Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Medicinal Mushrooms Sprouting Up in Local Parks

Ganoderma tsugae, a type of reishi

I love that mushrooms are their own kingdom - neither plant nor animal, they are uniquely themselves. Some are delicious, some supremely medicinal, some deadly poison. Interesting, beautiful, intriguing...we know comparatively little about fungi.

Above is a Ganoderma tsugae we found in June, up in Cooks Forest. This is one of the types of mushroom known as Reishi, an intensely healing mushroom prized in Asian medicine.

Medicinal mushrooms are said to benefit the immune system and many - like reishi (above), maitake (second below), shiitake, lion's mane (directly below) and turkey tail - have been proven to have anti-tumor properties.

The mushrooms below (lion's mane or bearded tooth and hen of the woods or maitake) were found recently in Frick Park, right here in Pittsburgh. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me to take a picture of them growing, but I did snap a few when I got them home (before eating them! Unlike Reishi (above) which is bitter, the mushrooms below are delicious edibles.)

lion's mane/bearded tooth or Hericium erinaceus

hen of the woods/maitake or Grifola frondosa

There is a wonderful movie about mushrooms called "Know Your Mushrooms" which we recently watched online, and captures the spirit of mushroom hunters well. You can watch it online here.

Enjoy the fall!

In health,

David and Melissa Sokulski, L.Acs.

The Birch Center for Acupuncture
(412) 381-0116

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