Wednesday 12 March 2014

Horsehoof Tinder Fungus (Fomes fomentarius)


Otzi, the 5300 year old Stone Age man found mummified in the Alps in 1991 had Lyme disease. Borrelia DNA was found in his body.

People lived in and around the forests then, and I always thought it likely they were infected with Lyme but had effective treatments. I think horsehoof tinder fungus may be one of those treatments.


Fomes fomentarius is highly valued in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, by some Siberian native peoples, and by Pacific NW Canadian First Nations peoples. It's known to have broadbased and specific anti-microbial activity, including against MRSA. It was the Canadian First Nation's best defence against smallpox.

Horsehoof tinder fungus is also recognised and widely used in Russian medicine. It's used to/for:

  • Remove toxins and carcinogens from the body
  • Restore normal metabolism
  • Anti-microbial activity
  • Regeneration of the liver
  • To minimise the negative effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy
  • Weight loss by creating enzymes in the liver
  • Dysbiosis and constipation
  • Temper allergic response
  • Remove pimples and boils
  • Wound healing
  • Anti-inflammatory

Anti-biotic resistant staphylococcus infection plays an important role in biofilm construction and strength, being initially gooey and sticky, eventually hardening to create formidable defences for the microbial communities living within.

Breaking through this biofilm to destroy infectious reserves is a key part of effectively treating many diseases such as Lyme. Fomes fomentarius has known activity against Staphylococcus aureus and epidermis.


The fungus looks like a horse's hoof stuck in the dead or dying tree. In the north of Britain it grows almost exclusively on birch. In the southeast it grows mostly on beech and sycamore. It's best to look for branchless stumps, or dead trees lying on the ground. Its lifecycle does depend on plenty of rotting wood, so it won't be found in over-managed woods.

The fungi grow for many years, reaching a diameter of 10-50cm and a height of 7-25cm. The outer skin is very hard. Its colour varies with age, being white, red-brown or dark-brown, often with stripy grooves or ridges.


Tinder fungus is common in some areas, very rare or absent in others. It's really important to collect it sustainably. Certainly don't take more than one in ten. It's best to avoid ones with obvious wormholes in.

I'm still very much learning this, but medium sized fungi (around 10cm across) seem the optimum size.

Take a firm hold of the fungus and break it from the tree.

** Don't collect black ones as they are dead **


  1. Put the fungus in a pan.
  2. Add cold filtered or spring water.
  3. Bring to the boil and simmer. The water will go golden or brown. This is your tinder fungus tea. It tastes lovely, very birchy.
  4. Simply add more water and keep simmering and drinking until there is no more colour in the tea. This will probably take 2-3 days.


Until I can find information on this (most is written in Chinese), I can only report on my own experience. I'm drinking the tea several times a day. I've been doing this for 3 weeks now.

A Russian website suggests the following recipes (thanks to Google Translate):

  1. 1 tablespoon minced mushroom boil 20 minutes in 1.5 cups of boiled water, 4:00, drain. Take 1-2 tablespoon 3-4 times a day for constipation and dysbiosis.
  2. Piece of fresh or soaked Polypore birch chew in your mouth for problems with their teeth.
  3. 100 grams of dry Ganoderma insist 5-6 hours in 5 L of hot water. Warm and cold feet when a strong cough.
  4. Small Dried mushrooms have a good effect in the treatment of the skin of the feet and heels. Unlike pumice, fungus not only removes dead skin, but also heals cracks.
  5. A few pieces of dry tinder fungus added to the grill when cooking barbecue, give it a unique delicate flavor.


Luckily there are no poisonous bracket fungi in Britain.

This fungus contains extremely powerful anti-microbial agents. If you are chronically sick, do prepare for a big die-off and associated possible worsening of symptoms (the Herxheimer effect) - for example negative emotions, confusion, nausea, dizziness etc.

Tinder fungus has a diuretic and purgative effect, so drink plenty of fresh water.

Some tinder fungi have a bitter taste. I'm guessing this is because of the insects on board. I still drink the tea, considering the insects may be part of the treatment (in a similar way to lumbrokinase and serrapeptase), but of course not everyone will feel the same.

My Experience

I'd been drinking tinder fungus tea throughout the day for a week when I suddenly realised that I felt essentially better, following 6.5 years of debilitating Lyme disease. Both mentally and physically, I'm capable of anything I was before becoming sick. My brain feels as if it has been scrubbed clean. Prior to this I was well on the road to recovery though.

