Most of the research done on the benefits of Amanita muscaria (AM) have come out of Russia, where there has been a renewed interest in the polka dotted mushroom. Some studies have been replicated and translated for western readers, though, and they are listed below.
Research on muscimol (the active chemical in AM) has been researched for years in the States. This is because it is a potent GABAa receptor agonist, meaning it acts in a very similar way to endogenous GABA. This makes it a great chemical to study when looking at the role GABA has on our bodies. Another useful feature is that muscimol is able to cross the blood brain barrier, something synthetically produced GABA fails to do well. Allowing reserchers to study the effects of GABA in a less invasive manner.
Feel free to peruse the below studies if you wish to gain a better understanding of the benefits of Amanita muscaria. And if you have any additional studies you think I should add, feel free to email me.
Amanita muscaria extract has neuro-protective and memory enhancing effects on the brain.
Muscimol increases serotonin concentrations and reduces epinephrine.
Muscimol has been shown to reduce conditioned fear-responses (long term anxieties) in rat studies.
Muscimol can also quiet an overactive mind by increasing the amount of GABA, the inhibitory neurotransmmiter, in the brain.
Muscimol has been shown to increase serotonin and dopamine in the brain. Along with its ability to potentially reduce anxiety, results in a more confident and happy version of oneself.
Muscimol helps decrease wakefulness, promote slow wave sleep, and also increases the number and duration of REM episodes. Additionally, muscimol increases the ability for the brain to form sleep spindles, which facilitate long term memory storage and neuroplasticity.
There are no formal studies on the effects of muscimol on dreaming but there are hundreds of reports online of people claiming it promotes lucid dreaming. I did find an interesting study showing that facing your fears through lucid dreaming may help overcome phobias, which is interesting.
Polymers (Fucomannogalactan and glucan) obtained from Amanita muscaria presented potent inhibition of inflammatory pain.
Muscimol microinjections in the sub thalamic nucleus reverse Parkinsonian symptoms.
Muscimol significantly improves spatial and memory learning ability in both regular and Alzheimers disease rats.
Large Scale Observational Study
Recently the results of a large-scale observational study was released to the public in a book named: "Microdosing with Amanita Muscaria". It was led by a Russian doctor under the pseudonym “Baba Masha” and involved the participation of 5,900 people over the course of 2 years. It aggregates data on the most commonly experienced effects of microdosing Amanita muscaria (AM).
Some of the most surprising results from the study
- Overall opinion after microdosing AM: 92% positive results, 2% negative results
- Depression, lack of energy: 79% positive results, 3% negative results
- Mood enhancer: 88% had more energy and virility, 12% had more sleepiness
- Creativity: 63% positive, 37% no change
- Sleep aid: 73% improved sleep, 10% had insomnia
I break down all the results in the blog post "Why Microdose Amanita Muscaria?"