It’s more than just a pizza topping! See for yourself what mushrooms are all about and what they can do for you.
Through my health exploration I was exposed to one of the greatest discoveries in the natural healing field: fungi, otherwise known as medicinal mushrooms. Medicinal mushrooms speak to a category of herbs in differing medicinal systems, most notably the East Asian systems of herbalism. The most commonly known mushroom for most of us is a button mushroom (agaricus bisporus) which we all have seen on a pizza or purchased in the grocery store. This is a ground mushroom and does not fit into this specific classification of fungi. Medicinal mushrooms are the noble representatives of the fungi kingdom revered for their rare characteristics throughout history.
Anatomy of a Mushroom
Mushrooms display themselves in nature much differently than any other organism; in fact, they do not fit into any other category of plants (vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, sprouts). They are in a league of their own. There are three ways mushrooms express themselves phenotypically: through their fruiting body, their mycelium, and their spore.
The fruiting body is the spore-bearing portion that pushes itself outside of its selected tree-host—this is the visible body of the mushroom. It is known to be the reproductive portion of the fungus.
The mycelium performs as the immune system and intelligence data base of the mushroom. It resides within the growth-medium (tree or soil) but extends deep within the soil-matrix of its given ecosystem. According to the world’s leading mycologist, Paul Stamets, mycelium is the earth’s inherent internet, deeming it the intranet. It is not a huge leap to assume our basis for the worldwide internet was first inspired or intuited by the earth’s mycelium network as Paul Stamets suggests. The mycelial network that deposits itself within a chosen host, producing a fruiting body, begins from a simple spore cloud.
These mushrooms may, in fact, be the most unique biological characters of the forest. A connection to nature amplifies ones sense of wonder, curiosity, and colorful imagination. This is brilliantly displayed in J.R.R Tolkien’s classic book series The Lord of the Rings where each inhabitant of the forest represents nobility and reverence for life. Mushrooms represent these same virtues that are intrinsic to the human spirit.
It would appear, based on the analytical nutrient compositions, that medicinal mushrooms concentrate elements of their tree host, which expresses through their fruiting body (in chaga’s case it’s sclerotia).
Fungi are more closely related to humans than any other species of organism on the planet, genetically speaking. Humans and fungi share the aversion to the same pathogens, but fungi appear to be more developed to resist invaders than we are naturally. Many of the common antibiotics used to ward off bacterial infections are derived from fungi, including streptomycin, tetracycline, and penicillin to name a few. Mushrooms could be the most beneficial food/herb to consume for prevention of all forms of bacteria and pathogenic infections. As you will discover, medicinal mushrooms display verifiable effects on the remote intelligence of our immune system.
I believe this class of mushrooms is the safest food for pregnant mothers, developing children, and infants as young as 3 weeks old, based on the direct advice of world authorities on the subject. A home prepared baby formula could include a mashed banana, omega three oil, and mycelium mushroom powder. It is recommended that the mother consume these mushrooms and omega three oils in large quantities, not only for her own wellbeing, but for the development of a breast feeding baby.