#251: Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms for Cancer Prevention, Immunity & Brain Health w/ Daniel winkler

by Mike Mutzel



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Connect with Daniel

This link contains Daniel's Edible and Medicinal Mushroom Field Guides

Puget Sound Mycological Society

Books That You May Enjoy

The Fungal Pharmacy: The Complete Guide to Medicinal Mushrooms and Lichens of North America

How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence

Healing Mushrooms: A Practical and Culinary Guide to Using Mushrooms for Whole Body Health

Mushrooms Demystified


Key Papers That Helped Me Understand The Health Benefits of Mushrooms

Lull, C., Wichers, H. J., & Savelkoul, H. F. J. (2005). Antiinflammatory and Immunomodulating Properties of Fungal Metabolites. Mediators of Inflammation, 2005(2), 63–80.

Roupas, P., Keogh, J., Noakes, M., Margetts, C., & Taylor, P. (2012). The role of edible mushrooms in health: Evaluation of the evidence. Journal of Functional Foods, 4(4), 687–709.


Show Notes

01:25 We are fearful of harvesting mushrooms, influenced from our British cultural heritage. The rest of Europe embraces mushroom foraging. You can touch mushrooms in the wild. By ingesting you get the benefits or the toxicity.

02:20 Mushrooms are seasonal, so your time to educate yourself on identifying mushrooms is very short. They may not return for another year to maybe 3 years.

03:10 Get to know the mushrooms that you want to use. Know any dangerous look-alikes.

06:46 The chanterelle of the Pacific Northwest has no dangerous look-alike.

08:46 Find a mycological society near you to learn and get help.

11:10 The fruiting body of a mushroom is 90% water. Even in the desert, when there is rain, there are mushrooms fruiting. They feed on dead biomass.

12:07 Mushrooms do not have a stomach. They release enzymes from their hyphae. They are a mass of connected fine threads, a mesh. This forms a web called the mycelium. The mycelium is the body of the mushroom.

12:33 Mushroom Sex: The part of the mushroom above ground is the reproductive organ of the mushroom. A spore is produced in the fruiting body. When the spore hits the ground, it produces a hyphae. Mushrooms have hundreds of genders who are not very picky about mates.

13:45 Mushrooms do not have a digestive system. They are a one cell wide tube that can release enzymes through pores. The enzymes breakdown biomass. These broken down components are absorbed. The body of the mushroom grows into the food.

14:23 The dried mushroom fruiting body is about 30% protein. Mushrooms are a much sought-after food source in it environment. Their immune mechanism can be taste or poison.

15:05 Mushrooms have powerful immune systems. Many of the components of a mushroom’s immune system stimulate and support our own when we ingest them.

15:30 Mushrooms are also antibacterial and antiviral.

15:41 Medicinal mushrooms are those varieties with the most powerful immune systems. Examples are cordyceps, reishi and ganoderma.

17:21 Mushroom skin is made of the polysaccharide, chitin, like insects. It is protective to the mushroom. It helps our immune system and may be useful removing radioactive heavy metals from the body.

18:45 All vitamins can be found in mushrooms. If you pick a fresh mushroom and put it in the sun for half an hour, ergosterol on the cell walls will turn into vitamin D and be stable for years.

24:08 Clean the biomass from your mushrooms.

24:39 Smell and taste your mushrooms. You can taste any mushroom to get to know it, as long as you don’t swallow. Only swallow mushrooms that you know are edible and can be eaten raw.

25:48 In general, all mushrooms should be cooked. This detoxifies them, rendering them edible. Many mushrooms should only be eaten cooked. Cooking also prepares the chitin on the mushroom for digestion. It is better to overcook mushrooms, rather than undercook.

26:54 Dry Frying: Fresh wet mushrooms can start cooking without oil. They will release their water. Collect the water and save it for the sauce. When they start sticking to the frying pan, add oil. They will cook faster. Don’t pile them in the pan or they will get mushy.

30:13 Some mushrooms serve as an extension of the roots of a tree. Many trees take up to 90% of their water through the mushroom. The tree can return up to 60% of their sugars to the mushroom.

32:46 Most plants rely in some way on mushrooms.

33:51 Mushrooms, lichens, eat rocks. They release acids that will break down the rock and consume it.

36:50 Acid rain changes soil pH. Mushroom populations have begun to disappear. Pesticides and fungicides kill them.

41:02 Mushrooms have been in existence on land longer than plants and animals.  The plant/mushroom relationship is ancient. Mushrooms feed the animals and will feed upon the animals.

45:40 You can probably spread/seed mushrooms in your own yard in proper habitat by placing parts/pieces of fresh mushroom fruiting body.

50:44 OMG! Cordyceps grows a fruiting body out of a LIVE insect. It takes over the insect and controls the movement, directing it into a place where it is optimal to spread its spores.  It does not take over the mind of the insect. The mycelium cover the insect’s muscles and acts as puppet master.

52:48 The drug Cyclosporine is made from a variety of cordyceps soil fungus. It suppresses your immune system, which is necessary for organ transplantation. Success rates went from 10 to 20 percent before the drug was put into use to 70 to 80% after.

53:50 Other cordyceps support your immune system. Ganoderma (reishi) boosts and balances your immune system.

54:45 The active ingredient in cordyceps, cordycepin, is only one oxygen different from adenosine, ATP – which moves your muscles. Cordycepin may be pulled into our cells and used for fuel.

56:35 Some research shows that cordycepin stops cancer cell reproduction. It is also a powerful anti-inflammatory.  Cordyceps is now grown commercially.

58:45 Mushrooms can transfer carbohydrates from large trees to small trees. The mushroom manages the echo system with what appears to be wisdom and planning.

01:06:20 Harvesting/using magic mushrooms is against the law. It is good to know how to identify them. There is a large variety with a variety of characteristics.

01:15:52 Lion’s Mane has been shown to help nerve cell regeneration and increases in memory of 10 to 15% in elderly people. Anecdotally, Parkinson’s shaking lessens.

01:17:18 A micro dose of medicinal mushroom has been known to eliminate cluster headaches and migraines.

01:23:18 Daniel believes that psychedelic mushrooms are less addictive than TV. The only real crime is that it is not available as medicine.

01:23:51 Psychedelics are showing use with alcoholism, drug addiction, PTSD and serious depression.

01:26:15 Psychedelics could be a trigger for people with the genetic predisposition of psychosis.

01:34:00 Eating raw or under-cooked shiitake mushrooms can cause skin problems.

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