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A Misunderstood and Misrepresented Mushroom

Kevin Feeney Author Interview

What was the idea, or spark, that first set off the need to write Fly Agaric: A Compendium of History, Pharmacology, Mythology, & Exploration?

There were really two sparks that gave life to this book. The first spark was to produce the book that I had always wanted. When I first developed an interest in this mushroom as a teenager there was very little written about the mushroom that was accessible and the articles and books that were available were frequently vague on a number of important points. I had always wished I could find something that was comprehensive and that could provide a solid background on the history, pharmacology, and mythology surrounding this mushroom. The second spark was the realization that in the decades since I first developed an interest in the Fly Agaric there remained an incredible vacuum in the literature on this mushroom. Thus, the goal of producing the book was to simultaneously fill this vacuum and to produce the book that I had always wanted.

What was the collaboration process like with so many people contributing to this book?

The collaboration aspect was one of the thrilling elements of putting this book together. There were challenges in selecting and contacting the authors and researchers that I wanted to participate but I couldn’t be happier with the selection of individuals who agreed to contribute to this book. Some of the contributors had previously published their work elsewhere, but many of these pieces had been out of print for years or decades and were difficult for readers to find. This provided an opportunity to re-introduce readers to some very interesting literature on this mushroom. It was also great to work with authors on new works, to discuss topics, and lay-outs, and to take a more active editorial role. There were also several chapters that I co-authored, and I feel honored to have had the opportunity to work with each of these individuals as a collaborator.

What is one thing about Fly Agaric that you think is misrepresented in the media?

One thing the media is frequently guilty of is using images of the Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria) in articles about Psilocybe mushrooms, frequently referred to as “magic” mushrooms. While the Fly Agaric is also psychoactive it is quite distinct from Psilocybe mushrooms, both in its appearance and in its pharmacology. There is potential for this misrepresentation to lead to confusion among readers, which could lead to unforeseen and potentially harmful consequences.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

There are no books currently in the works though I am presently working on several research articles related to the Fly Agaric, which will likely be published within the next two years.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

With more than two-dozen contributors and over 450-pages of content Fly Agaric is the most comprehensive book on the iconic red and white-spotted mushroom ever assembled. In the 29 chapters contained herein the reader is taken on a journey through history, folklore, and the magical landscapes experienced under the influence of the Fly Agaric, and its many close relatives. The reader of this book will learn:
How to recognize and identify over a dozen types of psychoactive Amanita species, subspecies, and varieties occurring in North America, and how to distinguish them from look-alikes.What psychoactive and other active compounds are found in psychoactive Amanitas, and how they affect the mind and body.The differences between the effects and experiences produced by psychoactive Amanitas and psychedelic Psilocybe mushrooms.How the Fly Agaric can be detoxified and safely prepared for the dinner table.The history of medicinal and homeopathic use of the Fly Agaric.How the Fly Agaric can be used topically and internally to treat conditions such as pain, inflammation, insomnia, and anxiety.Theories regarding the historical and religious use of psychoactive Amanitas around the world based on archaeological, folkloric, and other evidence.

Fly Agaric

Fly Agaric is what happens when a bunch of mushroom nerds get together and geek out about their favorite fungus- the Fly Agaric. The result is brilliant. The book is designed to be beginner-friendly. No prior knowledge is needed, because the book covers absolutely everything you would need to know, and Feeney has ensured that all the information in the book is 100% approachable. Something in the book is sure to grab your attention and, before you know it, you’ll be dragged into the weird and wonderful world of Fly Agaric fans.

This comprehensive book is divided into five parts, each with a different theme. It begins with a very useful beginner’s guide to mushroom hunting and identification. This section is full of helpful guides and safety information for any fledgling mushroom hunters. The second part is my personal favorite. It is a rundown of appearances of possible allusions to Fly Agaric use in religion, culture, and folklore. This informative book is very well researched, well written, and will likely change how you view some parts of history. Some of the conjecture used in this part is then backed up in part three where Feeney’s experts analyze archaeological evidence. The book then takes another turn in part four, where it becomes a Fly Agaric cookbook. It opens by telling stories of cooking with the mushroom and why doing so is a good idea. Feeney then takes over and tells us everything we need to know about cooking the mushroom. From nutritional information to actual recipes. Finally, the book ends in part five with the science of the Fly Agaric. This section is not too dry and is just as approachable as the rest of the book. The section has everything you could want to know if you wanted to experiment with Fly Agaric yourself.

Fly Agaric is a fantastic tool for anyone that wants to dive into this fascinating topic as it is extensive, thorough, and accessible. This enlightening guide would also make a great coffee table book. You’ll find yourself picking through it, reading the bits you find most interesting until you find you’ve consumed the whole thing. The book is a great read and Feeney and his writers have done an excellent job sharing their passion with the rest of the world.

Pages: 508 | ISBN: 0578714426

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I Believe in Giving Hard Truths

David Poh Huat Soh Author Interview

Nature’s Gift of the Soursop Leaves is a short reference guide explaining what the soursop plant is, and what its uses are. Was writing this book therapeutic for you?

