The Health & Environmental Benefits of Mushrooms

What can these fungi species really offer us?


The Old Wise Man’s Knowledge

Mycologist Paul Stamets has been doing research on thousands of mushroom species with hundreds of thousands more waiting to be discovered by the likes of him or people with similar interests. Paul simply does what he loves in nature by searching for the endangered Fungi species known as Agarikon and the network of white threads or roots called Mycelium or mushroom spawn. Paul believes that both the human population and Mother Earth could benefit from the existence of mushrooms which could one day save the world. From fulfilling our macro-nutrient needs to increasing our immune system in order to fight off viruses & diseases. (Stamets, 2009 & 2012) Some mushrooms, however, are now under clinical trials due to their mind altering effects which has the potential to cure a number of mental health disorders such as depression, addiction, and anxiety with many more results soon to come. And as long as there are organizations who are allowed to study any psychedelics with medicinal uses, then it could very possibly be that they have been part of our evolution for thousands of years. (Jr, 2017; Mcrae, 2017)

Keywords: Mushroom, Mycologist, Research, Fungi, Mycelium, Macronutrient, Mycelium, Spawn, Immune System, Viruses, Diseases, Mind Altering Effects, Psychedelics, Medicinal, Evolution, Mental Health Disorders

The Health & Environmental Benefits of Mushrooms

Most people probably thinks mushrooms are either edible or poisonous but there is actually more to it than that. Society is influenced by what is normally seen on a daily basis such as the fact that people can obtain common mushrooms at the grocery store for food but not medicinal mushrooms. As Paul claimed, there is an endangered mushroom called Agarikon that could potentially fight off viruses, diseases, and such. More research is being done regarding this mushroom with hundreds of thousands more possibilities. On the other hand, Mycologist Paul’s Mission is:

“My current priority is culturing the fungal residents in old growth forests. One mushroom species in particular beckons me: Agarikon, Fomitopsis officinalis. This mushroom has been used medicinally for thousands of years, and known for centuries as “elixirium ad longam vitam” (“elixir of long life”)” (Stamets, 2009)

Hunt or grow mushrooms.

Have ever thought of or actually have gone camping with family, friends, colleagues and/or co-workers before in a forest along the coast or by the lake? Camping can also be a great time to hunt for Mushrooms which can be a fun group activity that requires some leg work as it might have a few miles of hiking or so deep within the coastal forests of the Pacific Northwest where Paul believes various kinds of mushrooms are found. Paul also has many books for hobbyist and/or researchers to help identify and distinguish medicinal & edible mushrooms from poisonous kinds located on his website Fungi.

Paul also sells products for cultivating any mushrooms at the comfort of your home. He also teaches how to grow mushrooms using spore solutions, containers of substrates and materials to incubate and fruit the mushrooms. (Stamets, 2018) Furthermore, Blue Wind School is also another good place to start if the general knowledge of how Mushrooms grow in the wilds is what you are seeking. Unlike Paul’s Seminar on mushrooms alone, Blue Wind School can supplement your knowledge on nature as well by allowing us to notice that some types of mushrooms are associated with certain types of plants which can only be found in a few select places. (Fenner, 2018) There are also books that these Experts would recommend to their students. Mushroom Demystified by David Arora, All That The Rain Promises by David Arora, Psilocybin Mushrooms of The World by Paul Stamets himself and more…

The Benefits of Mycelium to Our Planet

As stated before, Mycelium is the roots of white fuzzy threads or network where Mushrooms spawn. Paul has briefly explained on Fungi the impact Mycelium has on our ecology

Four components of mycorestoration are described in detail:

  • Mycofiltration: the filtration of biological and chemical pathogens as well as controlling erosion
  • Mycoforestry and mycogardening: the use of mycelium for companion cultivation for the benefit and protection of plants.
  • Mycoremediation: the use of mycelium for decomposing toxic wastes and pollutants.
  • Mycopesticides: the use of mycelium for attracting and controlling insect populations.” (Stamets, 2018)

So what is the wait for? Start learning and grow mushrooms today!

Produce your favorite edible mushrooms.

