tl;dr: In this article I share how I made Amanita Muscaria tincture, used it externally and internally for self-healing and what outcomes and transformations I received at the end of the process.
Warning: The information in this article is for educational purposes only.
Some years back I stumbled upon a very controversial book “The Sacred Mushroom and The Cross: A study of the nature and origins of Christianity within the fertility cults of the ancient Near East” by John M. Allegro. The book is based on the information found in the Dead Sea scrolls that were unearthed around 1946 and which brought force evidence conflicting with the other Christian texts. I will leave you the joy of discovering what those conflicts were by reading the book, but let’s just say that mushrooms were involved.
While I was raised in a culture where mushroom picking and eating was as routine as going to a supermarket, I was always taught that Amanita Muscaria is a poisonous mushroom. And until recently I have never questioned this belief.
I started researching this subject matter, only to find very little information about it. By spending some time on reddit forums I slowly started to encounter individuals that claimed that they used A. Muscaria for healing work. I learned that typically it’s done in one crazy intense experience where one consumes a few dry mushroom caps (directly or by making tea), then typically vomits for the first few hours and then an intense healing journey starts, continuing for 5-10 hours. And that you absolutely have to have a sitter for doing this process. That didn’t sound very appealing to me.
I then started looking into the toxicity of this mushroom and discovered that the main poisonous compound it contains is Ibotenic acid, a neurotoxin. I learned that a deadly dose for a human is about 15 caps of fresh A. Muscaria, and that by using a specific technique of drying the mushroom most of the dangerous Ibotenic acid gets converted into muscimol, which is also present on its own in the mushroom and which is much less toxic to a human. This compound is responsible for the healing work. A. Muscaria also contain small amounts of muscarine and muscazone, which are also toxic compounds.
Besides the drying of the caps, our bodies also decarboxylate the Ibotenic acid into muscimol. A large proportion of muscimol gets excreted in urine. This is important because in the Siberian Shamanic tradition, shamans collected their urine and shared it with others who wanted to partake in the healing ceremony. In his book “Drugged: The Science and Culture Behind Psychotropic Drugs”, when discussing A. Muscaria, Richard J. Miller writes:
Interestingly, it was observed that the drinking of drug-containing urine could continue for up to 5 cycles passing from one individual to another before the urine lost its capacity for intoxication. This was apparently often done because of the relative scarcity of the mushroom, and so preserving its hallucinogenic properties in this way had important practical benefits.
He also makes references to A. Muscaria urine drinking in the Indian folklore. Urine therapy is one of the components of Ayurveda.
Then I watched the 7th episode of season 2 of Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia, where Hamilton, a chemist, travels to Ukraine and learns how to prepare and safely consume A. Muscaria and partakes in the ritual.
At this point I knew that the mushroom has to be cracker-dry and some people suggested to wait for another 2-3 months to ensure most of the Ibotenic acid is converted to muscimol.
Finally, in search of reliable information, I turned to Russian mycology literature, and was able to find concrete traditional recipes for healing that didn’t require eating the mushroom, but, instead, instructed on how to work with a tincture, which was very easy to make.
Now I felt I was ready to start my healing work with A. Muscaria.
This article covers multiple topics, so, please, feel free to jump directly to the section you need using the following Table of Contents.
Table of Contents
- 1 Background
- 2 Let’s Harvest Amanita Muscaria
- 3 How to Make A. Muscaria Tincture
- 4 Buying Dry A. Muscaria Caps
- 5 Legality
- 6 Healing Pain with External Application of A. Muscaria
- 7 A. Muscaria Internal Application Protocol
- 8 Disclaimer
- 9 The Journey
- 10 Supporting the Grind
- 11 Outcomes
- 12 Recommended Reading
- 13 Sharing is Caring
Let’s Harvest Amanita Muscaria
As explained in wikipedia, while originally A. Muscaria was found only in the Northern hemisphere, currently it can be found almost anywhere in the world. Therefore, chances are, that if you go into your local forest in its rainy season, usually in the late summer and even more so during the fall, you will find some Amanitas. Amanita is a family of fungi, which contains a large number of sub-species.
What you want is Amanita Muscaria, which has a distinct red cap and which is sprinkled with whitish speckles. Here is a photo of A. Muscaria I took this last fall.
