The Magical World of Mushrooms
6 minute read
Mushrooms: The Most Amazing Superfood on the Planet?
Mushrooms aren’t quite like anything else. They’re not a plant or an animal but belong in a kingdom of their own - fungi.
Fungi is the name given to the whole organism, which is made up of mycelium roots and mushroom fruiting bodies. Think of mushrooms as being like the flowers on plants - only they have thousands of spores rather than seeds. In fact, for every breath we take it’s estimated that we will breathe in around 10 different mushroom spores!
Aside from being completely unique and unlike anything else on Earth, mushrooms also offer an abundance of benefits for the planet and us humans. Let’s take a look.
Mushrooms are Everywhere! 👀
Amazingly, mushrooms are the most common species on Earth. There are over 1.5 million species of mushroom - which is around 6 times more than plants.
They all vary in their shapes, sizes, colours and properties - some are toxic, some are deadly and some are edible & delicious! In fact, a new species of mushroom is discovered every single day.
As there are so many different species of mushroom, it’s no surprise that they are everywhere. For every inch of ground you walk on, there’s a staggering 8 miles of mycelium underneath the surface.
Think of this as a sort of underground network, enabling fungi and other plants to communicate like a sort of natural internet - with the mushrooms we all recognise appearing on the surface.
Medicinal Mushrooms for Human Health 💪
It has long been known that mushrooms have healing properties. They have been used for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as a natural remedy prior to the invention of modern medicine.
Since then, we now know for sure that certain species of mushroom have powerful healing properties. There are a couple of reasons why:
Mushrooms help to fight bacteria and viruses 🦠
Studies have shown that fungi produce enzymes which fight off competition for food, luckily for us these same enzymes actually fight off bacteria and viruses too. It is for that reason that mushrooms can be powerful antibiotics.
You’ve probably heard of Penicillin, one of the most groundbreaking medicines of all time. This is actually derived from Penicillium - a type of fungi. It was discovered in 1928 when a petri dish was left by an open window and a scientist noticed that the mould which grew on it was actually killing bacteria!
Fast forward to the 1940s and the drug saved tens of thousands of lives during World War II. Just a few years later, its founder Dr Alexander Fleming was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine, for its discovery.
Mushrooms support brain health 🧠
Not only can mushrooms help to fight bacteria and viruses, they are also known to support brain health. This is because mushrooms produce molecules which actually fit with receptors in the human brain.
That means that mushrooms can actually stimulate neuronal growth and even neurogenesis - the formation of new neurons in the brain. So they can be an effective treatment for conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease as well as stress, anxiety and depression.
Compared with other medicines, most mushrooms are also incredibly non-toxic which means that they can be safely tested on humans. They’ve also been shown to have the advantage of providing lasting effects after just 2 or 3 doses - rather than chronic drugs which many people need to take multiple times per day for their whole lives.
You’re probably thinking 'a natural, non-toxic medicine that’s readily available- why aren’t we all using mushrooms as medicine?' As amazing as mushrooms are, they’re not money making - which is key when it comes to big pharmaceuticals. Therefore, as a substance they’re massively underfunded and under researched compared with conventional medicine.
Mushrooms Could Help to Save the Planet 🌎
The healing properties of mushrooms don’t end with us humans either - they have also shown amazing potential to help heal the planet.
Mushrooms are decomposers and recyclers of nature, they have the unique ability to take nutrients from dead and dying organisms and move them on. This helps with rebirth and rejuvenation of other organisms - creating new life from something which is long gone.
In fact, mushrooms can even break down toxins and pollutants - taking things which are harmful to the planet and turning them into something harmless. That’s great news for things such as oil spills and landfill sites, which are huge problems for the Earth and otherwise require destructive efforts to resolve.
Mushrooms also have some wider benefits for nature. Their vast mycelial networks enable other species of plants to communicate with each other. They make it possible for them to share nutrients, communicate threats and even grow more efficiently.
Fungal networks have also been shown to store carbon for thousands of years beneath the ground, as effectively as forests and plants do above ground.
Mushrooms have even been shown to be an effective and natural material, with potential to replace toxic and non-recyclable alternatives.
Enjoy the Benefits of Superfood Mushrooms Every Day 🍄
We have made it our mission to make superfoods as accessible as possible for everyone. That’s why you can enjoy the benefits of medicinal mushrooms everyday with our Shroom Coffee, Magic Matcha and Coco Dream superfood blends.
Each harnesses the goodness of Organic medicinal mushrooms which are dual-extracted from real fruiting bodies and lab-tested for purity. We use Lion’s Mane, Cordyceps, Chaga and Reishi mushrooms to help you destress, focus, unwind and sleep.
☕️ Shroom Coffee & Ground Shroom Coffee - Calmer energy & focus, without the crash
🍵 Magic Matcha - Refreshing Matcha which helps to enhance focus and productivity
🍫 Coco Dream - Healthy hot cacao to help you destress, relax, unwind and sleep
So you don't need to go foraging just yet, the amazing benefits of medicinal mushrooms are always just a delicious sip away!
Fantastic Fungi: A Netflix Documentary About the Magic of Mushrooms 🎥
If you want to learn more about the magical world of mushrooms then Fantastic Fungi is a must watch! It is a Netflix documentary which delves deep into the magical world of mushrooms, presented by Paul Stamets, a mycologist (shroom expert!) and all-round mushroom enthusiast.
You can also check out Paul’s TED Talk ‘6 Ways Mushrooms Can Save the World’ for more fascinating insight.
Watch the trailer below or follow the link if you have Netflix to watch the entire documentary.
Fantastic Fungi, Netflix - https://www.netflix.com/gb/title/81183477
6 Ways mushrooms can save the world - https://www.ted.com/talks/paul_stamets_6_ways_mushrooms_can_save_the_world?language=en