My theory (I could easily be wrong) is that the tinder fungus is killing a Staphylococcus infection in my lymphatic system. I think this because the infection expresses itself as boils, impetigo and scarlet fever. I also get hives in the skin above some lymphatic channels, and lots of itching and rashes.

Since really starting to clear these rogue lymphatics at a substantial rate thanks to the tinder fungus (I was previously using flowering yew tips and snowdrops to achieve this), my snot has become like superglue, super sticky. I think that this stickiness subsequently sticks lymphatic vessels to muscle, bone and other lymphatic vessels. It also seems to me that sometimes they even stick to internal organs. This stickiness subsequently hardens, restricting freedom of movement. I also believe that the cracking and crunching I experience in these areas is the hardened lymph channels. I can feel my lymph channels when they're hard and stuck (this can be agonisingly painful as they begin to break free), then as they become gooey again and then are finally free, at which point I can no longer feel them.

Without physical movement, I think this lymphatic infection can quickly spread around the lymphatics, making the movement of lymph increasingly sluggish.

It seems to me that the horsehoof tinder fungus holds the holy trinity of Lyme treatment:

  • powerful anti-microbial action
  • detox
  • biofilm buster

If anyone should try this treatment, I'd be extremely interested to hear how you go.

Shout Out

A massive shout out to Otzi, without whom I never would have discovered the phenomenal curative powers of the horsehoof tinder fungus.


Immunomodulatory effects of Fomes fomentarius polysaccharides

Paul Stamets Novel Anti-Microbials from Mushrooms

Element Distribution in Fomes fomentarius


Wednesday 4 September 2013

Eating to Maximise Glutathione Production

How much glutathione are you getting? If you're chronically sick, chances are that you aren't getting enough.

What is Glutathione?

Glutathione is the body's primary detox substance and is vital to every cell in your body. It recycles antioxidants, consumes free radicals and detoxes heavy metals and other substances. It also protects against radiation and environmental damage.

The body makes its own glutathione. It's not possible to take glutathione directly, as it would be digested before it could be used. However, it is possible to keep feeding the body's glutathione factories with the things they need to keep up glutathione production.

How does the body make Glutathione?

The body makes glutathione out of constituent parts:

glutamic acid + cysteine + glycine => glutathione

There are foods that contain high levels of these substances, which enable the body to create more glutathione. In addition to this, a few different vitamins and minerals are so helpful to glutathione production that it's worth including foods that contain these as well. There's a lot of crossover amongst these foods, many of which are hailed as superfoods.

Glutamic acidcomponent of glutathioneall meats, poultry, fish, dairy, wheat protein
Cysteinecomponent of glutathionepork, poultry, eggs, undenatured whey protein, yoghurt, red peppers, garlic, onions, broccoli, sprouts, oats, wheatgerm
Glycinecomponent of glutathionemeat, fish, dairy, beans, seaweed, seafood, soy
Vitamin Eenhances glutathione levelsvegetable oils, leafy greens, nuts, avocado, asparagus, kiwi fruit, broccoli, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, mangoes, tomatoes, papaya
Sulphurincreases glutathione levelsgarlic, onions, leafy greens, broccoli, watercress, radish
Iodineincreases intrathyroidal glutathioneseaweed, seafood, sea fish, cranberries
Seleniumincreases glutathione levelsbrazil nuts, shellfish, liver, fish, sunflower seeds, bran, caviar, bacon and pork
Vitamin Cincreases glutathione levelsrosehip, chilli pepper, blackcurrant, rowan berries, liver, broccoli, sprouts, potatoes, parsley, many more berries
Ironregulates glutathione levels liver, meat, beans, nuts, leafy greens, wholegrains
Betaineenhances recycling of homocysteine for the generation of methioninebeetroot, spinach, quinoa, whole wheat

Some Final Thoughts

It's interesting to note that this diet is essentially that of a coastal Paleolithic hunter gatherer. It works best when carbohydrate intake is low compared with the Standard Western Diet.

The health benefits of this diet are supported through exercise and time spent in natural surroundings. Greater benefit will be felt if toxins such as smoking, alcohol and environmental toxins are avoided.

My Experience

I stumbled on this diet by accident. I'd become so electro-sensitive that I couldn't live in the electrosmog anymore, and was living on my boat, eating mostly fish and seaweed. I soon noticed that I had become less electro-sensitive. I later found out that glutathione is a treatment for radiation exposure.

I've been taking fly agaric mushrooms and snowdrops to increase my acetylcholine levels, because of residual dementia and chronic fatigue symptoms from Lyme disease. I haven't needed to take as much of these since maximising glutathione. This is I think because my mitochondria are now in better shape, and can now send the signals for acetylcholine production more easily.

