Reports of Psychoactive Boletes

May 24, 2022
8:55 pm

For more than half a century, the existence of certain species of mushrooms in the family Boletaceae (“boletes”) possessing psychoactive properties has been rumored, with independent ethnographic reports emerging from Papúa New Guinea and China. In both cases, local inhabitants describe consuming a type of bolete mushroom, followed by the occurrence of various hallucinations, generally characterized by a perception of being surrounded by an abundance of colorful, diminutive creatures—clinically referred to as “Lilliputian Hallucinations”. Despite the numerous and suggestive reports, the identity of psychoactive boletes remains a mycological mystery. To this date, no rigorous scientific studies have been performed that conclusively reveal the taxonomic identity or active chemical constituents of this unstudied group of psychoactive mushrooms. Here, the history of psychoactive bolete reports is compiled together, our scant sum of knowledge on the topic is summarized, and future directions for research are suggested.