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Drinking salamander brandy

Category: Food



Introduction and description

There is a belief in the drug taking community that salamander brandy is capable of giving you hallucinations or similar experiences.  First we need to look at what Salamander brandy is.

Internet site – Slovak
Not to found on the shelves of your local liquor store, salamander brandy is noncommercially produced in parts of Slovenia. At least four ways– all involving cruelty toward the poor amphibians– are used. In one, the salamanders are placed on a sieve and brandy is poured over them until they drown. In another approach, the poor beasts are suspended by their back legs as brandy drips down a string and over their bodies. In all all cases, the salamanders are so stressed and frightened that they excrete large amounts of poisonous slime, which then infuses the brandy. The effects are visual hallucinations and feelings of wanting to fuck anything in sight.

And this is how they promote it………..



The descriptions are all false.  About the only way one is likely to get anything is by alcohol intoxication or by poisoning from the toxins in the poor little creature's skin of which more in a moment, but it is worth exploring why this somewhat ridiculous practise emerged.  It shows how a complete lack of understanding of symbolism and spiritual truths result in some bizarre and cruel practises.  The killing of rhinos is based on similar ignorance of spiritual symbolism.  It is worth adding that the area around Skofja Loka where the brew is found had an unusually high proportion of tried witches, presumably when they were removed the symbolism went with them.

The Fire salamander is symbolic.  The symbol was used extensively in Alchemy and is still used today by those who are spiritually aware, to denote a person on the spiritual path who has had a rebirth experience.  Rather confusingly they have nothing at all to do with the little amphibians found here in the physical. 

As spirit beings, they are found only in the Fire level and layer.  Now let us have a look at what may happen if you murder a salamander to make salamander brandy.


Salamanders [the true salamanders] contain Samandarine.  Samandarines can be used as local anaesthetics and anti-fungals but are also potentially highly toxic.  When ingested they cause strong muscle convulsions and hypertension combined with hyperventilation, [asphyxiation] leading to delirium and death.

They are known only from salamanders of the Eurasian genus Salamandra, where they occur in parotoid glands.  Two species are known to contain this chemical

  • Salamandra Salamandra  - the fire salamander a little black and yellow creature.   Fire Salamanders are found in most of southern and central Europe. They are most commonly found at altitudes between 400 and 1000 m, only rarely below (in Northern Germany sporadically down to 25 m). However in the Balkans or Spain they are commonly found in higher altitudes as well.
  • Salamandra atra   - the black or Alpine salamander  is found in the Central and Eastern Alps, at altitudes above 700 meters. Adult Alpine Salamanders are approximately 9 to 14 cm in length

The parotoid glands of each fire salamander contains about 20 mg of samandarine, while the glands of each alpine salamander contain about 5 mg. A closely related salamander of Italy, Salamandrina terdigitata, has not been investigated because of strict animal protection laws. Remarkably, the fire salamander is sensitive to the toxic effects of samandarine.

The paratoid glands of the Fire Salamander are concentrated in certain areas of the body, especially around the head and the dorsal skin surface. The colored portions of the animal's skin usually coincide with these glands. It is believed that these secretions “might be effective against bacterial and fungal infections of the epidermis”, which is a different reason for excretion from the toxins produced by, for example, newts.  Newts and some of the other members of the Salamander family produce deadly Tetrodotoxin which acts as a protection from predators.

In effect, the secretions are a protection mechanism, either against infection or against predators.  All are poisons.

How it works


The hypertension and asphyxiation might lead to a form of hypoxia  in which the fear engendered would cause quite horrific experiences.  The sexual effects they promote with this brandy are much the same as those that men who are hanged experience – asphyxiation causes erections too.

References and further reading

Miha Kozorog. Salamander brandy: “a psychedelic drink” between media myth and practice of home alcohol distillation in Slovenia. Anthropology of East Europe Review. 2003;

BMC Public Health. 2011 Dec 14;11:924. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-11-924.  Fatal alcohol intoxication in women: a forensic autopsy study from Slovakia.  Straka L, Zubor P, Novomesky F, Stuller F, Krajcovic J, Kajo K, Danko J.


I have only included one observation, but this was posted on EROWID which claims to be a responsible site, they may need to review their policy if this is anything to go by.  All other observations I found appeared to be apocryphal, although there are a number of reports on Pubmed of people who have been extremely ill [with no hallucinations] from drinking this stuff.


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