Mushrooms, the healthy, the Poison, the Drug.

Freda Savahl
5 min readJul 14, 2021


Photo by Kalineri on Unsplash

Edible mushrooms have a 13000-year-old history in Chile.

According to Theophrastus, the Greek encyclopedist, the ancient Romans and Greeks used mushroom truffles for culinary purposes as early as the 4th century BC.

Hippocrates, the father of medicine, taught his students about the beneficial properties of mushrooms and those that are poisonous.

History reports that the Chinese use mushrooms as a medicine.

China, Japan, United States, Poland, and the Netherlands produce various types of mushrooms.

Source;>statistics. Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations.

Mushrooms belong to the fungi ‘kingdom,’ not the plant kingdom.

The spawn mushroom tissue culture comes from spores grown in sterile laboratory conditions. They cultivate them to produce the mushroom.

Mushroom growers produce three types of Mushrooms

  1. Humus-inhabiting. Grown in a mix of compost — like the Button, & shaggy ink cap mushrooms.
  2. Wood-inhabiting. Grown on Oak & beech trees — like the Shiitake & lion’s mane mushrooms.
  3. Mycorrhizal are grown in association with tree roots — like truffles.


Edible Mushrooms Types & Their Best Uses:

Button or white mushrooms are mild tasting & the most common type. Common use in cream of mushroom soup.

Chantrelles; golden color with a floral note, fruity & peppery. Serves as an entree topping.

Crimino or Cremini, are baby portobello, mature white button mushrooms. Tasty with Spaghetti Squash & Zucchini or Mushroom & Onion Polenta.

Maitake, with its delicate, rich earthy flavor, is popular in Japanese cooking. Another name is ‘hen of the woods,’ as it grows at the base of trees.

Morels; a savory mushroom. It may look like a dead honeycomb, yet it…



Freda Savahl

Retired Nurse Practitioner WHC /Contract Provider Deployment Military Services. US Citizen. Immigrant from South Africa 1978.