Eleventh Issue, May 2003
Published about twice a year from Greenville, California
by Herman Brown

Click on some images to see a larger picture



This has been an unusual spring for this area.  We had short bouts of warmer than usual weather, followed by many days of light rain and cooler weather. The two combinations I thought would yield a good crop of mushrooms. I was a bit disappointed in the earlier spring crop, but surprised by the number of species we found in the winter.  As the area continues to warm up, the mushrooms should become more prevalent.

During this period I found a few new mushrooms for me, the Mycena pura and the Helvella leucomelaena.

In the next issue, I will be including more reports made right after the warmer weather began.

Findings, February 2 to May 16 (top)

Sunday, February 2: Because of the long series of warmer-than-usual days, we decided to hike along an old road between the Paxton Bridge on 70 to The Dawn Institute along 89, to see what, if anything, had popped up.  Because this area had been under snow most of the previous winters, we didn't know what to expect.

We didn't find much in quantity, but we did find lots of variety.  To see a more detailed report plus a few pictures of that day, click HERE.

We identified some lilac-colored Mycena pura, a first for me, several Laccaria amethystina, a few Lactarius rufulus, and what I think was a Melanoleuca melaleuca.  Several others we found were never identified, but the mere presence of any mushrooms here at this time of year, was a pleasant surprise.

Friday, February 7: On this day we traveled south and went on a short excursion in Southern California to the San Simeon Bluff and around the outlying areas.

We hoped to find some mushrooms there because of the rains they had had about a month ago, and we were also hoping to find some warmer weather than what was presently here in Greenville. We found little of either.  

The weather had been very warm and dry there for more than a month, and the weather had just turned cold. However, we did find many old mushrooms, most that looked like they dried out before maturity, and we even found a few fresh ones. The mushrooms that we found were some Shaggy parasols (Lepiota rachodes or Macrolepiota rachodes), many Bleeding Agaricus, (Agaricus fuscofibrillosus), some Blewits (Lepista nuda or Clitocybe nuda), and a few Amanita muscaria.  Some of the Shaggy Parasols were still fresh.  I left them alone because there weren't very many. I also found one fresh Hygrocybe conica in Cambria in the State Park at the north end of Moonstone Beach. 

We were mainly looking for the Agaricus, as they can very tasty when fresh. This recent rain in that area should bring them all back in the same numbers.

Wednesday, April 16: The morels are finally making an appearance, at least in Greenville at 3600 ft. They have probably already appeared at the lower elevations.

Today, a friend who lives just outside of town, dropped by to show me what she thought might be a morel.  She was correct.

I immediately rushed to her property to see what she saw.

There were several in her apple orchard, ranging from 2" to 4" tall, probably close to a pound's worth.  It was a nice thing to finally see this spring.

I also found a batch of Helvella lacunosa under one tree.

I checked the woods around her property but only found one more.  I want to go back later with my camera and another friend, to show him what they looked like and to take a few pictures before I picked any for myself.  He had yet to see his first morel.

Tuesday, April 22: This morning my son-in-law called to report what looked like morels growing on his property.

I immediately went there and found 15 small to medium-sized morels.

I looked around the rest of the wooded property and found the largest Fuzzy Truffle (Geopora cooperi) that I had ever seen, near some fruit trees and above the soil.  It was almost the size of a tennis ball.

I walked down a dirt road to see what else might appear, and only found a few White-footed Elfin Saddles (Helvella leucomelaena), a first for me, but no more morels.

Then I went back close to the house where I found the large Geopora, and found a few more still under the soil, all with a small bump to announce their presence.  Under a large bump I found one even larger then before. This one was 3" across at the longest dimension, and weighed in at about ¾ lb.  This one was the largest one I have ever seen.

I went home, cleaned and cooked the truffles, and ended up with about ½ cup cooked. They tasted great and were well worth the struggle to clean them. I still haven't found but one morel in the forest.