Writing this book is a challenge to me as
a. it is the first book to be written in the world
b. have to consider how reader will feel

It gives me more motivation and prompted me to write my second book two months later

Has writing and publishing a book changed the way you see yourself?

Yes, it makes me more committed to talk to people and help them.

Who has been the biggest supporter of your writing?

My wife and my late sister as she was a firm believer of the leaves. Sad that her caregiver failed to prepare.

Would you share something about yourself that your readers don’t know?

I am still doing financial but because of COVID I guess I was called to write the book.

I am very passionate in my writing as I believe in giving hard truths and experience.

Author Links: Website

The author writes from his heart based on real life experience which he wants to reach out to help people.


Nature Gifts of the Soursop Leaves

Nature’s Gift of the Soursop Leaves (Graviola Leaves) is a short testimony and a tribute. The author, David Soh Poh Huat, lost his sister Susan Soh Sung Choo to cancer in 2020. The informative book is meant to support all those suffering from cancer. The author lists out the benefits of consuming Soursop Leaves that are said to cure cancer and many other life-threatening chronic diseases. This flower and fruit-bearing plant is native to the tropics of America and the Caribbean and is consumed worldwide for its healing properties.

David Soh Poh Huat has written this enlightening book to spread awareness about the soursop leaves. It talks about preparing the soursop leaves, then moves on to the quality of soursop leaves that one should consume and where to buy them from. It further covers a list of benefits and finally moves on to various opinions, reviews and facts both supporting and opposing the use of soursop leaves. The author writes in a straightforward and concise manner, accompanied by visuals wherever necessary, which makes following the recipe a breeze. It is meant as an expert source to help readers understand how to source and consume soursop leaves and the potential side effects.

This informative book serves as an introduction to soursop leaves and their possible uses. Throughout the book, the author cautions the reader to talk with their doctors before they consume anything with this plant. Readers who want to know more about this interesting plant and its healing properties against cancer, side effects of chemotherapy, and several other chronic diseases should definitely pick this one up. The author cautions the readers to read up on the benefits, and side effects of soursop leave further as this isn’t a medically proven text, rather the author’s individual and learned experience.

Nature’s Gift of the Soursop Leaves is a nice introduction to the soursop plant and its potential uses. It is not a detailed reference book but does provide research information to get readers started on knowing more about this amazing plant. This would be a great resource for those that enjoy learning about different plants.

Pages: 37 | ASIN : B09BHKWX6F

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Nature Gifts of the Soursop Leaves

Nature Gifts of the Soursop Leaves by David Soh Poh Huat is a compilation of testimonies that express the effectiveness of graviola leaves. The soursop leaves drink is meant to be beneficial to those not only with cancer but also to people who have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, eczema, backache, scalp problems, and more.

The author does a great job at explaining how to prepare the tea and what is needed to prepare the tea properly, which is also accompanied by pictures. With the combination of the testimonies and the explained benefits of the tea, which include: immunity boost, antioxidants, helps fight inflammation, etc., the tea is presented as an aid to daily life. One thing I found very important and responsible, on the part of the author, was that he didn’t shy from encouraging others from doing their own research on the tea leaves. I definitely think that, when it comes to home remedies, everyone should be doing their own research before they partake in it and this book is a fantastic resource and example of how to educate yourself.

Nature Gifts of the Soursop Leaves is an enlightening and informative book about a plant with many benefits. It provides everything a reader will need to understand this invaluable plant, prepare it properly, and enjoy its many benefits.

Pages: 41 | ASIN: B09BN7ZTBL

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THE SECRET OF PLANTS IN THE ENVIRONMENT

THE SECRET OF PLANTS IN THE ENVIRONMENT by [RISHIKESH UPADHYAY]

This is an enlightening and educational book that will help readers become environmentally conscious. This book is all about plants, caring for plants, observing how they grow, and planting more. I never knew that reading about plants would be so attention-grabbing and eye-opening until I got a hold of this book. The Secret of Plants in the Environment is the right book for you if you enjoy non-fiction books that can help build the community and much more. The content in the book is refreshing and beneficial to all plant lovers. Every chapter and text in the book is based on facts. The author provides statistics to support claims in the book and also writes about personal experiences.

The Secret of Plants in the Environment has 17 chapters. At first one may feel like the chapters are too many considering the author is talking about similar topics but once you start reading; you understand why Rishikesh divided the book into 17 chapters. You will love this book because of how direct the author is. The author does not add unnecessary text. Every topic in the book is well researched and thorough. Every topic in the book is relevant and every discussion is important and will change the reader’s perception of plants at the end of the reading.

I learned so much that I did not know through the chapters in the book. Some of the topics that I read more than once include the chapters on salts or salinity in plants, waterlogging and plant adaptations, mechanosensing in plants, heavy metal stress in plants, and the response of plants to chemical agents. These chapters made me realize that plants just like pets or human beings react differently to various elements. I enjoyed reading the other chapters too, especially since they were short and easy to complete.

The Secret of Plants in the Environment will expose you to a world of plants you were not aware of. The author uses scientific terms and plant jargon that are interesting to master but they are all explained in detail. This is an intellectually-invigorating book that brings fascinating depth to botany and explores the myriad of ways that plants are affected by environmental changes.

Pages: 206 | ASIN: B08738LKJP

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