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My New Mushroom

I know it doesn't look like much, but that bit of fungus in the picture is my latest treatment for acute migraine. And it works!

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine from high school who is does a lot of botany and agriculture messaged me to ask if I'd ever tried Diamond Willow fungus. I had never even heard of it! And, as a ten year veteran of the chronic migraine wars, to have come up with something I'd never heard of was quite the accomplishment. So, my friend hooked me up with an herbalist friend of hers who sold me some of the fungus.

A few days later, I got my 12 ounces of Diamond Willow fungus in the mail. The instructions said to light a little section on fire, blow out the flame, and inhale the smoke for several inhalations. Hmmmm. Well, as usual, I had a headache and I gave it a try. The results weren't instantaneous, but I noticed that I felt better a few minutes later.

Over the last two weeks, whenever my headache has gotten above about a 5/10, I've used the fungus. And I haven't used any of my Imitrex. In two weeks. Wow. I've had a couple of times that I've actually been pain-free. Other times, the pain has been low enough that I've been able to do more around the house than usual.

So, more about this fungus. It grows on Diamond Willow trees in northwest Canada and Alaska. The trees are called Diamond Willows because the fungus grows on them and destroys the bark, but not the heartwood and causes a diamond pattern. The fungus is very woody and has been used by First Peoples for ritual ceremonies. Inhaling the smoke is supposed to be good for headaches, but also for menstrual cramps.

I can't find where anyone has subjected the smoke to a chemical analysis. Mushrooms that are used for psychedelic purposes usually have ergot compounds. My neurologist has a patient who gets a chemist somewhere in Eastern Europe to make him a non-hallucinogenic form of LSD for acute migraine treatment; LSD is also an ergot. So, it may very well have some kind of ergot. And, it may cause rebound headache, so I have to be careful of that.

Basically, though, I'm thrilled to have something in my pharmaceutical arsenal that seems to actually help the migraines. We'll see what happens over the next few months! Please keep praying!


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