Mushrooms

Mana Pottery mushroom design thumbnail

In ancient Egypt, mushrooms were a rare delicacy and were associated with immortality and were being consumed with meals as long as 4,500 years ago. Mushrooms are associated with longevity and strength, partly because some of the most popular mushrooms are known for stimulating the immune system. Shiitake and maitake mushrooms, in particular, have been used in herbal remedies for centuries. Mushrooms have been used by many cultures throughout time as part of ritual and religion. The toxin psilocybin is found in certain mushrooms, and the use of psychedelic fungi has been documented in rituals dating back thousands of years.

The Amanita mushroom is colorful and distinctive when present in artistic renderings. Also known as Fly Agaric, Amanita grows around the world in northern temperate zones. There are reports from many different cultures of using Fly Agaric for medicine or in ancient ceremonies. Shamans of Siberia used this mushroom to achieve a trance-like state. Amanita has also been used in many religious communities. The Siberian shaman would eat the mushroom and others would drink his urine. The original person eating the mushroom acts like a filter for the compounds in Amanita that cause negative side effects. The urine containing the psychoactive elements is more potent than the mushroom itself and has fewer negative side effects such as muscle twitching and sweating.

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