Most information on the benefits of Amanita Muscaria come from anecdotal stories sprinkled throughout the internet and from nicknames the mushroom has been given throughout history. We also know that humans have been ingesting Amanita for tens of thousands of years based on linguistic and cave art studies. Details about the reasons for its use, however, were lost with time.

Today, studies on the Amanita mushroom remain limited, however, research on muscimol (the main active chemical in Amanita) is ample. A quick search on Google Scholar comes up with 51,500 papers mentioning "muscimol", no small stack of papers. This is because muscimol is a potent GABA receptor agonist, and is often used to study the role GABA plays in our nervous system.

Why Study the GABA system?

GABA is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the body, helping reduce the overfiring of neurons and bringing balance to the nervous system. GABA is thought to play a major role in controlling anxiety, stress, fear, insomnia, blood pressure, epilepsy and depression. (1)

Why Study Muscimol?

Though beneficial, synthetically produced GABA fails to cross the blood brain barrier (the wall of cells protecting the nervous system from the rest of the body). This makes it difficult to use in human or animal studies without an invasive procedure. Muscimol, on the other hand, is able to cross the blood brain barrier and has very similar effects to GABA, so it is often utilized by scientists studying the GABA system.

Amanita as an Entheogen?

Many people refer to Amanita as an entheogen because the mushroom seems to possess a spiritual and consciousness expanding personality. In addition, each person that works with Amanita tends to obtain unique wisdom and healing properties, as if the mushrooms gives them what they need and not what they expect. These properties mean the benefits of this mushroom go beyond chemical pharmacology and into the mystical (or magical). Until we have a better understanding of the inner workings of Amanita, scientific studies are a great starting point.

Feel free to peruse the below studies on Amanita Muscaria and muscimol. I will do my best to update this page as more studies get published.


Brain Health

Amanita muscaria extract has neuro-protective and memory enhancing effects on the brain.

study on AM and neuroprotection

study on AM and memory enhancement



Muscimol increases serotonin concentrations and reduces epinephrine.

study on muscimol and serotonin



Muscimol has been shown to reduce conditioned fear-responses (long term anxieties) in rat studies.

study on muscimol and fear response

Muscimol can also quiet an overactive mind by increasing the amount of GABA, the inhibitory neurotransmmiter, in the brain.

study on muscimol and GABA



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.

study in muscimol and serotonin

study in muscimol and dopamine



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.

study on muscimol and slow wave sleep

study on muscimol and REM sleep

study on muscimol and sleep spindles



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.

study on lucid dreaming and fears



Polymers (Fucomannogalactan and glucan) obtained from Amanita muscaria presented potent inhibition of inflammatory pain.

study on AM and inflammation 



Muscimol microinjections in the sub thalamic nucleus reverse Parkinsonian symptoms.

study on muscimol and Parkinson's



Muscimol significantly improves spatial and memory learning ability in both regular and Alzheimers disease rats.

study on muscimol and Alzeimers


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?"