Sunday 21 July 2013


Galanthus nivalis


Extracts of snowdrops are used in mainstream pharmaceutical medicine. Galantamine is one, and is the only substance found so far that can reverse dementia. (Edit 8-10-15 Coconut oil has also been shown to reverse dementia) It's recently been given the go-ahead to be used within the NHS. Also, snowdrop lectin is being researched as an agent in combating retroviruses such as HIV/AIDS.

In the 1950s, snowdrops were used in the treatment of polio in Bulgaria. Those treated with it made a full recovery, with none of the resultant paralysis so often seen on this side of the iron curtain. It is therefore of interest to aid those recovering from neurological disease, such as Lyme, neuroborreliosis, MS, ME/CFS, Parkinsons etc.

It's likely that snowdrops were used medicinally by our ancient forebears, though the knowledge was subsequently lost. It's now generally accepted that snowdrops are the "moly" that Hermes gave Odysseus to counteract the sorcery of Circe, when she turned his men into swine.


The neurotoxins associated with some chronic disease can affect vital neurotransmitters in the brain and nervous system. In my experience, the main one is acetylcholine, which is necessary for thought, memory and movement. I had previously gained huge benefit from the muscarine in fly agaric mushrooms. The muscarine takes on the role of the acetylcholine, to some degree. I therefore looked for more plants that can have a similar effect. Those I found included sage, wormwood and lemon balm. However, I was most interested in the possibilities of the galantamine in snowdrops.

It's unclear whether the neurotoxins affect our ability to produce sufficient acetylcholine, or whether they cause it to be broken down too quickly. Perhaps different neurotoxins perform both actions. Acetylcholine is naturally broken down by acetylcholinesterase. Without this ability, we would soon become paralysed. But when the acetylcholine is broken down too quickly, we get chronic fatigue and dementia, a loss of will. The galantamine in the snowdrops (and some daffodils) inhibits the action of acetylcholinesterase, meaning that the acetylcholine we have produced stays around for longer, improving cognition, memory and energy.

In addition to this benefit, galantamine stimulates nicotinic receptors (one of two kinds of acetylcholine receptor - the other is the muscarinic receptor that responds so well to the muscarine in fly agaric mushrooms), which are extremely numerous in muscle (as well as being found throughout the brain and body). It seems to me that it is this stimulation that so improves chronic fatigue.

Snowdrop Lectin
Another constituent of snowdrops is snowdrop lectin. This inhibits protein synthesis, meaning that it can potentially affect the reproduction of some microbes. Indeed, current research is evaluating its efficacy in battling retroviruses (viruses that mutate easily) such as HIV/AIDS.

Because I don't really understand whether snowdrop lectin might inhibit my body's own ability to synthesise proteins, I determined to "pulse" the snowdrops - take them for a few days then break for a day or two before beginning again.

Recovery from Neurological Disease
It is probably the galantamine that's responsible for the improved recovery from neurological disease. From BBC website Lancashire:
Galantamine has also been used for treating neurological conditions such as post-polio paralysis and myasthenia gravis. However, because of its effect in enhancing neurotransmission in the brain, the primary use of galantamine throughout Eastern Europe in the last half-century has been for the treatment of poliomyelitis. There is some indication that, for some time before this, peasant people had been using snowdrop bulbs to treat children suffering from poliomyelitis, who recovered without showing any signs of paralysis.


Snowdrops are probably well known by most inhabitants of northern Europe. They are probably not indigenous to Britain, likely brought here and used medicinally by monks, but are now generally considered naturalised. It is a bulb and flowers in late winter/early spring.


Galantamine and snowdrop lectin are found in the leaves and bulbs of the snowdrop. However, snowdrop bulbs are poisonous, and people have died from eating them when mistaking them for onions.

I gathered the whole plant and used it in the tincture, but you may well prefer to just use the leaves (and flower, if in flower). This is a very experimental treatment. A tincture made from the leaves alone may well offer the same benefits as a tincture made from the whole plant, without any undue risks from the toxic bulb.

Collect either the whole plant or just the leaves/flower when they plant is in leaf in late winter/early spring. Snowdrops cluster together in clumps of bulbs, so it's possible to take several plants from a clump, leaving the others to multiply.


1. Wash the plants thoroughly, removing any dead material.

2. Chop finely and place in a jar.

3. Cover with vodka or other spirit.

4. Leave for around two weeks, shaking every now and again.

5. Strain through a muslin cloth. Squeeze the muslin to harvest as much liquid as possible.

6. Put into a bottle or jar and store in a cool dark place.

Keep the used plant material, as it can be applied externally for pain relief. Indeed, it is from watching Bulgarian peasants rubbing snowdrop leaves into their skin for pain relief that alerted the Bulgarian pharmacologist to their potential use as a treatment. This led to a paper published in 1951 by two Russians, with the first chemical description of galantamine.