If you want to see pictures of the Fuzzy Truffles, go to:

images_2003/MVC-274F.JPG (showing size)
images_2003/MVC-275F.JPG (more detail)
images_2003/MVC-276F.JPG (cooking them)

Wednesday, April 23: This morning I took a friend up to a lake above town, to see if we could find any morels.

On the same property I found the large rings of Marasmius oreades last year, we found two medium-sized clumps of Blewits.  This property is at about 4400 ft, and most of the snow had already melted.

No morels yet though. As before, it seems that every mushroom that grows on this property seems to grow in clumps.

Later the same day, I went up to an area near Lake Almanor (4400 ft.), and actually found 2 morels.  I continued to search some of my other "spots" but didn't find more morels.  I did find several species of other colorful mushrooms, including a couple of Amanita silvicola.

Saturday, April 26: My friend, Ron, called me this morning to report that he had seen what looked to him like Shaggy Manes while on a hike with his family.

I told him I would be right over to let him show me what he had found.

When I got to his house, he led me to a short dirt road next to a creek nearby, and we could see them on the road ahead as soon as we parked. As we got closer, I recognized them as the Shaggy Manes and was very glad I brought my basket.  We saw 2 patches pretty close together, and as I gathered these, he saw more patches under the willows along the creek, right adjacent to the other 2 patches.  As we bent over to pick them, Ron found 3 medium-sized morels.  I wouldn't have noticed them, but I had shown him a few a couple of days earlier, and he recognized them immediately.

Then he called me over to see a pretty amazing site, which was a bunch of the biggest Shaggy Manes I had ever seen.

I took a few of the Shaggy Manes home and left Ron the rest, as he is quite fond of them.  I'd say we found well over 5 lbs.

I checked more of the areas that were close by but found no additional mushrooms.

Now I am not quite sure where to look for mushrooms.  I guess the best bet is to take lots of hikes all over town, and carry a knife and bag in case something fungal appears.

Sunday, April 27: Don, a friend who lives in Crescent Mills, stopped by the house with his wife on his way back from a walk down Main Street in Greenville. They were carrying several morels in their hands.

He said that they found all of them along the side of Main Street, under some old apple trees.

He showed me a few that were free from the stalk, and added the he had been told that this was a sign that they weren't real morels and that they were probably poisonous.

My hand holding a half-free morel

But these were the edible, half-free morels, or Morchella semilibera. I had only seen one before in downtown Quincy.

I put them all in a small paper bag and weighed them for him. The total weight combined was ¾ lb. Not a bad haul.

So, if you have any old apple trees in your neighborhood, you might want to check them out.

Monday, April 28: Today I took a hike around my daughter's property, but only found 2 morels.  But I did find what looked like a too mature Tricholoma flavovirens (Man on Horseback), a mushroom that I hadn't found here for a few years.

As Cecelia and I drove down the long access road, we stopped at a last year's tree-thinning operation and found quite a few Gyromitra esculenta, but only 1 morel.

On the way home I checked out a few of the old apple trees along Main Street, and found a few morels that my friend had overlooked.

Now I think we have enough for a small meal.

Gyromitra esculenta
A Gyromitra esculenta

Tomorrow I plan to cook up the Gyromitra, using some preparation tips that Larry S just sent me.  This will be my first taste for them.

Thursday, May 1: Went north of here and looked for morels.  Found only 2, but near the lake I found a rather robust Melanoleuca evenosa, a new one for me. Later, I had a very pleasant surprise.  I checked under an old apple tree where I had just recently found some morels, shortly after a friend had just found some himself, and noticed 3 small ones.  I went home and told a neighbor's son, who had said wanted to go with me when I searched for them, and took him there so he could have the thrill of finding and picking them himself.

After he picked those three, he noticed another, and then another, and on the other side of the barbed wire fence, he saw about six, fairly large-sized  ones.

Needless to say, he climbed the fence.

