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Mushrooms and historical uses | Mushrooms in ancient times | Origin Of Mushrooms

Mushrooms and historical uses | Mushrooms in ancient times | Origin Of Mushrooms

Mushrooms and historical uses

  • Many mushrooms have long been valued as tasty, nutritious food by different societies worldwide. 
  • To the ancient Romans they were “the foods of the Gods” resulting from bolts of lightening thrown to the earth by Jupiter during thunder storms;the Egyptians considered them as “a gift from the God Osiris”; while the Chinese viewed them as “the elixir of life”.
  • Throughout history many cultures have built-up a practical knowledge of which mushrooms were suitable to eat and those that were poisonous. Many cultures, especially in the Orient, identified that certain mushrooms could have profound health-promoting benefits.
  • However, there does exist an insidious fear of mushroom poisoning in many cultures which can even approach phobic levels. 
  • Such profound mycophobic reactions are evident in the UK, Ireland and much of North America while, in sharp contrast, mycophilic or fungus-loving societies can be witnessed throughout Asia, much of Europe, Poland and Russia where wild mushrooms are extensively collected or purchased for food to be incorporated into soups, stews and teas. 
  • Catholic countries, in general, are more mycophilic and it has been suggested that this mayhave arisen because they are not allowed to eat meat on Fridays and mushrooms could be a good alternative.
  • Notwithstanding, in some societies where gourmet mushrooms were regularly consumed at feasts and banquets, it was relatively easy to add in a few deadly poisonous mushrooms e.g. Amanita phalloides with dire consequences ensuing. 
  • Claudius II and Pope Clement VII are strongly believed to have died in this way. Symptoms and death normally came many hours later which allowed the perpetrator to be many “leagues” away before the onset of the symptoms. Some legends even suggest that the Buddha died in this way.

Mushrooms And Historical Uses
Mushrooms And Historical Uses 

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