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A Primer on Mushroom Essences

Posted by Jason Scott on
A Primer on Mushroom Essences

A short history of Essences

      Flower essences have had a long standing relationship with traditional forms of medicine and healing dating back to thousands of years, where documentation of their use recorded on papyrus reaches back into ancient Egypt. In Europe Hildegard von Bingen worked with them as early as the 12th century.

     By the 1930’s flower essences were popularized by Dr. Edward Bach, and Bach Remedies was born with a comprehensive guide on how to apply them for emotional and physical healing. The primary hypothesis behind these remedies is that they are working to align the energetic body and triggering the body’s own healing intelligence. Whereas mushrooms and herbs are highly regarded for their bio-chemical actions, the more subtle dynamic through their form as essence is often overlooked.

 

 

What exactly is an Essence

     From an Alchemical perspective the “essence” can be perceived as a more subtle dynamic of the herb or mushroom and there are many ways to attain them. Whereas tinctures and more concentrated extracts - traditionally referred to as stones and modernly as concentrates - work through phytochemical profiles, essences are working through the transference of the qualities of the plants.

     Essences present themselves in various ways, Hildegard von Bingen would prepare essences by setting a burlap sack over the plant to collect the dew that formed on it in the morning. Others prepare essences by soaking a handful of flowers in water or brandy under the sun. Manfred Junius discusses preparing Spagyric Essences by preparing a crude tincture of the plant, calcining the plant, and attaining the pure mineral salts, and then distilling the volatile portion of that extract off onto the pure mineral salts.

     Our Mushroom Essences are processed in between these traditionally used methods. We begin by preparing our standard Spagyric Tincture under the planetary influence that we have associated with each mushroom.

 

 

How our Essences are created

     Our Mushroom Essences are processed in between these traditionally used methods. We begin by preparing our standard Spagyric Tincture under the planetary influence that we have associated with each mushroom.

After the dual extraction has been completed and the salts have been purified everything is combined and subsequently concentrated under a vacuum, to attain volatility at a lower temperature. This leaves us with two fractions: the volatile that is collected in the receiving flask and the fixed which remains in the boiling flask.

    Whereas our Spagyric Tinctures are going to be working between the bio-chemical and energetic, we now have two separate preparations that have stronger affinities to either side. The concentrate is more effective and potent for the phytochemical models and the essence more effective on the subtle and energetic bodies. Each remedy has a specific place and purpose. While each remedy still contains a piece of each modality of healing, it has a stronger affinity for the piece in which it is intended i.e. the concentrate is more physical though it touches the energetic, where the essence is more energetic but it touches the physical.

     You will note that each essence still carries with it the virtue of the mushroom, palpably notable through the slight smell and taste. More subtly represented through the feeling that it imparts.

 

 

Understanding the Energetics of Fungi

     From the beginning of my work with the mushrooms I have always considered the energetic and spiritual implications as well as the physiological potency and benefit. I have discussed and talked a bit about the Doctrine of Signatures (DoS): working with planetary archetypes to deepen our relationships with natural medicine and specifically mushrooms. That work with the DoS is the foundation through which we understand the mushrooms on their essential level.

     While there is a belief in the power of essences to trigger the body’s innate intelligence to heal itself on a physical level, we like to work with them to address emotional and psycho-spiritual concerns that are not always so easily addressed by standard prepared extracts and supplements. To understand how to work with them, we look at the whole mushroom, how it tastes, how it looks, how it feels, and we meditate with that and deepen into that understanding as we have worked with them over the years.

     By observing the fungi and then applying the DoS we can get a full picture of the healing potential that mushroom has to offer. We can then apply the mushrooms to work with us in ways that may have not been previously thought of or recognized. The healing potential of the mushrooms can be found in their most subtle expression. Through this understanding we learn to work with the fungi to their highest potential.

 

 

 

To learn more about each individual mushroom and how to work with their essences follow our blog and social media as we dive deeper into this journey. 


  1. Carroll, Jenna. “Flower Essence Therapy: What, How and Why? | Endeavour College.” Study Naturopathy, Nutritional & Dietetic Medicine and Natural Health Courses | Endeavour College, Endeavour College of Natural Health, 17 Mar. 2020, https://www.endeavour.edu.au/about-us/blog/flower-essence-therapy-what-how-and-why/.
  2. Junius, Manfred. Spagyrics. Inner Traditions / Bear & Co, 2007.
Bartlett, Robert Allen. Real Alchemy. Nicolas-Hays, Inc., 2009.

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