Have you ever held a beautiful magic mushroom, and witnessed its mysterious change in color?
For decades, the magic mushroom puzzled researchers. And, today everyone knows why the mushroom changes its color to blue when picked. This phenomenon is also known as “Blue Bruising”. This is a very common feature found in mushrooms that contain “Psilocybin”. Blue bruising is not adequate to prove that a mushroom belongs to this category. It must contain two more features to “ascertain” on the fact that it is a magic mushroom. For a mushroom to be tagged as “active Psilocybin”, the following qualities need to be fulfilled:
- It should have bluish bruises
- It should have purple-brown spore deposits
- It should have semi-gelatinous pellicle, which can be separated easily.
Why does the color change happen?
The moment you choose to slice or bruise the magic mushroom, you will be removing a small portion of the psilocybin molecule. With the mushroom, there is an enzyme called “PsiP”. Once the molecule is cut, the psychoactive structure gets broken, and the compounds are allowed to move freely. The PsiP enzyme cuts through the portion containing phosphorus. This releases a psychoactive molecule known as psilocin.
Meanwhile, another enzyme gets activated during the bruising or slicing. This enzyme is known as PsiL. The role of the PsiL enzyme is to destabilize the released psychoactive molecule, aka Psilocin. PsiL works by stealing electrons from the psilocin molecule. As a result, the psilocin molecule is forced to fuse in larger groups, trios or pairs. Many a times, the psilocin molecule assembles and changes its color. It becomes deep blue when the molecule lsoes many hydrogen atoms. Technically, this process is known as bluing. And, that is why you would see a change in color when the magic mushroom is sliced or bruised in any way. The reaction happens instantaneously.
It is quite interesting to note that enzymes with similar behavior are found in the human body too! There are many impressive enzymes to re-create the psilocin effect in the body. Yet, you will not see a change in color. But, you will be able to feel the psychedelic effects.
However, there are many mysteries around this chemical reaction. Scientists are still studying on what the blue pigments in these mushrooms are capable off. Some claim that the blue pigments are responsible for protecting the rest of the mushroom. In simpler terms, these are on-demand fighters against various predators.