A Mushroom for Bravery: Agaricus muscarius

Remember the mushrooms in Alice in Wonderland? The ones that could make Alice feel bigger than a tree or smaller than a mouse? These famous fungi (Amanita muscaria) were not only used by Lewis Carroll experimentally, they were also for centuries used by warriors in the northern lands for bravery in battle.

Agaricus muscarius, or fly agaric
Amanita muscaria is a famously toxic mushroom that we use in homeopathy for frostbite and spasmodic complaints. It is most commonly seen in this red-capped version. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The thing is, Amanita are very toxic, so the northern cultures learned to filter the toxins by feeding the mushrooms to reindeer first. Once the reindeer’s kidneys kicked in, the animal would pee a brew of intoxicating war juice that could be drunk without getting a horrible stomach ache or dying.

The homeopathic preparation of Amanita muscaria is called Agaricus muscarius (after the common name of the mushroom, fly agaric). It grows all over the Northern hemisphere and will look quite familiar to anyone used to spending time in the northern woods.

The great characteristic symptom of someone needing Agaricus muscarius homeopathically is indeed the warped sense of size. Small things appear large, large things appear small, and the patient’s perception of emotional and mental reality will often be out of proportion. The distortion can be so intense as to make a person’s movements clumsy. They reach too far, step too high and may injure tendons and ligaments when they exercise.

Agaricus muscarius is made from amanita muscaria
Same toxic mushroom, different color. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Agaricus is a terrific remedy for spasms, trembling and convulsive movements. As mentioned above, people who need the remedy may have exaggerated movements. Their walk is awkward. They may have facial tics.

People who need Agaricus muscarius are very sensitive to cold and often have an itching-pricking feeling as of frostbite (making this one of our best remedies for frostbite). They may suffer from recurring colds during the winter months.

Children needing this remedy will often be little daredevils, constantly climbing things and jumping off, running through traffic, and picking fights with bigger kids.

Adult patients will have a great anxiety about their health and possibly a fascination with death, dying and graveyards. Their physical symptoms will often be worse before a thunderstorm and after sex. Common Agaricus physical symptoms are severe lower back pain, sciatica and hay fever.


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