At the time when Earth arose, some 4,5 billion years ago, the first organisms were mushrooms. As an illustration: Plants appeared 600 millions years after them. Ancient Romans, as a well-known gourmand, knew for different meals with mushrooms. Cepe, champignons and similar mushrooms were delicacies to them. In Chinese civilisation the mushrooms played an important role for 700 years.
Mushroom are neither plants nor animals. They are classified as fungi. It is hard to say how much mushrooms are on Earth (numbers fluctuate), we will say around two thousand types, but only 2 to 5 percent are eatable.
Mushrooms are composed of water (77 to 93 percent), have small amount of calories, have no fats or cholesterol, they are rich with minerals, especially with potassium, phosphor, manganese and iron. They also has significant amount of vitamins B1, B2, C and D. The mushrooms are the only plants (if you want to call it that) that contain vitamin D which is essential for immune system. Recently conducted studies show that some of the mushrooms acts like probiotic which means that they help organism in defence against toxic substances and makes our immune system stronger.
Among all species people are most connected with mushrooms. We both breath out and breath in oxygen, we both are attacked by some bacteria like Escheria colli and Candida. The main difference between us and mushrooms is that mushrooms developed their own defending system. Mushrooms affect the regulation of sugar in blood and they are recognised as good supplement to nutrition. Doctors from China and Japan are aware of positive effects of mushrooms for centuries.
Today doctors that practice western medicine will often recommend a therapy with mushrooms as a supplement to the traditionally medicine, especially in a case of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, because they increase human immune system. Anti-tumor supplement from mushrooms significantly extends the life of patients with cancer and enlarge their rate of their recovery and survival. At the same time, they make chemotherapy and radiotherapy easier, intensify their positive effects, while the side effects are easier.
How powerful mushroom are shows the adventure of the Royal air forces at Thailand. One of their pilots used military combat helicopter unauthorised to take one little bag of mushrooms from his mother. Helicopter was left alone in a rise field while seven member of Royal air forces were sitting with pilot's mother drinking "cup of tea". What kind of mushrooms was in the bag, who will know?
The photograph of the helicopter in rise field without any surveillance was published in a local Thailand newspaper. Did team members eat a mushrooms, just drink or maybe roll something it is unknown, but one thing is certain - they acted like they eat crazy mushrooms. Their further destiny is unknown to us.
And this is just one crazy story about mushrooms. The other story comes from our homeland, Croatia. One mushroom lover invented the game "Save endangered mushroom"! It's less likely that he belong to Green movement, he is a artist. In a word: Goal of the game is to win a rectangle (four times) and leave a four mushroom (red-poisoned or white-eatable) on that field.
Yellow mushroom is a joker and it can be a poisoned or eatable one. There are 34 chips and those who collect more points wins. In the front of the chip are the pictures of 350 Croatian endangered mushroom species.
Now, we will end this story with a science fact. Reishi mushroom, also called as mushroom of immortality, increase increases the flow of oxygen and improves sexual functions. Maitake mushrooms are great for immune system and creation of a myelin which is important for proper functioning of a nerve systems. The rest is on you to discover.
Call me seer, but I think I know what you will be cooking tomorrow. ■