BBOWT Sydlings Copse nature reserve, Oxfordshire
From the Woodland Trust:
Mythology and symbolism
Fly agaric has a long history of being used in religion particularly in Asia. It has been used in a sacred and hallucinogenic ritual drink called Soma in India and Iran for over 4,000 years. It has also been the topic of a Hindu religious hymn.
This toadstool has turned up in many fairy tale stories and is famous in the story of Alice in Wonderland where she is given some fly agaric to eat. It has also been shown in TV series like the smurfs and in the video game Super Mario Bros.
How we use fly agaric
Fly agaric is poisonous and infamous for its psychoactive and hallucinogenic properties. Reports of human deaths resulting from its ingestion are extremely rare.
Toxicity: due to its psychoactive and hallucinogenic properties, this fungus is inedible. There are records of fly agaric being used as a medicine.
Fly agaric was traditionally used as an insecticide. The cap broken up and sprinkled into saucers of milk. It's known to contain ibotenic acid, which both attracts and kills flies.