This tincture is extremely strong. I've been taking it for several months now, and still only take a few drops at a time. If you're going to make and take this tincture, please be very careful and start with just a drop or two. It would be really helpful if you could let us know your own dosage by making a comment. In the meantime, I largely only have my own experience to go on.

3 drops, 3 to 6 times a day. 3-5 days on, followed by 1-2 days off

Edit 22/12/13: I was reinfected with a tick bite in the summer, and my health deteriorated markedly. In the end I threw caution to the wind and increased the amount of snowdrops to 10 drops, around 8 times a day. I have been taking it at these levels for a few months now, non-stop rather than pulsing it. I have had kidney and liver function tests, and everything is within the normal range.

This larger dose of snowdrops has had some dramatic results. I had previously noticed that the snowdrops tended to give me bags under the eyes. This is lymphatic related. My lymphatics feel substantially better. I have no idea whether this is a killing or a cleaning function. This is augmented by taking flowering yew tip tincture as well. The yew tip tincture has a similar effect to Banderol on me.

I've found it necessary to drink more water whilst on the higher dose snowdrops. This could be due to microbial die-off, but it could be simply poisoning, so please bear that in mind.

10 drops, around 8 times a day.

The tincture can also be applied externally for topical pain relief (though not on broken skin).


This is an experimental treatment, and taken at your own risk. This tincture is likely fatally poisonous if too much is taken, especially if made with the bulbs.

If you take too much at a time, the effect can be quite "speedy" for a couple of hours, with increased brain and muscle function.


The snowdrop tincture is one of only two treatments I've tried that have had an immediate and quite magical effect on me (the other was fly agaric). It was a feeling like waking from a fairytale enchantment, just like when Gandalf releases Theoden from Saruman's enchantment in Lord of the Rings.

I immediately felt as if I had parts of my "self" back that had been missing for a long time. My cognition and memory were hugely enhanced. I also found that I no longer needed to rest frequently throughout the day - I could just keep going. My nervous system somehow "relaxed". It seems to be always on high alert, and I jump out of my skin at the slightest provocation, but this seems to be greatly diminished now.

As time has gone by on the snowdrops, these benefits have increased. Sometimes I feel as if a few days on the snowdrops has tired me out, and sometimes I think they give me bags under the eyes, but the benefits for me far outweigh this.

The snowdrops seem to have a much more "human" effect than the fly agaric. I find that I'm no longer so scared of human contact. So much of our brains seems to be taken up with social signalling. Without this, we miss vital social signals, or can't respond to them. Other people probably think that it's a personality thing, but it's just that our brains aren't working correctly. Since being on the snowdrops, I find that people respond to me as a normal human being again. After several years largely unable to socialise, it's fantastic to feel part of the human family again.

It's possible that snowdrops can be of benefit to people with various neurological conditions, such as Lyme, MS, ME/CFS, dementia, Parkinsons, autism, OCD, Tourettes, depression etc.






Galantamine reduces smoking in alcohol-dependent patients

Someone experimenting with acetylcholine boosters etc

Using galantamine in lucid dreaming

Monday 26 November 2012


Artemisia absinthium


Wormwood has become a staple anti-parasitic treatment - along with cloves and black walnut hull - thanks to Hulda Clark's parasite cleanse. Treating parasites is often a first step in treating Lyme. These aren't just intestinal worms. In the West we tend to think that we're not at risk from parasites. But common pursuits such as gardening without gloves can leave us at risk of picking up parasites. If we're not doing anything to get rid of them, they're probably going to stick around. Wormwood, black walnut hull and cloves are generally taken in a fairly low dose for a month. After a month off, they are then taken for another month.

Extracts from wormwood (artemisinin and artesunate) are used widely to treat both malaria and borreliosis (Lyme disease). These extracts tend to be from sweet wormwood (Artemisia annua) rather than Artemisia absinthium, perhaps because sweet wormwood, known as Qing Hao, has long been used as an antimalarial treatment in parts of China. In Chinese medicine, the whole herb is used rather than an extract. It's likely that there are many active ingredients that work together. In Western medicine however, it's all about repeatable amounts of measurable active ingredient, which is why the extracts are used. Of course, pharmaceutical companies can't patent a plant, but they can patent an extract or an extraction method.


