Psychotropic Mushrooms Cow Poop
lose relative of Mexico's
psychoactive species, Psilocybe semilanceata is
a mushroom whose physical appearance
resembles Psilocybe semperviva Heim &
Cailleux and Psilocybe
Stalks generally single, sometimes clustered, from two to four inches in
height, the thickness of a goose quill, thread shaped whitish almost solid, the
tube being very small, glutinous; ring, a little below the cap, scarce
“ Cap, from one to two inches in breadth, of a brown color; in the full. grown
ones hemispherical, always convex, and more or lets glutinous; wet with
rain, it becomes browner and transparent,'so that it sometimes appears
“ Gills numerous, single, of a brownish purple color, clouded; whole ones
about twenty, horizontal, three shorter ones placed betwixt them; they throw
out a powder of a brownish purple color.
With respect to the use of it, he only says, « There is nothing acrimonious or
disagreeable in its taste, yet its appearance will not recommend it to the
lovers of mushrooms."
Figure 9 - Drawing and description of Psilocybe semilanceata by J. Sowerby (London, 1803).
1733. A. semilanceatus Fries (Observ.
II. pag. 178).
Synon. : Agaricus semiglobatus Sowerby (Engl. Fungi taf. 240.
1-3). Hut etwas hautig, spitz kegelfdrmig, fast zugespitzt, 11/2 Cent.
breit, 1/2 Cent. hock, feucht klebrig, fein streifig, gelb oder grunlich,
zah, mit Anfangs umgeknicktem Rande und leicht trennbarer Oberhaut.
Stiel zah, gebogen, 11 Cent. hock, kahl, blass.
aufsteigend, purpur-schwarz. Sporen ellptisch, hellbraun, 9 -16 u
lang, 4 - 9 u dick.
Ax Wegen, auf Grasphitzen, besonders wo Mist gelegen hat.
spitzkegeliger Kahlkopf (Psilocybe semilanceata).
papilenertiger spitze Hut-o,5-1 cm breit, bis 2cm hock, lehmfarben mit Mailsupervacationstourcom
Stich, klebrig. Lamellen breit, oliv-lehmfarben, spater purpurbraun.
Stiel schlank, glanzend.
- Gedungte Wiesen, Wegrander. Stellenweise.
Figure 10 - Two descriptions of Psilocybe semilanceata from the German-language
The first description (top) was written over a hundred years ago, while the
second one (bottom) dates to 1962. Significantly, the more recent entry classifies the
species as "essentially worthless".
Also see Figure 11.
mexicana Heim. Like Psilocybe semilanceata, these
Mexican species thrive in meadows and pastures.
Another common trait among these species is the
rather subdued and subtle quality of their bluing
reaction. Recognition of these similarities with
Mexican species sparked the curiosity of scientists
who wanted to learn more about Europe's
Psilocybe species. A research team that included
Hofmann and R. Heim began to study samples
of Psilocybe semilanceata, in collaboration with C.
Furrer, a mycologist who examined fruiting bodies
collected in Switzerland and France.
paper chromatography testing had yielded data of
historic significance. For the first time, scientists
course of his selfexperiment on June 29,
Very little is known about the chemical
composition of the collections cited above. I
analysed a few mushrooms from collections
found in the Rheinland area of Germany in
1989. The results were as follows:
Psilocybin: 0.51 % of dried mushrooms
Psilocin: 0.08 % of dried mushrooms
Baeocystin: 0.04% of dried mushrooms
A few other analyses of German
mushrooms yielded similar results. These
values were well within the range of
concentrations of alkaloids found in Mexican
species.The most extensive studies on
distribution, psychoactivity and chemical
compounds of Psilocybe cyanescens complex
were conducted in the former
Czechoslovakia, where the mushrooms are
generally known as Psilocybe bohemica, a
name which is also used in the text below.
well as on decaying pine cones. Several
specimens up to 15 cm (6 in.) tall with caps up to
5 cm (2 in.) broad were found growing on a
rotting log whose underside was exposed to the
running water. A water-loving Psilocybe species,
it primarily fruits in late autumn (see Figure 21,
below), when short night frosts induce maximum
possible fruiting. The brown caps are strongly
hygrophanous and their color fades to a whitemilky
brown when dried. Its odor has been
compared to anything from radishes to poppies.
