What are Amanita Muscaria's medical uses?


The information presented in the blog post regarding the medical uses and benefits of Amanita Muscaria is for educational purposes only. The statements made regarding these products and the efficiency of products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. 

Amanita Muscaria, also known as Fly Amanita or Fly Agaric, is a bright red and white colored fungus, growing in forests and woodlands. Amanita Muscaria has many variations like guessowii, alba, regalis, persicina, flavivolvata, all of which contain compounds of ibotenic acid and muscimol. Due to its compounds, Amanita mushroom has been used by many cultures for its medical properties.

Key takeaways

  • The main psychoactive compounds found in Amanita Muscaria are ibotenic acid and muscimol.
  • Studies have found that Fly Agaric has stress, anxiety and pain relieving properties, and it can also help with sleep disorders or addiction treatment.
  • For hundreds of years, many cultures have been using Amanita Muscaria as a recreational and medical drug because of its anxiolytic, stimulant, treating and other properties.
  • Muscimol, a potent agonist of the GABAa neurotransmitter receptor in the brain, is considered generally a safe and tolerated compound of Amanita mushrooms.
  • Ibotenic acid, due to its toxic nature, is not used medically.

What is the main psychoactive ingredient in Amanita Muscaria?

The mushroom of Amanita Muscaria contains psychoactive compounds: muscarine, ibotenic acid, and muscimol. Ibotenic acid and muscimol are structurally similar to GABA and they act as neurotransmitters in the central nervous system. Muscimol is the main psychoactive ingredient in Fly Agaric.

Is muscimol a psychedelic?

Muscimol is classified as a deliriant and has the ability to produce hallucinations and other altered states of consciousness. Muscimol will produce different dosage-dependent effects like a change of mind state, but won’t be overwhelmingly psychedelic like traditional “magic mushrooms”.

The research behind Amanita Muscaria

Research into the Fly Agaric mushroom remains ongoing. However, scientists have already managed to determine some valuable facts regarding Amanitas Muscarias stress and anxiety reduction, pain relief, sleep disorders, addiction treatment properties as well as the main reasons for its use between males and females. Let’s take a closer look at the research.

Stress and anxiety reduction

A study conducted in 2021 determined that muscimol may effectively reduce anxiety since it is a potent agonist to GABAa receptors and suppresses the activity of the central nervous system. GABAa receptors are attributed to the induction of rapid repressing neurotransmission in mammals, causing sedative effects. Furthermore, muscimol was found to have anxiolytic properties, working as a potential treatment for mental health improvement.

Pain relief

In 2014 researchers conducted a study determining that after 3 doses of muscimol, patients would experience a decrease in acute neuropathic pain. Due to its analgesic properties muscimol is being researched further as a potential pain management treatment.

Sleep disorders

A 1996 study on rats led to the conclusion that muscimol's sleep-promoting properties may be especially useful for those who suffer from sleep disorders like insomnia. Psychoactive drugs of muscimol and midazolam could affect a persons sleep states positively.

Addiction treatment

A recent study of 2022 has found that both muscimol, as well as psilocybin (found in “magic mushrooms”), might be promising treatments for those with addictions, especially alcohol addiction. Important to note, that muscimol itself is non-addictive.

Reasons of use

A study conducted in 2023 showed that the main reasons for Amanita Muscaria consumption amongst people are reduction of stress, pain, insomnia, depressive symptoms, skin and intestinal problems. Interestingly, females mostly use Amanita Muscaria to reduce skin problems while males mostly use Fly Agaric to reduce intestinal problems, severity, and depressive symptoms as well as insomnia symptoms.

Amanita Muscaria medical uses

For hundreds of years, many cultures have been using Amanita Muscaria as a recreational and medical drug. Amanita Muscaria with its main compounds of muscimol and ibotenic acid has historically been used to cure a wide range of illnesses, such as fever, headaches, anxiety, insomnia, and even menstruation cramps. Additionally, it was employed in a variety of religious ceremonies, particularly in shamanic cultures. Recent studies on Amanita Muscaria have indicated promises for Fly Agaric as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent as well as a medication to treat cancer.

Amanita Muscaria benefits

For many years Fly Agaric mushrooms have been used medicinally topically and internally for their medical benefits and stimulant properties.

  • Treating stress and anxiety. Amanita’s ability to suppress the central nervous system gives it anxiolytic properties that may effectively reduce anxiety, according to Kyoto University researcher M. Rezaul Karim. Also, Fly Agaric increases dopamine, a chemical released in the brain that makes people feel good and boosts mood. 
  • Pain relief, anxiolytic properties. Fly Agaric is used to treat muscle, joint, and bone pain and help with inflammation. As stated by a Psyched Wellness study, Amanita Muscaria can fight inflammatory diseases such as atopic dermatitis and hives.
  • Euphoric feelings. Muscimol can provide feelings of euphoria and tranquility, according to Jeff Stevens, CEO of the Canadian life sciences company.
  • Stimulant properties. One of the more interesting uses of Fly Agaric is as a stimulant, providing the user with stamina and staving off fatigue. According to Lincoff (2005) and Salzman (1993), Siberian reindeer herders use dried Amanita Muscaria for strength and energy to help them keep up with the herd.
  • Insomnia treatment. In contrast to its use as a stimulant, Amanita Muscaria is also used to aid sleep and treat insomnia.
  • Improving memory and brain function. Amanita Muscaria could treat symptoms associated with Huntington's Disease and Alzheimer's. What’s more, as stated by P. A. Pahapill and others (1999) muscimol, a psychoactive compound in Amanitas, successfully reversed essential tremor symptoms in Parkinson’s patients.
  • Treating skin irritations. Amanita Muscaria tinctures are especially convenient to use topically as they can help soothe skin irritations, reduce inflammation, and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