Wormwood can be useful in several ways when fighting chronic disease:
  • As part of the Hulda Clark parasite cleanse, along with black walnut hull and cloves
  • As an anti-protozoa treatment (it is used in this way to treat acute malaria
  • As a general anti-microbial treatment
  • As a treatment for acute psychosis
  • Directly on the skin to treat Lyme-related skin conditions, and itching or burning sensations (NOT in sensitive areas)


Wormwood and sweet wormwood look very similar. They're actually members of the daisy family. You can grow them in your garden, or keep an eye out to find them in the wild. They're most likely to be found in wasteground, as they don't like enriched soils. They are hardy perennials. The easiest way to recognise them is probably the shape of the leaf. If you taste the leaf you will know for sure whether you're right, as wormwood is one of the bitterest plants around.

Both A. absinthium and A. annua can be used to treat chronic disease.


Wormwood flowers in late summer. Pick it as it's coming into flower, or once in flower. To collect sustainably, take no more than three stems from a large bush. Cut the stem with secateurs or similar to avoid damaging the plant. Some sources state that you should wear gloves when collecting it, as the active ingredients can be absorbed through the skin.


The choice with wormwood is whether to chop it and turn it into a tincture, or whether to dry it and take it as a tea or infusion.

  1. Chop finely and put into a jar.
  2. Cover with 40% vodka or similar.
  3. Shake every day for a fortnight.
  4. Strain through a muslin cloth or similar, bottle and date.
  5. Keep in a cool dark place.

Dry on the stem. Hang somewhere warm and airy for around a week. Once dry, separate the flowers and leaves from the stems. Put into an airtight jar and store in a cool, dark place. It is unlikely the wormwood will moulder, as it contains such good anti-fungal chemicals.


If taking as part of the Hulda Clark parasite cleanse, take 10-15 drops of tincture 3 times a day.

  • If taking the higher "acute malaria" dose, take 20-30 drops four times a day for 3-4 days.
  • Alternatively, put a teaspoonful of dried wormwood into a cup, pour boiling water over, cover and leave for 5 minutes. Drink. Do this 3-4 times a day.
  • If taking to treat psychosis, use as above for "acute malaria".
  • If applying directly to skin, first try it on a small area to be sure that the skin can take it. If it can, rub tincture into affected areas (itching, burning, strange skin conditions etc) as and when required.
  • An alternative treatment method involves waiting until a particular symptom appears, one that has historically been helped by wormwood. When it does, hit it hard with the wormwood. Dosage may vary, but the acute malaria dose is a good place to start. Do not take wormwood at a high dose for more than a few days. If taking a lower dose, take for no more than a month, and then have a month's break.


DO NOT USE IF PREGNANT - Wormwood has long been used to cause abortions.

DO NOT TAKE FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME - If taking low dose wormwood for the Hulda Clark parasite cleanse, it's OK to take it for a month. If you're taking the higher dose to treat malaria, Lyme or other microbial infection, only take for 3 or 4 days in any week. If it's taken at too high a dose for too long, wormwood can cause permanent harm to the nervous system.

If applying the tincture directly to the skin, try it on a small area to check for sensitivity first. DO NOT use it on sensitive areas.

My Experience

I originally tried wormwood as part of the Hulda Clark parasite cleanse, as I'd read that when treating Lyme it's important to get rid of any parasites first.

I then took the pharmaceutical antibiotic Cefuroxime, which gets through the blood-brain barrier very well, for three months. When this course came to an end, all hell broke loose in my head. I guess it's because a lot of "hibernating" forms of Borrelia (or whatever else is in there) suddenly realised it was safe to come out again. I lost insight into my condition, and probably went a little crazy.

I don't know why, but I was drawn to the wormwood. I had some tincture left over from the parasite cleanse. I took about 5ml in hot water. Almost immediately I started to feel a lot better, in control of my mind again. I took a similar dose a few hours later, and again, until I was feeling OK.

I subsequently looked into wormwood, and found out about its value as an anti-microbial, in treating malaria. I later cottoned on to the use of artemisinin and artesunate in treating Lyme. Indeed, my LLMD (Lyme Literate Medical Doctor) suggested I try artesunate, but I've stuck with wormwood. I largely use it as a tincture, but am going to try it as a tea as well. It's become one of my "Big Three" herbs, along with fly agaric and yew.

I sometimes use the wormwood tincture directly on my skin, when I get a sudden outbreak of burning and itching in hands and feet. It does seem to help to take it internally at these times as well.

I've recently found that St John's wort seems to soften the edges of the wormwood, to sooth the nerves somehow, and is a good complement to the wormwood.

