The Human Connection to Mushrooms


 

 

From the edge of the stratosphere to a mile underground, we are living and breathing fungal spores. The fruiting body that we associate mushrooms with, is made up of a mass of thin threads known as mycelium. But there truely is an underground world consisting of a complex web of mycelium netting that bridges the communication and exchange of nutrients between trees, plants and the microbiome of the forest.

 

This mycelium netting is the most sophisticated communication network on the planet.

Mycelium wraps around the roots of plant life and creates a complex mycorrhizal network, with the purpose of sharing information and exchanging nutrients. This intelligent design is wired to promote diversity by leaving room for competing mycelium.

We are traditionally taught that the purpose of roots is to gather nutrition from the earth and transport nutrients up the plant, but that is only a partially true. The root of a tree is the brain of the tree! It is in constant communication with the mycorrhizal network, sending nutrients to other plants with similar genetic relations or to plants that need extra support. That's right! The elder trees nurse their young and take care of the sick! These trees store wisdom, while the mycelium net transfers it back and forth. 

If you think of the way your immune system responds to an immunization or specialized threat like the chicken pox, you only get ill once  or in the case of immunization, you would receive just enough to create the antibodies but not enough to fall ill. Your body creates and codes specific antibodies to fight off the threat and is stored like a little army ready to win the battle before you get sick again. So what does this have to do with mushrooms??? The mycelia makes plants more resistant to disease by working in similar ways! By boosting their host plants' immune system and stimulating the production of defense-related chemicals, the mycelia creates a quicker and more efficient immune response called "priming". 

Just as mushrooms modulate or build the immune systems of the forest, they do just that to the human body. Fun Fact: We share up to 67% of similar DNA with fungi and 18-35% with plants! There are many ways that fungi benefits it's plant allies as it does our human body.

To name a few:

  1. Mushrooms are anti-inflammatory to the earth & to our bodies.
  2. They stabilize the microbiome in the soil as they do in our gut.