HELLO DEAR READERS… Let’s talk about mushrooms. My goal is to get you, the reader, to start thinking about the many different types of mushrooms in the world and their healing properties. My goal is NOT to dive into the deep scientific specifics. That being said, hopefully this article will spark something in you to further study these incredible organisms and how they can be used to promote the health of one’s body and mind.
In order to discuss different types of mushrooms, I believe it is important to talk about Mycelium, and give a brief, general explanation. Mycelium is a building block found in and on the Earth’s soil. It is the sole “Repair Engineer” of our planet. Mycelium branches through the soil, feeding on decaying forest matter such as rotting trees, and as it grows it meets up with other branches of Mycelium creating a dense network web which in turn, feeds the plants and other living organisms on this earth. The Mycelium also produces fruited bodies we know as mushrooms. These different mushrooms are usually only present for a few days before they too, start to decay and wither out. Thus, not much attention is given to studying these beautiful healers.
Now, this is a very simplified and general explanation of Mycelium, but like I stated above, the intention of this article is to spark your interest. If I have accomplished that thus far, and you would like to further educate yourself, then I urge you to read the book “Mycelium Running” by Paul Stamets. Mr. Stamets is one of the world’s leading Mycologists. In his book, one of his arguments is how the world can be saved from the effects of Japan’s Fukushima radiation disaster by using certain mushrooms and fungi to restore the affected soil to its proper health. Now that we have a broad introduction to Mycelium, let’s discuss the actual mushrooms. Obviously, there are too many mushrooms to even list in a single article, however, I would like to touch upon two different types at his time and will continue to highlight the different mushrooms in subsequent articles.
Hericium Erinaceus or Lion’s mane is known in the scientific world as the first “smart mushroom”. Studies on Lion’s Mane have shown positive effects on overall brain health as well as repair of neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia. It has also exhibited incredible results in clearing “brain plaque” brought on by AIDS medications in patients with the disease. Lion’s Mane has been particularly important to me due to my personal experiences with family and friends suffering from these disorders and diseases.
When I moved with my family from Los Angeles to the Pacific Northwest, we found ourselves in an area that was densely packed with forests and hiking trails. My family and I began hiking quite a bit and discovered many mushrooms along the trails. One day we had gone mushrooms hunting and had found this beautiful mushroom inside a rotting log. It looked nothing like a traditional “Toadstool” mushroom and appeared to be from the “Tooth Fungus” group. It was an amazing white color with icicle type splines that cascade down like a waterfall or a Lion’s Mane, hence its name. The taste was outstanding. We took some home and my beautiful wife prepared it for our family with some coconut oil, vegan butter, greens onions, bell peppers, and “shazam!” It was comprable to a $100 Lobster dinner.
Now, dear readers, please DO NOT go looking for mushrooms and think all of them are good for you. There are many poisonous mushrooms and many look-a-likes out there with no healing properties, and unless you are an expert on mushrooms, I do not recommend you try this at home. If you do happen to find some mushrooms and are interested in them, I suggest you consult one who is well versed in the different types of mushrooms. These plants are a wonderful gift from Mother Earth, and their power should be respected.
Also, I’d like to take this time to plug in an important side note. The FDA and Federal Government do not give much support, if any, to the studies of these plants, unless it can be synthesized into a single molecular compound that can be profited on. This is not limited to mushrooms but includes any plant with human health benefits. Which brings me to the next mushroom, which is also illegal under the laws of the Federal Government…
The second mushroom I wish to discuss with you all is from a group I like to call the “Teachers” group. The Magic side of the Mush! The genus of this mushroom is Psilocybe and the species are MANY!!
One day I wondered out onto my property up north after eating an amazing chocolate truffle infused with Psilocybe Cubensis, or what we commonly know as a Magic Mushroom. It had a quick impact on my mind and body, nothing heavy, just noticeable, and I felt myself become more aware of everything around me. A few steps more and I found myself in a patch of Psilocybe Cyanescens AKA the Wavy Cap mushroom! ‘Blessed Mother Earth’ mantras quickly began to fill my being, then, just as quickly, I did the ‘look over your shoulder’ move. “Oh Schnapps! Did anyone see me stumble upon these? Or better yet, Has ANYONE seen these?” quietly screamed in my head. Once I realized the situation was secure and contained, I went on my merry way, harvesting caps. As I researched further, I found that these wonderful fungi were native to the Pacific Northwest.
In my junior year in high school, I was preparing a report on psychedelic mushrooms. One of the articles, was a study documenting a handful of mentally ill patients and the ingestion of “magic mushrooms”. In this particular study, the mushrooms were Psilocybe Mexicana. Ailments such as alcoholism, depression, nicotine dependency, and PTSD stem from life’s stresses which keep our mental health in a state of constant disarray. This realization at a young age, sparked me to continue to pursue the different avenues that would allow me to control my life’s stresses and therefore my mental health. One article in particular was written by a man named Jack Herer, who used Magic Mushrooms to help him recover from the severe effects of a stroke. Jack Herer was unable to speak and treated himself with up to 1.5 grams of Psilocybin, the active ingredient in Magic Mushrooms, after which he was able to speak again. Reading many books and articles regarding Mr Herer, I believe mushrooms along with Cannabis helped restore his speech which allowed us to have many more years of conversation with Jack. The culmination of all these years of study, helped me to understand the benefits of Psilocybin in which many people have been treated with small doses of this active ingredient and see the difference in their lives in terms of how they deal with their daily stresses. I have witnessed beautiful friends rise above their daily turmoils with the help of mushrooms and along with my understandings, teachings, and strong set of dialog they have developed new ways of bettering their minds.
So Dear Readers, in closing, I want to reiterate my belief in the power of the Earth and us being a part of it, just as the plants and animals. We need science to UNDERSTAND these plants and their environment and NOT to chemically or unnaturally reproduce them. I hope I have sparked your interest enough for you to learn, research, and read all you can about these plants and to reach out to experts in the field, because there is a wealth of knowledge and a desire amongst many of us to help everyone find natural healing; mind, body, & soul.
I’m Eddie Funxta, thank you for your mind!