Into The Woods: Our Guide To Medicinal Mushrooms- PUBLISHED AT APOTHECAI.COM
“I SEE THE MYCELIUM AS THE EARTH’S NATURAL INTERNET, A CONSCIOUSNESS WITH WHICH WE MIGHT BE ABLE TO COMMUNICATE.”― MYCELIUM RUNNING: HOW MUSHROOMS CAN HELP SAVE THE WORLD
Walking through the woods, we come across rainbows of mushrooms of all sizes and formations. The sheer variety of mushrooms seen by the casual hiker hints at some of the extraordinary properties of fungi.
Dig a little deeper and you will find networks of fine white filaments called mycelium, the vegetative part of the fungus—the part of the plant we know of as “the mushroom” is the fruiting body. According to mushroom-guru Paul Stamets, mycelium is “the neurological network of nature… These membranes are aware, react to change, and collectively have the long-term health of the host environment in mind.” Beyond supernatural powers, glorious sights, and delicious flavors of fungi (when edible), mushrooms have been used for centuries across the globe for their antibacterial, anti-cancer and even anti-fungal powers.
These days, you can simply walk down the grocery isles and find baskets of gourmet mushrooms alongside wild, orange chanterelles, all boasting nutritional and medicinal qualities. Turn down the wellness aisle and these incredible fungi are in capsule form, packaged for immune defense, brain and memory health, liver support, and found in cancer-fighting blends. Leaving the store, you’ll find mushrooms have made their way into healthy beverages such as Chaga Mushroom Tea and Rebbl’s Reishi Chocolate, both known as “super herb elixirs.”
Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic practitioners, alongside progressive companies, have made these incredible medicinal mushrooms available and alluring to the public, masking the mushroom flavor with chocolate, coffee and a little bit of something sweet.
But what exactly is so amazing about these fungi and how do we know which ones will support our health? Discover our three of our favorite medicinal mushrooms and their healing powers…
Edited by Alison Baenen