Mushroom Power Mushroom Universes
Fungi are among the most fascinating creatures on earth. They form the "great third kingdom of nature" alongside flora and fauna.
Fungi are more related to animals than to plants. The oldest described fungal fossil is about 115 million years old. The largest mushroom in the world, a dark hallioma found in Oregon USA, spreads underground over 1000 hectares, has an estimated weight of 600 tonnes and is probably around 2000 years old. The smallest specimens are microscopic. Mushrooms can fluoresce, appear in all colours and shapes and sometimes be deadly or helpful. Humans have used mushrooms since time immemorial, be it as yeast, for alcohol fermentation, as tinder sponge for making fire, for shamanic and mind-expanding journeys or in medicine. The most famous Alpine mummy, "Ötzi", carried a birch spore against stomach complaints in addition to a tinder fungus.
In China, mushrooms have been a therapeutic component for more than 3,000 years, so that traditional Chinese medicine TCM today can draw on a wealth of experience. Maitake, Shiitake, Reishi, Chinese caterpillar fungus, MuErr mushroom or mushrooms native to Europe such as champignon or Schopftintling have a broad spectrum of effects and support the immune system, regulate blood sugar or promote performance enhancement, among other things. TCM doctors and alternative practitioners who specialise in mycotherapy can therefore prescribe specific mushrooms to patients.
The maitake mushroom is even approved as a cancer drug in Japan. The world's best-known mould is probably the penicillin fungus, whose bactericidal effect was discovered by the English researcher Alexander Fleming in 1928 and heralded the era of antibiotics.
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