This article doesn’t go into the details of identification of A. Muscaria. I was raised in a culture, where mushroom picking was a very common practice and I have been picking mushrooms since I was a toddler, so I have a solid identification skill of Amanita Muscaria. But, if you’re new to this, it’s the best to find someone experienced, which you can always find at your local mycology club. Alternatively, you can buy the dehydrated caps online. While there are books that teach you how to correctly identify mushrooms (and even mobile apps), it’s best to rely on someone you trust. A misidentification may cost one’s life.
One other type of Amanita that some people use for healing is Amanita Pantherina, which tends to be 3 to 5 times more potent than A. Muscaria.
For some reason it took me several years to stumble upon A. Muscaria in the wild. Recently, I even found some growing right in the middle of the city! I believe I simply wasn’t looking for them until this last fall and therefore they were invisible to me. I set an intention to find them last summer and in the fall I found at least 3 locations where it grew in abundance.
Typically, you will find them growing under conifer and deciduous trees and often next to swampy areas. But they can grow away from water bodies just the same.
When you harvest mature mushrooms you’re very likely to find them infested with maggots. Worry not, you don’t need to remove them to proceed. Some people soak the caps in salty water to get the maggots to leave the mushroom, but then you have to dry the water off, I just use them as is. Just don’t leave the gathered caps for long unprocessed since the maggots will simply eat them up. At the very least refrigerate them. If you need to preserve the caps long term, use the food dehydrator. When you do, the maggots will leave as soon as you turn the heat on.
How to Make A. Muscaria Tincture
The highest concentration of Ibotenic acid and muscimol is in A. Muscaria’ cap, therefore the stems are usually discarded and only the caps are used for making tinctures, so you can leave those in the forest for slugs to feed on. Do not peel the caps, since the slimy top is where most of the goodness found.
The Amanita Muscaria tincture making protocol that I followed comes from the book “Ego velichestvo muhomor” (translated literally as “His Majesty the Fly Agaric”) by a renown Russian mycologist Mihail Vishnevskij. On page 100 of the 2013 edition, he writes (translation and re-formatting here and later is by yours truly):
- Place 3-4 caps of Amanita Muscaria in a cool place, like a refrigerator for 2 days
- Chop up the caps into small pieces, and place the pieces into a jar
- Fill the jar up with vodka so that the liquid covers the pieces and then add some extra so that the mushrooms are fully submerged and there is perhaps another 1-2cm of liquid above it.
- Seal the jar and keep it in the fridge for 2-6 weeks. The longer the brewing time, the more potent brew you will get. The book suggests 2 weeks, but other places up to 1.5 months. I went with 40 days.
- Filter the solids out. First remove the large bits using a strainer, and then use a coffee filter to remove any small bits. You will end up with brown-colored liquid without any sediments.
- Pour the tincture into dark glass bottles
- Store in the fridge and it’s ready to use
- You can of course use as many caps as you’d like. So for a big batch you will need some 10-20 caps.
- It’s important that it’s dark in the fridge most of the time. You can wrap the jar in a towel or aluminum foil if it’s not the case.
- Traditionally the jar was getting buried deep in the ground in the fall and then dug up some 1-1.5 months later.
- I peeked inside the jar every week or so and pushed pieces that floated up down under vodka to ensure that it won’t get mold.
- The book doesn’t specify how pure the vodka should be. From reading on the subject of making tinctures, the stronger the better (i.e. more goodness will be extracted). I used 75.5% 151 proof EverClear vodka (where I live this is the highest purity one can buy).
- As you can tell the preparation recipe is very imprecise, since it doesn’t tell how many grams of the caps to use, how much vodka to use, what alcohol purity, etc.
- Moreover, mushrooms don’t have a consistent alkaloid concentration, and those can vary wildly, depending on the season, the area they grew in, the nutrients they had access to and many other factors. So, even if the exact prescription were to be given, the outcome concentration could still vary quite wildly.
None of these matter for external application, but it’s quite a different story for internal use. I will discuss the nuances later in this article.
Here is my “brewing” jar. As you can tell I have used probably 10-15 caps (some were huge, some were tiny), to make a large batch and now I can share the goodness with my family and friends. They can all use the external application safely.
