Amanita in a nutshell: The birth of Gaboxadol and pharmacological value of Amanita

Such hypnotic effects brought a new way of seeing the compound, and in 2000, it was submitted to Phase 1 of clinical studies to control seizures in patients with intractable epilepsy. However, the psychoactive counterpart of the compound caused the trials to be discontinued. 

Not everything was lost in the clinical use of muscimol and its derivatives, especially in the eyes of someone introduced to the mushroom during childhood and could see its magic, the Danish chemist Povl Krogsgaard-Larsen. 

Larsen was fascinated with the mushroom. Such fascination led him to synthesize a constrained derivative of muscimol, Gaboxadol (4567-tetrahydroisoxazolo[5,4-c9]pyridin-3ol (THIP).


The structural formulas of the most important biologically active substances of Amanita muscaria. I-ibotenic acid, II-muscimol, III-muscazone, IV-stizolobic acid, V-stizolobinic acid, VI-muscarine, VII-muscarufin, VIIImuscaflavin, IX-betalamic acid, X-muscapurpurin, XI-muscaaurins (R can be ibotenic acid, stizolobic acid, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, histidine, and other aminoacids), XII-amavadine.

This new substance was subject of pilot studies to test its efficacy as an analgesic and anxiolytic, as well as a treatment for tardive dyskinesia (a disorder that results in involuntary, repetitive body movements), Huntington’s Disease, also known as Huntington’s Chorea (an inherited disorder that results in the death of brain cells) Alzheimer’s disease (a chronic neurodegenerative disease) and spasticity (a feature of altered skeletal muscle performance).

In 1996, researchers attempted to harness Gaboxadol’s sedative effects to treat insomnia. The compound had a series of clinical trials sponsored by Lundbeck and Merck. Unfortunately, its resemblance to the psychoactive compound muscimol started showing its side effects, causing dream-like illusions to patients, leading to the trials being canceled in 2007. 


Synthesis Scheme for Gaboxadol.





Popularization of Amanita Muscaria

After the revelation of ancient texts, the synthesis of Gaboxadol, and various psychedelic pioneers mentioning the Amanita mushroom, the fungus made its name in the recreational world. Users began reading about the traditional use of the mushroom in Vedic religion, under the name Soma tea, and some would even try to smoke the Amanita Caps. 

While on their recreational adventure, people began noticing the potential of Amanita Muscaria to help with depression and anxiety, as an analgesic, an antihistaminic, the suppression of ringworm (a skin fungal infection), insomnia, a seasonal health tonic, and as a health-enhancer. 


You may ask yourself. Some say the mushroom can be neurotoxic, so how do I find my dosage? 

Like any botanical source, finding a dosage can be very troubling, as unlike synthetic compounds, botanical sources are a cocktail of various alkaloids. Hence, it is impossible to know the dosage per mushroom. 

Some say that the potency depends on which season you’ve collected it. Meanwhile, some say that the narcotic/physical effects are predominant in mushrooms collected in September, whereas the ones foraged in August have more of a visionary and psychedelic effect, making it completely impossible to rely on a set dosage. 

To aid you with this issue, Amanita enthusiasts have published guides on Amanita Muscaria microdosing, how to dose with the mushroom, and what to expect.

Additionally, various companies have released tinctures, gummies, and Amanita Muscaria extracts, giving us a quantitive value of the muscimol percentage of the product.

However, as Alexander Shulgin would say, the right approach toward a substance is to start with the smallest amount possible and gradually augment your dose until you find your dosage. 

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The Amanita Muscaria effects:

The effects caused by the mushroom are also subjective and occur about 30 to 120 minutes after ingestion. That said, if you plan on consuming these mushrooms, be open-minded. Reports claim that on lower dosages, people tend to sweat from their hands, have physical discomfort, some salivation, and effects similar to drinking half a bottle of wine. Meanwhile, on higher dosages, users claim to feel somnolence, loss of time, vivid dreams, and visual hallucinations.  

