Agarikon: An Old-Development Mushroom, Possibly The Key To Fighting Future Pandemics

Jelly Ear Fungus (Auricularia auricula-judae) - Jelly Ear FuWith care bordering on affection, mycologist Paul Stamets hoists up an infinite conk of agarikon to raised show it off. Its dull outward look belies the invaluable medical properties agarikon – and a host of other fungi – might possess, mentioned Stamets, who has been on the hunt for the endangered mushroom for decades. The massive, gnarled, woody-looking layered mushroom, extra specifically the polypore Fomitopsis officinalis, is about the size of a toddler’s torso. “This rare, previous-growth mushroom has a multi-thousand-year historical past of use in Europe,” Stamets stated while doing analysis on Cortes Island, B.C. “In truth, the Greek physician Dioscorides described agarikon as ‘elixirium advert longam vitam,’ or the elixir of long life,” Stamets said, including it was used to treat consumption, later decided to be tuberculosis. Used for millennia as traditional medication to treat respiratory sickness, Stamets believes the fungus has antibacterial and antiviral properties, which are potentially extra helpful now than ever during this pandemic age. Indigenous cultures of the Pacific Northwest also report its use, he said. “Our ancestors weren’t stupid,” Stamets said. A big deal within the mycology world, Stamets is a type of mushroom messiah preaching the phrase on mycelium to the masses. Not only has he authored a number of books, however one of his TED Talks, titled, Six Ways Mushrooms Can Save the World, has more than six million views. More lately, he participated in Fantastic Fungi, a documentary that includes lovely imagery and a retinue of skilled and amateur mycologists. In the film, they argue that mushrooms – and their bigger underground network of fungal filaments, mycelium – are the potential answer to a bunch of issues, together with disease, depression and local weather change. And it appears he’s making headway. Stamets has participated in a dizzying range of analysis initiatives exploring fungi properties and their results on certain strains of tuberculosis, pox viruses and as a potential means to filter toxins or pollutants from the surroundings. He is particularly excited about findings that suggest fungal extracts will help protect bees from some viruses that contribute to colony collapse. But solely a fraction of the thousands and thousands of present fungi have been recognized or had their potential medical functions explored, Stamets said. So, maintaining that reservoir of biodiversity is essential to unlocking their known and unknown potential, he adds. Stamets sees B.C.’s old-progress forests as an useful useful resource in terms of their fungal genome, significantly with regards to agarikon. The lengthy-lived mushroom – which may survive up to 75 years but is endangered in Europe and uncommon in the Pacific Northwest – is typically found sprouting from timber aged one hundred fifty years or older, Stamets mentioned. “When we lower down the outdated-development forests, we are potentially dropping genomic libraries that would have a pressure of fungi that would have enormous implications for human biosecurity, and moreover, habitat health,” Stamets said. “Which is to say, saving old-development forests could be seen as a matter of worldwide defence against pandemics,” Stamets said. Click the link for the complete video and description! So Stamets is making an attempt to culture and preserve as many strains of agarikon potential in hopes of discovering a possible super pressure. “I just kind of jokingly suggest that Cortes Island be renamed Agarikon Island,” Stamets stated. He even hopes to establish an analysis unit on the island. “I consider Cortes Island as a super subject station,” he mentioned. He has round eighty strains banked to this point and hopes to find extra, notably on Cortes Island, which he describes as a haven for the historic fungus. “What I plan to do is to create a subsidiary that will make use of people … Stamets stresses he by no means picks agarikon mushrooms when he finds them. They’re too valuable alive. He merely takes a small pattern to culture them for further testing.
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