Wednesday 7 November 2012

Flowering Yew Tips

Taxus baccata


According to, yew has been used medicinally since time immemorial. In Chinese medicine it's used for arthritis; in Indian, rheumatism. Native Canadians use it for kidneys, sinuses, rheumatism, uterus and the digestive tract. A fungus that grows on the bark is currently used in pharmaceutical cancer treatments. Companies are now offering tablets and tinctures as food supplements, for example VitalYew. This is generally offered as "immune support".

Chemistry student Cynthia Ann Evans found that yew tincture protects trout eggs from mercury poisoning. Since mercury poisoning in particular, and other toxins in general, are often implicated in Lyme and other chronic disease, this paper may be of interest. Perhaps yew offers cellular protection from mercury and other toxins.


In addition to the historical use and possible protection from mercury mentioned above, there is another theory. Lyme disease is essentially infection by a variety of micro-organisms. One aspect of treating the condition is to kill off these micro-organisms. One way of achieving this is to take something that is poisonous, enough to kill the micro-organisms, but not so much that you will poison yourself.

According to, the yew promotes normal cellular function by using taxanes, which destroy abnormal cells. In addition, the yew has developed compounds which resist disease from moulds, viruses, bacteria, fungi and pollution.


The yew tree is an evergreen, often found at sacred sites such as churchyards, though the yew are likely older than the churches. The trees are generally either male or female, though some will have both male and female parts. The trees flower in very early spring. The male flowers are small, round and yellow. The females develop the red arils (fruit) in late summer.

The foliage grows all the way to the ground, unlike pine trees, which have a bare trunk. However, yews may have been clipped, and may have a bare trunk for that reason. Yew is a popular hedging plant, and often used in topiary.


I have thus far favoured collecting the flowering male yew tips. These can be picked from the tree by hand.


Chop finely. If making a smoking mixture or tea, dry in warm air and store in a cool, dark place. If making tincture, place in a jar and cover with alcohol. I use ordinary shop bought 40% vodka, which seems to work fine. Shake the jar a few times a day. After a fortnight, filter through a muslin cloth and store in a cool, dark place. The leftover chopped yew tips can be used as a herbal bath.


Prior to making yew tincture, I bought the commercially available VitalYew tincture. This recommends 10-15 drops 3 times a day. Bear in mind that the VitalYew tincture is 1:3. If you make the tincture by covering the chopped tips in alcohol, the ratio is likely to be closer to 1:1, so you may need fewer drops.

I noticed that the yew tincture had exactly the same effect on me as Banderol, and also high dose, short term anti-malarial Plaquenil. If you follow the Banderol link and visit the site, you can see that Banderol is used in the treatment and eradication of a wide variety of micro-organisms. It's an established Lyme disease treatment. I used it for 11 months and felt I benefited greatly, but it was eventually a little expensive, and I wished to replace it with something else, something I could make myself. I was also interested in finding out what our ancestors may have treated these conditions with.

The suggested dosage for Banderol, which I implement for yew dosage, is as follows. On Day One, take one drop three times a day. Day Two, two drops three times a day. Day Three, three drops three times a day. And so on, up to a maximum of fifteen drops three times a day. If at any point you start to feel worse (possibly a herx, a Herxheimer response, because many micro-organisms are being killed off, and producing toxins), go back to the amount you were taking before you felt so bad. Stick to that until you've stabilised again, then try increasing by one drop a day again. Treatment is very much a marathon rather than a sprint, and it's best to retain what quality of life you are able to.


DO NOT TAKE IF PREGNANT. Yew has historically been used in abortions and in expelling the afterbirth.

VERY POISONOUS. Do not exceed the recommended dose. Many people have died of yew poisoning. Amongst the ancient Celts, it was the preferred suicide method to escape capture by the Romans.

My Experience

I've mentioned above that I experience the same effects on yew as on Banderol, and acute malaria dose Plaquenil. These effects consist of:
  1. nausea
  2. dizziness
  3. sharp, acute agonising pain (seemingly in the muscles, though I believe it to be a result of the breakdown of hard deposits in and/or around the lymphatic system)

Some of these effects aren't dissimilar from the description of yew poisoning, and very great care must be taken. I experienced these effects on even a minimal dose, which satisfied me that it was due to micro-organism die-off rather than poisoning. I was happy to take this risk, but I certainly wouldn't recommend it to anyone else.

Tuesday 30 October 2012

Rowan Tree Berries

Sorbus aucuparia


Rowan trees were revered in ancient times for their capacity to ward off the evil eye. It is easy to consider such beliefs to be superstitious nonsense, but perhaps there's more to it than that.


