May 29, 2011

Mushrooms in London

 Got some really cool fungi pics of some polypores from Eva she took last week on a walk with Robin in North London that I want to share with you. 

I think they are polyporus squamosus, also known as Dryad's Saddle, though they could probably pass for polyporus craterellus, have a look at these images and see what you think, your comments appreciated.

Also, maybe we can start a new thread here,  after the storm last week, and with this being a Bank Holiday weekend, you may find yourself taking a walk in the park or camping out in nature, why not take a pic of the mushrooms you spot and email me or post'em in comments, and we can all try (all 12 of us ;)  to identify them and vote for the best ones. 

The winner will get Paul Stamets book, Mycelium Running, which I mentioned in the last post.

ps. RIP Gil Scott-Heron, a true legend.
Gil Scott - Heron

May 02, 2011

How mushrooms can save the world

Reishi Mushroom (Ling Zhi)
As you know, as an herbalist i use and recommend mushrooms to my patients at clinic very regularly, sometimes as a food like some of the tastier ones Shiitake and Chanterelles, other times as tinctures or powders or capsules of the mushroom mycelium like the Reishi, Cordyceps & Kombucha for their powerful beneficial effects on our immune system and as natural antibiotics and antivirals. I will discuss all of the above in detail in future posts.

I think it makes sense that this first herbal post will give props to the first species to move from the oceans to land, as the gateway species about 1.3 billion years ago. As Paul Stamets says fungi have always survived the extinction cycles on earth because they can survive in the dark, they are the grand molecular disassemblers in nature: they break down plants, minerals and animals into soil, they sequester CO2 and have an amazing healing effect not only on the human body but on the environment they inhabit on a global scale.

Old Growth Forest Agarikon mushroom
There is nobody better to explain this than Paul himself, who is a true visionary and greenovator, also known as the mushroom guy for his incredible work with mushroom mycelium and fungi. His work, patents, and research has huge implications in vast fields from medicine: in treatment of smallpox, pandemic avian flus, H5N1, on the one hand, all the way to cleaning up environmental brown fields and disasters such as the oil gulf spill of last year or the Japanese nuclear plant radioactive cleanup efforts right now! Note especially his work with rare Old Growth Forest's mushroom Agarikon (Fomitopsis officinalis) - the one in the picture is about 50 years old from a forest in the pacific northwest of United States.

For more info go to Paul's website
or read his book Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save The World
'This book is a manual for the mycological rescue of the planet...the mycorestoration revolution'.

As for video you can find his talks on youtube, but i really like his talk on Ted: 
Paul Stamets on 6 ways mushrooms can save the world | Video on