What is Mycology?

What is Mycology?

What most people think of when they think of fungus can be summed up into one word…

“Yuck”

Fortunately, that is no longer becoming the case. We here at Chillum Mushroom and Hemp Dispensary are happy to report that the study of mycology is becoming more of a popular and accepted science. Why this sudden rise in popularity? Well… the answer to that is simple too…

“Mushrooms are awesome!”

What is Mycology?

Mycology can be defined with a very simple definition. Mycology is the study of fungus. That happens to include mushrooms, among other things, in that definition.  It is our belief that fungus is becoming more popular because mushrooms are so beneficial to humans.

Granted, some mushrooms are bad for people, being that some are poisonous. However, with the study of mycology on the rise it will soon become easier to spot a poisonous mushroom. If you know what you are doing you can easily find a mushroom that is delicious, can boost immune health, can boost brain function, and some can even make you hear colors.

Functional Mushrooms vs Magical Mushrooms

Functional Mushrooms can be described as a mushroom that, when consumed, can boost a certain function of the body. Though functional mushrooms have been a staple of Eastern medicine for centuries, many on the western side of the world may not be familiar with their powerful properties.  Today, numerous published research articles have established the health benefits of these unique and powerful mushrooms, leading to an increased interest in their use.  There are quite a few different kinds of functional mushrooms, but for this article we will only focus on two: Lion’s Mane and Reishi

Lion’s Mane

Lion’s mane, sometimes known as bearded tooth fungus, is a large, white edible mushroom species that resembles a lion’s mane. This functional mushroom contains bioactive substances best known for their benefits on the brain.  Studies have shown that lion’s mane mushrooms may improve the brain’s nerve function, resulting in a variety of cognitive health benefits.

Reishi

The reishi mushroom, also known as Ganoderma lucidum or red reishi, is a fungus that typically grows in hot and humid locations.  It is commonly used to improve immunity, reduce stress, support good cholesterol and liver toxicity levels, and promote overall quality of life.  Reishi products may boost the immune system through their ability to fight viruses and bacteria. It is also known to stimulate white blood cell function, particularly in people who are ill with immunity-weakening diseases.

Magic Mushrooms

Magic Mushrooms are simply defined as mushrooms that make you trip. When referring to magic mushrooms most people think of illegal psilocybin mushrooms. Although we do advocate to legalize these mushrooms at Chillum Mushroom Dispensary, they are unavailable to the public cause they are illegal. However, we do promote the study of their spores and mycelium.

One magic mushroom that we do promote the use of is, Amanita Muscaria.  This mushroom is great example of why mycology is such an important science! Although this is one of the most popular and most identifiable mushrooms out there, this is the most misunderstood mushroom we have come across so far.

You may recognize the Mario mushroom? Or the mushroom that the Smurfs made their house out of?  We’ve all seen them before, the red mushroom cap with the white spots. Those are Amanita Muscaria, and they are far from poisonous. Although there are some mushrooms that are a part of the Amanita genus that are poisonous, the Muscaria species is not! In fact, indigenous tribes from Siberia have been using this magic mushroom since ancient times.

So, let’s recap about Amanitas Muscaria:

  • Legal
  • Nonpoisonous
  • Magic mushroom

How to Practice Mycology

Mycology is the study of fungus.  So how does one get started in such a broad topic?  Well there are a couple of things you can do! The most important thing you can do is get learning!

Start Reading

Probably the best thing to do is to start with a book. There is a great deal of misinformation out there when it comes to mycology. Many magic mushrooms have been stigmatized and many functional mushrooms have been resisted by cultural bias.  We are in an age of misinformation.  If an antidrug company wants to put out bad information on a good mushroom, there is nothing stopping them.  Start learning! Just do the best you can to decipher the good information from the bad.

Get a grow kit

It is easier to grow mushrooms now more than ever.  There has been a whole subculture of mycologist that enjoy growing their own legal mushrooms at home.  They pride themselves complicated grow set ups and techniques. Fortunately, growing mushrooms at home is easier than ever.   The grow set ups have been simplified to the extent that some just take three easy steps.

Get a microscope

There is more to mushrooms than what lies above the surface. Literally!  Majority of the mycology of mushrooms has to do with a fungus that grows underground called mycelium. When this mycelium is inoculated with a spore, a mushroom is formed, or fruited, at the surface. A big part of studying mycology isn’t about studying the mushroom but studying the mycelium and the spores. Most of which cant be studied properly without a proper microscope.

Stay organized

There are a whole lot of different kinds of mushrooms, mycelium, and spores. It can be a lot!  The only way to properly study mycology is to stay organized. Catalog all these different things. You are not going to be able to remember everything, so it is important to keep everything neat, labeled, and cataloged properly.  For all your microscope tools, there are certain miscopy kits that can be used not only to view the different spores and mycelium but also to store them properly.

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