base about the attributes of these mushrooms.
Figure 57 - A letter from the "Central Bureau of Substance Abuse" in the former East
Germany, detailing some legal restrictions on psychoactive plants. At the time (1983),
Psilocybe mexicana was not a controlled substance and no restrictions applied to its use.
Figure 58 - Woodcut entitled "Cooking Witches" by Baldung Grien (1514). Such cultural practices undoubtedly
included familiarity with psychotropic mushrooms, even though such knowledge was considered pagan at the time.
The practice of "witchcraft" was maligned and accused witches were persecuted, tortured and executed, as the
Christian Inquisition was desperate to suppress pagan beliefs and wisdom.
Mushroom species containing psilocybin
are also found in Japan. Tales about the infamous
"Laughing Mushroom" date as far back as the
Middle Ages. An account from the 11th century
Several lumberjacks from Kyoto got lost in
the woods for reasons that remain unknown.
Suddenly they encountered four or five Buddhist
nuns, whose behavior did not at all conform to
expectations: instead of immersing themselves into
their inner selves in a quiet quest for Nirvana, the
search for Absolute Nothingness, these daughters
of Buddha were found dancing and laughing. It
turned out that the nuns had also gotten lost in the
woods and dealt with their hunger by eating some
delicious mushrooms. The faithful nuns soon
discovered, however, that they could not stop
dancing and laughing. The lumberjacks's
stomachs, in the meantime, had also begun to
growl and, thinking that what was good for the
nuns was good enough for them, the lumberjacks
ate some of the mushrooms as well. Soon after,
they also succumbed to overwhelming fits of
laughter and the urge to dance.... The linguistic
moral of the story: since that time, the mushrooms
in question have been referred to in Japanese as
- "maitake" (Dancing Mushrooms)
and later on
- "waraitake" (Laughing Mushrooms).
For a long time, the species thought to be
responsible for these symptoms were identified in
the mycological literature as Panaeolus
papilionaceus and as Gymnopilus spectabilis
("giant laughing mushroom"). However, today we
know that the former is a species from Europe and
North America which does not contain any
psychoactive substances, while even Japanese
authors have been unable, since 1980, to confirm
the existence of psilocybin and its derivatives in
the latter Gymnopilus species. Only inactive
substances have been found in Gymnopilus
In Japan, the investigation of these
mushrooms has a long tradition: There is
evidence that mushrooms have been cultivated in
Japan for no less than 2,000 years, by collecting
naturally grown mycelia of Lentinus edodes
(Berk.) Singer and transferring onto pieces of
wood selected to serve as new substrates.
Incidentally, literary sources from China
Medieval witches cooking "magic" brew with toad and henbane.
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of essential for proper plant metabolism. The plant needs large amounts
potassium during all stages of growth. Mail
there not something uncanny about the injection of this mushroom into Alices
story What led the quiet Oxford don to hit on a device so felicitous, but at the
same time sinister for the initiated readers, when he launched his maiden on her
way Did he dredge up this curious specimen of wondrous and even fearsome
lore from some deep well of half-conscious folk-knowledge On first reflection
that mushroom in Alice, so innocent for the uninformed, seems like a gentle
aftermath, a Infosrssurfcojplocnl
For example, three species of deadly poisonous Galerinas, and Conocybe filaris, which are extremely poisonous mushrooms, are
commonly found in mulched gardens in the Pacific Northwest of the United States and other regions of the world, and have been observed
sharing the same habitat as Psilocybe baeocystis, Psilocybe cyanescens, and Psilocybe stuntzii.
Another example of misidentification involves Chlorophyllum molybdites also known as green gills or Morgans Lepiota. Oyster Mushrooms Growing Mushrooms Kit