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Fly agaric.

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So fly agaric is bad for your health, if ingested.

Fly agaric (Amanita muscaria) isn't really deadly - I know herbalists who use it, for visions, with friends supervising. And I know that the lore goes that the women (or reindeer) used to eat the fly agarics, and the men would drink their pee. Thus, the women (and reindeer) would get the headaches and hangovers (and the whatnots that fly agaric supplies), and the men would just get the whatnots that fly agaric supplies. I don't know what those whatnots are, as I've never ingested it.
And for more of the same, the men would then proceed to drink their own pee - but I have no idea how often they could repeat that and still get the buzz, or whatever.

Kids: don't try it at home. Don't try it at all, unless you can find an adult 1) who's done it, 2) who you trust, and 3) who can supervise you.
Fly agaric can fry your liver. After which you're in for a liver transplant, which means continued unpleasantness for the rest of your life - and all that for just a few minutes of weird whatnots.

And don't ask me for details, as I'm not into mindblowing substances, at all.

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[image:13850 align=left hspace=1]Pic: Fly agaric, Amanita muscaria.
What I use fly agaric for, and what I've used fly agaric for for years, is externally, in tincture, for sciatica.

The actives are watersoluble (hence the "drink the pee" bit above), so you don't want a high-alcohol tincture.
It's pretty much the only tincture I make with 32-40 % alcohol from fresh plant, er, fungus. And it's a weak tincture: chop up 2-3 good-sized fungi into 2-3 cm sized chunks (foot and hat), put the lot into a 5-7 dl jar, top up with vodka, let sit for 2-3 weeks, strain gently, pour into bottle, label. AND put that "TOXIC!" marker on, in whatever way you like. I like a very large label with very big red marker text.

How to use this then? It's 2-3 drops of tincture on the spine, when sciatica hits. Relief is pretty much instant.

I expect the tincture relaxes the muscles around the spine, where the hurt comes from, and when those muscles are finally allowed to relax they stop clamping bone all over the pinched nerve, which means the nerve can finally relax and no longer scream to the brain that "this hurts, cramp down on this, fast and hard!". And the pain goes away. Bliss.

I learned this from an old Finnish lady years ago - she came up to tell me about it after a lecture. I've told it onwards pretty much every time I remember to, and get very good feedback: "Remember the fly agaric tincture you told us about? Well, we made some in fall, and it helped, and after that the bottle has been in pretty much every house in the village, thanks heaps!". And such.

Try it if you have sciatica. Just a few drops on the hurting spot is enough. But don't ingest it -- unless of course you think that the risk of a fried liver is worth it.

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Related entry: Mo' nettles

Comments

I just tinctured some this week and am quite excited to try it, but have three questions.
1. Do I need to be careful when pressing the finished tincture? Should I wear gloves, or is it ok to use my bare hands?
2. Have you seen it work for other nerve/muscle pain besides sciatica?
3. Would it be contraindicated in pregnancy?
Thanks!

1) You DO NOT press the finished tincture. You pour it into its bottle, period.
2) The action is muscarinic (... from Amanita muscaria ...) - that is, it relaxes involuntary muscles. It should work to relax all of them.
3) I've given it to pregnant ladies with sciatica. 3 drops externally isn't going to bother their kids. Said ladies should, however, start doing belly / back exercises, to stop the problem from reoccurring.



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