October 2010 Issue

The Magic of Mushrooms as Medicine

Nothing compares to the earthy fragrance and taste of mushrooms freshly sautéed in a bit of olive oil and garlic. But did you know that mushrooms are far more special than their delicious taste suggests? Neither plant nor animal, mushrooms are classified in the kingdom of fungi. But mushrooms are even more unique within the fungi kingdom, because they are the complex fruiting body of the fungal organism. Just as a tree produces fruit to bear seeds to continue the species, so does a fungal organism produce mushrooms to carry spores to continue its own species. With thousands of mushroom species present in the world, most remain mysterious, as only 10 percent of the species have been identified.

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