Mycology Monday (Fungus Among Us)

Hi all! This Thursday, Aug. 29 to Monday, September 2, I (Megan) will be out of the office at the 2nd annual New Moon Mycology Summit. This year’s conference will be in Thurman, NY in the beautiful Adirondack region. I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge of medicinal fungi, and to learning about plant species local to our region and about cultivation.

To celebrate 5 days of camping and learning, I wanted to make a post talking about some of the medicinal mushrooms we use in the Chinese medicine pharmacopoeia. (That means if we work together to formulate an herbal treatment plan for you, some of these substances may be present in your custom formula, depending on your presentation and what we are treating!) These are just the ones I could think of off the top of my head:

Ling Zhi 霊芝 – a.k.a. ganoderma, reishi! Sweet in flavor and neutral in temperature, it acts on the Heart, Lung, and Liver organ systems. Its primary function is to calm the spirit while boosting qi and nourishing blood.

Fu Ling 茯苓 – a.k.a. poria cocos, white poria. Sweet, bland, and neutral, it acts upon the Heart, Spleen, Lung, and Kidney. It can primarily grows on pine tree roots. There are 4 layers to this fungus which may be used. Fu Ling refers to the fungus body closer to the root. Fu Shen includes the inner core of the fungus as well as the nearby fungus body; this part has more spirit-calming properties than Fu Ling. Chi Fu Ling, or red fu ling, is the part of the fungus growing closer to the outer cortex; this part of the fungus is more effective for treating hematuria (blood in the urine). Fu Ling Pi is the very outer cortex/skin of the fungus, and it is the most strongly diuretic part of the fungus. It has the strongest effect on treating edema, and less of a Spleen-supplementing ability than Fu Ling.

Zhu Ling 猪苓 – or polyporus umbellatus. Sweet, bland, and has a slight cooling effect. Primarily affecting the Spleen, Kidney, and Urinary Bladder systems, it is perhaps the best single substance to promote fluid metabolism. It is said to open the interstices of the body, which can be understood as layers between both superficial and deep tissue, including fascial regions and the mesentary.

I’ve got a couple more neat ones to write about tomorrow, so if you’re interested in plant medicine and in particular medicinal mushrooms, please check back! As always, get in touch with me with any questions or drop us a comment!!


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