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Blue Bruising Mushrooms: Why Magic Mushroom Turns Blue When Cut

Blue Bruising Mushroom - Why Magic Mushrooms Turn Blue - Curative Mushrooms

If you are wondering if a blue bruising mushroom is a magic mushroom, the answer is probably yes. Most but not all mushrooms that contain psilocybin will bleed blue.

They say psilocybin and psilocin are what make a mushroom “magic.” Then, it is the oxidation of psilocybin that causes blue-bruising.

“So why don’t all psilocybin mushrooms bruise blue?!”

Below, we will explain this process. Also, we answer some common questions you have about magic mushrooms’ blue-bruising:

Blue Bruising Mushroom - Why Magic Mushrooms Turn Blue - are all blue-bruising mushrooms magic - Curative Mushrooms

Blue bruising (a.k.a. blue staining) is a common feature of mushroom species containing psilocybin. Two well-known blue-bruising species are Psilocybe cubensis and Psilocybe azurescens. Bruising is triggered by picking, pressing, or cutting the mushroom.

However, the bruise or “coloration” may not always be “blue.” The coloration may range from blue, indigo (deep blue), greenish-blue, to bluish-black.

Further, the fruiting body is the most common part that shows bruising when handled or damaged.

The mushroom is the fruiting body. It is the spore-bearing part of a fungus that mainly grows above the ground or substrate.

Why Magic Mushrooms Turn Blue - mycelium blue-bruising - Curative Mushrooms

Aside from the fruiting body, bruising may also be present at the base of the stem or even the mycelium.

Mold Contamination on Mushroom How to Spot and Treat
Unsure if the blue coloration is your mycelium is mold or normal blue bruising? Read this article to learn how to tell them apart. Or see how the q-tip test works.

1. Is Psilocybin the Only Psychoactive Ingredient in Mushrooms?

Why Magic Mushrooms Turn Blue - molecular composition of psilocybin and psilocin - Curative Mushrooms

Some mushrooms are psychoactive but do not contain psilocin or its precursor, psilocybin. This is because psilocybin and psilocin are not the only substances found in mushrooms considered psychoactive.

When taken in or administered into one's system, psychoactive substances affect mental processes, e.g., perception, consciousness, cognition or mood, and emotions.

Why Magic Mushrooms Turn Blue - amanita muscaria or fly agaric psychoactive constituents ibotenic acid and muscimol - Curative Mushrooms

For example, Amanita muscaria, known as fly agaric, contains muscimol and ibotenic acid psychoactive constituents.

Not all mushrooms in the Psilocybe genus contain psilocybin. Besides, it is not only the Psilocybe types of mushrooms that contain psilocybin.

Other mushrooms containing psilocybin include several species (spp.) of the following genera:

Blue Bruising Mushroom - Why Magic Mushrooms Turn Blue - Other psilocybin-containing mushrooms Conocybe, Gymnopilus, Panaeolus, Pluteus, Stropharia - Curative Mushrooms

However, the term “magic mushroom” is widely used to refer to mushrooms containing psilocybin.

2. What Causes Blue-bruising in Magic Mushrooms?

Blue Bruising Mushroom - Why Magic Mushrooms Turn Blue - What causes blue-bruising in magic mushrooms spectrometry and spectroscopy - Curative Mushrooms

A group of researchers in Germany, led by Prof. Dr. Dirk Hoffmeister, has been investigating magic mushrooms for years. They had noticed the mysterious blueing reaction in their lab and were curious to explain this phenomenon.

Initially, these highly talented researchers tried to extract and purify the blue compound. However, they failed to obtain any compound and had to give up on this pursuit. That is when they took things a step further with other analytical methods.

The researchers upped their game using advanced analytical techniques. They used different types of spectrometry and spectroscopy to observe the compounds as they form.

Blue Bruising Mushroom - Why Magic Mushrooms Turn Blue - proposed reaction scheme for converting psilocybin into blue pigments - Curative Mushrooms
Source: © 2019 Claudius Lenz et al. The blueing reaction in P. cubensis was catalyzed by Psilocybin phosphatase (PsiP) and Psilocybin laccase (PsiL).

It turns out that the pigment is a complex mixture of linked psilocybin oxidation products rather than a single compound. Quinoid psilocyl oligomers are mostly what make up this mixture.

All six mushroom pigments identified by the team result from a cascade reaction that begins with psilocybin.

Why Magic Mushrooms Turn Blue - injury-triggered bluing reaction of magic mushrooms - Curative Mushrooms

The bluing process starts with psilocybin losing a component of its molecule to become psilocin. Psilocin then passes through several transformations that cause it to dimerize and duplicate itself.

The dimerized psilocin undergoes another conversion when mushrooms are picked, bruised, or otherwise damaged. This conversion produces one of two molecules that reflect blue light, resulting in the bluing patterns.

3. What Blue-bruising Mushrooms Are not Magic?

Bruising mushrooms does not mean they contain psilocybin. For example, blue-bruising mushrooms like Lactarius indigo and several species of bolete mushrooms are not active.

