Malcolm Hall 1973, reported the occurrence of Psilocybe collybioides and Psilocybe subaeruginosa from Tasmania, Psilocybe
cubensis from Queensland, and Copelandia cyanescens from Australia, noted that at the same time, his investigations of the
Panaeolus species were incomplete. In addition, mycologist C. J. Shepherd, along with Dr.
The couple told attending physicians that they had each eaten about a dozen bush mushrooms, and
within five minutes or more were experiencing hallucinations. The woman reported that she felt as if her
skin was peeling off of her hands, and she believed that she was dying. They were both terrified from
Samples of the mushrooms were sent to the Department of Agriculture to be analyzed for identification"
In this case, as well as many others involving use
android-app:com.google.android.googlequicksearchbox of suspected hallucinogenic fungi,
very rarely is reference made as to whether or not the specimens of mushroom material, received by the
toxicologists or mycologists is fresh, dried, or
Guam Magic Mushrooms Variety derived from a gastric lavage.
In 1971, a noted physician wrote that "Over the
years, the Southport Hospital on the Gold Coast has
had a steady flow of accidental poisonings with
Psilocybe cubensis McCarthy, 1971). A good
example occurred in 1969 when a whole family was
affected after a picnic somewhere in the mountains."
No mention is made as to the exact location where
this incident took place.
Symptoms from this
intoxication included "...Euphoria, depression,
inappropriate speech and answers, visual
hallucinations, ataxia, vomiting, urinary
incontinence, diarrhea, dry mouth, and dilated
pupils, and a respectable family man was caused to
run naked through the hospital, trying to molest the
nurses who were attempting to treat his illness".
Another case of mushroom poisoning occurred in 1971 when a female drug user, aged 17, of Adelaide,
who had a history of marijuana use, and on one previous occasion had used LSD, sought medical
treatment after having a `bad trip' while under the influence of Copelandia cyanescens, which was
obtained in the vicinity of Adelaide. She soon became frightened, seeking immediate medical attention,
because she thought that she was a banana, and that somebody was attempting to skin her (Southcott,
psilocib cyanescens grib
psilocybe on whidbey island
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a sentence in his Historia Naturalis hitherto unremarked by commentators and
ignored by the editors of Liddell Scotts Greek lexicon, he tells us, in Book
XX, in the chapter that discusses the gourd cucurbita, about a wild gour1,
hollow, on which he says the Greeks have bestowed the name spongos, a gourd
growing only on stony soil, of which the walls are of the thickness of a finger,
which when chewed yields a juice wholesome for the stomach. Since any such kind intention was foreign to Agrippinas nature,
and a fortiori at the dreadful moment that we are considering, we may assume
that her purpose was different the comic actors were to bear witness in the public
market-place that the Emperor had not been killed but was in truth desperately
ill, and the Hippocratic facies that we know he must have manifested gave them
full warranty for such a report.
Mind-altering (psilocybine containing) mushrooms have been traditionally used in religious healing and curing ceremonies by native
peoples in Mesoamerica for more than 3,000 years. Today, the recreational use of hallucinogenic fungi by Westerners is widespread,
especially in various regions of the United States, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, Great Britain, Europe (especially in the Netherlands),
Scandinavia, South America, Southeast Asia, India, Bali, Samoa; Australia and New Zealand. The modern, non-traditional use of
hallucinogenic mushrooms has been stimulated, by media reports in newspapers, magazines, word-of-mouth communication, the
World Wide Web and Internet, and also by the scholarly and popular journal publications of the renown ethnomycologist R. Gordon
Wasson, (Harvard psychologist Timothy Leary, traveler Jeremy Sanford, health guru Andrew Weil, and others (see Allen , Merlin &
This field guide reviews the history of both the accidental and purposeful use of psychoactive mushrooms in Australia and New
Zealand. Information in this guide has been gathered from personal experiences in Australia by the author and from reports in the
scientific literature, news items appearing in the popular press, and personal communications with Australian and New Zealand (NZ)
professionals (Unsigned 1970; O'Neill, 1986).
Furthermore, descriptions of both the physical and mental effects resulting from both the accidental and deliberate ingestion of some
species of psychoactive mushrooms in Australia and New Zealand during the past 50 years is discussed.
There are more than 1 dozen species of "magic mushrooms" in Australia and New
Zealand. Four of these species are dung (manure) inhabiting mushrooms. They include
Psilocybe cubensis and/or Psilocybe subcubensis (known locally as "gold caps" and/or
"gold tops"), Psilocybe subaeruginosa, and Copelandia cyanescens (the latter is known
locally as "blue meanies"). These four species contain the mind altering alkaloids
psilocybine and psilocine and are the most common hallucinogenic mushrooms in
Australia. In New Zealand, the most commonly used species are Copelandia cyanescens
and Psilocybe semilanceata, the latter species is recognized throughout the world as the
"liberty cap"). This species only occurs in manured soil and does not grow directly from
the dung of cattle, sheep or other four legged farm animals. Psilocybe cubensis the most
popular of these species, is well known throughout much of the world; however, this
species is not known to occur in New Zealand.
Other species described in this guide are known to occur in manured soil, in pastures, meadows, grazing lands, some lawns and in
the bark mulch and woodchips of deciduous woods.
CATTLE AS A POSSIBLE DISPERSAL MECHANISM
FOR PSYCHOACTIVE DUNG FUNGI
One may ask the question, "how did these mushrooms arrive in Australia and New Zealand?" Well some species may be endemic,
that is, they were already there naturally. Other species such as the above described dung-inhabiting mushrooms most likely
appeared after the introduction of cattle on the subcontinent.
The first livestock to arrive in Australia were brought from the Cape of Good Hope in
1788, and included 2 bulls and 5 cows, along with other domesticated farm animals. By
l803, the government owned approximately 1800 cattle, most of which were imported
from the Cape, Calcutta, and the west coast of America. It was during this period that
some of the visionary mushrooms mentioned in this field guide probably first appeared in
Australia (Unsigned, 1973). According to Australian mycologist John Burton Cleland
(1934), "fungi growing in cow or horse-dung and confined to such habitats, must in the
case of Australia, all belong to introduced species". It is believed to have been the South
African dung beetle which may have actually spread the spores. According to English
mycologist Roy Watling o Glowingmushroomsonguam
The majority of adverse physical effects or negative psychological reactions produced by magic mushrooms generally result from
inappropriate set and expectation, or because of improper dosage, which may vary considerably among consumers, different
mushroom species, or even within an individual species.
The question of dosage is often confused by the variation in the source of the hallucinogenic mushroom species which is consumed. Mail
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