Citation: Maggie1215. "A Creative Christmas Present: An Experience with Amanita muscaria, Syrian Rue, Mushrooms & Huasca Combo (exp94367)". Erowid.org. Dec 25, 2017. erowid.org/exp/94367
Merry Christmas Amanitas
Browsing for a creative Christmas present for my boyfriend on the internet I came across an ad for the red-spotted, holiday-festive mushroom Amanita muscaria. Having recently been turned on to psilocybin mushrooms by him, but having always thought Amanitas were toxic, I was intrigued by the ad and investigated. According to its vendors, not only was the Amanita not toxic, but it was also psychoactive. So in the holiday spirit of experimentation and creative gift-giving, I purchased 2 oz., a packet each of Washington state A+ rated 1” caps and Latvian A rated 3” caps.
As a PhD student in cognitive psychology with some background in psychopharmacology, I made sure to thoroughly investigate the history and academic research on Amanita muscaria before proceeding further. After ascertaining that the mushroom appears NOT to be toxic (what a good fear-mongering piece of propaganda that is!) AND legal to boot AND thought to be Wasson’s semi-mythical soma, I researched preparation tips.
I found that many people have had mixed reactions to the mushroom, one account calling it “heaven and hell” on different occasions. Apparently, mushrooms can vary in chemical content from one batch to another, depending on time of year of harvest plus other factors. Thus, pretesting for the strength of any given batch – and for personal reaction to the mushroom – was recommended. Further, one common side effect of Amanita muscaria is nausea and/or vomiting. I found an article comparing preparation techniques: Feeney, K. (2010). Revisiting Wasson’s Soma: Exploring the Effects of Preparation on the Chemistry of Amanita Muscaria, Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 42(4): 499-506. Feeney compares different methods of preparation of the mushroom, including drying and eating, cooking, and preparing tea. According to his article, nausea and vomiting are greatly reduced by steeping the mushroom into a tea and then not consuming the mushrooms themselves, only the tea. Only 31% of tea drinkers experienced nausea, while only 7% of tea drinkers experienced vomiting, as compared to about 40-60% of users suffering nausea from eating/cooking and about 20-45% vomiting from eating/cooking. Tea seemed to be the way to go. Feeney also recommended not boiling the mushroom – rather, bring the water to a boil then allow the mushrooms to steep, or at most simmer, for up to 30 minutes. Then strain (this step is important in reducing nausea/vomiting, do not eat the mushroom bodies) and consume the liquid.
I pretested 5 grams, a “light” dose. As mentioned previously, pretesting is recommended due to varying potency and also to test your body’s reactions. Many people appear to have negative reactions to Amanitas. So on Christmas eve while waiting for my boyfriend to come over, I brewed a tea of “Candy Cane Lane” herbal tea, the main ingredients of which are decaffeinated green tea, peppermint (which I hoped might aid in reducing nausea), and fortuitously milk thistle, among flavorings such as orange, vanilla, and others. Some online accounts had recommended consuming milk thistle along with Amanitas to help ward off liver damage, though many other account writers considered liver damage a myth (associated only with the Amanita’s toxic relations, of which there are a few so always be sure of identification), and thought the milk thistle unnecessary. I hadn’t consciously planned to use any – it just happened to be an ingredient in my tea. I figured the gods were smiling on me.)
So I consumed my Amanita Christmas tea while waiting for my boyfriend to come over. It tasted pleasant – the Amanitas were fragrant, with a slightly caramel, musky smell, and complemented the herbal tea.
It tasted pleasant – the Amanitas were fragrant, with a slightly caramel, musky smell, and complemented the herbal tea.
I experienced no nausea or any other discomfort of any sort. In fact, I didn’t experience much of anything – just a pleasant “lightening” of my environment - the Christmas tree seemed sparkly, and I felt slightly relaxed, as if I’d had one or at most two glasses of red wine. I felt good, happy, the slight tension of the day melting away.
In reading about the Amanitas, I noted that they act on the GABA neurotransmitter system in the brain. This is the same system alcohol acts on. I had no adverse effects whatsoever, and as stated, simply felt as if I’d had a drink or two.