Despite the fact that Amanita Muscaria was mostly used in traditional medicine, it also was used for ceremonial and recreational purposes. The effects when used in ceremonial preparations included relaxation, enhanced awareness, feelings of euphoria, and a higher sense of appreciation for sounds or music.

Muscimol benefits

Muscimol is the main psychoactive compound in Amanita mushrooms. It acts as a potent agonist of the GABAa neurotransmitter receptor in the brain and enhances the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA. Muscimol has plenty of potential for medicinal uses and mind-altering experiences. This compound is involved in the regulation of mood, anxiety, sleep, and brain function.

When in comparison to psilocybin, found in “magic mushrooms”, muscimol studies focus mostly on pain relief, sleep, and relaxation, while psilocybin studies focus on its abilities to help with mental and emotional conditions such as depression, addiction, PTSD, and others.

Ibonetic acid benefits

Ibotenic acid is largely related to muscimol as it is the precursor to muscimol. When Amanita Muscaria mushrooms are ingested or dried, the ibotenic acid they contain is decarboxylated forming muscimol. This decarboxylation process is usually initiated by drying, heat, or the acidic environment of the stomach. Ibotenic acid activates glutamate NMDA receptors which can provide enhanced neural plasticity, learning, and memory.

Important to note that due to its toxic nature, ibotenic acid is not used medically, and overstimulation from ingesting a large amount of ibotenic acid can result in confusion, delirium, gastrointestinal distress, sleepiness, and ataxia. Normally these symptoms will decline as the compound is converted to muscimol in the body. In best cases this conversion should happen before ingestion, through processing methods, therefore, it’s best to use Amanita Muscaria products like dried Amanitas mushrooms or dried Amanita Muscaria powder.

Amanita Muscaria - muscimol dosage

A psychoactive dose of muscimol is reported to be between 8 and 15 mg. As little as a gram of dried Amanita Muscaria may contain this amount of muscimol, however, the potency varies greatly among different variations of mushrooms. Usually, brands offer Amanita Muscaria products featuring low, therapeutic muscimol doses of 1-5 mg. When starting to use Fly Agaric it is best to start with small doses. Low doses of Fly Amanita can be “quite pleasant,” whereas high doses can be “difficult to manage” for many. Our raspberry-flavored Amanita Muscaria gummies contain 700 mg of Amanita Muscaria extract, whereas Mycoterias blueberry flavored Amanita Pantherina gummies contain 350 mg of Amanita Pantherina extract each. Using low doses of Amanita can achieve calming effects and avoid potential health risks.

Is muscimol safe to use?

Muscimol is considered generally a safe and well-tolerated compound of Amanita Muscaria. Surely, muscimol and Amanitas should be dosed safely and in accordace to each individual body tolerance. Either way, muscimol exhibits beneficial therapeutic properties.

The majority of the compound in fresh Amanita Muscaria mushroom specimens, however, is ibotenic acid. The cap tissue of the Fly Agaric contains an ibotenic acid to muscimol ratio of roughly 9 to 1. Even though the ratio is less in dried products, ibotenic acid frequently outperforms muscimol at a three-to-two ratio. When consuming excessive amounts of Amanita Muscara, negative effects, such as sweating, nausea, cramps, loss of balance, involuntary bodily movements, or delirium may occur. Luckily, muscimol to ibotenic acid ratios of 90:1 or more can be produced during manufacturing operations, which lessens the harsh effects of ibotenic acid. For this reason, it is always best to choose lab-tested, processed products, like dried Amanitas, extracts, tinctures or Fly Agaric gummies.


The Deceptive Mushroom: Accidental Amanita muscaria Poisoning(2021)

A Method to Quantify Drosophila Behavioral Activities Induced by GABAA Agonist Muscimol (2021)

The Effect of Intrathecal Administration of Muscimol on Modulation of Neuropathic Pain Symptoms Resulting from Spinal Cord Injury; an Experimental Study (2014)

Role of GABAA receptors in sleep regulation. Differential effects of muscimol and midazolam on sleep in rats (1996)

Percentage of Heavy Drinking Days Following Psilocybin-Assisted Psychotherapy vs Placebo in the Treatment of Adult Patients With Alcohol Use Disorder (2022)

Reasons, Form of Ingestion and Side Effects Associated with Consumption of Amanita muscaria(2023)

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