Medicinal Mushrooms In History

Medicinal Mushrooms In History


While nearly everyone has a favourite flower, and some people admit to a love affair with indoor plants, only a few profess their passion for mushrooms. A popular recreational activity is that of mushroom foraging. It's tremendously fascinating to spend weekends in the bush searching and identifying mushroom species since mushrooms grow only in certain areas at specific times of the year in the wild. Some mushrooms can only be found near specific tree species.


Mushrooms are often prized for their culinary qualities, but serious research demonstrates how important mushrooms are in everyday living. As supplements, mushrooms are a rich source of nutrients. Many natural healers believe medicinal mushrooms should be regarded with equal or even greater value than some medicinal herbs.


Fascinating in every aspect, the use of mushrooms for their medicinal qualities and health benefits throughout history is an equally enchanting tale that stretches to every corner of the world.



Egyptian hieroglyphics depict mushrooms as the plant of immortality, with mushrooms being referred to as "sons of the gods" and being transported to Earth on lightning bolts by the god Set. As a result, mushrooms were exclusively consumed by nobility and pharaohs. Similarly, the Aztecs also possessed sacred mushrooms, which they called "the flesh of the gods" and ingested as part of religious ceremonies.


Medicinal Mushrooms In History





Greeks were among the first Westerners to write about mushrooms and examine their origins and possibilities. The concept of mushroom spores arriving on Earth on lightning bolts launched by mighty gods is a common theme held by the Greeks as well.

Mushrooms were a mystery to Greek philosopher-scholars since they did not grow like other plants. Aristotle was intrigued by mushrooms and sought to learn more about them because, in his words, "in all things of nature there is something marvelous."


Medicinal Mushrooms In History





The oldest human mummy, known as Ötzi, also called "Iceman", was discovered with Piptoporus betulinus and Fomes fomentarius in his medical bag. Piptoporus betulinus is a fungus utilised for its antibacterial capabilities and as a natural anti-parasitic that is still used today, and Fomes fomentarius is an anti-inflammatory and used to start and transport fires. Iceman's remains were found in the Northern Ötzal Alps and, when carbon dated, were found to be approximately 5300 years old.


The Vikings are said to have used hallucinogenic mushrooms before combat, which would have resulted in the savage fighting condition for which they are renowned in history.


Medicinal Mushrooms In History





For thousands of years ‒ estimates vary from 3-7,000 years ‒ medicinal mushrooms have been utilised in traditional Chinese medicine. Tao Hongjing, a 5th-century alchemist, mentioned numerous therapeutic mushrooms. The reishi mushroom is known for its immune-boosting and mood enhancement properties, and Dendropolyporus umbellatus (umbrella polypore) is commonly used for urological disorders.


Between 600 and 1000 AD, the Chinese devised cultivation methods for medicinal and culinary mushrooms to fulfill the ever-increasing demand. For example, from about 1000 AD, the famed shiitake mushroom has been widely cultivated. Today China is responsible for about an estimated 70% of the worlds mushroom production.


Medicinal Mushrooms In History




Medicinal Mushrooms In A Modern Era

Modern science now understands that we are an ecosystem, live in an ecosystem, and were born from an ecosystem. Mycologists understand the role of mushrooms and their mycelia in ecosystems of which we are a part and that their health benefits empower and complement conventional modern medicine. We are in the midst of a scientific revolution rapidly gaining traction in the field of medicinal mushrooms. Our forefathers would be proud.


Flow State strives to be accessible and affordable to all, with a strong belief in our products' capacity to enhance your flow state and naturally support your health and vitality. We believe in mycology and evidence of the medicinal qualities of mushrooms that stems back for generations.


For your medicinal mushrooms, browse our shop, and be sure you subscribe to our "Flow State Spore Drop" newsletter to receive mushroom information, recipes, and updates on local initiatives!

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