A homeowner who lived nearby saw us and asked us what we were looking for, and after telling him we were looking for mushrooms, he told us that he had seen a big mushroom growing in his back yard.  I asked to see it, and on the way to his back yard, saw 3 large green rings in the grass, with a few clumps of Marasmius oreades growing in one of them.  We gathered those before continuing to his back yard where we found a very large Suillus.

I gave it to my neighbor's son so he could taste it, after warning him about peeling it and the texture after cooking.

Friday, May 2: On this day, we decided to check out a particular old apple tree in town and found a few morels.  One was the biggest I had ever seen, about 6" tall.  While we were picking them, a friend who has property above town (4400 ft.) stopped to tell me he had just seen some mushrooms on his property.

I went up there to check, and he showed me several puffballs, which turned out to be Calvatia fumosa. However, these had skin that was twice as thick as the books describe, causing me to doubt my original ID. Later, I got mycological help from Fred Stevens, which assured me that they were indeed the C. formosa.

I took one for myself and left the owner a bag full.  He also showed me a couple of mushrooms he thought might be the Spring King Boletes, but when I removed one from its mound, I saw it had gills.  They turned out to be Cortinarius multiformis, which is a very pleasant-looking Cort.  It tempts me to want to try a taste someday.

The Calvatia tasted very good.

Saturday, May 3: Today I went to a large yard to check another old apple tree, but on the way to the tree found about 50 small puffballs, the Bovista plumbea.  Some were pretty large, but I took most with me.  No morels though.  I checked a few other areas around town and gathered a few more puffballs.  When I got home, I painstakingly peeled them and cooked up a dish called Puffball Parmesan, which was very nice tasting and worth all the effort.

But I don't think I will ever pick that many Bovista plumbea again, especially the smaller ones.  Too difficult to peel.

Monday, May 5: After gardening most of the day, I went up to 4400 ft to quickly recheck a few of my morel spots. One yielded  a small batch of small morels.  Some were still beneath a small mound.  On the way back to the truck, I rechecked the area more closely now that I knew they were around, and found a few very small ones. I plan to recheck those I left behind, periodically, to see how fast they grow.

I also saw several of the small Snow bank Orange Peel fungus, the Caloscypha fulgens.

I think the season has finally started for the morels and others.  Finally, I am beginning to see more variety and color in the mushrooms that are coming up.

Tomorrow, I plan to take Cecelia up there with me and recheck some of my other spots.  She has better morel eyes than I do.

In a week or so, they should be a bit better in number and size.

Friday, May 16: Today, Cecelia and I went up towards Lake Almanor (4400 ft) to recheck some of the "spots" we'd checked the week before.

Discina perlata
Discina perlata

We found more than a few morels, a few also-called Pig's Ears (Discina perlata), only 1 Snow Mushroom (Gyromitra montana/gigas), 1 large Yellow Coral Mushroom (Ramaria rasilispora), several Pink Crowns (Sarcosphaera crassa), lots of the pretty Snow Bank Orange Peel Mushrooms (Caloscypha fulgens), 1 pink-streaked Hygrophorus purpurascens or pudorinus, what looked like an Amanita muscaria, and many other unidentified species.

Some of the morels were found on disturbed soil, some in fire rings, some in the ashes, many were naturals, some were on the side of a dirt road, and some were IN the road.  The largest groups and sizes were the naturals we stumbled upon in our search for disturbed areas.

With the Discina and Gyromitra combined, the total weight came to 1¾ lb. Not too bad for a few hours walking.

I would say the spring season has finally begun at 4400 ft.

Foraging for Wild Mushrooms in the San Francisco Bay Area Stores

The following is another compilation of some messages received from the MSSF mailing list, this time regarding sources of ''wild" mushrooms in the SF Bay Area. In September, 2004 I added a special issue with pictures from two of the stores, Foraging for Wild Mushrooms in the Bay Area stores.