I also didn’t follow the recipe to leave some empty space above the mushrooms and greedily packed it to the brim. But that’s why I made sure to submerge whatever was floating up every few days (otherwise if left unchecked mold could grow).
The total cost to produce about 1.2L of tincture was the price of a 1.5 bottles of 75.5% EverClear vodka (CAD$40/750ml bottle, alcohol is very expensive in Canada). Of course, you will need a lot less of Vodka if you process just 3-4 mushroom caps.
Then I re-used some dark glass liquid Stevia dropper bottles that I saved, so alcohol was really the only cost.
Finally, I clearly labeled and stored the tincture in the refrigerator. It should keep the potency for at least 2-3 years, perhaps even longer.
Do note, that you may use quite a lot of tincture for external use if you have a lot of body pain, but for internal use you will need a tiny amount, as it’s extremely potent. So even if you find a single cap, that might be sufficient for internal use.
Buying Dry A. Muscaria Caps
It’s possible that you have no access to fresh mushrooms, or perhaps you don’t trust yourself to identify them (wise!). In which case, you should be able to purchase the dehydrated caps online. You will be able to use those to create the tincture, except you will need to grind them to powder first (a cheap coffee grinder will do the trick). But the same idea applies, the alcohol should cover the powder and perhaps you’d want to shake it up every few days, since the powder will be more dense than fresh mushroom chunks.
There are multiple online shops that sell A. Muscaria. Since I harvested my own, I don’t have any specific recommended shops for you at the moment. You will have to Google to find one.
I did look around though. Typically, you will get much better prices if you order directly from Russia and ex-USSR republics, than fancy western online shops. It’ll be much cheaper if you buy bulk, so pull your resources together with some friends and buy together. Most of the Western online shops source the caps in around Russia, so you bypass the middle-man. On the other hand, you usually get a more reliable service when you pay premium in Western online shops.
Some of those shops sell tincture too. As you can tell it’s quite trivial to make your own, and you know exactly what went in, but, of course, buying a pre-made tincture is a valid option.
With the exception of a few countries A. Muscaria is not a restricted or prohibited mushroom.
Most people consider A. Muscaria a poisonous mushroom and therefore the governments didn’t have to consider it as a dangerous substance to control as the population self-regulates here.
The rest of this article will talk about external and internal application of the A. Muscaria tincture.
Healing Pain with External Application of A. Muscaria
External application of Amanita Muscaria provides an excellent pain removal medicine in situations like muscle and joint pain, sprains, inflammation, colds, etc.
You can just pour a few drops of the tincture into your palm and massage it into the area of the body where you have pain. This works, however, this is not a very efficient method.
A much better way is to create a compress.
- Sprinkle some tincture on a thin clean cloth
- Apply this cloth to the body area that’s in pain
- Cover it with a supermarket or garbage plastic bag to prevent the tincture from evaporating and keeping the heat it. You may need to use some kind of belt to keep it in place or simply lie down on it (e.g. if it’s your back that hurts), so that your body weight keeps it in place.
Keep the compress in place for at least 2 hours. Traditionally it was applied before going to bed and kept on for the whole night. Chances are very high that when you wake up the next day, the pain will be either greatly reduced or completely gone.
I have used it for lower back pain, keeping it in place for about 3 hours, with amazing speedy healing.
A. Muscaria Internal Application Protocol
The internal application protocol is somewhat similar to Hydrogen Peroxide Therapy (H2O2), which is described in The One-Minute Cure: The Secret to Healing Virtually All Diseases and in many other books on healing with Hydrogen Peroxide. In this type of therapy one starts with a small amount of a substance and then gradually increases the intake for several weeks until the maximum desired quantity is achieved. Then some protocols stop there, whereas others repeat the same process in reverse, that is going from the maximum amount reached back down to a tiny amount. I call this approach – a ladder, as this is how a ladder is typically used, starting from the first step, one progresses one step higher until the top is reached. And then one may remain at the top, or traverse the same steps downwards.
