Mushrooms have always intrigued me. They seem magical and hold many beneficial healing properties. Heck, you can even eat certain types of mushrooms such as the psilocybe species and hallucinate! So, be aware when mushroom hunting and experimenting with them!
Tis’ the season for the great Shaggy Mane (late fall & spring) – I recently picked three beautiful specimens out of my backyard. Otherwise scientifically known as Corprinus Comatus, this mushroom resembles a white, closed umbrella, which spreads with age. Yes, it’s that time of year and if you keep your eyes peeled you may be lucky enough to find some Shaggy Mane’s kickin’ around. It’s quite fascinating to watch the shaggy mane as it rolls up its gills and become black and inky. This process happens fast, and if you come across a patch of these scrumptious delicacies, enjoy the magical stages as they grow and turn to ink.
With research on the rise and the re-discovery of ancient methods of healing, it doesn’t cease to amaze me, on the subject of mushrooms, and what they can do to you and for you if taken properly. Watch out though for the extremely deadly ‘shrooms’ or you could be sorry!
The shaggy mane mushroom is completely edible and quite tasty, I might add! It has shingle like white or brown scales and contains self digestive enzymes to render older specimens to the black fluid. Also called the “Inky Mushroom,” this mushroom is a delicacy to any palate and is found on roadsides, lawns, in wood chips and hard packed soil. It is said the black fluid can be diluted with water and used as ink.
The mineral content available in mushrooms varies – depending on the soil which the mushroom grows. They are a great source of B vitamins, protein, vitamin D, magnesium and selenium – to name a few. Healthy growing conditions are critical though so be weary of eating mushrooms growing in ditches along busy road sides where pollutants are easily transferred to the shroom.
Although among the safest mushrooms, the shaggy mane may react with your body when consumed with alcohol. Symptoms include red nose, metallic tastes, numb feet and hands, rapid heart rate and nausea. These are the same symptoms of the prescription drugs Antabuse or Disulfiram (the drugs given to alcoholics for an unpleasant experience when combined with alcohol). Word of advice: Don’t consume alcohol within two days after eating shaggy manes.
Impressed yet? If not, watch this cool video of a Shaggy Mane mushroom going to ink. To watch the video, click the following link ~ Shaggy Mane Inky Cap Video.
Contact ~ Melanie Vollick, Freelance Writer