While mushrooms categorized as saprotrophs thrive on decay and are natural decomposers, other mushrooms fall under the mycorrhizal type. These fungi form into a beneficial union with the roots of plants by weaving into the root cells or wrapping around the roots themselves. The former are called endomycorrhizals, while the latter are known as ectomycorrhizals.
The benefits include additional moisture, phosphorous and other nutrients which mushrooms provide to their hosts. In return, these mushrooms gain access to glucose which plants produce. This process allows plants to grow bigger, faster, and stronger, which most farmers take advantage of by breeding their crops with more of such fungus.
Today, around 95% of plants have mycorrhizal partnerships with fungi. However, the kind of mushrooms these fungi produce are more often difficult to cultivate and are found only in nature. But if you can find them, they usually provide you with some of the most delicious treats you can ever taste in your food. Under this category belong the porcini, used in soups and sauces, and truffles—very expensive gourmet fare. Also on the list are chanterelles and matsutake, both delicious edible mushrooms.
On the other hand, parasitic types of mushrooms form another category of said fungi. They also take plants as hosts, but do not provide benefits for them—instead, they kill their hosts. Under this category belong honey fungus, caterpillar fungus, and lion’s mane. These are edible mushrooms medicinal circles of the traditional sort believe to contain qualities which help maintain good health—especially the lion’s mane.
A lot of people may find it interesting to occasionally look for different types of edible mushrooms in various areas, nooks and crannies. If you’re an expert on those things, chances are, you may succeed in your efforts. However, if not, you may find yourself in a hospital for food poisoning instead—and that can sometimes be fatal. Others, though, look not for food but for mushrooms medicinal qualities which can serve as health supplements.
Indeed, several studies have shown that some of these mushrooms medicinal qualities which provide immune support for the body to sustain total wellness. Mushrooms are your out-of-the-ordinary fungi that are not only edible but may also help promote good health, as some natural folk practices have revealed.
Various Natural Uses for Different Mushroom Species