Around the Yard

Published 4:30 pm Thursday, January 20, 2022

By Payton Johnson, 7th Grader at Crenshaw Christian Academy

I recently noticed a group of mushrooms growing at my home and thought they looked very magical, something straight out of a fairytale.

I had to know more about them, and quickly started researching all about them.

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The mushrooms growing at my home in Brantley are called amanita muscaria. Their nickname is the fly agaric because they were traditionally used as an insecticide by crushing them and placing them in a saucer with milk to attract flies and kill them.

They grow in temperate regions in the southern and northern hemispheres. These bright red mushrooms grow from the soil around the base of trees and like to grow in forests. Amanitas like most mushrooms have long roots that can go on for miles and can connect to other plants nearby acting like a plant internet of sorts.

Although amanitas are commonly thought to have psychedelic properties, they are actually not psychedelic at all and are really considered poisonous instead.

Even though amanitas are poisonous, you can actually eat these spotted mushrooms if you detoxify them. They are even a culinary delight in parts of Europe, Asia and North America.

You might not think amanitas have any health benefits, but they do. They are beneficial for things like sore throats, arthritis, joint pain, and swollen lymph nodes. From a clinical perspective these mushrooms are considered to be neurotoxic according to The Ultimate Guide to Amanita Muscaria. A neurotoxic alters the way the nervous system works.

These red spotted mushrooms look pretty, but can be very dangerous.