views of A. muscaria from about 1900

The Mule tsudonim at
Mon Aug 13 03:57:18 EST 2001

I am preparing a talk for the breitenbush mushroom conference. A.
muscaria is viewed by some as a hallucinogen and some as a toxic
mushroom. 20 years ago I found a book in the stacks of the Yale
library from about 1900 or so. The author discused picking many
mushrooms, drying them, powdering them and making a homogenous
mixture, and then establishing the strength of the batch. He used it
as a mild tranquilizer.
   Recently, I went back to Yale and found many books. My treasure
hunt yeilded many interesting pictures and opinions from 1876 to 1920.
Long before Timothy Leary said "Tune in, turn on, drop out" and before
Nancy Reagan said "Just say no!" there was an interesting variety of
opinions expressed.
   If anyone has any references or quotes from authors from about 100
years ago or earlier that are interesting or unique, please send them
to me. Especially, if anyone can find the information I saw 20 years
ago, which advocated the moderate use of this fungus, please let me
   Eventually, my treasure hunt may take me to the harvard library and
the new york botanical gardens, but I may not have the time to do this
before October, so any clues would be appreciated.
   FYI- I have never tried this mushroom and have little interest in
doing so- This is an intellectual exercise, regardless of what you may

Breitenbush Mushroom Conference 2001 October 18-21

Berkshire Mycological Society

More information about the Mycology mailing list