Category Archives: mushrooms

For every health guru there is an equal and opposite guru

Standard

Day 5 Thyroid summit

Its was a BIG day with Dr Greg Emmerson who is 6’7″ and Dr Steven Hotze from Houston, where everything is just BIGGER.

I found this pair were so inspirational – men of action, no whinging, go out and change it if you don’t agree types. Dr Emmerson has a food is your medicine approach, and since he thinks modern food has had the medicines increasingly bred out of it, he grows his own on a permaculture farm on the gold coast.  He’s a fan of dandelion tea and weeds in general. I am a dreadful gardener so I have had to learn to eat the weeds and love them . But the ideas he kept mentioning of  ‘medicine’  ‘mycotoxin’ I think is better thought of in terms of dose and situation – Bechamp’s terroir theory . After all one person’s weed is another’s cottage herb. Toxins and medicines are two sides of same coin. There’s a theory that humans don’t like bitter tastes to avoid poisoning in pregnancy and childhood. Being small I have had a few accidents with green leafies that really actually don’t want to be eaten ( buckwheat sprouts), and the purgative properties of violet leaves. Bug resistant plants like weeds are basically full of  natural pesticides – which we can label medicine or toxin  if we can’t metabolise them, and that is an individual genomic thing.

Dr Ray Peat phd, who incidentally is the man who inspired Dr Lee MD, who inspired Dr Hotze MD, on the wider therapeutic uses of bioidentical progesterone, thinks only the below ground parts of plants, or ripe fruit, is fit plant matter for human consumption. He doesn’t like green leafies.

So in 1978 I attended a meeting, actually I was giving a talk on hypoglycemia and Linus Pauling was there giving a talk on Vitamin C, when Dr. Ray Peat, a Ph.D. from Oregon was there giving a talk to doctors challenging them, saying, “why aren’t you all using progesterone, the second female hormone? It’s readily available, they can make it from yams, they can make it from soy, they can make it from 5000 different plants, it’s identical to what the humans make, it’s been out for 30 years in face creams, cosmetics, it’s wonderful for the skin, it’s available, the FDA can’t find anything wrong with it, why are you using only estrogen for post-menopausal ladies? http://www.keepsmilin.com/transcriptdrlee.htm

He has an interesting idea on using raw carrot as a between meal cleanse and for hormone balancing! that Dr Emmerson might like. Dr Peat says root crops are naturally rich in antifungals since they are surrounded by moisture all the time in soil,   “The carrot salad improves the ratio of progesterone to estrogen and cortisol” http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/epilepsy-progesterone.shtml

Confession: I found Ray Peat’s work while looking for a diet that allows white sugar daily. Recently both the bitter and the sweet receptors have been linked to our immune system in the upper airways. University of Pennsylvania researchers say “Bitter taste receptors (T2Rs) in the human airway detect harmful compounds, including secreted bacterial products.” If  something smells bitter we secrete antimicrobial peptides into the airways. When the sweet taste receptors of the nose are activated this is shutdown. Score one for aromatherapy and quitting sugar, but alas for diabetics, who have more sugar in their nasal mucus.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3934184/

I agree with Dr Emmerson that the pace of modern inventions is moving uncomfortably fast for gross mammalian adaptation, so we should take a step back. But I can’t imagine living like our ancestors – full on paleo no way – just have a look at the experience of this month’s speaker Tracy Hohnke who was blasted back to 1800’s with her family for 4 months on the living history show ‘the Colony’. At least chocolate had been invented! Perhaps we have a better chance of keeping up than we realise since most of our cells are ‘not self’ but ‘other’ in a personal unique microbiome. I wonder how much of our health is thanks to exotic DNA?  Who knows what buttons we can push epigenetically?

Detox: Create a Virtual rainforest:

Absolutely agree with Dr Emmerson that yoga is fantastic, and that we should be out in the rainforest, but preferably at a Byron hinterland spa with all mod cons. (My mum and aunt were fans of the Swami Sarasvati show. Swami had lots of painful impossible poses for us every morning. I never imagined it was spiritual or relaxing until I stumbled across Haven Yoga special stretch and breath version while putting up Astrotas posters 🙂 It crossed my mind Dr E should have an aversion for nature after catching a horrid parasite that ruined his health in Papua New Guinea. Perhaps it was a case of terroir since his family history is one of  thyroid issues. I’m not big on camping. Dr Horowitz will scare us all out of the forest on Day 6 of the thyroid summit with his talk on Lyme disease.