The specific protocol described in Mihail Vishnevskij’s book suggests to start with just 1 drop of the tincture and then daily increment by one drop, culminating at 20 drops, and then decrement by one drop until 1 drop is reached again. Such therapy will take 39 days where you’d be taking the following amount of drops increasing/decreasing daily: 1-2-3-4…19-20-19…3-2-1, that is:
- day 1: 1 drop
- day 2: 2 drops
- day 19: 19 drops
- day 20: 20 drops
- day 21: 19 drops
- day 38: 2 drops
- day 39: 1 drop
Number 21 is considered magical, so I pushed the protocol a little bit up, culminating at 21 drops instead of 20, so mine was 1-2-3-4…19-20-21-20-19…3-2-1 and took 41 days in total.
I wrote all the 41 entries on a peace of paper, using ‘date quanitity’ format for each line, e.g.:
Dec 10 1
Dec 11 2
And as soon as I took the daily amount I’d cross out that line. So I have never mixed things up.
You’re to take the daily amount of drops first thing in the morning, 1 hour before first food intake (in another book 30min was given). Mix the tincture drops in a cup of water or milk and drink it. I used about half a cap of water. I could only taste alcohol a bit, there was no aftertaste.
When I finished the protocol I calculated that overall I took 441 drops, but since alcohol is so thin (low viscosity), the drops were tiny and I think I consumed about 20-30ml of the tincture in total. This corresponds to probably around 1/4 of a single fresh cap. That is, it was a tiny amount of A. Muscaria spread over 41 days! But, boy, what a journey it was.
As I mentioned earlier, the potency of A. Muscaria can vary wildly and depending on the strength of the alcohol used, and the duration of the brewing, it is very hard to tell whether what you will end up with will be stronger or weaker from the brew I made.
The author then suggests that you can repeat the same process some time later but going all the way up to 40 drops.
Another variation of this protocol suggested in the book is to do 1 drop 3 times a day for 20 days, mixing it with just a single table spoon of distilled water, 1 hour before eating. Breaking for 10 days and then starting again. Note that this is quite a different protocol – there is no incremental dosing.
Another Russian book “Muhomor-celitel’ i drugie jadovitye lekari” by A. V. Korodeckij (I translated the title as “The healer Amanita and other poisonous remedies”) on pages 34-35 of the 2005 edition suggests yet another variation of the “ladder” protocol, which is similar to the details I shared at the beginning of this section, except he suggests doing it 3 times a day (i.e. first day 1 drop 3 times a day, 2nd day 2 drops 3 times a day, …, 20th day 20 drops 3 times a day, and then all the way down to 1 drop 3 times a day). Then doing a one-week break. And repeating this course 3 times in total! As you can tell it calls for 3 times the intake! My feeling is that depending on your strength and the potency of your brew it may be too much. I had a very difficult time with just taking the drops once a day, I can’t imagine what I would have gone through doing it 3 times a day. I have a feeling that my mushrooms and my brew was extra potent.
Since most of this traditional knowledge has been passed orally over the centuries, the precise details must have been lost, as you have just seen 3 very different protocols. But on the other hand the variations also indicate that the details don’t matter that match. Most likely the healers of that time knew their brew, and thus knew how much to give to those they worked with. Unless you find a shaman in your neighborhood or you choose to travel to some remote place to be with one, my suggestion is to pick a protocol that resonates with you and that your body supports. Choose sustainability and repeat the process several times if needed, rather than going for a very strenuous approach and then choosing not to do it ever again.
If you are crazy enough to do this experiment yourself, I trust that you’re sane enough to closely monitor your wellbeing, as you start with a tiny amount of the tincture. While it’s very unlikely that anything physiologically bad will happen to you from such a tiny amount of A. Muscaria, since a fatal dose has been calculated as 15 caps, and each drop in this recipe is about .0006 of a cap (24,000 times smaller), this is still a not well-enough researched mushroom to take anything for granted. For example, what if you misidentified the mushroom and used one of the deadly poisonous sub-species of Amanita?
I’m just sharing my experience, while trying to include as many details as possible, since there is very little information on internal use of A. Muscaria out there, but in no way I recommend that you do it unless you know what you’re doing and obviously do it at your own risk.
Surprisingly, despite the low doze, the first 3 days were the most difficult for me. Perhaps it was so, because, it was the first time I ingested the brew and I wasn’t quite sure whether it was safe. My feeling is that worrying amplified everything. I’m not sure how to describe the experience, other than that I wasn’t feeling comfortable. I was expecting nausea, but I only experienced it for about 1 hour on the 2nd day before going to sleep and even then it was very mild. I ate some ginger and it went away. I have not experienced any nausea for the rest of the journey.
