The secret fairytale of fly amanita
Do you know which mushroom people like the most, even though they mostly pass it by? Yes, you guessed it, it is the famous red toadstool or fly amanita. This beautiful mushroom from fairytales with its beautiful red pileus and white dots is a great decoration in any forest. Many people actually take a picture of it when they find it and no wonder. Some are specimen are spectacular. This beautiful mushroom is surrounded by many myths and secrets and we shall take a look at some of them.
You can already find some information about this mystical mushroom in the ancient Germanic mythology, which says that where the saliva of the Wotan’s horse dripped, the fly amanita grows. The Germans worshiped their so-called white goddess, who was also related to fly amanita. In the Middle Ages for example, many witches used fly amanita as the mushroom of happiness.
The use of fly amanita in Siberia is particularly interesting. Fly amanita is not particularly abundant in these areas, but its use was rather extraordinary. People here discovered that after drinking extract from this mushroom, the hallucinogenic substances were excreted through urination. So they canned the urine and took the cans on long hunts. They even offered cans to travellers. Local shamans commonly consumed dried pileus of this mushroom.
The name “fly amanita” suggests that this mushroom has something to do with flies. Yes. People used to soak the pileus in fresh water or milk and the flies loved the intoxicating nectar. Thy become intoxicated and that was there end. Naturally.
Celebrations in Kamchatka and intoxicated reindeers
In Kamchatka, in the 19th and 20th centuries, no significant celebration was possible without this mushroom. Not even the reindeers escaped this trend. Reindeers searched for the mushroom and ate it. They become intoxicated and then fell into a very deep sleep. As for actual poisoning in Europe, we do not think that “our” mushrooms will posses the same content of narcotic substances as in Siberia. Poisonings are not fatal, but they often cause severe abdominal pain.
Preview photo: Pixabay
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