effect of psychoactive substances depends on the environment and other stimuli, it is very possible that Berserkers would take them to enhance their anger.

fly agaric mushroom

Can I consume Amanita Muscaria without knowing?

Yes. When it’s very young, it resembles another species of edible mushrooms known as Puffballs. If you’re out foraging for mushrooms, cut your “Puffball” in half to make sure it’s not an Amanita. You’re trying to see if there is a smaller mushroom inside of it (like a Kinder Surprise or a Russian nesting doll).

If you don’t see that mushroom, you have a Puffball and it’s safe to eat as is. But if you see one, it’s an Amanita “egg” and either leave it be or treat it properly before cooking.

Does Amanita Muscaria have a culinary use?

If detoxified, it can be used in cooking just like any other mushroom. One of the methods that have been sticking around since the 19th century is to parboil it then soak in vinegar.

Contemporary guides recommend to just boil it for 15 minutes after it was cut into thin slices. Some of those guides also recommend for it to be classified as an edible mushroom, but followed with a detailed explanation on how to detoxify it and what are the consequences if you don’t do it properly.

Is it safe to dry Amanitas?

Only if you want to increase the potency of the psychoactive substances. If not, detoxify them before drying.

mushrooms not vegetables or animals