Fly Agaric Amanita muscaria
Look at any fairytale book, and sure enough somewhere within its pages you will come across a red ‘toadstool’ with large white spots, or scales, usually with an evil goblin lurking beneath it or a toad balancing nicely on top for effect. Notice how the word ‘toadstool’ always lends itself to a poisonous variety of mushroom?
The Fly Agaric is a common mushroom in Great Britain, and can be found nestling among silver birch forests in the autumn months. The name refers its traditional use, which was to poison flies. The caps of this fungus were placed in saucers of milk, which attract flies, and promptly sent them into a world of stupor.
So what does it do to the average human if we were to consume it? Well, handled in the correct way Fly Agaric has been used for many years to send one’s self into a trance like state. Away with the fairies one might say, but use this red mushroom wrongly, and away with the fairies you will stay!
POISONING – although the Fly Agaric is not one of the most deadly of mushrooms it can still pack quite a punch. Drowsiness, befuddlement, and severe disorientation may occur. You may experience digestive system complaints and a loss of muscular coordination. Your eyes may play tricks on you and then a deep sleep will follow, one from which you may not wake up. The Fly Agaric has also been reported to paralyse man’s best friend.