Through my health exploration I was exposed to one of the greatest discoveries in the natural healing field, which is that of fungi, otherwise known as medicinal mushrooms. The term medicinal mushrooms speaks 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 had on our 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 which have been revered for their rare characteristics through out history.
Medicinal 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. When we speak of medicinal mushrooms we are speacking specifically of fungal allies such as reishi, chaga, cordyceps, lions mane, turkey tail, agarcus blazei, etc. There are three distinct ways mushrooms express themselves phenotypically, through their fruiting body, their mycelium, and their spore. The fruiting body is the spore-bearing fraction that pushes itself outside of it’s selected tree-host, this is the visible body of the mushroom. This is known to be the reproductive portion of the fungus. The mycelium performs as the immune system and intelligence data base of the mushroom. The mycelium resides within the growth-medium(tree or soil) but extends deep within the soil-matrix of it’s given eco-system. According to the worlds leading mycologist Paul Stamets mycelium is the earths inherent internet, deeming it the intra-net. It is not a huge leap to assume our basis for the world wide internet was first inspired or intuited by the earths mycelium network as Paul Stamets suggests. The mycelial network that deposits its self 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 such as streptomycin, tetracycline, and penicillin to name a few. Mushrooms could be the most beneficial food/herb to consume for preventative of all forms of bacteria and pathogenic infections. As you will discover moving forward the medicinal mushrooms all display verifiable effects on increasing the remote intelligence of our immune system. I believe these class of mushrooms are 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 well being, but for the development of a breast feeding baby.