Rowan berries are believed to strengthen the immune system, being rich in vitamin C and anti-oxidants. Perhaps this is enough to ward off the evil eye of Lyme disease and other chronic disease. A folk name is the quicken tree, perhaps for its ability to quicken (bring life into) a sick body.


Rowan trees are called mountain ash, as their leaves are very similar to ash leaves. They generally grow much smaller than ash trees. The red berries are a giveaway, as the ash does not produce these.


The berries appear in midsummer. Pick by the bunch rather than the individual berries.


When fresh, you can eat them straight from the tree. Suck them rather than biting into them though, as they are very bitter. You can chew them once the bitterness has been slowly sucked away.

Dry berries in a dehydrator or in dry heat and store in a cool, dark place.


Three berries a day.


The raw berries contain parasorbic acid, which can cause indigestion and even lead to kidney damage. Cooking, heat drying or freezing will convert this to the safe sorbic acid.

My Experience

I've been eating three rowan berries a day for the better part of a year. I've never had any sickness or indigestion from them. My health has been improving during this time, and although I cannot say with any surety that rowan berries are the reason, I will continue to eat them.

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Fly Agaric Mushroom

Within half an hour I was transformed from a demented cripple into a normal person ...

Amanita muscaria


Fly agaric is used by sub-arctic NW Pacific peoples to treat psycho-physical fatigue, dementia, chronic fatigue, sclerosis, low immunity, skin problems, rheumatism, neuralgia and tumours. Lyme disease is endemic in the areas where these people live.


From what I understand, and what my LLMD (Lyme Literate Medical Doctor) has told me, the muscarine in the fly agaric mushroom is a neuro-transmitter. It forces open the muscarinic receptors, a form of acetylcholine receptor that plays a crucial part in the relay of electrical signals around the body. It is possible that these muscarinic receptors have become clogged with the neurotoxins created by the Borrelia bacterial infection. It's possible that neurotoxins from other infections could also have this effect.

Lymphocytes have muscarinic receptors too, so with muscarine they're able to do their jobs better, boosting immune defence. Fly agaric mushrooms also contain other chemicals with antimicrobial properties. The mycelium that creates them is like a plug-in immune system for the tree they attach to. It is believed that people can benefit from this antimicrobial activity also.

The raw, fresh mushroom contains ibotenic acid, which can give you an upset stomach. It's necessary to dry or cook the mushroom, which turns the ibotenic acid into muscimol, which won't upset your stomach. The small amount of muscimol may lift your mood a little.


The fly agaric mushroom is the classic toadstool of fairytale, a red mushroom with white spots. It is found throughout Britain, the season stretching roughly from late August to early December, under birch, oak or pine trees. It's unlikely to be confused with any other mushroom. It's best to take good fresh specimens, with either an open or closed cap.


Pick the whole mushroom. Take a non-metallic tool such as a clean wooden spoon to dig an inch or so around the base of the stalk. Sometimes it's possible to simply hold the stalk as low as possible and gently jiggle and pull it loose.

The mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of an underground mycelium in symbiotic relationship with the host tree. You can sustainably collect all fly agaric mushrooms you find, though it's best to take only the good fresh ones for medicinal use.

Wrap the mushroom in a large leaf, eg a dock leaf. Newspaper will stick to the caps.


Wash the mushroom throughly. It doesn't matter if the white spots wash off. Try not to get the gills wet though, as they take a long time to dry again.

Cut out any bad bits or bits with wormholes in. You can use these to spread the fly agaric spore to another birch, oak or pine.

There are then several ways to prepare and preserve the mushroom:

  1. Drying Whole
    Use a skewer or thin stick to pierce the mushroom along its central axis. Leave on the skewer or thread onto a string. The image shows a Siberian rig. Dry in the hot air above a fire. This will take several hours, perhaps even more than a day. Once dry, keep in an airtight container, preferably with some desiccant in.

    Break off pieces as required to eat or crumble into tea.

  2. Drying Small Pieces
    Cut the mushroom into thin pieces, around 2mm thick. They will dry more easily and quickly this way. Dry in a food dehydrator, or in the warm air above a fire, or in a warm airing cupboard. The image shows an improvised dryer near a solid fuel stove.

    Overall I would probably recommend a food dehydrator. They're so easy to use. You can dry all sorts of other things in them as well, other plants to help treat your chronic illness, or fruit and vegetables for healthy treats. An open fire in the centre of a yurt would be best, but without that option, or an always-hot Aga, nothing is as easy as a food dehydrator. Mine only has one setting, but still does everything I ask of it.

