Spores vs Fruiting Bodies vs Mycelium - Rayne Grant

For thousands of years mushrooms have been used to treat all sorts of ailments and illness and have been used to improve overall health and add longevity.
Today, mushrooms have been getting a lot of press; in mushroom cultivation, medicinal mushrooms, and in psychedelic mushroom therapies.
 
The nutritional supplement market has been flooded with all sorts of medicinal mushroom types, including powders, capsules, and extracts.
 
Being that the Kingdom, or as we refer to it as the “Queendom of Fungi,” is one of the most diverse groups of organisms on Earth, we seek to explore both the history and the newest scientific discoveries. Perhaps fungi is prolific on other unexplored planets in the Universe, as well. But that has yet to be seen.
 
There are over 1.5 million species of fungi, with only around 120, 000 being currently identified.  It is said that we share 50% of our DNA with fungi.

We are in the process of learning more and more about how and why we contract many of the same viruses as these fungal creatures, and the important role that mushrooms as a medicine could be critical for the survival of the human species.

Mushrooms are closer related to human than plants.

All that being said, there is a lot of conflicting and confusing information as to whether it is better to use just the mushrooms (fruiting bodies), the mycelium (thread-like hyphae), or the spores (seed-like reproductive cells).

Some medicinal fungi, such as Wild Chaga is strictly a mass of mycelium called the sclerotia. This is the dark mass seen growing on birch trees and is the part of the fungi used in making medicines.

Cordyceps sinensis, when collected in the wild consists of both the fruiting body and the mycelium, which has taken over the entire body of the ghost moth. It is sold for more than the price of gold. And for some reason when cultivated in a lab, this fungus is not able to be fruited and therefore only the mycelium and the myceliated substrate is used in making medicines. Cordyceps militaris, on the other hand can be fruited in the lab, in which some mycologists choose to use only the fruiting body or the myceliated substrate or both. Studies are proving that all samples are very similar in their health benefits.

Other mushrooms such as the famous Lions Mane mushroom is showing that while yes, there are benefits in the fruiting body (hericenones), most of the (NGF) Nerve Growth Factor enzymes are produced in the mycelium (erinacines).

As science continues to discover more and more about these very expansive and ancient creatures, we are of the mind that the utilization of ALL parts of the fungi are important, and why we use as much Full Spectrum fungal matter in our products. More and more biologically active compounds are constantly being discovered, opening up our understanding of fungi and how they can be implemented in therapeutic usages.

Please read the below information, and you be the judge of that.

Spores Rayne Grant

MEDICINAL SPORES

Spore preparations have been researched and promoted for their medicinal effects.

In Asia, Reishi spores have been used as solutions to various ailments and to promote longevity. After the spores have been cracked, an oil can be extracted. This is known as Reishi spore oil and is valued in traditional Chinese medicine.

From a clinical standpoint, the nature of spores and the way they interact with each other is thought that taking them alone can enhance their medicinal value.

There are a group of enzymes which interact with proteins during the sporulation process or the sexual process. This process is being studied for its usages against certain pathogens such as Anthrax, Tetanus, Botulism, and others.
So basically, it is thought that if you allow the spores to connect sexually and then implement this into making medicines and/or antibiotics, it enhances the processes. 

PUFFBALLS: Native Americans used the spores of Calvatia gigantea to prevent bleeding and promote wound healing. Traditionally, 3 cm strips of Calvatia gigantea have been used to dress wounds and encourage healing properties.

Mycelium vs Fruiting Body - Rayne Grant, Colorado Mushroom Company

FRUITING BODIES VS MYCELIUM

Mushroom fruiting bodies have been used historically for time immemorial. Using strictly the mushroom fruiting body will provide a concentration of glyconutrients as well as other mushroom constituents.  
Fruiting bodies grown on wood and lignin-based substrates are going to contain higher levels of beta glucans, being 30% to 40% more than that of mycelium.

The interesting yet convoluted point is that beta glucans come in many hundreds of shapes and sizes, being found in both the fruiting body and the mycelium and vary in their solubility and functionality. This means that science has yet to completely understand all of the nuances of beta glucans in fungi.

Let’s continue, shall we….


Fermented substrates seem to offer unique & complimentary health benefits for immunological applications.
Fermented substrates seem to offer unique & complimentary health benefits for immunological applications.


Mycelium does seem to contain a similar nutritional value to that of the fruiting body in general. In fact, certain food products such Indonesian tempeh are made from mushroom mycelium grown on soybeans.

   What a treat!
(Who’s making dinner?)


When mycelium is grown on a grain-based substrate, a fermentation process occurs, not only making it nearly impossible to separate but it also makes the constituents in the mycelium and the grains more bioavailable and easier for the body to absorb the nutrients.

Mycelium is an interesting part of the fungus in that IT IS THE immune response to the entire organism and produces enzymes which are unique to the individual species. Some studies show that the enzymes produced on the Red Belted Polypore are incredibly potent and that bees naturally intake this enzyme in their diets.
A time lapse video which shows how the nuclei (in green) and membranous organelles (in red) travel through mycelium. It is like an underground highway. Mycelium allows for a dynamic transport of nuclei, organelles, and mitochondria. This is the manner in which mycelium communicates with its surrounding ecosystem. © Dr. Patrick Hickey, 2008.
A time lapse video which shows how the nuclei (in green) and membranous organelles (in red) travel through mycelium. It is like an underground highway. Mycelium allows for a dynamic transport of nuclei, organelles, and mitochondria. This is the manner in which mycelium communicates with its surrounding ecosystem. © Dr. Patrick Hickey, 2008.

CONCLUSION:

There is much research and data which backs up both nutritional benefits and medicinal benefits to mushroom spores, fruiting bodies, mycelium and myceliated substrates.

It is our feeling that the Mycelium, the Fruitbody, and the Spores each have unique applications and this is why we choose to use as much Full-Spectrum mushroom materials in our products, be them wild harvested or lab grown.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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