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.