The facts about lethal mushrooms are to be found, not in standard medical
reference works, but in mycological publications. They are well summarized in
John Ramsbottoms A Handbook of the Larger British Fungi, an indispensable
reference book, which however still characterizes the amanita mappa i. e., citrina
as poisonous, ignoring the work done by the French with this species.
In l970, twelve years after Psilocybe cubensis was identified on the Australian continent, two other scientists Picker and Rickards, 1970
reported that they had found psilocybine, but no psilocine, in specimens of Australian collections of P. subaeruginosa.
firstname.lastname@example.org loc:NL Loc Mail Mail Nl Loc Clato oped symptoms of
intoxication, such as markedly dilated pupils,
spontaneous laughter and delirium. The progression
of symptoms was experienced as wave-like, with
cycles of increasing and fading intensity. In
addition, the father's visual perception was affected
so that everything around him appeared to be black
- a frightening experience he believed to presage his
Even though two family members (ages 12
and 18) consumed only small amounts of the
cooked mushrooms, the ensuing symptoms of
intoxication were no different from those observed
in family members who had eaten comparatively
larger portions. After several hours, the psychic and
perceptual disturbances subsided and finally
disappeared, without any lingering side effects.
Attempts to treat acute symptoms included
administration of emetics and fortifying tonics. In
the end, these potions were heralded as the crucial
treatment that "cured" the family.
For the most part it is extremely difficult, if
not impossible, to assemble complete and accurate
details on many aspects of magic mushroom history
from source materials available today. Thus, it is an
instance of rare good fortune and a boon to
mushroom historians that E. Brande's description of
a typical psilocybin syndrome was augmented by J.
Sowerby, author of "Coloured Figures of English
Fungi or Mushrooms" (London, 1803). Sowerby's
book included a rendition and description of the
mushroom species responsible for the poisoning
case described by Brande (see p. 17). Within the
context of Sowerby's book, only the variety of
mushrooms distinguished by their cone-shaped
caps were believed to cause intoxication. Figure
9 shows a typical rendition of Psilocybe
semilanceata. This mushroom species was
known to Sowerby's contemporaries as
"Agaricus glutinosus Curtis" and its descriptions
are fully compatible with current knowledge
about Psilocybe semilanceata.
A few years later, renowned Swedish
mycologist E. Fries referred to "Agaricus
semilanceatus" in his book entitled "Observationes
Mycologicae" (1818). Later on, the
same mushroom also appeared under the names
Coprinarius semilanceatus Fr. or Panaeolus
semilanceatus (Fr.) Lge. Not until 1870 did
Kummer and Quelet classify this mushroom as
a member of the genus Psilocybe.
Consequently, two valid designations may be
found in the literature:
-- Psilocybe semilanceata (Fr.) Kumm. or --
-- Psilocybe semilanceata (Fr.) Quel.
Around 1900, M. C. Cooke reported two or
three new instances of accidental mushroom
intoxication involving children in England.
Interestingly, Cooke noted that symptoms were
caused only by a variety of mushroom known to
turn blue (var. caerulescens). He
was the first mycologist to wonder if a bluing
variety of this species was poisonous, or if the
bluish color was induced by external factors,
causing changes in the mushroom's chemical
composition so as to render them poisonous.
ile this is the exception, it
may well be a representation of the so-called
In Nature, these colors are associated
with the bluing Psilocybe and Panaeolus species.
These mushrooms could have grown on several
substrates, such as fallen twigs and raw compost,
grounds littered with the remains from evergreen
and deciduous trees or dung left behind by pasture
animals. Among the mushroom species that may
have grown in the area thousands of years ago, the
most likely candidates are relatives of Psilocybe
cubensis and Panaeolus cyanescens (dunginhabiting
species), Psilocybe semilanceata (a
nitrophilic species) as well as Psilocybe
cyanescens, a species that grows on top of raw
Considering the impressive nature of
existing historic evidence, the obvious question
would seem to be whether any of these species can
currently be found in Africa, where the cradle of
mankind is located.
African Species Related to
Interestingly, on October 24, 1912, R.
Maire first collected several specimens of bluing,
dark-spored mushrooms which he found growing
on raw compost underneath some cedar trees in
Algeria, at Chrea Pass near the city of Blida south
of Algiers. He collected additional specimens every
year up until 1926 and published his findings in
1928, naming the species Hypholoma cyanescens
Later on, G. Malencon classified a number
of similar specimens from his own samples
collected in the Central Atlas Mountains (Morocco)
as belonging to this species. In 1973, Singer then
classified the species as Psilocybe mairei Sing.
Krieglsteiner, however, considered this species to
be identical with Psilocybe cyanescens Wakefield,
as found in Europe. Thus, bluing Psilocybe species
can still be found in Africa today.
In his monograph on Panaeolus
mushrooms from the 1960's, Ola'h mentions two
Panaeolus species that are strongly psychoactive:
- Panaeolus africanus Ola'h and
- Panaeolus tropicales Ola'h
There are also accounts from Africa about
typical hallucinatory intoxications, caused by
mistaken identification of a yellow Stropharia
species as a culinary mushroom. In 1945, E.R.
Cullinan and D. Henry described 22 cases in
Nairobi, which occurred in July of that same year.
The symptoms started one hour after
ingestion of the mushrooms, peaked within three
hours and then persisted for 24 to 48 () hours.
Symptoms consisted of emotional imbalance, fits of
mirthful and irresponsible laughter alternating
with depressive moods, during which patients felt
they wanted to die. Patients were unable to sleep,
due to nightmarish feelings that descended when
they closed their eyes... They remained conscious
throughout the experience and their speech, while
somewhat uncontrolled, was rational.
In 1957, A.D. Charters reported additional
cases of intoxication from Nairobi: On May 18,
1949, a man and his wife - both Europeans who
resided in Nakuru, ate generous portio Gonyeli2102ziraatbankcomtr
It accounts largely for the degree to which we
feel either vitalized or tired. Standing in running water such as an ocean surf, stream or river, and even a
common shower, acts to restore a measure of one�s chi when tired, which is why doing these activities
feels refreshing. The same can be done via the wind and through direct sunlight. Everything we are as
physical bodies, and everything in nature is composed of subatomic particles. Edcastromailtelepacpt
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