Fly agaric

Red fly agaric is a mycorrhizal fungus. The fruiting bodies are large, with a central stem, in the initial stage of development, covered with a common hood.

The cap of the mushroom is fleshy, up to 20 cm in diameter, spherical at first, becoming flat and even curved as it grows. The rind of the mushroom is bright red or orange-reddish, it fades a little as the mushroom gets older. The edge of the mushroom cap is smooth or rounded. There are many white or yellowish-white flakes on the mushroom cap. As the fungus grows, these flakes can also be washed away by rain. The leaves are light yellow, in older specimens yellow. The flesh of the mushroom has no distinct smell.

The stem of the mushroom is up to 20 cm long, 2-3.5 cm in diameter, cylindrical, closer to the base it is tuberous/oval, closer to the cap it is hollow. A white or yellowish ring is placed on the stem. The bulbous base has grown into a sac-shaped vagina. The base of the stem is covered with white warts arranged in several rows.

Red fly myrrh contains: ibotenic acid, muscimol (substance resulting from decarboxylation of ibotenic acid), muscarine, orange-red pigment muscarufin, muskazone, as well as choline (~0.58% of fresh), putrescine, betaine, ethylamine, muscaridine, muscoflavin, amavadine, sticolobic acid, acetylcholine, mushroom tropintoxin, essential oils, enzymes, xanthine, and small amounts of bufotenine, hyoscyamine, atropine, and scopolamine. Later studies indicated that the fungus no hyoscyamine, atropine, scopolamine and bufotenine! However, the presence of bufotenin is classically indicated, so we will mention it in the article as well!


Muscarine was discovered way back in 1869, for a long time it was considered the hallucinogenic component of red fly myrrh. Muscarine excites cholinergic receptors, which are located on the post-sympathetic cell membranes of various organs, the ends of post-ganglionic cholinergic nerves. These receptors are called M receptors or muscarinic receptors. Substances that act on these receptors are called muscarinic or M-cholinomimetics, while substances that suppress their activity are called M-cholinoblockers. A typical M-cholinoblocker is atropine.

The amount of muscarine in red fly myrrh is small (0.0002-0.0003% of fresh mushroom mass). There are also mushrooms that contain this substance in significantly higher concentrations, such as Inocybe erubescens, Clitocybe dealbata or Clitocybe rivulosa. Therefore, the muscarine contained in the red fly myrrh is practically unable to cause poisoning.

The main toxins in red fly myrrh are muscimol and ibotenic acid (amino-(3-hydroxyzoxazol-5-yl)-acetic acid or amino-(3oxo-2,3-dihydroisoxazol-5-yl)-acetic acid. Ibotenic acid and muscimol average 0.18% from the weight of dry mushrooms

Muscarine does not break down in the boiling process, but it does enter the water from the mushroom. Therefore, double or triple boiling the mushroom with water, allows you to practically completely get rid of this element.

When drying the caps of the red fly myrtle, muscarine remains in them, but they are then used 2-3 caps at a time, the amount of muscarine that enters the body is so small that it is completely hidden by the effect of hallucinogenic ingredients. According to various sources, the lethal dose of muscarine is 5-15 kg of fresh red fly agaric caps.

Muscimol and ibotenic acid were discovered in the middle of XX century. Independent researchers from England, Japan and Switzerland determined that it is these substances that cause the toxic and hallucinogenic effects, not muscarine. Both substances are unevenly distributed in the mushroom. The highest concentration is found in the caps, lower in the ring, even lower in the stem of the mushroom.

Most of the ibotenic acid is excreted from the body with urine (on average after 20-90 minutes). Pure ibotenic acid does not detect muscimol in the urine, but fly ash does.

Ibotenic acid

Ibotenic acid is a chemical compound found in the fruiting bodies of various fly myrrhs. Together with muscimol, it is one of the main active substances in red, panther and other species of flies.

It has psychoactive and neurotoxic effects. Ibotenic acid together with muscimol produces a strong insecticidal effect. By chemical structure, it is an amino acid containing a heterocyclic isoxazole nucleus.