    Dry until the mushroom pieces are like crispbread, with all moisture gone. This will take several hours. Store in an airtight container, preferably with some desiccant in.

    Eat a piece or crumble into tea as required.

  3. Make Into Tincture
    Cut the mushroom into small pieces (around 2cm square) and place in a jar. Cover with vodka or another 37-40% spirit. Shake a few times a day for 10-14 days. Filter through a muslin sheet. Store the mushroom vodka in a cool dark place.

    Apply externally to relieve sciatica and other pain, including joint pain and swolle lymph nodes. The tincture can also be applied to external infections, for example nail fungus, and skin conditions found in Lyme disease.

    Drops can be applied under the tongue to improve cognition in the short term.

    The leftover mushroom pieces can be dried or cooked and eaten as required, though they won't be as strong as the ones in choice 2 above.

  4. Freezing
    Fry the mushroom, preferably in coconut oil, for around ten minutes on a medium heat. Cut into small pieces and freeze. Pieces can be eaten as required.
  5. Compress
    I haven't made a compress from fly agaric, so the following information is from
    Three small fresh pieces of mukhomor good for sore throat and cancer. Preparation for arthritis: Place several young A Muscaria into an airtight container. Put container into a cool dark place (like a basement) until liquid comes out of mushrooms. Take a mushroom in hand, squeeze out moisture and place the pulp on arthritis. Bandage overnight. Mushroom body can be replaced in liquid and will last a long time.


Dosage is an individual matter, varying not only from person to person, but also for the same person at different times, depending on their current neurotoxin load. The amount of muscarine (active acetylcholine chemical) present in the mushroom also varies, from one mushroom to another, and even within the same mushroom. It's best to take a small amount at a time and monitor effects.
  • Dried/Frozen Mushroom Pieces
    It's best to start with a small amount, a piece the size of one of your little finger bones. Any benefits will be apparent within an hour. If no benefit is felt, another little finger bone sized piece can be taken. It's best to stick to a limit of three pieces this size per day.
  • Tincture
    Rub in as much as is required to cover the target areas. If the pain or discomfort is relieved, this is likely to last for hours. Repeat as required.

    Under the tongue - a few drops under the tongue. The effect will be almost immediate. Repeat as required, but don't be tempted to overdo it.


Fly agaric can be fatal, though a fatal dose is in the region of 20-30 mushrooms at a time.

Large amounts of fly agaric can lead to a sense of unreality, like Alice in Wonderland. If this happens to you, don't take any mushroom for a day or two.

According to Wikipedia

Muscarine is contraindicated in patients with diseases that make them susceptible to parasympathetic stimulation, patients who have asthma or COPD or patients who have peptic ulcer disease. Also patients with an obstruction in the gastrointestinal or urinary tract are not prescribed muscarine because it will aggravate the obstruction, causing pressure to build up that may lead to perforation.

The antidote for fly agaric mushroom is milk thistle. The antidote to muscarine is atropine.

My Experience

I'd spent the whole summer lying on my boat, feeling like death, mostly too crippled to do anything, mostly too demented to see anyone.

With no memory of the past and no cognition to imagine the future, I was very much in the here and now. My butterfly brain kept settling on the colour red. Somehow this translated into me biting into a fly agaric mushroom for the first time. Just one small bite.

It tasted great. And within half an hour I had a surge of energy. It seemed as if I was doing things almost before the thought of doing them had even occurred. The headfog was clearing. It was like waking from an enchantment. It wasn't in any way "trippy" - I was simply returned to normality.

There were only a couple of weeks left until the fly agaric season was over. Every day I took a bite of mushroom and went out collecting more. Some I dried, some I froze, some I turned into tincture.

It was immediately obvious I was onto something huge, and I started writing the blog Prior to eating the mushroom, I couldn't read or write anything. I just didn't have the requisite cognition or attention.

There didn't seem to be any information on the web about this. All I could find was from

Fly agaric is still used in Siberia and Russia especially by elder people to reduce fatigue, to give more strength and to raise the spirit.

Nearly a year on and I'm still on the fly agaric pretty much every day. Just small amounts. Despite my experiments with fly agaric tincture, I now think that eating a little of the mushroom every day works best, fresh, frozen or dried. It is impossible to determine a definitive dose, as the amount of muscarine will vary from one mushroom to another. But I generally take an amount the size of a little finger bone between zero and three times a day, depending on whether I think I need it or not.

For a few months whilst on the fly agaric, I had blood tests to check my liver function. It was always fine.