EP32: The fantastical delights of fly agaric

Fergus Drennan and Courtney Tyler discuss their pioneering work exploring the cutting-edge of food and medicine using the fly agaric mushroom (Amanita muscaria).

Fly Agaric Tincture Recipe

Click here for Henriette Kress’s original tincture recipe and instructions. The content is for information, educational and entertainment purposes only!

Courtney Tyler

Fergus Drennan

Other Resources

Association of Foragers

Book: Fermentation As Metaphor

Workshop: UK Medicinal Mushroom Conference

Research: A Study of Cultural Bias in Field Guide Determinations

of Mushroom Edibility Using the Iconic Mushroom, Amanita muscaria

Link: Fly Agaric for Sciatica by Henriette Kress


  1. Fascinating discussion and article. Only thing I still wondered about the preparation is do you have to remove the cap and gills like the woman in the market? Or do you slice the whole cap? And the stem?

    • Hi jo,

      I’ve been researching and experimenting with fly agaric recently, from what I’d read we used only the cap with its gills intact and removed the stem. Used 1 litre of salted water per medium cap and boiled for 15 minutes. Then rinsed in boiling water. They were delicious and no adverse effects.

  2. Thanks. I’ll give it a go. I’ve some tincture brewing and hope it will help my husband who is in much pain with sciatica. I was reflecting on the issue of guides such as the one by Phillips saying fly agaric is poisonous, which we know is not the case if processed properly. However, the danger of labelling it otherwise is that people new to foraging might not take precautions when collecting. Such as keeping it separate from funghi like field mushrooms and chanterelles that don’t need the same processing to make them safe. I also chopped up the fly agaric on a plate that is easily washed rather than a board.

  3. I have had some amazing and incredible experiences on this mushroom – my first experience was a mishap – I was foraging for edibles on a wilderness backpack trip and found 17 of the small mushroom in the button stage and without any real scrutiny thought they were the common edibles I had been foraging for 30 seasons of backpacking and placed them in a quart pot and cooked and seasoned them and ate the whole pot, 20 minutes later I felt as if I was floating away and became very drowsy and got in bed, I was out 12 hours and could not be woken – 13 hours later a Black Hawk Helicopter hauled me to a hospital – dropping a line from 170 feet above the forest floor and loading me on a contraption with an Army Ranger Al of the 101st Screaming Eagles – I spent two days in Steele Memorial Hospital in Salmon – I had the strangest and most fantastic dreams – dreams that seemed real – at times I realized I was trapped in these dreams and could not escape back to reality – the dreams would change and I thought I had came awake at last – but noted in these dreams they were too fantastic to be real – it seems like I was lost in these dreams for a separate lifetime, but when I came too Lemhi County Search and Rescue personnel had drove 3 hours and hiked 4 hours to get to our remote site. I was groggy and still hallucinating but could stand and was coming to my senses – still soaring in extreme euphoria and they informed me a Helicopter was coming – I objected to this thinking I would have to pay for the ride out of the wilderness – but it turned out it was compliments of the United States Army and was flown out for free – the hospital bill was 24,000 and my insurance paid for all but 1,800 of it. The hospital staff had no idea what kind of mushroom I ate and since I cooked all that we found when I left the hospital it was a mystery, I found out 4 months later from the online site Erwoid that is was probably Amanita muscaria – later I got photos of the mushrooms from the same location and asked the experts on a mushroom site and they identified them as Amanita pantherina or perhaps gemmata – the Panther Cap or closely related mushroom. Since that time I have used the mushroom 34 times and have 3 other fantastic experiences in high dose but did not require military or hospital intervention, often on lower dose mild sedation and euphoria and many experiences quite pleasant with strong sedation and wonderful sleep with pleasant dreams. I am a cautious advocate of this mushroom a person needs to acquire considerable knowledge 1st – which is hard to find because there is so much misinformation of this wonderful mushroom

  4. I am having debilitating back pain atm and can barely walk. I have some Amanita muscaria mushrooms which have been dried and are in a powder form. Could I use this to make the drops for my back. I believe it is about 30g of mushrooms. How much would I need to put into the vodka or does it need to be fresh? Our mushroom season is now over so no access to fresh mushrooms till next winter.

  5. I made a tincture recently that seems to be very effective for localised pain. I’m wondering if taking a few drops can help with anxiety? Or what the effects would be? I infused the Amanita Muscaria in vodka about a month ago. Really need something lately as my anxiety/insomnia has gone through the roof because of a family illness. Thanks in advance

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