Ibotenic acid was first discovered by a Japanese scientist in 1964, its chemical structure was determined in the same year, and it was artificially synthesized in 1965. Ibotenic acid has the ability to overcome the hemoencephalitic barrier and produces a hallucinogenic effect. After approximately 1 hour, hysteria, euphoria, hallucinations, drowsiness, depression, ataxia, feeling of great strength, insufficient muscle coordination, convulsions are observed after taking 50-90mg of the preparation. The effect is observed for 3-4 hours, with the remaining effect lasting 10-24 hours. This substance is capable of traumatizing the motor system, causing long-term seizures that resemble epileptic seizures. There is no hangover effect after taking acid.

When drying the caps of the red fly agaric (do not exceed 80C), ibotenic acid decarboxylates to muscimol - the main hallucinogenic component of the red fly agaric. Muscimol is found in red, panther, yellow, and royal fly myrrh, along with muscarine, muscarine, and ibotenic acid. Muscimol is a decarboxylation product of ibotenic acid (obtained mainly by drying fly myrrh) and as a hallucinogen it is 5-10 times stronger than ibotenic acid.

Ibotenic acid and muscimol are chemically related to two basic CNS neurotransmitters: glutamic acid and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Muscimol is a strong, selective agonist of GABA receptors, ibotenic acid is a non-selective agonist of glutamate NMDA-receptors in hippocampal neurons, which are responsible for general neuronal activity. It is this particular interaction that produces the psychoactive and toxic effects of ibotenic acid and muscimol. Muscimol is the main "culprit" for psychoactivity. Ibotenic acid has an excitatory effect on nerve cells and increases the content of calcium ions in them, it instantly suppresses glutamate transmission.

It is believed that ibotenic acid, like muscimol, affects the content of monoamines (noradrenaline, serotonin, dopamine) in the brain as strongly as LSD. At the moment of activation of NMDA receptors, toxic nitric oxide is produced, which causes cell death and breakdown of brain tissue.

There is another hallucinogenic toxin in fly myrrh - muskazone. It is found only in fly myrrh growing in Europe and is believed to be a product of the breakdown of ibotenic acid under the influence of ultraviolet rays. It is also an amino acid in structure, but compared to ibotenic acid and muscimol, its importance is small from a pharmacological point of view.


Orange- red pigment that acts as an antibiotic. Muscarufine in small quantities enhances the activity of internal glands, increasing the overall tone of the body. It is also effective against oncological diseases.


Decomposition product of ibotenic acid under the influence of ultraviolet radiation. Found in small amounts in red fly myrrh. The psychoactive effect is minimal.

Bufotenin (subsequent studies indicated that this compound is not a fungus)

Bufotenin is a substance from the class of tryptamines. Structurally similar to serotonin - an important neurotransmitter in the mammalian brain. It is an alkaloid that has also been found in the skin of toads, some species of flies, some plants, amphibians and fish.

Bufotenin is one of the components of the poison of toads from the Bufo family. The venom of this toad, which contains bufotenin and other active substances, has been used by people for hundreds of years for non-traditional medicinal purposes. Of course, the skin of these toads is also used as a drug.

Bufotenin has been found in pale, red, panther, yellow and other fly myrrhs. Bufotenine is related to substances, alkaloids, such as psilocin, dimethyltrypamine and 5MeO-DMT. Bufotenin and its derivatives have hallucinogenic and paralyzing effects, and also increase blood pressure.

It is important to know that bufotenin also has hallucinogenic properties, but you will not experience such an effect if you take it orally. It simply cannot be absorbed by the body. It will not work orally up to 50mg, intravenously up to 20mg, injected into the muscle up to 40mg. For example, Amanita citrina contains 7 grams of bufotenin per 100 kg of mushrooms. Bufotenin is excreted from the body in an average of 8-12 hours. It has been established that in people with mental health disorders, bufotenin can be determined in the urine (which is also done when analyzing depression, schizophrenia, etc.), it is a natural product of serotonin metabolism. 