In my experience, the odor is highly variable and
thus difficult to define. Young, dry mushrooms
develop intensely blue stains in response to
handling, while older fruiting bodies tend to be
found at the location with dark blue stains already
in place. It is remarkable that the mushrooms
were fruiting at the same location near Poricko
for so many years in a row, producing a large
number of fruiting bodies each year.
Unfortunately, in recent years the location was
partially destroyed, due to construction of a road.
By late 1982, the mushroom species had
been found at 51 locations in the former
Czechoslovakia, with only seven of them located
in Bohemia, 40 in Moravia, and four in Slovakia.
Elevations vary from 200 m to 700 m (600 ft to
2,100 ft) above sea level, with only two locations
known to exist above 700 m (2,100 ft). By this
time, 112 collections had been reported, 44 of
which came from the classic location near
An Amazing Discovery Near Poricko
Kubicka first discovered the species on
December 6 and 13, 1942 in the Kresicky
Creek Valley village of Poricko v Pozavi near
Sazava (Czech Republic). In 1950,
mycologist Herink described the mushrooms
in detail. He also believes that Fries classified
mushrooms of the Psilocybe cyanescens
complex as Psilocybe callosa during the 19th
century. On November 11, 1986 I had the
opportunity to work with Herink and other
Czech mycologists on a mycological field
research project at the location, where we
found 440 fruiting bodies (550 g or 19.6 ozs).
Covering a segment almost two miles long,
the species was fruiting among nettles along
both sides of th
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that reason, freeze-dried samples for biochemical
analysis are stored at -10°C prior to alkaloid
extractions or chromatography testing. In addition
to the reports from Finland, investigators in North
America have noted that psilocybin's decay rate is
slowest in Psilocybe semilanceata, compared to
(1) R = H2P03
(2) R = H
Figure 19 - Structural formulas for
psilocybin (1) and psilocin (2).
Figure 20 - Distribution pattern of Psilocybe semilanceata in Germany and adjacent areas.
Locations are indicated by black dots.
PSILOCYBE CYANESCENS - POTENT MUSHROOMS
GROWING ON WOOD DEBRIS
At least one other Psilocybe species in
addition to Psilocybe semilanceata is known to
exist in Europe. At this point, I must emphasize
that the differentiation of single species within
the Psilocybe genus is subject to considerable
controversy among eminent taxonomists. For
example, there are different methods of
distinguishing the Hypholoma genus from the
The Widespread Distribution
of Psilocybe cyanescens
While Psilocybe semilanceata is a species
that has long been clearly defined and is well
known by this name, there are, according to
Krieglsteiner, other strongly bluing mushrooms
that can be described as belonging to the
"Psilocybe cyanescens complex". These are all
mushrooms that grow on raw compost and plant
In accordance with current states of
knowledge, the following names in the literature
are merely synonyms for Psilocybe cyanescens
Wakefield emend. Krieglsteiner:
different herbariums. However, the microscopic
data pertaining to the Psilocybe species are poorly
delineated and oftentimes overlap. It is therefore
imperative that additional mycological studies of
Psilocybe cyanescens be performed. To this end,
fresh mushroom samples from various European
locations should be used, and biochemical methods
must be included in the investigation. Guzman's
division of Psilocybe cyanescens by geographic
area, however, definitely turned out to be
inaccurate. According to his system, -North Africa
was home to Psilocybe mairei, while Psilocybe
cyanescens were found in England and Holland and
Psilocybe serbica supposedly grew in Serbia and
Bohemia. The geographic distribution of the entire
species seems to cover a vast area, with variations
along climate and terrain at locations where samples
were collected. Such disparate morphologies are to
be expected when dealing with "young" species,
that is, species that have not yet firmly established
themselves and are still expanding into new
Figure 7 (p. 14) displays locations in
Europe and North Africa where samples of
Psilocybe cyanescens have been found.
- Hypholoma cyanescens R. Maire
- Hypholoma coprinifacies (Rolland ss.
- Geophila cyanescens (R. Maire) Kuhner &
- Psilocybe serbica Moser & Horak
- Psilocybe mairei Singer
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