Amanita muscaria: poisonous toadstool, noxious weed, or curious elixir

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About: Traditionally regarded as a toxic toadstool best not touched, the narrative around Amanita muscaria has been changing, with evolving conversations around its status as a noxious weed, and its supposed medicinal benefits. Few mushrooms have so many myths associated with it, but whether it be a poison or elixir, the jinn is out of the bottle – there is an emerging market of books, workshops, gummies, and extracts. So What has changed? This talk is a review of some of the recent literature, leading into harm minimisation and a few other things to keep in mind with this curious toadstool.

Speaker: Caine Barlow, Entheogenesis Australis

Bio: Caine Barlow is a Fungi Educator and Mycologist based in Melbourne, Australia. He has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Tasmania, and a Master of Science from the University of Melbourne. Caine also has qualifications in horticulture and permaculture. He works closely with the Australian organisation Entheogenesis Australis, and is a co-founder of US-based organisation The Entheome Foundation. Caine started foraging mushrooms in the early 1990’s, and has been cultivating gourmet fungi since the mid 2000’s. Caine has taught mushroom cultivation through private workshops, through mycological societies, at Entheogenesis Australis events, with Fungi Academy, and at numerous mushroom themed events. He has co-written and delivered workshops with Mycommunity Applied Mycology, and co-wrote and delivered content for DoubleBlind’s 102 Mushroom cultivation course. Caine is a mentor for Milkwood for their online Mushroom Cultivation course. He has written for Entheogenesis Australis, DoubleBlind, ThirdWave, MicroDose, and Healing Maps. Caine is currently working on a book project, expected to be released May 2024! He is an admin and moderator on many Facebook fungi groups. In addition to fungi, he has had a long-term interest in ethnobotany, ethnobotanical literature, and growing medicinal plants. Find him on Instagram, @guerrillamycology. His website is


MardiGrass is also all about sensible law reform for ALL drugs, so this year we will partner with Entheogenesis Australis [EGA] to present a program dedicated to other medicinal plants. Don’t miss it! 10am – 10pm Saturday 4 May in the Town Hall Garden.

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