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The title Spagyric is derived from the ancient Greek words spao (to draw out) and agerio (to gather). This term highlights the basic technique underlying the many forms of Spagyric medicines:  Separate, purify and recombine. 

It’s central blueprint, the Tria Prima, states that all things are composed of three parts: Salt, Sulphur and Mercury. In regard to plants and fungi, the three essentials include the:

  • Mineral salt profile- Salt/Physical Body
  • Essential oil and active compound profile- Sulphur/Soul or Emotional Body
  • Alcohol potential through fermentation- Mercury/Spiritual or Mental Body
Symbols for sulphur, salt, and mercury

Generally speaking (but not always), the Salt is considered fixed, the Sulphur is fixed and volatile, and Mercury volatile. This polarity of fixity vs volatility like the Tria Prima, can be applied to all things. Fixed qualities include heaviness, slowness and physicality. Volatile qualities are light, quick and ethereal.


It should be well noted that not all authors agree upon the definitions and processes described here. Across the history of alchemy, writings which are in total agreement are rarely found – except perhaps between student and teacher. Universal standardization of nomenclature and processes are lacking, but there are indeed central guiding principles of this art.

Definitions and terminology are also highly contextual in alchemical writings. One word can mean many different things – terms and descriptions are sometimes literal, while other times they can be symbolic or allegorical. This article is meant to act as a view into the unique perspective, clinical application and experience of Secret Fire Apothecary.


Spagyric tinctures are predominantly fixed in nature, and therefore can be associated with the Salt principle (the physical body). They contain not only the volatile Sulphur (essential oil), but also the fixed Sulphur (other active/nutritional compounds). With the fixed qualities of the Salt and fixed Sulphur combined, the net sum totals as fixed.

The process of making a spagyric tincture includes:

  • Extraction of the active/nutritional compounds via maceration in pure alcohol (or other solvents).
  • Extraction of the mineral salts by burning the plant material to a fine white ash (calcination) and extracting the salts with distilled water.
  • Recombination of the mineral salts and liquid extract (alcohol and active compounds). 

Due to their fixed nature and full spectrum of active and nutritional compounds, spagyric tinctures are quite dark in color. Dark color is another variable which often (but not always) indicates the fixed nature of a preparation.


To extract specific desired compounds (Sulphur), different types of solvents (also known as menstrua) can be used. These most commonly include:

  • Alcohol
  • Water
  • Acetic acid (vinegar)
  • Ethyl acetate 

Although all our tinctures begin with pure alcohol, we also employ dual/triple extractions using water and vinegar. Our mushroom tinctures in particular benefit from triple extraction using alcohol, water and vinegar extraction. This allows extraction of both volatile terpenoid compounds, as well as fixed polysaccharides. 

Water and vinegar soluble compounds are considered more fixed in nature. Alcohol soluble compounds are considered more volatile. This also relates to the chemical principle of polarity, with fixed compounds being polar and volatile more non-polar.

The volatile Sulphur is considered the higher soul, while the fixed Sulphur represents the lower soul. This again is a universal concept, applicable to plants, mushrooms, animals, metals, minerals and more.


Spagyric tinctures support the physical body primarily but can also influence the more subtle emotional and mental spheres. Highly bioavailable, they are delivered quickly into the body by the excipient nature of the alcohol. 

The human body

With their fast actions they lend well to acute needs, although they have a particular ability to aid chronic conditions. Chronic/long term conditions are considered fixed. The pairing of fixed spagyrics with fixed conditions/physical body speaks to the axiom of similia similibus curantur

like is cured by like”.


For further information on the benefits of plants, fungi, spagyrics in general and personal consultation and advice, please CONTACT US.

All information/product provided on is for strictly educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or mitigate any disease, ailment or injury of any kind.

These statements have not been reviewed/endorsed by Health Canada nor the FDA.