I mention the ability of bufotenin to affect the body, because it is often a component of various aphrodisiacs-stimulators! Accordingly, based on this information, it should be understood that it will be impossible to achieve an aphrodisiac effect when creating extracts at home. In the extract, not only the concentration of bufotenin will be formed, but also other substances that can cause completely different effects!

It is worth mentioning that the red fly agaric and its close relatives are active bioaccumulators of vanadium. Vanadium is present in fruiting bodies as an organometallic compound called amavadin. Studies on the use of this substance have not been conducted.

Traditional medicine

In Europe, the red fly agaric has been used for many centuries, not only to fight flies, but also for medicinal purposes. Poultices and compresses from this mushroom help heal wounds, bruises, cope with pain caused by rheumatism, stomach diseases, diseases of the nervous system, glandular tumors, tuberculosis and many other diseases.

Research results indicate that the rind of the mushroom cap contains the antibiotic substance muscarufin - a fiery red pigment that inhibits the development of tumors. Medicinal properties are with the flesh of the mushroom.

Folk healers from red fly myrrh, then also representatives of official medicine, learned to prepare preparations with the help of which they can prevent vascular spasms, treat brain sclerosis, chronic angina and even such serious diseases as chorea and epilepsy, various types of cancer and tuberculosis. These preparations were also officially tested, but they were not recognized in all countries because the obtained material is highly toxic.

Red fly agaric is used in alternative medicine to treat practically all possible illnesses and health problems.

It is not known where the knowledge of the medicinal properties of red fly myrrh came from. Most likely, people acquired the knowledge by observing wild animals and domestic animals, who used them in their diet to treat their illnesses and get rid of intestinal parasites.

Many knowledgeable veterinarians add red fly agaric to pet compound food, believing it helps keep animals healthy better than medication.

Currently, the most widely used red fly agaric in medicine is in Eastern Europe, where it most likely originated from.

Externally, fly ash is used in the form of ointments and extracts to treat ulcers, hernias, burns and frostbite, tumors and cancerous ulcers, skin diseases and eczema. Ointments and extracts are used to relieve pain in the muscles, bones, joints, lumbar region and salt deposits. But it is good to know that according to studies it has been determined that although fly agaric may relieve pain in the joint, it will not have a therapeutic effect on it.

Red fly agaric can be used externally without fear of poisoning, it is quite effective and reliable. Red fly myrrh is effective for wound healing. It is possible to take a cap of fresh red fly myrrh, knead it and tie it with a bandage directly on the wound, after a couple of hours the wound will begin to heal. Externally, red fly agaric is also used to prevent various eye problems - vision impairment, conjunctivitis, inflammation of the eyelids, myopia and cataracts. Ear pain, inflammation and swelling can also be treated with red fly myrrh preparations.

Sarkano mušmiri arī lieto iekšķīgi un pamatā pret visu. Sarkanā mušmire ir panaceja pret visām iespējamajām veselības problēmām, sākot ar organisma stiprināšanu, beidzot ar dažādām smagām saslimšanām. Iekšķīgi, visbiežāk lieto spirta un šņabja izvilkumus. Šodienā, aiz vien vairāk un vairāk popularitāti iegūst "Mikrodozings".

Šeit varētu rakstīt slimību sarakstu, kuras var izārstēt lietojot sarkano mušmiri, taču pārrakstīt medicīnas rokasgrāmatu šeit būtu nepraktiski. Tāpēc vieglāk ir lasīt pašu medicīnas rokasgrāmatu un apzināties, ka mušmire var palīdzēt lielākoties no visām tajā minētajām problēmām. Pie kādas vairāk, pie kādas mazāk! Jāsaprot, ka arī sarkanā mušmire nav burvju sēne, kura spēj atrisināt visas cilvēces problēmas.

