What the ancients knew

Here at New Earth, we’re big fans of fungi. We have only just begun to understand what the ancients knew all along, that medicinal mushrooms could substantially increase the value of our lives. Below, we’re listing 10 of our favorite facts about mushrooms.

  1. Of the estimated 1.5 million to 5 million species of fungi on the planet, some 100,000 have been classified and studied. Mushrooms are the fruit (or “fruiting body”) of fungi and are among the most intensely studied for their potential in providing new compounds for pharmaceutical application.
  2. Agarikon inhabits old-growth conifers, producing a unique cylindrical mushroom body, which adds a circular layer of spore-producing pores each year. The age of an agarikon mushroom can, therefore, be read, like that of a tree, by counting its growth layers.
  3. In ancient China, cordyceps were highly prized and used exclusively in the Emperor’s palace.
  4. Lion’s Mane is a unique “toothed fungus,” composed of cascading downward pointing spines. A gourmet culinary mushroom once reserved for royal palates, Lion’s Mane has a delicious vermicelli-like texture and distinctive seafood flavor, sometimes described as being similar to lobster.
  5. Grifola frondosa, more commonly known as maitake or “Hen-of-the-woods,” grows throughout the temperate forests of North America, as well as in China and Europe. Long valued as a gourmet culinary mushroom, maitake also has excellent nutritional value.
  6. The oyster mushroom has an excellent nutritional profile. It is high in protein, with a near complete amino acid profile comparable to protein from animal sources. It also contains high levels of essential fatty acids, minerals, B vitamins, fiber, iron, and folic acid.
  7. Poria cocos have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. Traditionally it was used to reinforce and balance the effects of other herbs in medicinal formulas.
  8. Known as the “mushroom of immortality” and “spirit mushroom” in Japan and China, reishi has been used for millennia.
  9. Shiitake is among the most famous and most studied medicinal mushroom. Its nutritional profile includes essential amino acids, lipids, vitamins B, C, minerals, and substantial amounts of ergosterol, the provitamin D.
  10. Ancient Egyptians believed mushrooms were the plant of immortality.




* 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.