How generous is youtube with hours of free music videos for meditation and yoga – lets put one on the big television and nebulise a little eucalyptus oil to complete the illusion 

Dr Emmerson talked on the importance of minimising and removing environmental toxins like mould to which he is allergic. Depending on genetic MTHFR status of  an individual detoxifying can need a little extra help.  Zeolite he reccomends does sound like an excellent choice as it binds ammonia, which is problematic for us MTHFR A1298C mutants. also see CBS pathway from day 1 but the potential benefit is probably more than cancelled out since aluminium in zeolite is itself a detox problem! Zeolite is an aluminium compound shown in the animal feeding test mentioned on Dr Ray Sahelian’s excellent website to cause accumulation of the metal in bone and cartilage.

Where to Get Dessicated Natural Thyroid

http://www.hotzepharmacy.com/ – compounds slow release natural whole dessicated thyroid.http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/armour-vs-other-brands/ has list and helpful notes about various dessicated thyroid suppliers – including several supplying australians http://www.nutri-meds.com does not need prescription. http://www.acpharm.com.au/ is in Sydney.

Forest Labs prescribing notes for Armour Thyroid are a useful read http://www.frx.com/pi/armourthyroid_pi.pdf%20

hotze heart infection

Dr Hotze – this guy is utterly fearless! He doesn’t fart about with saliva or blood tests for any hormones – he just treats the patient on a good old clinical diagnosis. He is sueing the govt over Obamacare! http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-Texas/2014/04/08/Obamacare-Lawsuit-from-Houston-Moving-Forward

He started looking at natural therapies when his father almost died on the table undergoing a balloon angioplasty. Hotze senior, an engineer, reasoned that this was in fact a violation of basic engineering principals to stretch a calcified stiffened tube and not expect it to burst, and asked his son to go look into vitamins after reading a newsletter on heart disease from Dr Julian Whitaker.

I’m a fan of Linus Pauling’s metabolic draino recipe which will simultaneously stomp out inflammation, rebuild collagen and pull off the Lipoprotein(a) mentioned as being rather hard to treat with high dose niacin; equal parts sodium ascorbate and lysine powder eg. 6 grams of each divided into three doses. lpi.oregonstate.edu/fw12/lipoprotein.html (the only caveat being I would suggest testing copper levels. I am a small labrat. On megadose vit c after months I did find it is possible to drop your copper levels if your diet/gut is suboptimal, both also bad for collagen. The FBC will show a neutropenia. Other than that the earliest side effects were all good – losing stretch marks, varicose veins and the old lady swollen ankles 😉

Edible Tasmanian Mushrooms

Standard

Interesting season for mushrooms – it’s been quite dry ; the Lactarius was up late, tough and leathery – the slippery jacks were few and far between when we went out. Then this nice little specimen flushed red – hmm not a blue stainer, but not in my books as a reaction so we left them out of the basket. In restrospect i should have saved it, dried it off and sent it in for ID to Tom May of the Botanical gardens in Melbourne who is interested in wild edibles. He likes specimens best with a bite out of them!

blushing SLippery Jack
20130418-164833.jpg
Suillus granulatus

On the plus side located local Ink caps coprinus comatus, the parasols came up in my garden somewhere around where i flung the cap from an older specimen i wasn’t about to eat and i found a beautiful fat shaggy parasol happily growing in the lawn mower clippings tossed around the paperbarks at the school. Permaculturists take note. The tasty bleeding agaricus ( probably a. sylvestris) came up in my garden again. Perhaps one of the trainees from the Milkwood mushroom prpopogation day will bring them into cultivation here along with some other delicacies – or even run a workshop for astro lateer. I found another wild clump of them here:

spring rains may bring a bumper crop of morels down south after the bushfires. At the Fungimap foray I heard of a lucky lady who had a load of woodchip delivered from Hobart for mulch which produced a crop in her garden. but we don’t know where exactly it was sourced. Yes they are natives, been drifting about with the continents since the cretaceous (don’t confuse them with false morels  which also grow in Tas – so poisonous even the fumes in a closed room can give you symptoms!)

