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Psychoactive Amanitas
Bits & Pieces
by Erowid

The "Bits & Pieces" section is intended for random snippets of information which don't fit
easily elsewhere and/or which have been newly added, but not yet carefully categorized.


  • Japanese Name & Ibotenic Acid
    The japenese name for A. pantherina is "Ibo Tengutake": "take" means mushroom, "ibo" means warted, and "tengu" is a proper name for the mushroom. The name for the active chemical, ibotenic acid, comes from the japanese name. A. muscaria are called "beniteng" and, as of 2005, are commonly sold in head shops for about $35 per dose of powdered extract.

  • Use in Japan
    We have been told that the people in the Sanada region of Nagano Japan use dried A. muscaria as a condiment flavoring in cooking, to add the umami flavor to food. They are also reported to use dried, powdered A. muscaria as a base for soup stock, and when in season, they are roasted over charcoal, and eaten whole.

  • Edibility
    Some people eat the Amanita muscaria mushroom as a food. Among those who do so in California, the mushrooms are often sliced and quickly blanched / boiled before cooking to remove the psychoactive chemicals. Because the psychoactive chemicals in the amanitas are highly water soluble, it is said that there is no psychoactivity left when prepared this way. Some people eat them as food without boiling them first. Edibility is said to be ok, but not great.

  • Psychoactivity of US Amanitas
    There is an ongoing debate about the strength / quality of psychoactive amanitas in the western United States. Especially in Northern California, many people say that the mushrooms are either weak or have much higher body load per-mental effect than the "better" mushrooms of norther Europe and Siberia. Some dispute this view, but as of Jan 2004 we know of no solid data to back up either view.

  • Etymology
    The genus name "Amanita" is believed to be a Latinized form of the Greek "Amanos", after a mountain range in Turkey where they grow in abundance.

  • Gary Lincoff's Comments about Contemporary Use in Kamchatka
    A group of North Americans lead by Gary Lincoff that visited the Kamchatkan peninsula in 1994-1995 reported that A. muscaria were in contemporary use by elderly native Koryaks (not Russians) at night, before sleep, as a sleep aid and physical health tonic. Lincoff describes that they would eat the mushrooms dried or soaked in blueberry juice, "sleep for eight hours and then wake up feeling refreshed and more energetic than normal."