Fans of Super Mario play with them. Doctors study them. Chefs around the globe cook with them. They appear overnight, disappear just like fast and leave no trace of their visit. Students with this world are called mycologists and now, the fungus is being viewed as a possible treatment for cancer, PTSD-post-traumatic stress disorder and some psychological disorders.
Mushrooms, sometimes called toadstools, are fleshy bodies of fungus that grow above ground on soil or on a food source. They are separated from the plant world in a kingdom all their very own called Myceteae because they do not contain chlorophyll like green plants.
Without the method of photosynthesis, some mushrooms obtain nutrients by wearing down organic matter or by feeding from higher plants. These are called decomposers. Another sector attacks living plants to kill and consume them and they’re called parasites. Edible and poisonous varieties are mycorrhizal and are observed on or near roots of trees such as oaks, pines and firs.
For humans, mushrooms can perform one of three things-nourish, heal or poison. Few are benign. The three most widely used edible versions with this ‘meat of the vegetable world’ will be the oyster, morel and chanterelles.
They are used extensively in cuisine from China, Korea, Japan and India. Actually, China could be the world’s largest producer cultivating over 1 / 2 of all mushrooms consumed worldwide. Most of the edible variety within our supermarkets have already been grown commercially on farms and include shiitake, portobello and enoki.
Eastern medicine, especially traditional Chinese practices psilo gummies los Angeles, has used mushrooms for centuries. In the U.S., studies were conducted in early ’60s for possible methods to modulate the immune protection system and to inhibit tumor growth with extracts utilized in cancer research.
Mushrooms were also used ritually by the natives of Mesoamerica for thousands of years. Called the ‘flesh of the gods’ by Aztecs, mushrooms were widely consumed in religious ceremonies by cultures throughout the Americas. Cave paintings in Spain and Algeria depict ritualized ingestion dating back in terms of 9000 years. Questioned by Christian authorities on both sides of the Atlantic, psilocybin use was suppressed until Western psychiatry rediscovered it after World War II.
A 1957 article in Life Magazine titled “Seeking the Magic Mushroom” spurred the interest of America. These year, a Swiss scientist named Albert Hofman, identified psilocybin and psilocin whilst the active compounds in the ‘magic’ mushrooms. This prompted the creation of the Harvard Psilocybin Project led by American psychologist Timothy Leary at Harvard University to review the results of the compound on humans.
In the quarter century that followed, 40,000 patients were given psilocybin and other hallucinogens such as LSD and mescaline. A lot more than 1,000 research papers were produced. Once the government took notice of the growing subculture ready to accept adopting the use, regulations were enacted.
The Nixon Administration began regulations, which included the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Regulations created five schedules of increasing severity under which drugs were to be classified. Psilocybin was put in the most restrictive schedule I along with marijuana and MDMA. Each was defined as having a “high potential for abuse, no currently acceptable medical use and a lack of accepted safety.”
This ended the research for almost 25 years until recently when studies opened up for potential used in dealing with or resolving PTSD-post-traumatic stress disorder along with anxiety issues. At the time of June 2014, whole mushrooms or extracts have already been studied in 32 human clinical trials registered with the U.S. National Institutes of Health because of their potential effects on many different diseases and conditions. Some maladies being addressed include cancer, glaucoma, immune functions and inflammatory bowel disease.
The controversial section of research is the use of psilocybin, a naturally occurring chemical using mushrooms. Its ability to help people experiencing psychological disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, PTSD and anxiety remain being explored. Psilocybin has also been shown to be effective in treating addiction to alcohol and cigarettes in some studies.