I completely stopped worrying after the first 3 days as overall I felt totally fine, so I knew I wasn’t poisoning myself. And it was a much easier going from that moment on.
The next two weeks were quite easy. For a big part of the day I felt a lot of physical and mental energy, which felt really nice. In the late afternoon I would start to get tired. I knew that my body was processing stuff and re-wiring itself, so I tried to do my best to support it and would stop working when I felt tired. (I watched a lot of TV-Series during those 41 days.)
Alas, some 15 days into the process my body got exhausted from all the processing and remained fatigued till about a week after the 41-day process was over. Next time I do it, I think I’d attempt a shorter process, with faster increase in the amount of drops, i.e., 1-3-5…19-21-19…3..1, which would require only 21 days. 41-days of intense every day processing proved to be too strenuous for me. It’s also possible that this is just how the first time was, and it’ll be much easier in the future.
I slept well, with perhaps an extra hour than normal.
During the 41 days I felt hungrier than normal, and ate more than usual. I did gain may be 1-2kgs over my average 80kg, but the need for more food has disappeared with the completion of the protocol, and I quickly lost that extra weight and then some. So, a month later, I am a few kgs below my typical weight.
One notable aspect was sexuality. A. Muscaria had a strong impact on my sexuality. With the progressive increase of the dosage my sexual energy was getting progressively stronger. It felt I could make love for hours without any tiredness (when I wasn’t already tired that is). I was able to see that my partner was experiencing an increasingly stronger sexual energy from me. Towards the 21 drops, my whole body was super-charged with sexual energy and it was enough to just touch me to get “zapped”.
I also stayed away from socializing, since my energy levels were unpredictable, and I didn’t want to create any unnecessary additional stress, hence I resumed my social contacts upon the completion of the process.
Supporting the Grind
Because I knew my body was doing a lot of rewiring and cleansing I decided to reuse parts of the support protocol from heavy metal chelation, that I have done some years earlier. In particular, focusing on liver support, as it was getting stressed, while processing the A. Muscaria compounds.
I’m not a big fan of supplements, so my approach was quite simple, using just a few basic, but nevertheless essential suplements to support my body:
- Vitamin C (2gr 3 times a day)
- Coffee enemas twice a week – supporting elimination. I was also hoping A. Muscaria will help me to get rid of intestinal parasites I acquired while living in Asia, but, alas, that didn’t happen.
- Copious rest/sleep
I am writing this article 4 weeks after completing the 41-day journey, to allow my body and mind to settle and integrate, so that I can now observe the long lasting outcomes.
I didn’t have any big asks, other than trusting that this work with A. Muscaria would improve my physical and mental well-being.
The first week after the end of the journey was a recovery time, and then over the next few weeks I noticed a great variety of improvements in my physical and mental wellbeing:
- Depression: Almost none, it’s so wonderful to be much more cheerful and it’s now so much easier to see adversities for what they are and not getting affected negatively. It’s a strikingly new experience for me.
- Anxiety: I now experience almost no anxiety on a daily basis.
- Procrastination: Gone! It makes sense since procrastination is a symptom of anxiety.
- Motivation: I’ve been studying machine learning as of recent and I had very little interest in doing so before I did the journey. Now I feel in a totally different place and have been enjoying wrapping my head around this complicated domain.
- Energy levels: This is a completely unexpected outcome. I have so much more energy through the day, as compared to low lethargic energy levels I was experiencing almost daily before I started the journey. I have a much better mental clarity and a lot more energy to go through the day.
- Physical strength: I feel much improved physical strength. I feel much more robust.
- Patterns: this was an unexpected change – many negative habits aren’t there any more. I can now clearly see the ghosts of those mental patterns, but they no longer have compulsive power. I watch those patterns trying to rise, but they are very weak and I don’t have to fight with almost any of them. They now feel like a distant memory of what I used to do in the past.
- Sexuality: I now have a much improved sensual awareness during sex. It’s like I have acquired a new sense of feeling for my partner during sex, to which I had no access before. It feels very new and needs to be developed more, but it’s a delight to have. It fits really well with the energy work I have done (shared on experientialsexlab.com).
