Feared and loved

General June 11, 2019 2:30 pm

Today we introduce another lucky charm to you. It is red and white, it brings not only luck, but is also feared – what could it be?
Right, the fly agaric! In our new blog post we’ll tell you how a poisonous mushroom could become a lucky charm.

The fly agaric (Amanita muscaria) comes from the family of the bulbous relatives and grows to a maximum height of 20 cm. Even as a child you learn to keep your hands off it. Even if it looks beautiful with its white stem and the red cap with white dots – its consumption can be very dangerous for your health: The ibotenic acid it contains can cause dizziness, speech disorders and hallucinations. However, it is extremely unlikely to drop dead.

There are several explanations for the name "fly agaric". One of the best-known: In order to get rid of flies, people used to cut the mushrooms into small pieces and put them in milk. When flies ate them, they were stunned by the poison and could be killed effortlessly. Another story: In the Middle Ages flies were associated with madness. When one consumed the fly agaric (by eating or smoking), one hallucinated, thus showing signs of madness.

But why did the fly agaric additionally acquire a lucky image? Rumor says that one experiences feelings of happiness in the intoxication of the fly agaric. Other sources claim that Germanic warriors used to eat small amounts of the mushroom to numb their pain in battle and make them more courageous.

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The fly agaric is not your personal lucky charm? How about the swallow? We will enlighten you about the little messenger of spring here, in keeping with the time of year. Have fun with it!