Are you #OnShrooms, one of the most popular wellness trends being spearheaded by nutritional supplement companies over the past few years?
Well you can probably thank Jeff Chilton and his colleagues at Nammex for that, the company that introduced medicinal mushrooms to the U.S. nutritional supplement industry back in 1989. And it’s actually pretty awesome that medicinal mushrooms are starting to hit the mainstream – because these little fungi are really frickin’ powerful!
Mushrooms have actually been a big part of Jeff’s life since he was young, when a friend came back from Mexico telling tales of Magic Mushrooms. So in university, Jeff ended up exploring the anthropological history of mushrooms worldwide, including their role in Shamanistic practices.
Well, there’s not actually a lot to do with an anthropology degree, as it turns out, so Jeff found himself going 60 miles down the road to work at Ostrom Mushroom Farms in Olympia, Washington in 1973.
After 10 years growing 10s of millions of pounds of commercial mushrooms – the edible kind that you find in grocery stores – Jeff found himself exploring the medicinal side of mushrooms, particularly the ancient knowledge of Chinese herbalists.
But when he tried to bring that knowledge back with him in the 1990s, medicinal mushrooms were a hard sell in the Western world. Even the wellness world wasn’t interested in fungi – oh how times have changed!
With decades of research and insight, Jeff answers pretty much every question you might have about mushrooms: What’s the difference between culinary and medicinal mushrooms? Are medicinal mushrooms really able to heal everything the internet tells me (spoiler: they’re helpful, not actually magic)? Why is microdosing a thing? Were psychedelic mushrooms different 40 years ago?
TOPICS DISCUSSED ON THIS EPISODE:
- Overseeing the growth of 2,000 mushroom crops over the course of a decade – that’s approximately 40,000,000 pounds of mushrooms all together!
- Starting the United States’ first mushroom conferences
- The world’s governments that have made PLANTS illegal – WTF?
- How our education system closes down our mind
- The importance of set & setting with psychedelic experiences
- Surreal microdosing experiences & how microdosing relates to McKenna’s “Stoned Ape” theory of human evolution
- China actually began cultivating mushrooms as far back as the 12th century
- The economics of commercial mushroom cultivation VS medicinal supplement production
- What can go wrong while growing organic mushrooms
- What makes each species of mushroom unique
- There’s thousands of species of mushroom in the world... but we can only cultivate about 25 of them!
- How some of the most popular medicinal mushrooms – cordyceps, reishi, chaga, and lion’s mane – are used to heal
- Why reishi is the mack daddy of adaptogenic mushrooms (and if you’re only going to take just one, make it reishi)
- Fun fact: chaga isn’t actually a mushroom
- Don’t listen to everything the internet says – medicinal mushrooms are incredibly helpful, but they’re not magic or a panacea (and shout out to Jeff for having the balls to make this distinction)
- Why Jeff bought a professional geiger counter after Fukushima
- The extraction methods for different medicinal mushrooms
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