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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.

Photo: Amanita muscaria 5. 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.

Related entry: Mo' nettles


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.

I am making a tincture and was wondering if you have used higher percentage alchohol does this damage the fly agaric ?

Dunno. As it's a traditional recipe, I go with 40 %.

Will sub speices of Amanita muscaria like Amanita muscaria guessowii and formosa work the same as Amanita muscaria?

They should.

"No direct toxic action on typical target systems
implicated in mushroom poisonings (i.e. liver, kidneys,
essential metabolism) has been reported (Michelot &
Tebbett 1990, Michelot & Toth 1991, Michelot 1992)."

Have you ever come across someone having an allergic reaction to this medicine? I only know of a few herbalists working with Amanita muscaria and am trying to help someone post a severe allergic reaction followed by trauma from applying a small amount topically. P.s it wasn’t prescribed by me. Don’t think I’m confident or experienced enough to work with this fungi. Any thoughts much appreciated!

People can be allergic to pretty much anything at all. Give your usual allergy herbs and help the liver.

Hi Henriette,

Thank you for sharing information about the therapeutic use of this mushroom. I am currently conducting a study on the medicinal use of the Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria) and am searching for potential participants who have prior experience using this mushroom for therapeutic purposes (either externally or internally). I have already gathered some great information but am hoping to be able to collect a few more surveys to give my data a little more weight. If you, or anyone reading this discussion is interested please visit my survey here:

For any one wary of clicking random links, the study is being conducted through Central Washington University, thus the "cwu" in the web address.

Thank you for your help, and for sharing your remedy and experiences with this unique fungus.


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