Saturday, 3 December 2011

Finishing the Tincture

1. The chopped mushrooms have been soaking in vodka for 10-14 days now, so it's time to strain them and complete the tincture. The colour in the jar doesn't really show here, but it's a beautiful golden red.

It's been sitting in the sun for this time, as this is the advice for most tinctures, but it may well be that it would be better in the dark. I really don't know. The liquid is really clear though and smells good too.

2. The contents of the jar need straining first. I've borrowed my boyfriend's muslin cloth that he uses for wine making, but an old pair of tights would probably work just as well.

I've just left this to strain for an hour. I'm not sure whether to squeeze the mushrooms and get every last little drip out of them. I just let them drain with the first couple of batches, then put the mushrooms in the composter. But now the harvesting season's at an end and there's a finite supply, I've given these ones a good squeeze.

I'm going to save the squeezed mushrooms to try and cultivate the mycelium. More on that in a later post, fingers crossed!

3. I then run the liquid through a coffee filter. As you can see in the image of the completed jar (below), there is some white stuff that accumulates at the top of the jar. I think that this is the mushroom spore, which is definitely white, and small enough to get through the coffee filter.

The liquid itself is a gorgeous reddy golden amber colour.

Mushroom spore shell is made of the hardest yet lightest natural substance we know of. People such as Terence McKenna have posited that it's light enough for the spore to be blown anywhere on the planet, even into the upper atmosphere.

It is then hard enough to survive being sucked through the atmosphere and can be blown across the empty vast distances of space, perhaps eventually being sucked into another planet's gravitational pull, and forming a new colony in an alien land.

4. The tincture is then decanted into bottles. It's a good idea to label these to show what they contain, and with a warning that the contents are poisonous (if taken in excess).

I bought some stickers from eBay for this, some nice shiny fly agarics to show the contents, and some skulls to warn poison. The skulls however are from Nightmare Before Christmas, and look unbelievably cute. Best to keep out of reach of children. And teenagers.


  1. Hey nice post! I discovered Fly Agaric about three years ago, and have been experimenting with it ever since. I have been taking subliminal amounts almost daily (dried stem pieces mostly) as well as occasionally cooking with it (smallish amount in an omelette in the morning) and eating larger amounts of the dried mushroom. This year I ate a small piece (size of a fingernail) while out mushie hunting. I didn't read your whole post and I am wondering if you tincture fresh or dry? The effect will vary in each case. Generally dried or cooked mushrooms are preferred over fresh (not just for the F. Agaric, but most mushrooms in general). This mushroom, although it has a reputation as a poison (mostly based on ignorance and fear, I'm afraid) which it doesn't actually live up to. It IS poisonous to smaller animals, like insects, and seems to have antibiotic properties as well (I use it as a general antibiotic in the winter to keep healthy, always alternating with probiotics of course). The only people who have ever died or gotten deadly sick from this mushrooms are those who have eaten an absurd amount of fresh mushroom deliberately (suicide attempts?). It will make you throw up if you eat an amount of fresh ones, but alot of mushrooms act this way... My personal opinion is that this was probably the first antibiotic medicine used by humans. It is easy to find, hard to miss, and impossible to confuse with another mushroom! I would even risk saying that it may be a good antibiotic for actually killing the life-form which causes lymes disease.... Why take expensive anti-biotics when you can go out into the forest and gather turkey tail and amanita musc.? It's just a thought... Glad that you are doing research on this wonderful medicinal mushroom! I'll read the rest of your blog when I have more time! Cheers!

  2. Thanks for your comment. I'd be interested to hear more about your experiences.

    I experimented with making the tincture out of both dried and fresh mushrooms. I had a steep learning curve, and initially thought that it would be the muscimol I was using, so dried the mushrooms to ensure as much ibotenic acid as possible was converted to muscimol.

    It now seems it's the muscarine that's really helping, though the other chemicals are probably helping, and, as you say, the antibiotic properties. I've read that fly agaric have antibacterial, antiviral, antiparasitic and antifungal properties as well.

    It also makes a good plug-in immune system for oak. I'm really hoping it'll protect them against the apparently bacterial acute oak decline.

    From now on I'll make the tincture with fresh mushrooms, including the stems. It seems to taste a lot better with fresh mushrooms (especially when using green apple vodka for the tincture).

    Great to find someone doing something so similar! Best wishes, Sam

  3. Hi Sam,
    Thanks for your interesting blog. I came upon it through a link from your post in the Telegraph online regarding Dr Sarah McKenzie Ross' research about organophosphates exposure, which I'd googled, having just heard her on Radio 4 today.
    I was interested because my partner has recently been diagnosed with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, (which, as you may know, is an auto-immune disease affecting the myelin sheath, which insulates the nerves and helps in the transmission of nerve impulses between the brain and body) or at least, that’s what the neurologists think it is. He is, or was, a farmer, all his life from a long line of farmers, so very likely has used these chemicals. MS is, of course, not the same as Lyme Disease but some of his symptoms appear to be similar to those caused, apparently by OP exposure, but also to those of Lyme Disease, (and probably to lots of others) though he is now severely disabled, barely able to walk, slow speech, constantly dizzy, fatigued, suffers tremours, memory problems, etc etc and is literally half the man he was as his muscles have deteriorated. There is, so far, no cure for MS, and he hasn’t been offered any treatment, although there are treatments but only for the less severe types and not cures but merely to slow the progression.
    The point of my post here - and I apologise for being long-winded - I realise the causes may differ, and while I’m not suggesting Fly Agaric could necessarily help him, but I was wondering if, along your research trail, you had ever come across anything covering MS, or rather, anyone using ‘alternative’ methods for treating the symptoms, as you are with Lyme and Fly Agaric.
    While I am no scientist I don’t believe anything without hard evidence, but I do believe these old remedies are often dismissed in modern times (at least, in the West) and deserve more respect and credence considering their efficacy has been ‘field-trialled’ over thousands of years, and indeed, currently, by yourself. I am also a cynic, however, and I certainly do believe the likes of Pfizer, Bayer and Monsanto are unlikely to support my beliefs, at least not without slapping on a patent, any time soon.

    Warm Regards

    Sue Phipps

    1. Hi Sue and so sorry to hear about your husband.

      Actually in Siberia (and possibly further afield) they use fly agaric to treat MS! MS and Lyme are so similar, to the extent that a large number of people diagnosed with MS later find out that they actually have Lyme. I'll happily send you some fly agaric to try. It's probably easier to email me at

      Have you heard about Dr Wheldon's explorations and experiments when his wife was diagnosed with MS?

      Updates on her progress are here:

      Best wishes,