Can you eat Amanita muscaria? (1 Thing to be Wary of)

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, can you eat Amanita muscaria? We will discuss the ill effects caused by eating Amanita muscaria and how it is prepared to make it safe.

Can you eat Amanita muscaria?

You can eat Amanita muscaria if it were prepared meticulously by an expert. Amanita muscaria carries toxic poison that can be fatal. 

The red muscaria are a culinary delight that needs to be detoxicated before eating. The other; white and yellow muscaria are deadly, nonetheless, and can not be eaten unconditionally. 

Eating wild food should be carefully evaluated with considerable deliberation and research. You should only eat what you feel safe and comfortable eating with liability and tolerance that caters to your personal needs, regardless of how another person might feel.

Before you consume a food that belongs to a foreign territory, be sure to do thorough research and authenticate what might be present, whether natural or artificial. 

Do not eat Amanita muscaria unless you are adept at identifying mushrooms and, you can bet your life on the safety of Amanita muscaria.

What is Amanita muscaria?

Amanita muscaria has a more common name; the Fly Agaric. The Amanita muscaria is found among birch and spruce. Amanita muscaria is widespread in many forests in North America, Europe, and Asia. 

Why is Amanita muscaria toxic?

The initial shock is caused by Muscimol and Ibotenic acid. Muscimol is the psychoactive substance in Amanita muscaria that causes sedation and delirium. 

The compounds cause nausea and numbness, the stupor caused as a result of these compounds is unpleasant and burdensome. The nest stage causes hallucination and visual disturbances. The paranoia takes up after an hour the Amanita muscaria is ingested. Another deranged aspect is the exaggerated movements that make a menial task seem humongous.

Before the Amanita muscaria are served, they are boiled to get rid of toxins. The young buttons have caps that are the only part edible while boiling needs to be done precisely. A lot of water is used, which is then safely discarded. 

After the special handling has been executed; the mushrooms are fried or pickled. The Italian way to prepare the Amanita muscaria is to preserve it in oil. The more popular way adopted by Japanese, Finns, and Russians is to pickle them.

The poisoning can also cause depression, coma, hysteria, hyperkinetic behavior, and seizures if a high dose of the toxin, was consumed. 

Vomiting rarely occurs in poisoning caused by Amanita muscaria.

Can Amanita muscaria kill you?

A cap of Amanita muscaria has 6 mg. Muscimol or 60 mg. Ibotenic acid, which is toxic enough to cause serious harm to a person. To be fatal, it takes around 15 caps for an adult.

The toxic compounds are neither present in fixed quantities nor uniformly distributed across the mushroom.

The region and season of the Amanita muscaria impact the chemical composition of the mushroom. The highest dosage of the poisonous substance is in the cap of the mushroom and mushrooms are harvested in either the spring or summer.

The adverse symptoms of the uptake of poison, appear in at least 30 minutes which takes 3 hours to reach full potential. The affected person takes around 12 to 24 hours to recover. 

How are Amanita muscaria detoxified?

Amanita muscaria needs plenty of water and time to get rid of the deadly compounds. Some mycologists have succumbed to the poison after failing to sufficiently purify the mushrooms. 

The water needs to be adjusted according to the number of mushroom caps you have. The greater the number of mushrooms, the more water is needed to pull the toxins out.

The poison is water-soluble, hence leaves the mushrooms and enters the water. The water becomes lethal and needs to be discarded.

The caps seem to change their color from red to ivory yellow and, become pale; and slippery after the boiling is over. 

The correct way used to clean the Amanita muscaria and make them safe; is as below:

  • First, they remove the caps off the mushroom, clean and cut them into tiny pieces. Then, use a brush and knives to scrap the caps.
  • Second, they filled a large pot that holds around 12 quarts of water, just 3 inches below the rim of the pan.
  • Then, they add salt and a cup of cider vinegar to help leach out the toxins.
  • Then they brought the pan to a boil, added the mushroom caps, and let them boil for 15 minutes. 
  • Then, they threw away the water and added a fresh batch of water. Hence, let the mushroom caps simmer for five minutes.

In this brief guide, we answered the question, can you eat Amanita muscaria? We discussed the ill effects caused by eating Amanita muscaria and how it is prepared to make it safe.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.