Fungi foray

Standard

The first slippery jacks of the year are up – but it’s been quite dry so the season may not be brilliant. No saffies (saffron milkcaps)  yet 😦 Still we had a nice picnic scouting for mushrooms for next saturday’s meeting, although it would have been better without the wasps TIP: do not bring sausages for a sizzle at this time of year . They left our mushrooms alone though! Apparently they are hunting meat for their young right now. Earlier in the year they are after fruit. Shucks – all out of step with the firebans!

The Oberon visitor’s center in NSW still publishes a guide to these mushrooms http://www.oberonaustralia.com.au/visitor-information/things-to-see-do/mushroom-picking/

and while on the subject of NSW mushroom foragers – the same day Bella and her Youth food movement crew hauled a bumper crop of saffies for the Guerilla Dinner from what is obviously a far better managed resource than the cut and burn approach of Forestry Tas (although unfortunately Belangalo State Forest is also famous for backpacker murders which really puts a damper on the whole idea of tromping about the woods doesn’t it?) http://www.youthfoodmovement.org.au/foraging-for-the-fruits-of-nsw/

In early may 4 – 5th there will be a fungi workshop in the Tarkine with the mycology boffins focusing on native species getting their research in before more tasmanian destruction of forest 😦

https://www.fungimap.org.au/index.php/events/survey-workshop-tarkine

Growing oyster mushrooms on coffee grounds

Standard

Thanks to the Astrotas presentation last year I have been roped into talking about how to grow oyster mushrooms at home, cheaply and easily using readily available supplies and non sterile techniques. SIMPLE in theory but I have yet to actually get some mushrooms although my spawn is coming along nicely after two failed batches which succumbed to mold.  20130331-135826.jpg
For safety please only use food grade cleaning solutions, implements and substrates (including paper or cardboard) – whatever your mushrooms eat will be what you eat! Mushrooms are fresh food – don’t eat any that are slimy or spoiled. Cut them and store in paper bag in fridge before the edges unroll to prevent spores being released into the home ( these can cause allergies).

Just following this dudes instructable for a continuous supply of pearl oyster mushrooms –

” oyster mushrooms are very easy to try as they usually have mycelium on the stem butts, they love coffeee grounds and are very vigorous (even if you get some contamination they out compete mould under most circumstances if left alone. Should you get some spots of mould quickly remove them and try a cooler temperature to help the mushrooms get the upper hand. Also you can try filling a spray bottle with 3% hydrogen peroxide and give the mold some sprays. Mycelium is actually very tolerant of peroxide so it makes a good choice for keeping things clean.)” ~ http://www.instructables.com/id/Gourmet-mushrooms-in-an-old-coffee-cup/?ALLSTEPS

either purchase spawn or start your own spawn from oyster mushroom stembutts. Follow these instructions from the mad bioneer http://madbioneer.blogspot.com.au/2011/01/coffee-ground-mushroom-spawn.html This batch has been raised in reboiled coffeegrounds without topping up – I just innoculated the grounds with oyster stembutts in a ratio roughly two parts grounds to one part stems to give them a head start and left them in the fridge till I could see mycelium growing through.

Tips to give your mushroom culture a head start against competing germs:

  1. sterilize all work surfaces containers and implements with heat, alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.
  2. wash hands thoroughly
  3. wear a mask
  4. work under a fanhood
  5. Collect coffee grounds for substrate in sterilised containers with lids – keep in fridge or freezer until ready to innoculate if not using immediately

Optional – running the mycelium onto corrogated cardboard before transfer to a bulk growing medium as described by Paul Stamets book “Mycelium Running” which is in the State library http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzmwLrDkruk
Prepare straw for bulk substrate if you want more than coffee grounds using hydrogen peroxide http://www.ehow.com/how_7537106_grow-mushrooms-peroxide-method.html

then bag up http://milkwood.net/2012/11/09/growing-pearl-oyster-mushrooms-in-bags/

Pasteurisation – 63 deg C for 60 minutes http://substratecalculator.info/

Q: Should I Pasteurize or Sterilize My Bulk Mushroom Substrate (or neither)?

A: You should always pasteurize your substrate & not sterilize it. The reason for this is because you won’t be innoculating your bulk substrate in sterile conditions like you would if you were doing, say, the PF Tek. You pasteurize a substrate by holding it at 140 degrees Fahrenheit to 160 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 90 minutes.

