The mushroom cultivator. A practical guide to growing mushrooms at home

Paul Stamets. The mushroom cultivator. A practical guide to growing mushrooms at home. - Agarikon press, 1983

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Содержание

FOREWORD by Dr. Andrew Weil

PREFACE

I. INTRODUCTION TO MUSHROOM CULTURE

II. STERILE TECHNIQUE AND AGAR CULTURE

III. GRAIN CULTURE

IV. THE MUSHROOM GROWING ROOM

V. COMPOST PREPARATION

VI. NON-COMPOSTED SUBSTRATES

VII. SPAWNING AND SPAWN RUNNING IN BULK SUBSTRATES

VIII. THE CASING LAYER

IX. STRATEGIES FOR MUSHROOM FORMATION (PINHEAD INITIATION)

X. ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS: SUSTAINING THE MUSHROOM CROP

XL GROWING PARAMETERS FOR VARIOUS MUSHROOM SPECIES

XII. CULTIVATION PROBLEMS AND THEIR SOLUTIONS: A TROUBLESHOOTING GUIDE

XIII. THE CONTAMINANTS OF MUSHROOM CULTURE: IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL

XIV. THE PESTS OF MUSHROOM CULTURE

XV. MUSHROOM GENETICS

APPENDICES

GLOSSARY

BIBLIOGRAPHY

INDEX

PHOTOGRAPHY AND ILLUSTRATION CREDITS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

OCR
Appendix I: Medicinal Properfies/345

APPENDIX I
THE MEDICINAL PROPERTIES
OF MUSHROOMS


ushrooms have long been esteemed for their medicinal properties, especially by Far Eastern
cultures, while western cultures have largely been oblivious to the beneficial properties of
mushrooms. For centuries, the Japanese have hailed the shiitake mushroom (Lentinus edodes) as
an elixir of life, a cure-all, revitalizing both body and soul, a cure for cancer, impotency, senility and
a host of other ailments. Mazatec shamans of southern Mexico have used Psilocybe mushrooms in
their divination and healing ceremonies, extolling them for their life-giving properties and calling
them "Mushrooms of Superior Reason" for the heightened mental state they induce. Even the very
term "agaric," still used to describe all mushrooms with gills, comes from the name of a preScythian people, the Agari, who were skilled in the use of medicinal plants, of which mushrooms
were one.

M

Not until the late 1 920's, when Dr. Alexander Fleming published a note in a microbiological
journal, did fungi draw the scrutiny of scientists looking for new sources of antibiotics. He observed,

quite by accident, the deterrent effect a Penicillium mold had on a bacterial contaminant (a
Staphylococcus species). Years later, fellower researchers pursued his suggestion that antibiotics
were being produced by this mold, which shortly led to the discovery of penicillin. Forthwith, molds
of all types were examined by W.H. Wilkins (and others) from 1 945 to 1 954 who systematically
tested one hundred species at a time for antibiotic effects against bacteria and bacteria-carrying
viruses. Eventually, Wilkins turned his attention to the fleshy fungi and interest within the scientific
community grew.

Claims of healing properties in mushrooms have been primarily promoted, until recently, by
the commercial mushroom industry and others with vested interests. It appears, however, much of
the medicinal claims attributed to mushrooms are not myth, but founded in some truth. Within the
last ten years, numerous studies demonstrating the anti-cancer and interferon stimulating properties
of Lentinus edodes have been published. Individuals can significantly reduce serum chloresferol
levels by eating these mushrooms for as short a period as a week (Suzuki and Ohshima, 1 974). In
another study (Ham uro et al., 1 974), the antitumor influence of hot water extracts of Lentinus
edodes was demonstrated in mice implanted with sarcoma-180 and other cancers, resulting in a
80% remission from treatment lasting only ten days, and a 1 00% prevention of growth if the mice
were injected prior to implantation. The causal compound is appropriately named lentinan, a antitumor polysaccharide. Extracts from shiitake spores and the isolation of "mushroom RNA" from
them have proved effective against influenza (Suzuki et al., 1 974). Similar antitumor, immunopofentiator and interferon stimulating polysaccharides have been found in Boletus edulis, Calvatia
gigantea, Coriolus veriscolor, Flammulina vet utipes, Ganoderma applanatum, Ganoderma

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