By attending a seminar and getting first hand experience with the experts or learning on your own by acquiring the books or Google searching for instructions, anything can be achieved nowadays. At the very least, being able to grow mushrooms would cut the cost of our groceries and could potentially open up new opportunities such as the beginning of a mushroom farm. Whether your goal is to get a good hike (while enjoying nature’s presence and good scenic views), to find mushrooms for food or medicine, or grow them for personal use or market purposes, then learning about Mushrooms is the first step to achieving any of the possibilities it holds for Mycologists or hobbyists. Even as a hobbyist alone, many things can be learned and done. By simply knowing how to follow instructions and apply the methods proposed on a reliable source such as Midwest Grow Kits, you will be able to guarantee a higher success rate versus failure rate by thoroughly applying the methods acquired from the instructions provided by the source. (Midwestgrowkit, 2018) Once the techniques have been mastered then growing your own fresh batch of indoor-grown mushrooms can happen in a minimum of two months to a maximum of three months wait-time. Every mushroom differs and most fungi species prefers the temperature range of 77-81 degrees Fahrenheit during the incubation stage. This is the stage when live tissue of mushroom spores have been injected inside a substrate jar (made with a mixture of grains) where the mycelium will form in five to fourteen days. Once white-fuzz starts to form, it can take two to four more weeks until the substrate contents of the jar becomes 100 percent colonized. Thus, proceeding with the dunking phase where the substrate is re-hydrated which requires that the substrate content be taken out of the jar and transferred into a zip-lock bag. The zip-lock bag will then have to be filled with filtered water and be placed inside the fridge for eighteen to twenty-three hours. After the time-frame, the re-hydrated substrate can be taken out of the zip-lock bag and be broken up into pieces into a container where they will be mixed with vermiculite and either a casing mix or manure mix. When the broken up pieces along with the other ingredients have been mixed, it is now time for fruiting phase which can take about seven to ten days for pins to start showing and when the need for more light is demanded; as this is the time that mushrooms need partial light source and the temperature range needs to be between 76-78 Degree Fahrenheit with moderate to tropical humidity levels to mature. The most important thing to remember when growing mushrooms are to always prepare a clean/sterilized environment where you will inject live mushroom tissue/spores into a jar of substrates, ensure temperature ranges are stable throughout the day by using a digital thermometer and heating/cooling equipment, and making sure the mushroom substrate (during incubation/fruiting) get some lighting when the time is right. With a little knowledge about growing mushrooms, we could spend less time hunting outdoors and grow more for either personal or professional use.

References

Stamets, P. (2009). Fungi Perfecti, The Search for Agarikon. Retrieved 04/05/2018 from

http://www.fungi.com/blog/items/the-search-for-agarikon.html

Stamets, P. (2012). The Blog, Agarikon: Ancient Mushroom for Modern Medicine. Retrieved 04/05/2018 from

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-stamets/agarikon-mushroom_b_1861947.html

Ballroom, Jr. (2017). Psychedelic Science 2017, Psilocybin Mushrooms and The Mycology of Consciousness. Retrieved 04/05/2018 from http://psychedelicscience.org/conference/interdisciplinary/psilocybin-mushrooms-and-the-mycology-of-consciousness

Mcrae, M. (2017). Science Alert, Researh Shows Magic Mushrooms Can Offer Real Benefits in Depression Therapy. Retrieved 04/05/2018 from https://www.sciencealert.com/therapy-for-depression-gets-a-significant-boost-when-combined-with-psilocybin

Stamets, P (2018). Fungi Perfecti, The Stamets Seminars. Retrieved 04/06/2018 from http://www.fungi.com/seminars.html

Fenner, T. (2018). Blue Wind School Of Botanical Studies, 2018 Winter-Spring-Summer Class Schedule. Retrieved 04/06/2018 from https://mailchi.mp/26982a51bbfa/blue-wind-2018-schedule

Stamets, P (2018). Fungi Perfecti, Mycelium Running. Retrieved 04/06/2018 from http://www.fungi.com/product-detail/product/mycelium-running.html

Midwestgrowkits (2018). Midwestgrowkits, Midwestgrowkit. Retrieve 04/12/2018 from

http://www.midwestgrowkits.com/mushroom

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