From Mark Thompson, January 17, 2003:


I'm working on an updated listing of good places in the Bay Area to buy wild mushrooms.  I have some of the East Bay places such as the Berkeley Bowl, Monterey Market, Andronico's etc.. but don't have much info on San Francisco, Marin, the Peninsula, San Jose and Santa Cruz.  If anyone has any good recommendations of places that regularly sell wild mushrooms either fresh or dried I'd appreciate it.  I'll gladly post the list on here once I've compiled it. Also, if anyone knows of inexpensive places to buy dried Asian mushroom varieties I'll include that.  If you could provide the following that would be great:

Name of the store
types of wild mushrooms you've seen there
a brief description about freshness, quantity, seasons that they carry them
and how high their prices are.

From Mark Thomsen:


Based on the feedback I got and on an earlier list that I had, here are some places to buy wild mushrooms in the Bay Area.  If you have additions or comments please send them to me and I'll keep this updated.

Where to buy wild mushrooms in the Bay Area:

Chain Stores

Andronico's with 11 Bay Area locations almost always has some wild mushrooms on the shelf.  Prices are generally high.  Quality varies greatly from low to high by location and by how long the mushrooms have been left on the shelf.

Costco carries large bags of dried porcini and shiitake at excellent prices.

Molly Stone's Market with locations in San Francisco, Sausalito, Palo Alto and San Rafael sells wild mushrooms that are usually of good quality but quite expensive.

Ranch 99 is a large Asian grocery chain with locations in Richmond, Daly City, Fremont, Cupertino, Milpitas and San Jose.  It is a very good place to buy dried Asian varieties of mushrooms as well as fresh shiitake.

San Francisco

Farmer's Market on Sunday at the Civic Center.  The Solano mushroom farm has a stand that carries a wide variety of local wild mushrooms in season.

East Bay

Berkeley:  Berkeley Bowl.  This is one of the best places to buy wild mushrooms in the Bay Area.  Prices are low, quality is high and the selection is diverse.  You can often find unusual varieties such as candy caps and cauliflower mushrooms there.

Berkeley:  Monterey Market.  The Monterey Market is in close competition with the Berkeley bowl as the best place to buy wild mushrooms in the Bay Area.  The mushrooms are usually fresh, prices are low and the selection is large.  They carry Oregon and Chinese truffles in season.  They are also the only place that I've seen that sells dried candy caps.  They generally have a large selection of dried wild mushrooms.

Oakland/Rockridge:  Market Hall.  The pasta shop carries white and black truffles in season.  They also have a large selection of truffle oils.

North Bay

Cotati:  Oliver's Market always has wild mushrooms and exotic cultivated ones.  They are usually in good shape.

Kentfield:  The Woodland Market sometimes carries chanterelles, morels, hedgehogs and truffles.

Mill Valley:  Mill Valley Market carries wild mushrooms from local hunters and wholesalers.

Marin Farmers Market:  Mushroom stand run by Sunnie regularly sells wild mushrooms bought from local hunters and wholesalers.

Napa: Vallergas Markets in North, South and East Napa carry a fall and spring selection of  the standard chanterelles, porcini, morels, matsutake, yellowfeet chanterelles and lobster mushrooms.

St. Helena: Big Paw Grub @ (707) 967-9718 has brought unusual varieties to market such as Lactarius deliciosus and Amanita lanei.

San Anselmo: United Market occasionally carries chanterelles and black trumpets.


Draeger's in San Mateo, Menlo Park and Los Altos generally always has wild mushrooms in season.  Prices are high and the quality ranges from low to very good.   They also carry fresh truffles in season.

Palo Alto:  Piazza's on Middlefield usually has wild mushrooms including chanterelles and morels even when they are out of season locally.  Prices are high and quality is OK to good.

South Bay/Santa Cruz

San Jose:  Cosentino's Market with 2 locations in San Jose and 1 in Santa Clara sells the standard wild varieties as well as blewits and candy caps on occasion.  They also sell dried morels and porcini.  Prices are medium to

From Debbie Viess

Nice listing, Mark. I'd also add Chinatown in SF, many locations, where you can buy shiitake and dried wood ear mushrooms ($2 for a gallon bag!). And if you look hard enough, maybe some of those dried stinkhorns, yum yum. In some of those Chinese herbal shops, mushrooms are at the low end of the weird scale.

