Ibotenic acid

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Ibotenic acid
IUPAC name α-Amino-2,3-dihydro-2-oxo
-5-oxazoleacetic acid
Other names Ibotenic acid
3D model (JSmol)
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Molar mass 158.11 g/mol
Melting point
Solubility in Methanol Soluble
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state
(at 25 °C, 100 kPa)

Infobox disclaimer and references

Ibotenic acid is a chemical compound that is naturally occurring in the mushrooms Amanita muscaria and Amanita pantherina, among others. Ibotenic acid is a powerful neurotoxin that is used as a "brain-lesioning agent" and has shown to be highly neurotoxic when "injected directly into the brains of mice and rats."[1]


Amanita muscaria which contains ibotenic acid

When ibotenic acid is ingested, a small portion is decarboxylated into muscimol. Ibotenic acid evokes entheogenic effects in human beings at doses in range of 50-100mg.[2] Peak intoxication is reached approximately 2-3 hours after oral ingestion,[3] consisting of one or all of the following; visual distortions/hallucinations, loss of equilibrium, muscle twitching (commonly mislabeled as convulsions), and altered sensory perception. These effects generally last for 6-8 hours, varying with dose.[4]

Medical uses

Ibotenic acid is used as a brain lesioning agent in the medical environment. When injected intracranially, ibotenic acid causes the development of lesions of the brain.[5]

Role in shamanic rituals

The ibotenic acid (coupled with other substances such as muscimol found in Amanita muscaria and Amanita pantherina) is a common factor in shamanic rituals, used as a sacrament, of sorts. Muscimol is excreted in the urine, and there are stories of shamans "reusing" urine for intoxication purposes.[6]

See also


  1. Erowid -- Amanitas
  2. Chilton 1975; Theobald et al. 1968
  3. Chilton 1975
  4. Chilton 1975; Ott 1976a
  5. [1]
  6. [2]

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