Coloration in mushrooms is common; this can be due to aging or injury. Some mushrooms are poisonous if they develop black coloration at the base. Thus, it is crucial to be cautious when identifying mushrooms.

3.1 Dotted Stem Bolete (Neoboletus luridiformis, previously known as Boletus luridiformis)

Blue Bruising Mushroom - Why Magic Mushrooms Turn Blue - Dotted Stem Bolete (Neoboletus luridiformis, previously known as Boletus luridiformis) blue-bruising mushroom, not magic- Curative Mushrooms

Dotted Stem Bolete, a.k.a. Red Foot Bolete or Scarletina Bolete, is a giant (edible when properly cooked) mushroom with a dark brown semicircle cap, usually red or olive sparkles.

It has a yellowish area near the apex and a pattern of tiny red dots covering most of its stem. One of its most distinguishing features is its flesh turning rapidly dark blue when bruised or cut. This reaction is due to the oxidation of pulvinic acid derivatives.

3.2 Cornflower Bolete (Gyroporus cyanescens)

Blue Bruising Mushroom - Why Magic Mushrooms Turn Blue - Cornflower Bolete (Gyroporus cyanescens) blue-bruising mushroom, not magic - Curative Mushrooms

Cornflower Bolete, a.k.a. Bluing Bolete, has a straw yellow convex cap with a dry and velvety texture. This mushroom (edible when properly prepared) instantly exhibits dark blue bruising when injured.

The unique compound, gyrocyanin, which is NOT psychoactive, is what causes the blue-bruising.

4. What Magic Mushrooms Do Not Bruise Blue?

The presence of psilocybin alone does not warrant that the mushroom will blue-bruise. The reason for this remains unclear. But one thing for sure is that blue-bruising comes from the complex mixture of linked psilocybin oxidation products.

Thus, other non-blue-bruising species of magic mushrooms probably do not undergo such a process to produce the mix.

4.1 Liberty Cap (Psilocybe semilanceata, formerly Psilocybe montana)

Blue Bruising Mushroom - Why Magic Mushrooms Turn Blue - Liberty Cap (Psilocybe semilanceata) magic mushroom does not bruise blue - Curative Mushrooms

Psilocybe semilanceata is a highly potent psychedelic mushroom that rarely exhibits blue-bruising. It may only bruise a little at the base of its stem, which gives it the name “Blue Legs.”

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One probable reason is it contains only small traces of the phenolic compound psilocin. Though, it has high amounts of psilocybin (around 1% dry weight). On the other hand, weakly psychoactive mushrooms only show light bruising.

5. What Is the Difference Between Psilocybin and Psilocin in a Blue Bruising Mushroom?

Blue Bruising Mushroom - Why Magic Mushrooms Turn Blue - difference between psilocybin and psilocin - Curative Mushrooms

Psilocybin is the precursor of psilocin. Psilocybin is stable in environmental conditions and is not bioactive in humans.

precursor = a compound that participates in a chemical reaction that produces another compound

On the other hand, psilocin is a psychoactive compound. When given orally, psilocybin is processed in the liver and transformed into psilocin.

Psilocin is just one of several other derivatives of psilocybin—norpsilocin, baeocystin, norbaeocystin, and aeruginascin.

The proportion of psilocybin to psilocin differs from species to species. This is probably why specific magic mushrooms will or will not exhibit blue bruising.

In summary, We Learned Several Things about Magic Mushrooms’ Blue-Bruising:

  • Most mushrooms containing psilocybin exhibit injury-triggered bruising, and blue is the prominent color.
  • Aside from the Psilocybe genus, other genera of mushrooms contain psilocybin and are considered magic mushrooms. Thus, they may also exhibit blue-bruising.
  • Also, not all mushrooms containing psilocybin will bruise blue because they contain too little traces of psilocybin and psilocin. They might not undergo the chemical reactions that exhibit the bluing reaction, and may exhibit other coloration.
  • Lastly, non-magic mushrooms may exhibit blue bruising. Other non-psychoactive bluing extracts may be responsible for this. For example, the compound gyrocyanin in Cornflower Bolete.

As a final note, blue bruising may be one of several ways to tell if a mushroom is “magic.” However, it is not an accurate basis.

Other ways to identify mushrooms are to check the characteristics of the spores and spore print or have them examined by expert mycologists.*



Curative Mushrooms has to post the standard FDA Disclaimer…The statements made regarding medicinal mushrooms have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. Curative Mushrooms is not making claims intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from healthcare practitioners. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before consuming the medicinal mushrooms. The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act requires this notice.


This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Curative Mushrooms nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.


Always looking for ways to improve the health of myself and my family led me to the discovery of medicinal mushrooms and the numerous health benefits they have on the body. My mission is to spread this knowledge and help as many people as possible.

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  1. Hey! How are you guys doing! I’m interested in your spore syringes and would like more information if someone has time to help me. Plus I’m interested in the whole process. Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you!

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