Inocybe aeruscinascens is amongst the rare members of the large Inocybe genus to be psilocybin-producing. Because this genus of 1400 species include a mixture of edible, psychoactive and poisonous mushrooms, it has the reputation of being a “mycological minefield”, it is therefore advised to would-be psychonauts to refrain from ingesting these fungi from the wild. Inocybe aeruginascens is widely distributed in Europe and other temperate areas and was first documented by I. Ferencz in Ócsa in Hungary in the spring of 1965.
From the latin roots aerug- (“blue-green”) and ascens (“becoming”), Inocybe aeruginascens is the psilocybian mushroom that “becomes blue-green” when bruised. It is said that the bluing reaction upon bruising is due to the presence of psilocin but to this day, opinions are torn. It was an unfortunate intoxication back in 1983, while mistaking Inocybe aeruginascens to the common fairy ring mushroom Marismius oreades, that revealed for the first time the presence of psilocybin in this specie.
The exceptional feature of this small mycorrhizal tabacco-coloured fungus is that it contains almost equal amounts of three serotonin-like hallucinogenic compounds: psilocybin, baeocystin, and aeruginascin. Aeruginascin is analog to psilocybin and is also closely related to the frog skin toxin bufotenine (5-HTQ), a potent 5-HT3 receptor agonist.
Jochen Gartz, a German mycologist and chemist, who first discovered and named aeruginascin in the ‘80s, has been closely studying this indole derivative and his studies show that it modifies the pharmacological action of psilocybin. This entourage effect unique to I. aeruginascin seems to be responsible in fostering a persistent “good trip” experience.
Studies report that consumers (even accidental ingestions), have never had a “bad trip” after ingesting the species, hinting that perhaps Inocybe aeruginescens could be a better option for therapeutic use than psilocybin is.
Gartz says that this mushroom, because of its chemical structure, is unlikely to cross the blood-brain barrier, perhaps limiting risks for psychotic episodes and offering an overall smoother experience to help treat conditions such as cluster headaches, depression and other health disorders.