Ievākšana ārstnieciskam nolūkam

Collect both young (unopened) and mature mushrooms throughout their growing season. The best way to store the mushroom is drying and vacuum packaging. Various alcohol and oil extracts can also be made,

Importance of food

According to the latest research, it has been determined that more than 10 poisonous substances (muscarine, muscardine, choline, betaine, putrescine, etc.) and hallucinogenic toxins (ibotenic acid, muskazone and muscimol) are found in the red fly myrrh. The most powerful toxins in the red fly agaric are muscarine and muscardine, which act on the parasympathetic nervous system. And if there was a lot of muscarine in the red fly agaric, as it is in other mushrooms, then the red fly agaric would be a very dangerous mushroom. The lethal dose of muscarine for humans is 0.5 grams. However, in red fly myrrh, muscarine is only 0.0002-0.0003% of the total, fresh mass. Accordingly, the lethal dose is 5-15 kg of fresh mushrooms, which clearly excludes this mushroom from the list of highly poisonous mushrooms.

It is good to know that the biologically active substances in red fly myrrh vary greatly in their concentration. It is related to the climatic and geographical conditions of mushroom growth. In addition, the concentration of substances also differs within the same mushroom. For example, the toxin content of spring flies can vary by 10 times compared to autumn flies.

Red fly agaric poisoning is very, very rarely observed, because it is practically impossible to confuse this mushroom with other mushrooms, due to its characteristic appearance. Various sources mention that children who have eaten this mushroom while their parents are away are most often poisoned by this mushroom. The main symptoms do not have to wait long, they appear within 0.5-2 hours (usually after 30-40 minutes. Feeling unwell, vomiting, stomach pain, watery eyes, shortness of breath, strong sweat and saliva secretion, narrowing of the pupils. In case of severe poisoning, there is also convulsions, diarrhoea, general weakness, heart rhythm disturbances Deaths are not recorded, they are usually on the basis of "One aunt said so!" There is one death recorded in 1897. Basically all deaths are associated with the green and pale fly agaric .

Usually in the sources, the red fly agaric is included among the poisonous mushrooms, and this is usually done with a good intention, so that people do not put everything they find in their mouths, other times the author is simply afraid of getting into a bad situation, if, for example, he writes that everything is safe, someone will eat it and lie down.

The most common poisonings are people who engage in various specific spiritual practices and engage in ethnobotany or simply love hallucinogens.

Or in which case, the possibilities of modern medicine are already so far developed that the consequences of red fly agaric poisoning are easily cured. Practically all substances in red fly myrrh are water-soluble or semi-soluble - boiling and pouring water practically neutralizes the toxicity of the mushroom. Drying, in turn, enhances the psychoactivity of red fly myrrh, because during it the less effective ibotenic acid becomes the more effective muscimol.

Currently, it is safe to say that boiling the mushroom 2-3 times for 15 minutes and draining the water makes the red fly agaric a completely safe edible mushroom. Alcohol extracts are also prepared from dried fly myrtle, which have a strong tonic effect.

The European red fly agaric is more toxic than the American red fly agaric, and it is considered a normal edible mushroom in Japan.

The most distinctive feature of the red fly myrrh is that the effect of its exposure is not predictable. Depending on the place of growth, the season, the species or the geographical race of the red fly agaric, the stage of development of the fruiting bodies, as well as the amount used and also the treatment of the red fly agaric, as a poisonous or non-poisonous mushroom, the effect of exposure can range from its absence or mild stomach upset to convulsions , for drowsiness, lowering of blood pressure, strong secretion of saliva and sweat, auditory and visual hallucinations, rapid mood changes, euphoria, relaxation, ataxia and loss of balance.

In case of severe poisoning, delirium (changes in consciousness) can also occur, which manifests itself similarly to alcoholics after heavy drinking. In case of even stronger poisoning, nervous attacks and a near comatose state tend to occur.

Symptoms can be observed 30-90 minutes after consuming red fly myrrh and are persistent, on average 3 hours, although they may return within a couple of days. Mostly, the symptoms disappear completely after 12-24 hours.