My family is delighted every time I cook maitake. Our taste buds awaken in anticipation of its rich, deep and nuanced flavors.
Known colloquially as 'winter,' 'golden needle,' and 'velvet foot' mushrooms, enoki mushrooms grow across much of the world, inhabiting dead conifer trees and stumps, and generally appearing throughout the late fall and winter months.
Mushrooms provide a vast array of potential medicinal compounds. Many mushrooms - such as portobello, oyster, reishi and maitake - are well-known for these properties, but the lion's mane mushroom, in particular, has drawn the attention of researchers for its notable nerve-regenerative properties.
Chaga is significant in ethnomycology, forest ecology, and increasingly in pharmacognosy. Its long-term human use and cultural eastern European and Russian acceptance should awaken serious researchers to its potential as a reservoir of new medicines, and as a powerful preventive ally for protecting DNA.
From dead plant matter to nematodes to bacteria, never underestimate the cleverness of mushrooms to find new food!
Disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, floods, oil spills and radioactive fallout cause massive death of people, pigs, bats and birds. These disasters also impact the immune health of survivors. All harbor viruses.
Mushrooms have many helpful nutrients, including beta glucans for immune enhancement, ergothioneines for antioxidative potentiation, nerve growth stimulators for helping brain function, and antimicrobial compounds for limiting viruses.
Chaga is one of the weirdest mushrooms you may ever see. A fungal parasite found on birch trees, Chaga is a hardened, blackened, crusty formation that looks like a bursting tumor.
Traditionally, our ancestors boiled mushrooms in water to make a soothing tea. Boiling served several purposes: killing contaminants, softening the flesh, and extracting the rich soluble polysaccharides.
In the wild, an enoki mushroom is often squat-looking and its stem is rarely more than twice as long as the cap is wide. When they are grown by farmers and hobbyists, however, their stems elongate, the caps are smaller, and a forest of golden colored needle-like mushrooms shoot up all at once.
Lion's mane may be our first 'smart' mushroom. It is a safe, edible fungus that appears to confer cognitive benefits on our aging population.
My team and I have discovered, over decades of study, that mushroom mycelium is a rich resource of new antimicrobial compounds, which work in concert, helping protecting the mushrooms - and us - from microbial pathogens.
Life exists throughout the cosmos and is a consequence of matter in the universe.
Nature is a numbers game. We need all the support we can get as our immune systems and health are under assault from pollution, stress, contaminated food and age-related diseases as our lifespans increase.
Chaga mycelium is relatively easy to grow by using methods already practiced elsewhere in the mushroom industry. Its mycelium is initially an off-whitish color, deepening with age.
Nitric oxide production by immune cells is one of the key mechanisms that our bodies use to destroy diseased cells. Enhancement of these types of immune responses is seen consistently with many medicinal mushrooms that have been tested by cancer researchers.
Turkey tail mushrooms have been used to treat various maladies for hundreds of years in Asia, Europe, and by indigenous peoples in North America. Records of turkey tail brewed as medicinal tea date from the early 15th century, during the Ming Dynasty in China.
Mycologists are few and far between. We are under-funded, poorly represented in the context of other sciences - ironic, as the very foundation of our ecosystems are directly dependent upon fungi, which ultimately create the foundation of soils.
Through trial-and-error and observable outcomes, our ancestors narrowed the field of edible mushroom candidates to just a few with remarkable, health-supporting properties.
Although the trends are promising and reishi mushrooms exhibit a number of interesting medicinal properties, modern scientific techniques have yet to affirm its traditional 'panacea polypore' status.