By only pasteurizing & not sterilizing your bulk substrate, you allow a select group of microorganisms to survive the pasteurization process. These microorganisms in your substrate won’t harm or inhibit the mycelium you’ll be spawning to it, but they do inhibit the growth of molds & other bacteria that may land on your bulk substrate when you’re spawning to it. Pasteurization also ensures that you kill all mold spores, seedlings & most bacteria & other harmful organisms that would otherwise prevent the mushroom mycelium from properly colonizing your substrate.

If you were to sterilize your bulk substrate prior to innoculation, if some mold spore or bacteria were to land on your substrate during the innoculation process (and they most surely will), they will thrive in an environment with no biological competition for the nutrients in your substrate (since molds/bacteria grow at a significantly faster rate than mycelium, the mycelium doesn’t actually count as competition until it has fully colonized a substrate. When mycelium as fully colonized a substrate, it is all but 100% protected from contamination).

How “Wet” Should My Prepared Bulk Mushroom Substrate Be?

A: Your substrate should have enough moisture added to it to bring it to what is referred to as “field capacity”. Field capacity is a term used by mushroom growers (amongst other professions) to refer to the perfect amount of moisture in a given substrate.

To get a rough idea of field capacity, it’s about what a wrung out sponge feels like. If you can pick up a handful of your substrate and hold it in your hand and no water drips from it, then you can squeeze that same handful of substrate kind of hard and only get a couple droplets of water & then lastly, squeeze that same handful of substrate really hard and get a small stream of water for a second or two and then it stops, that’s about field capacity.

Here is an excellent video on YouTube demonstrating how to check your substrate for field capacity.

Spore mass slurry method http://madbioneer.blogspot.com.au/2011/02/spore-mass-slurry.html developed by mycologist Paul Stamets as a way to spread spores over a wide area to help them create mycelium mass.

Further reading in my bitmark collection of websites http://bitly.com/bundles/o_7fsbd1rqgo/1

For the well serious student Milkwood permaculture is sending over Will Borowski Mushroom Cultivation: May 2013 When: May 4 2013 – May 5 2013 9:00am – 5:00pm Where: University of Tasmania – Hobart http://bit.ly/VlONJY?r=bb.

Where to Purchase mushroom kits/spawn

Fungi Culture Attractive counter top box of pearl oyster mushrooms, simple and fully guaranteed kit just open the box and keep moist http://www.fungiculture.com.au/products/pearl-oyster-mushroom-kit

FUNGI Located in Queensland and ships australia wide. http://www.fungi.net Logs or dowel spawn Oyster (white blue and brown) and Shiitake, King Stropharia spawn, button and swiss brown kits. (UPDATE: not reccomended – tried two kits stropharia and shiitake but no mushrooms, worse – won’t answer my phonecalls or emails)

jennys plants, melbourne sells Funghi Mara kits on ebay

Love Mushroom

Oyster Mushroom

Golden Mushroom

Pleurotus Eryngii

Shi-Take

The mushrooms may be cultivated by 3 methods:

1. Garden Log Method (shiitake, oyster)

Fresh, green logs approximately 50cm long may be split and seeded with the spawn and then secured together and left to incubate in the garden, Mushrooms start to appear 3 – 6 months on birch wood, and in 8 – 12 months on oak and beech wood. Inoculation may be done all year round. The result is a decorative garden feature which produces edible mushrooms in Spring and Autumn.

Note: Conifer /cedar wood is not suitable for seeding the mushroom spawn.

2. Sandwich Ply Board Method (all)

The sandwich boards are made of specially prepared steam sterilized poplar wood which are used as a “starter” base for the mushrooms, in much the same way as corrugated cardboard method. Once growth is established, the sheets are then transferred to a suitably moist, shady location in the garden where the mushrooms are then picked seasonally. Note: A garage or cellar location with a temperature range of 20 – 30 deg C is is ideal for incubating the wooden sheets.

3. Straw Compost Method (shiitake, oyster)

AQIS http://www.aqis.gov.au/ quarantine regulations. Cultures and/or spawn of certain varieties listed on table 1 of the website may be imported from overseas on agar plates, vials, test tubes, straw, sawdust, wood plugs or grain carriers. An import permit is required (fee applies but it is valid for at least a year and can be used for multiple consignments) and each consignment should have a manufacturers declaration enclosed.