"MAGIC" MUSHROOMS REALLY AREN'T MAGIC AT ALL. In fact, their alarming effects are the nasty, brutish- and sometimes not so short- result of disruptive, chemical interference with the body's nervous system. We in Nova Scotia have five categories of hallucinogenic "Shrooms":
-Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria);
-Liberty Cap (Psilocybe) and
It is a criminal offence to gather, possess or sell any of them.
CLICK on the names for pictures and more specific information.


ALL PARTS of all the above fungi. Poison concentration varies with species. As in Alice's experiences in Wonderland, the effect of even a small taste can be devastating- see below.


Fly Agaric: an alkaloid, muscarine, together with two other, less poisonous hallucinogens, muscimol and ibotenic acid.

Fly Agaric has been used to invoke inebriation, religious or otherwise, since the Stone Age. Some scholars maintain that the inspirations for some of the major religions of the Near East originate in a Fly Agaric cult, though in latter days, this fungus has been typically consumed as an escape from everyday drudgery.

Conocybe, Panaeolus, Psilocybe, and Stropharia: two related alkaloids called psilocybin or psilocin. Both are chemically similar to synthetic lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). Scientific knowledge of these fungi is far from complete; WARNING: OTHER UNKNOWN TOXINS are likely to be present as well.

As early as 3,500 years ago, hallucinogenic mushrooms, that is, fungi containing psilocybin or psilocin, formed part of the religious rituals of the Aztec people of Mexico. About two dozen species were considered Teonanacatl, literally "the flesh of the gods", whose consumption was supposed to confer privileged & holy perceptions.


Accidental ingestion; some people mistake these fungi, especially in their early, "button" stage, for edible varieties, with disquieting results. An even greater risk is that those who seek these fungi deliberately, for the intoxicating effects, will mistake a deadly species- especially other members of the AMANITA family- for a "magic" mushroom. Other types, like Conocybe may contain more dangerous poisons as well. IT IS ESSENTIAL TO TAKE ABSOLUTELY NO CHANCES WITH WILD MUSHROOMS.


Fly Agaric- deep sleep twenty minutes after ingestion, during which hallucinations or feelings of euphoria are sometimes experienced. More serious symptoms include severe digestive upset, dizziness, psychological distress, and convulsions. Consumption of ten or more of these fungi is considered FATAL; consumption of a single fungus may have no lasting effects whatever.

Conocybe, Psilocybe, Stropharia and Liberty Cap- symptoms of intoxication, evident about one hour after ingestion, including confusion, tremors, euphoria, delirium, anxiety, paranoia, and altered perceptions of speed, light, and colour. Ingestion is not fatal; victims frequently require restraint and sedation until the effects wear off, to prevent them from injuring themselves or others.


LSD itself has origins in a naturally occurring fungal disease of rye grains, ergot. Although this fungus is the source of drugs useful in treating migraine and hemorraging, it is also the notorious cause of hallucinations & temporary insanity in people who inadvertantly eat affected grain. In medieval times, French peasants suffering from ergot poisoning were thought to be consumed by holy fire- St. Anthony's Fire- because they frequently complained of excruciating sensations of burning, not to mention infections of gangrene caused by the interruption of circulation in the limbs. Though the control of ergot, by burning infected crops, is relatively simple, incidents of ergot poisoning have been reported as late as 1951.

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