Fans of Super Mario play with them. Doctors study them. Chefs all over the world cook with them. They appear overnight, disappear just like fast and leave no trace of their visit. Students of this world are called mycologists and now, the fungus will be 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 cannot contain chlorophyll like green plants.
Without the process of photosynthesis, some mushrooms obtain nutrients by breaking down organic matter or by feeding from higher plants. These are referred to as decomposers. Another sector attacks living plants to kill and consume them and they are called parasites. Edible and poisonous varieties are mycorrhizal and are located on or near roots of trees such as oaks, pines and firs.
For humans, mushrooms can perform certainly one of three things-nourish, heal or poison. Few are benign. The three hottest edible versions of this ‘meat of the vegetable world’ would be the oyster, morel and chanterelles.
They are used extensively in cuisine from China, Korea, Japan and India. Actually, China is the world’s largest producer cultivating over 1 / 2 of all mushrooms consumed worldwide. Shroom chocolate A lot of the edible variety in our supermarkets have been grown commercially on farms and include shiitake, portobello and enoki.
Eastern medicine, especially traditional Chinese practices, has used mushrooms for centuries. In the U.S., studies were conducted in the first ’60s for possible ways 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 through the entire Americas. Cave paintings in Spain and Algeria depict ritualized ingestion dating back in terms of 9000 years. Questioned by Christian authorities on both parties 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. The following year, a Swiss scientist named Albert Hofman, identified psilocybin and psilocin because 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 examine the effects 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 federal government took notice of the growing subculture open to adopting the use, regulations were enacted.
The Nixon Administration began regulations, including the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. The law created five schedules of increasing severity under which drugs were to be classified. Psilocybin was place in the most restrictive schedule I along with marijuana and MDMA. Each was defined as having a “high possibility of abuse, no currently acceptable medical use and deficiencies in accepted safety.”
This ended the research for pretty much 25 years until recently when studies opened for potential use in coping with or resolving PTSD-post-traumatic stress disorder along with anxiety issues. By June 2014, whole mushrooms or extracts have been studied in 32 human clinical trials registered with the U.S. National Institutes of Health for his or her potential effects on a number of diseases and conditions. Some maladies being addressed include cancer, glaucoma, immune functions and inflammatory bowel disease.
The controversial section of research is the utilization of psilocybin, a naturally occurring chemical in certain mushrooms. Its ability to greatly help people suffering from psychological disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, PTSD and anxiety continue to be being explored. Psilocybin has also been shown to be effective in treating addiction to alcohol and cigarettes in certain studies