The Quest for Mushrooms
Being a huge fan of mushrooms, I thought I’d show them a little love. The more I discover about mushrooms, the greater my fascination grows.
This is a collection of my thoughts on mushrooms, my own personal 101………An amateur’s experience.
Mushrooms rely on food sources in their surrounding environment for nutrients. Food sources such as plant matter (think trees, bark, leaves), carbon, and certain environmental waste. Considered autotropic (capable of creating their food from organic compounds), these fascinating fungi are next-level interesting.
Mushrooms are the fruit of a fungus (called Mycelium) that grows underground, within trees, or in decaying logs and so you rarely know they are there until they fruit.
Unlike plants, which rely on chlorophyll and photosynthesis to sustain growth, mushrooms must digest their food before being able to take in nutrients. In this respect, only bacteria are like mushrooms as their method of nutrient intake is the same.
My interest in mushrooms extends beyond the culinary delights as I decided to explore the potential benefits of the use of mushrooms as a potential treatment for chronic pain. Embarking on a journey where I decided to give medical grade pharmaceutics a polite wave from the window and possibly, potentially, hopefully, find a solution, even a temporary solution to the pain I have long lived to endure has been my mission for some time now.
Repeatedly, the discussion of the use of psilocybin in the treatment of chronic pain came up and being ever resourceful, inquisitive, and simply tired of taking another pill, upping another prescription, and being simply miserable with my mere existence, I thought, well, why not…………
This is my Quest for Mushrooms……
But being a 50-something woman proved to be a challenge when trying to hang out with people to ask them for a banned substance. I don’t care, there are not many people you can confidently say, “Sir, a gram of your finest psilocybin please”, while brushing back your purple hairdo and smoothing out the creases of your blue linen two-piece suit. Salon Psilocybin is closed to those over 50.
But not to be discouraged, I looked for the positives, something I’ve discovered is useful in my later years and stops one from going stark raving bonkers…………….. seek the positives.
Along with seeking the positives, a gradual acceptance crept in that I’m useless in networking for psilocybin. I am however a dab (no pun intended) hand at gardening. Armed with the search for cultures I found a 100% legal source of mushroom cultures of various varieties.
Armed with the inspiration and passion of Paul Stamets and the potential path to enlightenment, instructions digested, I continued my quest for the answers, that may be found in the humble mushroom.
Freshly bathed, geared up with a mask, and gloves, and wearing Isopropylol like the latest popular French perfume I was ready to begin inoculation. To be honest I felt a little like a surgeon, all that was missing was the scrubs.
Bic Lighter armed, I flicked the lighter and whoosh a large and rather attractive (in hindsight) blue flame enveloped my arm.
Lesson learned, let the Iso evaporate on your body before you dive into naked flames.
After my stint in gloves and masks, my grain tubs went into a cupboard. Some grew within weeks, others grew in about 6 weeks. The joy of watching my very own mycelium grow was just next level, but let this be no tale of easy pathways to psychedelic nirvana, this was one tough but interesting experiment.
Mushrooms are contrary to what you think are not the easiest to cultivate. Gone are the days of thinking they are little things that grow anywhere, these guys demand that we humans do not pass on fungi spores we carry on our bodies and breathe (yes, gross, I agree) hence the need to work with masks, gloves, and Isopropyl alcohol.
I had a few kits go green on me. Think mouldy bread and then we are on the same page. These were discarded immediately to prevent infecting healthy mycelium.
After the mycelium munched up their grain kits, I placed the mycelium in nutrient-rich soil, (preferably sterilised) to give the mycelium the best chance of survival, and within no time at all (ok, maybe 3 weeks), the mushrooms began to fruit.
It’s important to mist these babies as they grow exponentially because mushrooms are 85% to 95% water. It’s also important to ensure that there is sufficient airflow in your kits as mushrooms produce carbon dioxide. An unventilated space will affect the growth of your mushrooms.
It’s easy to say I fell in love with mushrooms watching them develop and then finally fruit. Our meals were filled with an abundance of oyster and shitake mushrooms. Drying and curing in the back corner of my wardrobe was the psilocybin variety I had successfully cultivated for research purposes.
Psilocybin dosage – is the internet your friend? So many resources say around 3g for an adult and always one to stick to the instructions decided to try 3g. Hells bells, shit balls, hang onto my hat – I now realised why my parents had always warned me about eating mushrooms and a valuable lesson is that the internet is no gauge for reasonable consumption of psilocybin. In for a penny, in for a pound, this was me, off-my-head, feeling one with nature, wondering if I would ever see colours this good again, wondering where the bus stopped. It was an experience I may have indulged in more in my wild years but the ole gal is only up for one rodeo. Admittedly I do not recall fibro pain during this episode…..
So now that I had established the kick-ass power of mushrooms I decided to now look at micro-dosing. Having experienced the humble mushroom in its full power I decided to embark on the practice of microdosing psilocybin. Did I keep it up? No, I don’t find the desire to continue my experiment and therefore cannot provide revolutionary advice.
But I had not turned my back on mushrooms as a whole, I then turned to Eastern Medicine concepts and discovered a wealth of history, and uses and even found an amazing South African small business with quality products and a reputation to boot.
Since I’ve given up my quest for eternal enlightenment or microdosing psilocybin I’ve found my fascination for mushrooms continues with the use and research of medicinal mushrooms.
Medicinal mushrooms are important part of my daily routine, which for the first time in 15 years, does not include fibro medicine like Lyrica.
My go-to mushroom tinctures that I believe are having an impact on my quality of life are:
Cordyceps – This fantastic fungus has been scientifically proven to:
- Increased exercise performance
- Boosted immunity
- Reduced inflammation
- Improved heart health
- Lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes.
Lions Mane – This gorgeous specimen is claimed to help with a host of health problems including, anxiety, depression, high cholesterol, inflammation, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and Ulcers. Additionally, Lions Main is said to strengthen the immune system, stimulate digestion, and protect against cancer.
My thoughts on the medical mushroom is that with their ancient use written about in Chinese text and used for medicine it’s time we looked back on history and nature and seek solutions to our everyday health issues. We can’t be as arrogant to think that there is only one solution to health problems.
No one product is the magic bullet for all conditions but a combination of lifestyle choices, diet, rest, medicinal mushrooms, CBD, and perhaps even THC on the really bad days sees my fibro at a manageable level. Positive Attitude = Positive Life.
Have a look on our site for excellent mushroom tinctures.
This article in no way is a piece of expert or medical advice but rather a random collection of my thoughts and experiences.