From Bill & Carol Hellums:

What, no San Francisco stores? Tower Market has fresh (not dried) wild mushrooms of many kinds -- not always the best condition or prices, but a lot of variety. In addition to the usual (porcini, chanterelles, matsutake, morels), I've seen sporassis, ramaria, lobsters, craterellus, a number of others I can't remember and in some cases never even heard of....

My favorite was the bin of pig's ears for (if memory serves) around $15 per pound. Caveat emptor, indeed.

Great meat and deli sections too. Their address is 635 Portola Dr. (at Teresita).

From Peter Werner:

> Costco carries large bags of dried porcini and shiitake at excellent prices.

If you're listing dried wild mushrooms, sources for these are very common, probably too numerous to mention - I've even seen packets of dried porcini, chanterelles, and morels at Albertson's.

> Ranch 99 is a large Asian grocery chain with locations in Richmond, Daly
> City, Fremont, Cupertino, Milpitas and San Jose.  It is a very good place to
> buy dried Asian varieties of mushrooms as well as fresh shiitake.

Shitakes and most of the common Asian varieties are not wild mushrooms, but "exotic" cultivated varieties. Matsutake, of course, is wild, but I'm not sure if Ranch 99 carries them or not.

> San Francisco

Several supermarkets in Japantown carry matsutake in season - I've forgotten the names of the stores, though.

> Berkeley:  Monterey Market.  The Monterey Market is in close competition
> with the Berkeley bowl as the best place to buy wild mushrooms in the Bay
> Area.  The mushrooms are usually fresh, prices are low and the selection is
> large.  They carry Oregon and Chinese truffles in season.  They are also the
> only place that I've seen that sells dried candy caps.  They generally have
> a large selection of dried wild mushrooms.

The only problem with Monterey Market is that they keep their mushrooms on un-refrigerated shelves, so their mushrooms are often in a somewhat deteriorated or dried-out state. Berkeley Bowl and Andronico's keep their mushrooms on refrigerated shelves.

From Debbie Viess:

Refrigerated or not, Andronico's and the Bowl can display some pretty rotten mushrooms. Monterey Market keeps the whole place cold, and their quality is no different, and sometimes better. Wherever you shop, choose wisely and let the buyer beware.

From Robin MacLean:

> Costco carries large bags of dried porcini and shiitake at excellent prices.

Costco's shitakes are not a good price when compared to Asian markets...maybe they are when compared to mainstream supermarkets.

> Several supermarkets in Japantown carry matsutake in season - I've
> forgotten the names of the stores, though.

Maruwa is a good, large supermarket in Japantown.

From Bill & Carol Hellums:

Could I add a little more on San Francisco farmers' markets?

I did some checking, and the stand at the Sunday Civic Center market isn't the Solano mushroom farm. (I think they sell at the Marin farmers' market.) Rather, it's Hazel Dell Mushrooms in Moss Landing.

They're at FOUR San Francisco farmers' markets: the Sunday and Wednesday Civic Center markets, as well as the Saturday Ferry Plaza market and the Saturday Alemany market. They have wild mushrooms in season, as well as more exotic cultivated species -- several different kinds of oysters, for example, and bear's head.

Prices and condition are excellent. They're certified organic growers, and -- for those with sensitivities -- they don't sell Asian imports, which are sometimes treated with preservatives (sulfur?).

The owners, John and Toby Garrone, are long-time MSSF members and have been generous contributors of mushrooms to various MSSF events.

The Medicinal use of Mushrooms

For more than a few years now, Cecelia and I have been taking a tea daily, made from the Ganoderma oregonense, with mixed results.  I found that my insulin requirements seem to have dropped slightly as soon as I started taking the tea, and both of us seem to have had far less flu and cold symptoms during the winter months.

