The “Mario Mushroom” and How to Use It: Microdosing with Amanita muscaria

There is a lot of excitement around a bright red and white mushroom right now, and it is not just about the release of the new Mario movie. Instead, the excitement is about the real work being done to understand the incredible effects of the Amanita muscaria mushroom. Funny enough, Mario’s mushroom is actually based off of this real-life “magical mushroom”, and though it won’t give you an extra life, so to speak, some have said it has saved theirs. This mushroom can do great things for your health and wellness and we want to help tell you how. 

Amanita 101  

Amanita muscaria, is a species of mushroom commonly known as the fly agaric. It is in the family Amanitaceae, which also contains Amanita phalloides (death cap mushrooms), and Amanita caesarea (Caesar’s mushroom). This family is known for often containing psychoactive compounds as well as being poisonous. Amanitaceae, like most fungi, are important decomposers, breaking down organic matter and recycling nutrients in forest ecosystems, though they may also be parasitic on some trees.

The fly agaric has a broad range throughout the Northern Hemisphere and is probably one of the most famous and recognizable mushrooms, thanks to its bright red cap and white spots. This mushroom has a rich history of use in northern Europe by reindeer herders and even by viking berserkers

If you are looking for more, this video gives a really good breakdown on fly agaric facts. 

So, if this is a poisonous and potentially deadly mushroom, how is it that it can be good for you? Well, with proper consultation, research, and preparation, microdosing with the fly agaric might just change your life. Here is what we know so far, and how you can try it yourself. 

Before we get too far into this, we want to reiterate that you need to be really careful with foraging and consuming any mushroom, especially the fly agaric. And you absolutely can not pick it and eat it raw, more on this below. 

What Amanita muscaria can help with 

Taking the fly agaric mushroom is said to help with many ailments, such as 

  • Pain 
  • Sleep problems
  • Addiction
  • Appetite 
  • Depression
  • Anxiety 
  • Swelling and inflammation
  • And more

The Chemistry, the research, and what we know so far 

Understandably, in order to take a medicinal substance, whether natural or man made, people want to have hard studies to back up the benefits and the risks. However, just like many other natural remedies, there is little money for research because funding generally comes from companies who expect to make a profit afterwards. Despite that, there are some things that we do know. 

The chemistry 

Amanita muscaria contains two main compounds that make it special: 

  1. Ibotenic acid
  2. Muscimol 

Ibotenic acid is considered an upper, but it can cause nausea and even seizures in high doses. Though this automatically seems like something you should avoid, Ibotenic acid can be converted into muscimol in the body, and more importantly, before consumption. 

Muscimol is the compound that gives us the helpful effects. It is considered a Gaba agonist – meaning it has important calming effects. Muscimol as an isolate is being clinically studied to use in safe doses, and has already been isolated and is being sold as a sleep aid. 

Baba Masha’s 12,000 person survey 

Baba Masha MD is one of the leaders in using Amanita for microdosing for the benefits we mentioned above. She started her journey by using a tincture made from the mushroom as topical pain relief, and she found that it was the only thing that helped her back pain. 

Interestingly, when she first heard about people microdosing Amanita, she was worried that it could negatively impact them, but now she sees the incredible impacts it has on people, and has even written a book on her surveys and experiments with it.

The summary of her 12,000 person survey yielded incredible results. Here is snapshot at some of the percentages of people who said that microdosing with fly agaric helped them with the following symptoms: 

  • Sleep: 73%
  • Addiction recovery: From 70-80% depending on the substance
  • Pain: 80%+ for different kinds of pain
  • Neuropathic pain: 87%
  • Panic attacks: 87% 
  • Muscular spasms: 86% 

For more results, you can read her book and watch the full interview with her.  

Key steps to using Amanita muscaria

Once again, it is important to take your time to research yourself if fly agaric is right for you, and how to use it properly. This is our recommendation for how to get started: 

  1. Order and read Baba Masha’s Book 

This book helps break down everything you need to know about microdosing with fly agaric. Including a bunch of personal experiences, what not to do, and how to get the best out of your journey. 

  1. Watch the full interview with Baba Masha

We got an awesome summary of her experiences and some of the statistics of her book. She also breaks down how to prepare it, and some of the potential differences between individuals. We highly recommend watching this before you get started. 

  1. Check out Amanita Dreamer’s Website

This is a great place for information on Amanita muscaria and for information on macro-dose ceremonies 

Once you begin microdosing, it is important to journal and track your progress to see how you feel. This way, you can alter your microdose levels as you go and potentially even stop dosing once you feel better. Many people microdose on and off as they need it, and you will probably discover that you won’t need it consistently. You also need to keep track of how you feel to see if it is impacting you negatively, because just like everything, it may not be for everyone. 

What NOT to do with Amanita muscaria

  • Do not forage it if you are not confident to identify it 
  • Do not eat it raw 
  • Do not use if you are pregnant 
  • Do not use if you are bipolar or have a family history of it 
  • Do not use if you have Schizophrenia or have a family history of it 
  • Do not use if you have kidney stones or are prone to them

How to use Amanita muscaria 

Once you feel ready to start, here are some of the basic steps: 

It is best to forage fly agaric yourself so that you know where you get them from. This helps you to avoid false products and make sure you are not getting mushrooms that are near sources of pollution. 

You then pick the mushrooms, but do not wash them! You can dry brush off the dirt if you need to. 

Dry them out in a dehydrator at 45-50 °C for 24-30 hours. Once they are dry, seal them in a jar overnight and dehydrate them for 2 more hours the next day. 

They can be stored in the fridge or freezer. You can even add some rice to the jar to keep moisture down. Interestingly, Baba Masha says that it seems possible for the effects to change with time, so again, it is important to track your experiences. 

Once the mushroom caps are dry, they should be made into a tea. This tea can be drunk in small amounts, made it into gummies, or used for a topical tincture.  

In conclusion

Anamita muscaria is an incredible medicinal mushroom that when taken properly can greatly improve people’s lives and help them with a huge range of ailments. Though it is not for everyone, many people have had extremely positive effects from microdosing this mushroom. We highly recommend the resources mentioned and encourage as much research and self reflection as possible before you try it yourself. 

About The Author
Kirstynn Joseph

Kirstynn Joseph

Kirstynn is an Ecologist and Science Communicator with a passion for nature, writing, science, and conservation. She was born in Yukon Territory, and is currently living in Ecuador, where she is working on various projects and exploring as much as she can before she figures out the next big adventure. For now, her main goal is to share the wonders of our big mysterious world with as many people as she can.