The wonderful Mushroom

When I mention mushrooms, a lot of people either screw up their faces thinking of the distinctive taste of White Button Mushrooms (the most common variety sold in the supermarkets) or try to surreptitiously slip me money for the psilocybin variety.  Still others think of the mushrooms that dot their lawns in ring patterns.  But mushrooms are so much more.


Mushrooms are extraordinary things; distant cousins to the molds that make us cringe and save our lives.  There are mushrooms that actually disassemble tumors and cancer cells.  There are mushrooms that are anti-influenza.  And oh so many are so tasty (Shiitake, Porcinis, chanterelles, white beech, morels). But all of the edible varieties have really wonderful antioxidant, anti-cancer/tumor, immune system stimulating properties. And the Oyster mushroom can be used to clean up toxic spills and afterwards still be edible (link and then 1 hr. in).


Think about that: A miracle natural detoxifier that can be cultivated and eaten afterwards without further endangering animals and the environment. And then eating this miracle mushroom also helps prevent and cure bacterial and viral infections while helping those infected with HIV maintain a healthy immune system.  So where is the catch?  The only catch is that you will need to get over that dislike of mushrooms. But only a little.  Some natural and Asian markets have medicinal mushrooms in pill form.  The wonderful Red Reishi tastes very bitter but has numerous reasons (lifted directly from linked article) to eat it such as:

  • anti-cancer properties, see below inhibitions and reductions.
  • immune system up-regulation
  • antioxidant activity
  • liver-protecting, hypoglycemic, antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties

As well as:

  • inhibiting synthesis of cholesterol and reducing blood cholesterol
  • reducing radiation-induced damage
  • reducing lower urinary tract symptoms
  • increasing exercise endurance
  • inhibitory effect on high blood pressure
  • inhibitory effects on angiogenesis (via inhibition of VEGF), blood platelet creation, and fibrosis

Why wouldn’t you want to include this in your diet?  It doesn’t taste very good, but the things it does for you are extraordinary!  Just infuse boiling water with the mushroom and drink the infusion. Or just take the pill. There are, at current knowledge, 485 species of mushroom that are traded as medicine elsewhere in the world that are not currently in American awareness.  So become aware.  The pharmaceutical industry isn’t going to tell you about them.  This awareness could help you live so wonderfully.

If you would like to start taking advantage of these mycological wonders, start by eating them at meal times.  Find some recipes so you can eat them regularly.  Not just every once in a while, regularly.  Daily if possible.  Find a local grower.  Find a natural market for the strictly medicinal species.  Many Asian markets have them or will order them for you.

There are varying degrees of taste.  Enoki mushrooms are very mild tasting and are typically added towards the end of cooking or eaten raw.  Portobello mushrooms are strong and meaty.  Chanterelles have a seafood taste and are excellent with fish.  Porcini mushrooms (I love these mushrooms so much) are nutty in flavor and work really well in soups and sauces.  There are so many ways to incorporate them.


Then have an infusion of the more bitter mushrooms.  Take these instead of pharmaceuticals when possible (under professional supervision I must say under threat of legal trouble).  Take them as preventative medicine.  Feel wonderful while eating wonderfully.



If you have the inclination and time I highly recommend watching Paul Stamets’ TED presentation (I linked to this earlier) and investing in his Life Box. Also, watch the entire Know Your Mushrooms (I also linked to this earlier). These fellows can further educate you.

About Nathan

Hi! I am Nathan! So why am I here? That is my main question. I am fascinated by the current wave of science meeting with the philosophical questions throughout history. I am a Taoist and a disorganized dreamer who makes up new words to describe states of being and thought processes. I love to bring to you these simple yet powerful little inspirations and truths. I believe that each one of us is infinitely important and we are all connected. As Carl Sagan put it, “We are a way for the Cosmos to know itself.” We might be all connected, but you are still you. It is your perceptions that shape your reality. So join me in changing perceptions!

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