In March, a message from Dan Long, posted on the MSSF online mailing list, prompted a short response from Mike Boom, which, in turn prompted a few more responses regarding the medicinal use of mushrooms.

From Dan Long:

Dr. Andrew Weil will be on Larry King Live on Wednesday talking about alternative medicine. I saw pictures of mushrooms when they were showing the preview.

From Mike Boom:

Mushrooms as medicine is a popular topic within and without the MSSF. While I believe that some fungi are healthy food and that some fungi contain medicinal components, I'll have to admit that I'm a little skeptical about all the health claims made about fungi. I'm sure some of them are true, but many of them feel quite a bit like snake oil medicine: claims of cure-alls that don't have much backing. A case in point is the kambucha craze around eight years ago.

I'm curious if there are some impartial studies of mushrooms as medicine available on-line. By impartial studies I mean some of the same double-blind tests that are applied to standard medicines by people who don't have a financial stake in selling those medicines. I'd like to know how many fungal medicinal claims have more than just anecdotal backing.

I'm also curious if any of you know of any fungal medicinal claims that have definitely been proven false.

Thanks, Mike Boom

From Elizabeth Sampson:


One place you can find information published in professionally recognized, peer reviewed journals, regarding the medicinal properties of mushrooms is on the National Center for Biotechnology Information Website.  The address is www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/.

Use the pull-down menu to search PubMed for your keyword of interest.  For example I searched "Ganoderma"  and found a number of articles including (just for example): "A water-soluble extract from cultured medium of Ganoderma lucidum (Rei-shi) mycelia suppresses azoxymethane-induction of colon cancers in male F344 rats."  Lu H, Kyo E, Uesaka T, Katoh O, Watanabe H, Oncol. Rep. 2003 Mar-Apr;10(2):375-9

Most articles have abstracts, some can be obtained full text online free of charge (not many).  All can be obtained through UC Berkeley or UCSF libraries.

Have fun, and Good Luck with your search. - Beth

From Lynn Marsh:

You will find many medical articles on the scientific study of medicinal mushrooms and herbs at the East Asian Collection University of California, San Francisco (on Parnassus) 5th floor.

The UCSF East Asian Collection emphasizes the historical development of medicine and the health sciences in China and in Japan before 1900, and particularly Rangaku, studies of Dutch medicine in the Edo period, and the transition period from traditional Japanese medicine to Western medicine.

It encompasses books on both theoretical and clinical developments in medicine and related health sciences in Japan, and their relation to medicine in China, Korea and the West. Textual studies of medical and herbal classics written in Japanese and Chinese are included.

The East Asian Collection is especially strong in books related to the history of Western medicine in Japan from the middle of the 16th century to 1900.

It also holds a number of books on the history of medical societies and medical and pharmacy schools in Japan. Other areas of strength include Japanese pharmacology, Buddhist medicine, Korean medicine, Japanese traditional opthamology, obstetrics and gynocology, acupuncture and mosibuston.

The East Asian Collection includes some 500 pre-1868 early and rare printed Japanese and Chinese medical books, 400 manuscript titles, and 400 Japanese woodblock prints relating to indigenous medicine in those countries, as well
as some 6,300 titles of modern publications in Western and Asian languages.

It helps, of course to be able to read Chinese.

I have collected about 10 or 12 medical papers on mushrooms and medicine that have been published in authoritative medical journals.

Here are abstracts from a couple of them.

Cancer Letter 2002 Aug 28;182(2):155-61

Anti-tumor activity of the sporoderm-broken germinating spores of Ganoderma lucidum.
Liu X, Yuan JP, Chung CK, Chen XJ.
Food Engineering Research Center of State Education Ministry, Zhongshan University, Guangzhou 510275, People's Republic of China.

