Does the simple word ‘mushroom’ transport you to a realm of magic, where the fae folk frolic amongst quintessential red and white capped Amanita muscaria toadstools? Do you start salivating at the thought of a morel or chanterelle picked perfectly prime and cooked in butter, wine and fresh garlic? Are you captivated by the medicine of this extraordinary kingdom of fungi? Are you delighted by the diversity of form and function amongst our fungi friends? You might be a mycophile…
If, on the other hand, you find mushrooms to be creepy and think of them as pure putrefaction; or if there is fear surrounding them for you- but what about that article I read about that guy dying after eating what he thought was a safe mushroom?! If either of these thoughts are yours, you might be a mycophobe. No worries, there is hope for you yet!
Mushroom medicine is a path that straddles worlds. It is interesting to consider how fungi are herbs, but not plants. They are pure underworld, the fruiting bodies of the mushrooms simply acting as sentinel for the vast mycelial network below.
<side note: have you read the jaw dropping article MycoConsent is EcoSexy over at femaleandfungi.com?>
I like to think of mushrooms as information. The Internet is patterned in the same way as mycelium, the informational network of inter species communication that is so much more than a simple nutrient delivery system.
I envision how when we take in these substances, our brains, (a neural network with mycelial patterning of communication) recognizes the information presented by the mushrooms. They speak the same language of mathematics. How wonderfully synchronistic that these fungal beings grow everywhere on this Earth that we inhabit. Without fungi to compost life back into life, we would not thrive for very long. They are fundamentally and inextricably linked to life on the ecological scale here on Earth.
I believe that this function is mirrored on the microscale of wellness in our bodies.
The mushrooms that we have worked with most and feel it is especially valuable to offer are Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus), Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor) and Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum and spp.)
I will be going further in depth with information and experiences with these three mushroom people in the coming days. Stay tuned!