When my boyfriend opened his Christmas gifts from me, the last one was a box containing a handful of the prettiest Amanitas. He was momentarily confused – despite more than 20 years experience with psychedelics in the Northwest, he’d never encountered Amanitas before – but then he quickly broke into a grin over the “Red Caps,” as he dubbed them. He too had thought their psychoactivity a myth and believed in their toxicity – are these the best-kept US drug secret of all time? I had to confess to him that I had already sampled 5 grams, with no ill effects. We decided to try them soon in the future, as we were already drinking that night. (I had some red wine after the Amanitas, again to no ill effect.)
In conclusion, though I read a few negative accounts of Amanitas, I was quite pleased with my initial foray. And I felt quite smug, as if I’d discovered a new world to explore – these are legal in the US still and fairly easy and cheap to obtain over the internet.
One week later, on New Year’s Eve, we tried a much larger dose of the Amanitas together. However, we used them in conjunction with a few other substances, so it’s not precisely clear how much they contributed to the overall experience. I’ll describe it briefly, because I think they were an essential ingredient, but unfortunately, I can’t isolate their effect.
To welcome in the New Year, my boyfriend and I decided to brew some ayahuasca. Neither of us had tried it before. Over the course of 6 hours, we had brewed into tea 224 grams of Banisteriopsis caapi and 150 grams of Psychotria viridis (chacruna) ordered from the internet.
At T 0, we each consumed about ½ c. of the caapi (about 50 grams). At T +0.50, we each consumed ½ c. of the chacruna (about 40 grams). My boyfriend unfortunately threw his up after drinking half his chacruna, and didn’t feel like trying a second time. I kept all my down. By T +2.0, I was feeling absolutely nothing and we concluded (perhaps prematurely, it turned out) that the ayahuasca didn’t work.
In an attempt to salvage the evening, my boyfriend decided to brew up some leftover psilocybin mushrooms we had. Though we didn’t weigh them, we knew by eyeballing them that it was a small amount, likely between 1-2 grams, and only enough for one of us to have a very mild trip. In an attempt to “stretch” the psilocybin, we threw 1 g. of ground Syrian rue into the tea mixture (Syrian rue is an MAOI and is thought to potentiate, or boost, the effects of the psilocybin mushrooms. I had also chewed up about a gram just previous to this tea brewing, in an attempt to kick start the ayahuasca, though he didn’t have any additional. This was our first time in adding Syrian rue to anything – I had ordered it along with the Amanitas to experiment with.) We also decided to add 25 g of Amanitas to the tea. We figured that between us, each of us would get approximately 12.5 grams of so of the Amanitas, approximately doubling my earlier test dosage of 5 grams. Additionally, we threw in a slice of ginger, knowing the common wisdom that ginger helps alleviate nausea too.
We let the concoction steep about 30 minutes, along with the “Candy Cane Lane” herbal tea, then split it equally. We sipped it over about 20 minutes (sipping was recommended to allay nausea/vomiting with Amanitas.) Onset was rapid. Within another 20 minutes or so of finishing our tea, we were both having CEV and feeling warm and flushed and relaxed.
From that point on, for me the rest of the night was sheer magic. I was deeply tripping from approximately 10 pm to 4:30 am. It was the most spiritual experience of my life. I feel as if I communed with spirits and entities and was emotionally healed. My boyfriend conversed with shamans. We both felt as if we had become one with the cosmos, were soaring out of our bodies deep into space and time, present at the birth of the universe. He said it was one of the most – but not the most – intense experiences he had ever had. And all this from at most 1-2 grams of psilocybin mushrooms split between us! So, while it’s hard to pinpoint or isolate any effect from the Amanitas, they must have contributed to the overall experience, especially his, since he vomited up all his chacruna DMT.
However, his experience ended about 1.5 hours sooner than mine, which he attributes to the fact that I retained my ayahuasca.
The next day, we had a bit of muscle soreness, but overall I felt great, energized, with a positive outlook on life in general. He felt a bit “heavy” and lethargic, but he attributed this to the fact that he had also smoked about 2 bowls of what he called “high grade” weed during the evening.
The good feeling for me lasted another couple days. I’m anxious to try Amanitas on their own, or maybe in conjunction with Syrian rue, so as to experience their unique effects. All in all, they have given quite a pleasant surprise and positive experience so far. However, one should probably test one's own batch and susceptibility to negative effects before trying a larger dose.
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