An etherealgirl's Adventures in Cyberland

Friday, October 28, 2005

versatile fungis provide assistance in balancing ecosystem

At Resurgence Online, Paul Stamets shares his findings on the amazing ecological healing properties of mushrooms and fungi in Mushroom Magic:

In some ways, we know less about the fungal domain today than our distant ancestors did. Ten thousand years ago we were all forest people, and there are many indications that our practical knowledge of mushrooms was far greater then. For example, the famous prehistoric iceman whose frozen remains were discovered high in the Alps on the border of Italy and Austria in 1991 had three wood conk mushrooms tethered to his right side. He probably used them for multiple purposes.

The mushrooms he prized sufficiently to carry with him on a long solo journey included a fragment of a birch polypore, which has very strong antibiotic properties. It's likely that he was using it to treat an infection or stomach disorder. He also carried some Fomes fomentarius, which can be hollowed out and used to carry fire because it burns only very slowly. This function would have been a matter of life and death in that era, allowing people and nomadic groups to travel without losing their ability to make fire. We've recently discovered that Fomes fomentarius seems to be effective against E. coli 0157, a potentially deadly bacterium often found in spoiled food. Although we've rediscovered this fact only in the past several years, it seems probable that the iceman's culture knew about Fomes fomentarius's antibacterial properties 5,300 years ago.

Read the entire article here.

Posted by etherealfire :: 4:20 AM :: 0 Comments:

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