During the effects of Amanita, users describe the sleep cycles as a trance state other than actual sleeping. Users’ impulse to fall backward, twitch their eyes and faces, show redness on their cheeks, disorientation, rolling off the head, and sexual appetite followed by phallic impotence.

As a norm, users tend to use low dosages of the fungi as tea (Soma) or eat them as chips after drying their fungi, as it is easier and can be shared more easily. During these processes, the ibotenic acid present in the fungi is decarboxylated and turned into muscimol.

If someone decides to smoke the Amanita Muscaria dried cap, it is to be expected to have a body high, similar to Cannabis, but with a drunk feeling, mild visuals, and short duration.


Therapeutic side of Amanita Muscaria:

When using Amanita Muscaria, depressive patients report being awake from their experience without any sign of depression throughout the following days, claiming to have their mind blank, free from any thoughts, unless they had a reason to. Additionally, users claim that they have to learn how to think and feel again, claim to have their emotions raw, and feel everything as if it were their first time having emotions.

In the long term, reports claim that patients became more self-motivated, working on things they had neglected prior to the mushroom intake, and say that Amanita has given them a new lease on life and a feeling of peace.


Microdosing Amanita (the case of Amanita Dreamer)

When speaking about microdosing with Amanita Muscaria, one of the cases that pop immediately would have to be the case of the YouTuber and Amanita Muscaria advocate Amanita Dreamer.

After experimenting with the mushroom in 2019, Amanita Dreamer saw that the information about the fungi was erroneous, that the fungi could be more than harmful, and had aided her with autism, anxiety, and panic disorder after giving up on her benzodiazepine prescription.

Her approach to Amanita Muscaria was meticulous, using two teaspoons of mushroom tea.

The mushroom acted in layers, first helping her with panic attacks and anxiety, giving her the capability of confrontation (feared by many patients with autism), allowing her to control her empathy and moral impairment, and helping her to feel empowered instead of running from situations.

Keep up with Amanita Dreamer’s progress at her YouTube channel:


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Amanita Muscaria as an anti-inflammatory agent

On another note, some users use the mushroom for pain relief. Many users report reduced inflammation and less pain after ingestion.

When consuming Amanita Muscaria, the community split on where to take your “medicine.” Some believe that the mushroom can be taken anywhere, especially in a safe setting such as your home, due to the hypnotic effects of the mushroom. On the other hand, some believe that you can only heal if you consume the mushroom and its habitat, and some go as further as believing that you can only heal with Amanita Muscaria. You must first understand its magic.


Amanita Muscaria as an anti-cancer agent

Marta Lemieszek and Wojciech Rzeski are names that start to slowly appear once you research the clinical properties of Amanita Muscaria. The researchers believe that basidiomycete mushrooms are a valuable source of biologically active compounds with anti-cancer properties. Since the published research, various Russian letters have emerged depicting incredible results using the mushroom to treat cancer. However, the research continues to try to prove the potential anti-cancer effects of the mushroom.


Amanita Muscaria as a delicacy

Going back to the edibility of Amanita Muscaria, the dispute about whether the mushroom is edible or not, in my opinion, will remain until we remove its potential neurotoxins. 

That would be impossible, at least biologically, unless we edit the fungi’s genetics to produce a higher percentage of muscimol and no ibotenic acid. 

However, we can achieve the same results by preparing the mushroom in the various ways mentioned in the previous article. Such methods allowed us to witness some Amanita Muscaria products throughout history, such as an Amanita Muscaria ice cream in France in 1909 and the use of Amanita Muscaria in Japan (Beni-Tengu-Dake). 

Despite sounding weird, making an ice cream from a mushroom is possible, and guess what? You can even make it vegan. 

Unfortunately, we don’t have access to the same recipe used in 1909 and published in 1921 in the book Cuisine et Chasse de Bourgogne et d’ailleurs, C.Blandin, ed Louis Damidot, but by following any Mushroom ice cream, and the history of ice cream, we can make a deduction of how they made it. 


1909 menu featuring Glace Agaricus Muscarius- Amanita Muscaria Ice Cream

In 1896, the first ice cream cone was invented and became famous until today’s standards. Considering the impact of a new feature added to ice cream, we can predict that there was a chance that the Amanita Mushroom could be served in a cone of some sort. 