- Emotional sensitivity: Over the last few years I have been working on getting back in touch with emotions and becoming more alive, and I received many gifts in these domains. I feel I have become very sensitive in my interactions with others. It’s new to me and feels slightly overwhelming at times, but I’m welcoming and integrating it well, because I want to be alive and there is no aliveness without allowing the full range of feelings. Of course, I’m taking it in small steps, while growing the capacity to feel.
- Sleep: I tend to have super-fantastic dreams and usually wake up exhausted and it takes me some 3-4 hours to recover from sleeping before I can function normally. While it hasn’t fully changed, I can definitely feel an improvement in the mornings. While it still takes me time to recover, it’s has been a much quicker process.
- Physical pain: I used to be a professional sportsmen in my youth (Modern Pentathlon) and it ruined my body, so I have been struggling with a lot of body pain for many decades now. I do feel a lot less pain after this journey, but it’s not completely gone.
Recently, I have been reading on healing with Iboga and I found that the transformations that I received from my extended healing experience with A. Muscaria are quite similar to the shifts attributed to working with Iboga.
As I mentioned earlier I was hoping A. Muscaria would also eradicate my intestinal parasites, along with the other magic, but that didn’t happen.
There is this delightful practice of Holotropic Breathwork, which comes from yogic pranayma, and which very quickly puts you in altered states of consciousness. So during the journey I started to add some of that breathwork at the end of my daily yoga practice, with delightful results. Not only it feels fantastic during and right after doing it, while I am in those high states of consciousness, I start to visualize how I want to feel, think and be. Surely, I have experimented with affirmations and manifestation in the past. This feels completely different – it requires no words and it feels much more powerful, because this is done while strong subtle (kundalini) energy is circulating though my body. It only takes ~10min, but just 2 months into it, I’m already feeling great noticeable positive changes.
To conclude, it was a difficult experience, and there is no way I would have been able to do it if I wasn’t self-employed, but the outcomes have been worth many times the endured short term strain. I will definitely repeat this process to continue improving my mental and physical well-being, and experience more joy to be alive.
There is very little practical information to be found on A. Muscaria. Here are some interesting suggestions for you to read, but most of those books talk about things you can’t immediately apply.
- “The Sacred Mushroom and The Cross: A study of the nature and origins of Christianity within the fertility cults of the ancient Near East” (2009) by John M. Allegro
- “Amanita Muscaria. Herb of Immortality” 2ed (2007) by Donald E. Teeter (free download)
- “Soma: Divine Mushroom of Immortality” (1972) by R. Gordon Wasson
- “Drugged: The Science and Culture Behind Psychotropic Drugs” (2013) by Richard J. Miller
- “Mushrooms Demystified” 2ed (1986) by David Arora
- “The Sacred Mushroom: Key to the Door of Eternity” (1974) by Andrija Puharich
- “Magic Mushrooms in Religion and Alchemy” 2ed (2002) by Clark Heinrich
- A. V. Korodeckij – Muhomor-celitel’ i drugie jadovitye lekari (2005)
- Mihail Vishnevskij – Ego velichestvo muhomor (2013)
- Olard Dikson – Misterii Muhomora – Primenenie Galljucinogennogo Griba V Shamanskoj Praktike (2005)
Perhaps you could run the text through Google translate and still make sense out of the automatic translation.
It seems that slowly slowly some A. Muscaria research is starting to appear. Here are a few starting points:
Insightful blogs and forums:
- Fly Agaric Tincture – a very detailed blog dedicated to using A. Muscaria for healing chronic diseases like Lyme, ME, MS, CFS, dementia.
- r/AmanitaMuscaria @ Reddit
- Amanita Research Forum
Sharing is Caring
If you have done similar work with A. Muscaria, please, kindly share your experience and outcomes in the comments below.
Please don’t ask me to add your website/video/blog – this is not a link directory. But you’re welcome to use the comments section to mention your resources which will be approved if they are A. Muscaria-related.
Please note that I always share everything I know in my articles, therefore if it’s not covered here it means I do not know it. So if you have a question that is not covered here, please try to find the answer elsewhere and then you’re very welcome to share your findings below in the comments section.
Please, stay safe, and be very careful when working with mushrooms.