Did you know that many African countries have used functional mushrooms for medicinal benefits similar to Traditional Chinese Medicine? In recognition of black history month, we believe it's essential to showcase the cultures and communities that have benefited from the medicinal values of functional mushrooms.
Why are mushrooms important in African cultures?
All over the world, especially in several parts of Africa, wild mushrooms exist, contributing heavily to forest production. Moreover, mushroom foraging in the woodlands and the wild is an ancient practice to many west African communities that rely on mushrooms as more than just a food source but also medical remedies and, in some cases, a scalable business.
For multiple centuries, the people in Western Africa have benefited from traditional wild mushrooms as a nutritional food source. They are also rich in proteins, vitamins, fats, carbohydrates, amino acids, and minerals, making them a low-cost, worthwhile meat substitute. However, these communities remind us that we can live sustainably by using fungus as more than just a food but a superfood added to one's daily life. In addition, these wild mushrooms have been found to carry an abundance of medicinal properties.
What types of mushrooms are found in Africa?
- Reishi Mushroom
- King Tuber Oyster Mushroom
- Artist conk Mushroom
- Tifa Mushroom
- Puffball Mushroom
- Jelly Ear Mushroom
- Common Split Gill Mushroom
- Milk caps Mushroom
What are the medicinal uses of mushrooms in Africa?
These are popular wild and edible mushrooms consumed throughout Western Africa. Their medicinal uses were shared by traditional herbalists who use these mushrooms to treat various illnesses and support overall health and wellness.
The King Tuber Oyster mushroom, also known as the Pleurotus tuber-regium has been used traditionally to relieve headaches, stomach fever, cold, and constipation.
Reishi mushroom is also known as Ganoderma lucidum for treating arthritis neoplasia. Learn more about the health benefits of Reishi mushroom here.
Red Reishi mushroom or Bracket fungus is scientifically known as Ganoderma. resinaceum is traditionally used for treating hyperglycemia liver diseases (hepatoprotector).
Artist's conk is scientifically known as the Ganoderma applanatum and is traditionally used as an antioxidant and for supporting those with diabetes.
Tifa is this functional mushroom's traditional name in Nigeria, but it is also known Lentinus squarullosus for treating mumps and heart diseases.
Puffball mushroom is a wild mushroom, also known as Calvatia cyathiformis. It has traditionally been used to treat leucorrhea and barrenness.
As a functional mushroom company, we strongly admire how communities from all over the world have used mushrooms to #CultivateGreat into their daily routines. Furthermore, they remind us to return to our roots of sustainability by using mushrooms as a superfood.