All Mushrooms Are Magic!
Today we get to share with you some exciting facts surrounding the mushrooms. An entire encyclopedia could be written upon the Fungi Kingdom, but instead, we have decided to pick some of our favorites. These ancient superheroes have helped humanity evolve providing us with numerous mental and physical enhancements. If you are new to this world of medicine and well being, buckle up! You’re in for a treat.
The discoveries that have already been made may just be scratching the surface of what there is to be known. Not only are new species of mushrooms and fungi still being discovered, but newfound properties of the ones we have already found are also expanding our knowledge. Let’s dive in!
1. The Largest Organism On the Planet is a Fungus.
Ladies and gentlemen. In the southern corner of the Americas, weighing in at 13 million pounds and spanning over 107 acres of land, our 80,000-year-old friends’ name is Pando. Pando (Latin for “I spread”), is the largest known organism on the planet, and yes, it is a fungus. Located in Utah, USA, this “humongous fungus” spans underneath the soil affecting roughly 47,000 quaking aspens.
2. Mushrooms and Fungi Have Been Around for 1,300 Million Years.
Based on recent studies, fungi and their bulbous mushroom friends have been around longer than the dinosaurs and most life we know of. Based on fossil discoveries, the fungi kingdom spawned into existence along with some of the base plants and organisms Earth first hosted. They also apparently played a role in environmental shifts such as the “Snowball Earth” and the “Cambrian Explosion”.
3. Mushrooms Aren’t a Plant or Animal.
Containing no chlorophyll, fungi/mushrooms are considered saprophytes. Saprophytes do not require living organic matter to consume. They can thrive off of dead matter, unlike any other plant or animal we know. Therefore, we cannot simply fit them in as a plant or animal. Actually, mushrooms are fairly similar to animals and humans, rather than plants. Their nature, structure, and functions are ambiguous in comparison to most life on our planet. That being said, mushrooms and various fungi contain powerful secrets about the history and composition of life itself.
4. Animals Eat “Magic Mushrooms”.
I guess we can finally talk about the mushroom in the room. Commonly referred to as “Magic Mushrooms”, psilocybin mushrooms contain psychedelic properties & are used across the planet for recreational, spiritual, and medicinal purposes. Not only is this a far-spread practice, but it has arguably been used throughout most of human history as we know it! Something you may not know however is that various animals also consume these interesting mushrooms for their psychedelic properties as well. Among various other psychedelic substances, animals are quite exuberant in their behavior, just like humans.
5. The Mario Mushroom Actually Exists.
Amanita muscaria is the species of mushroom that looks just like the “Mario Mushroom”. Eaten in Europe, Asia, and North America, this mushroom is known to have hallucinogenic properties. Maybe that’s why Mario felt bigger after eating it? They are known to have higher toxicity levels as well, so eaten raw isn’t recommended, although no deaths have been reported otherwise.
6. Some Mushrooms Glow in the Dark!
Actually, there are more than 70 species of bioluminescent (glow in the dark) mushrooms. This glow is caused since the mushrooms contain luciferin, which is a chemical that reacts to oxygen, creating a glow effect. So essentially, they are producing their own light. When we mentioned how some mushrooms seem like they are from an alien planet, this is even more apparent in this case.
7. Mushrooms Are Extremely High in Antioxidants.
Mushrooms contain very high amounts of ergothioneine and glutathione, both of which are very powerful antioxidants. When consuming antioxidants, you can expect multiple healing effects. Antioxidant-rich foods help fight cancer, boost immunity, and slow aging.
8. There is an “Orgasm Mushroom”.
Apparently, there was a test conducted on a mushroom called “Dictyophora indusiata”, which seemed to have some interesting effects on women who were tested. It was reported that over half the test subjects had “instantaneous orgasms”. Turns out the mushroom releases spores which are similar to hormones released during sex.
9. Reishi Mushrooms Are the Most Studied Herbal Substance On the Planet.
The Reishi mushroom is a very common and highly studied mushroom. It found it’s way into society more so through traditional Chinese Medicine. The reason it is so popular is that it provides so many incredible benefits such as its immune-modulating effects, its ability to calm the body (getting you out of fight or flight effectively). It helps you adapt to stress, slow the aging process, eradicate infections, and even fight cancer. It is a very interesting & extraordinary medicinal mushroom with numerous health benefits, it’s no wonder why it has been studied so extensively.
10. Mushrooms Can Supply the Textile Industry.
MYX, the material created from the mycelium of oyster mushrooms, is used in the textile industry. The manufacturer created a fiber mat using this biomaterial and hemp. With strength, durability, and flexibility, it could find many uses in the market and various industries. With the global push for green alternatives, this is as green as it gets with our renewable, growable friends.
11. The Most Poisonous Mushroom We Know of Is Amanita phalloides.
This dangerous little fella can kill once ingested after four to nine days! Mostly referred to as the “Death Cap Mushroom”, this is the last mushroom you want to eat. It essentially stops the proteins in your body from communicating, causing cellular dysfunction & inevitable death. It contains an amatoxin (not good for humans) which aggressively attacks your liver and other major organs. The cause of death ends up usually being from organ failure. So just remember, if you aren’t sure of what species of mushroom you’re foraging, don’t eat it.
There You Have It.
These are just a small handful of interesting aspects surrounding the mushroom and fungi kingdom. From big to small, deadly to curative, mushrooms vary in all kinds of ways. With that, we find incredible things all over the place, like glow in the dark mushrooms, fungi that span over 100 acres of land, mushrooms that can kill you in a week, mushrooms that fight cancer, and so much more! It is truly astonishing once you dig into the world of mushrooms, that is why we pride ourselves on sharing these fantastic herbal friends with the rest of the world.