Friday, January 7, 2011
Modern Uses of Medicinal Fungi
Fungi (yeasts, molds, mushrooms) have played an important role in Chinese culture for at least 4000 years, with oral tradition dating back perhaps 7000 years. Common Asian mushrooms such as wood ear and jelly fungus are known to have been important food sources, with several varieties utilized to make wine, vinegar, soy sauce, and pickled vegetables. Though written and oral accounts refer to the healing powers of several varieties of medicinal fungi, the spores of the common puffball were probably the most widely used initially, applied externally to heal scalds, burns, and general pains of the body, while the giant Agarikon fungi was widely chosen as a curative for stomach ailments. Both are said to have been greatly prized by Japanese doctors as well. Read more . . .