Since there were no refrigerators around, making ice cream was time-consuming and costly. They would place the ingredients into a thin drum and sink it in a large container with ice and salt. The salt would melt the ice, producing a temperature around 17F (-8.3C), allowing milk and cream to freeze. (The National Trust Book of Sorbets, Flummeries, and Fools by Colin Cooper English)

As for the ingredients, they would use eggs, flake salt, sugar, vanilla, and cream, as custard-based ice cream started in France during the 18th century and became popular amongst dessert enjoyers.  

For our main ingredient, Amanita Muscaria, the easiest way to involve everything in a mixture would be to dry the mushroom and crush it into a fine powder. 

Following this idea, the recipe would look something along these lines. 

Dry your Amanita Muscaria mushroom until it becomes like a chip and cracks easily. Grind it to a fine powder and store it in a bowl. 

In a separate bowl, beat three egg yolks until they are very light, add sugar, and beat again. Dissolve the salt flake in a cup of milk and set in a pan of hot water. Add the flake to the yolks and sugar and strain through a cloth. Whip the whites of the eggs and the cream to the other ingredients. Place in the freezer and fill up with rich milk. Add your Amanita Muscaria powder and freeze it. Top with Amanita Muscaria chips when serving. (Alternatively, one can use Amanita Muscaria dried chips instead of powder.) 

If using an ice cream cone, place dried grounded Amanita Muscaria inside the cone, followed by the ice cream, and top off with Amanita Muscaria powder. 

As a modern version of the recipe, we can skip all the salt and ice mixture by simply using a blender and an ice cream machine. 

The first step is to combine cashews and dates in a large bowl, cover completely with water, and place in the fridge. Let it soak for a couple of hours. The dates should be soft. 

Once they are ready, strain them and add them into a blender. Add coconut milk, vanilla extract, and cacao Amanita Muscaria powder to the blender. Blend until smooth.

Pour the mixture into the ice cream machine for 30 to 45 minutes until it sticks to the paddle. You can serve it immediately as a soft serve or freeze dry until you can scoop it.  

You can also use Amanita Muscaria ground chips as a garnishment. 


(Note: This is a fictional recipe, and you shouldn’t follow it by any means).


On the opposite side of the world, in Japan, Amanita Muscaria, or BENI-TENGU-DAKE, is considered a delicacy, and it is harvested and enjoyed by the rural inhabitants of Sanada Town.

Some of the preparation methods for the mushroom would include drying it, grilling it, pickling it, and using it as a tincture. Pickling is the safest option when it comes to removing ibotenic acid and the hallucinogenic effects of the mushroom.

For this reason, Amanita Muscaria has engrained itself, once again, in another culture in another part of the world (Check out our first article to understand more about the effects of Amanita Muscaria in our culture.)

In Japan, each town has its specialty food. Tourists usually buy them as souvenirs to take to their relatives and sometimes even travel purposely to try them, you guessed it correctly.

Pickled Amanita Muscaria has the potential to become one of Sanada’s specialty foods. Unfortunately, due to the lack of interest of the youth to learn how to detoxify the mushroom, the constant warnings about the toxicity of the mushroom by the National Health Insurance Bureau of Japan, and the legality of selling pickled Amanita Muscaria, the production became somewhat of a domestic product. Therefore, this practice will likely end up dying.

In addition, birch forests only cover about 2% of Sanada town, which is enough product to cover for the people of Sanada Town but not enough to support commercial use of Pickled Amanita Muscaria.


BENI-TENGU-DAKE and its various preparation methods.

With the positive outlook on the use of psychedelics for the treatment of several mental illnesses and well-being, and pioneers such as Amanita Dreamer, Baba Masha, Povl Krogsgaard-Larsen, and many others, various companies started to open their scope to the use of the mushroom by creating their products, as Amanita Muscaria is legal in most states.

Could this mean that in the future, we might end up witnessing a commercialization of Amanita Muscaria delicacies?

That’s for us to figure out in the future!


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