Subscribe Today & Receive 15% Off

< class="article__title title is-mycelium-safe-to-eat-can-you-eat-mushroom-mycelium"> Is Mycelium Safe To Eat: Can You Eat Mushroom Mycelium?>
Is Mycelium Safe To Eat: Can You Eat Mushroom Mycelium?
Dec 27, 22
Tags: Usage
This article has been vetted by the Onnit Advisory Board. Read more about our editorial process.
Author: Sony Sherpa

Is Mycelium Safe To Eat: Can You Eat Mushroom Mycelium?

  • by Sony Sherpa
  • |
  • 6 min read

Mushrooms are vital to our health and the environment. Fungi are fascinating, but they are more than just umbrella-like fruiting bodies. It is a much larger organism composed of a network of thread-like mycelium.

The revolutionary role that mycelium plays in the environment and human nutrition is gaining more and more attention. But there are concerns; is mycelium safe? And can you eat mycelium?

There is excellent news for those wondering is mycelium fungus safe. Mushroom mycelium is 100% safe for human consumption and has zero effect on the taste. And although it can look similar to a mold, mycelium is a sign of a super fresh and healthy mushroom.

Discover what mushroom mycelium is, its types, and the health benefits of eating mycelium below.

Mushroom Mycelium: Is It Safe To Eat Mycelium?

The mycelium is a vegetative part of a mushroom akin to the root system of any plant. It is a dense, rich mass of thread-like thin tissue filaments called hyphae. These structures spread into the substrate the fungus is growing and collect water, food, and nutrients to nourish the fungus.

Since mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of living fungi, all mushrooms contain mycelium, which is tightly bunched inside the mushroom. But even though all fungi produce mycelium, not all can produce mushrooms. Moreover, some species of mycelia don't produce mushrooms even under ideal circumstances.

Now, is mycelium edible?

Mycelium can look off-putting due to its resemblance to mold. However, most of the mycelium is safe to eat and completely edible, though we would never advise eating moldy mushrooms before knowing they are safe for human consumption. Mushroom mycelium from Reishi, Chaga, and Lion's mane, grown in controlled environments, is safe to eat.

Benefits Of Mushroom Mycelium

Mycelium helps improve human and environmental health, and here's how:

Environmental Benefits Of Mycelium

Certain types of mycelia can break down substances that would typically be undegradable, including plastics, unrefined oil, hydrocarbons, and nuclear waste. Using this power for environmental cleanup is known as mycoremediation.

The process of mycoremediation can assist with environmental cleanup in the following ways:

  • Converts petroleum wastes and other heavy metals from the soil into less toxic compounds.
  • Removes and destroys contaminants from water sources, such as toxic wildfire ash and E. coli.
  • Reduces the competition of invasive plant species, which helps with faster reforestation efforts.

Health Benefits Of Mycelium

Health Benefits Of Mycelium

Mushroom mycelium can be an excellent and tasty plant-based alternative to meat. It can be purchased already ground or grown and shaped into various meat-like textures.

Although it has a slightly different flavor and considerably more advantages, meat from mycelium has the same fibrous and tender consistency as meat from animals.

Because it contains all nine essential amino acids, mycelium meat is a complete and nutrient-dense protein. Additionally, it has an adequate amount of fiber, zinc, iron, and B vitamins.

In addition, compared to raising cattle, growing fungi-based meat requires up to 99% less energy, land, and water.

Mycelium comes in various forms with its advantages, just like the fruiting body. Let's look at some of the most popular types of mushroom mycelium:

Chaga mushroom mycelium

Mycelium from Chaga mushrooms helps the body's natural defenses remain strong and supports a healthy immune system and stress response. It may be an alternative treatment for arthritis and high blood pressure because it is thought to possess potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, Chaga(1) helps lower blood sugar and even slow the growth of cancerous cells.

Reishi mushroom mycelium

Reishi mycelium is a robust immune system modulator(2), potential anti-cancer agent, and stress reliever. Additionally, it has therapeutic effects on insulin resistance, lowers the risk of prostate cancer, and can help with several metabolic syndrome-related conditions.

Lion's mane mushroom mycelium

Lion's mane mycelium has grown in popularity for its ability to help a restless or foggy mind focus and become more clear-headed. The neuro-health benefits of Erinacines, isolated from Lion's mane mycelia, have been the subject of numerous research.

Preclinical studies(3) have suggested that if mycelia enriched with erinacines are added to daily meals, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, ischemic stroke, and depression may improve.

FAQs

Can Mycelium Be Toxic?

Mycelium from edible and medicinal mushrooms is non-toxic and safe to eat. Additionally, they are known to have antiviral and antibacterial properties along with several other health benefits.

What Does Mycelium Do To The Brain?

Erinacines in Lion's mane mycelium is known to stimulate the growth of neurons in the brain. This helps improve cognition and focus and is beneficial for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

What Does Mycelium Do To The Body?

Mycelium can increase immunity by activating and regulating white blood cells and cells of the immune system. It can also combat inflammation and potentially act as an anti-cancer agent.

Final Thoughts

Is mycelium safe? Absolutely! And is it worthy of incorporating into your life? Without a doubt! Medicinal mushroom mycelium, such as Reishi, Chaga, and Lion’s mane, is known to have several health benefits. For example, they can improve brain function and immune defenses, relieve stress, and potentially fight cancer.

Pop or pill or add powders to your favorite meals; there are many ways to add mushroom mycelium to your life. Do it as you like and see the magic of mycelium.

We Would Love To Here Your Comments Leave A Comment

References

  1. Antitumor and Hypoglycemic Activities of Polysaccharides from the Sclerotia and Mycelia of Inonotus obliquus (Pers.: Fr.) Pil. (Aphyllophoromycetideae), (1)https://www.dl.begellhouse.com/journals/708ae68d64b17c52,541026cc01c467e3,3b27577f0e4e1ae1.html 
  2. Ganoderma lucidum mycelium and spore extracts as natural adjuvants for immunotherapy, (2)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16398597/
  3. Neurohealth Properties of Hericium erinaceus Mycelia Enriched with Erinacines, (3)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5987239/
×

Let Us Know Your Comments

Search