The inhibitory effects of the dormant spores, the germinating spores, the sporoderm-broken germinating spores (SBGS), and the lipids extracted from the germinating spores of Ganoderma lucidum on the growth of mouse hepatoma, sarcoma S-180, and reticulocyte sarcoma L-II cells were investigated, respectively. The dormant spores could be activated by germination, and thus the bioactivities of the spores might be enhanced. The sporoderm-broken spores could show much higher bioactivities than the whole spores. Both the lipids extracted from the germinating spores and the SBGS of G. lucidum had remarkable anti-tumor effects in a dose-dependent manner, and could significantly inhibit three tumors with an inhibition of 80-90%.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2002 Nov 8;298(4):603-12

Ganoderma lucidum suppresses motility of highly invasive breast and prostate cancer cells.

Sliva D, Labarrere C, Slivova V, Sedlak M, Lloyd FP Jr, Ho NW.

Cancer Research Laboratory, Methodist Research Institute, 1800 N Capitol Avenue E504, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA. dsliva@clarian.org

A dried powder from basidiomycetous fungi, Ganoderma lucidum, has been used in East Asia in therapies for several different diseases, including cancer.

However, the molecular mechanisms involved in the biological actions of Ganoderma are not well understood. We have recently demonstrated that phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase) and nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) regulate motility of highly invasive human breast cancer cells by the secretion of urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA). In this study, we investigated the effect of G. lucidum on highly invasive breast and prostate cancer cells. Here we show that spores or dried fruiting body of G. lucidum inhibit constitutively active transcription factors AP-1 and NF-kappaB in breast MDA-MB-231 and prostate PC-3 cancer cells. Furthermore, Ganoderma inhibition of expression of uPA and uPA receptor (uPAR), as well secretion of uPA, resulted in the suppression of the migration of MDA-MB-231 and PC-3 cells. Our data suggest that spores and unpurified fruiting body of G. lucidum inhibit invasion of breast and prostate cancer cells by a common mechanism and could have potential therapeutic use for cancer treatment.

....and there are more.

Have fun at the Library!!!

Lynn Marsh
Medical Librarian

More from Lynn Marsh:

And...here is one more. The New York Academy of Sciences has their eye on this subject.  Ganoderma lucidum is mentioned at the bottom of this abstract:

Ann N Y Acad Sci 1999;889:157-92 Related Articles, Links
Update from Asia. Asian studies on cancer chemoprevention.

Yun TK.
Laboratory of Experimental Pathology, Korea Cancer Center Hospital, Seoul, Korea. tkyun@nuri.net

In Asia, nontoxic dietary products are considered desirable primary prevention vehicles for conquering cancer. As early as 1978, investigators in Korea carried out extensive long-term anticarcinogenicity experiments using the mouse lung tumor model and observed an anticarcinogenic effect of Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer extract in 1980. The results showed that natural products can provide hope for human cancer prevention. A newly established nine-week medium-term model using mouse lung tumors (Yun's model) could confirm the anticarcinogenicity of ginseng that varies according to its type and age. Subsequently, the ginseng was shown by epidemiological studies to be a nonorgan-specific cancer preventive agent associated with a dose-response relationship. The anticarcinogenic effects of vegetarian foods common at every dining table in Korea and some synthetics were also studied using Yun's nine-week model. In brief, ascorbic acid, soybean lecithin, capsaicin, biochanin A, Ganoderma lucidum, caffeine, and a novel synthetic 2-(allylthio)pyrazine decrease the incidence of mouse lung tumors, whereas fresh ginseng (4 years old), carrot, spinach, Sesamum indicum, beta-carotene, and 13-cis retinoic acid do not. This result regarding beta-carotene is consistent with the ineffective findings of the ATBC trial, the CARET trial, and the Physicians' Health Study. In 1983, a cancer chemoprevention study group was first established in Japan. Subsequently, (-)-epigallocatechin gallate, cryptoporic acid E, and sarcophytol A from natural products, and synthetic acyclic retinoid and canventol were shown to be anticarcinogenic or chemopreventive in human subjects.

Despite the frequent consumption of tea wordwide as a beverage and current experimental evidence of anticarcinogenesis, including controversial results of epidemiological studies, more systematic clinical trials for confirmation of preventive activity of tea against cancer are needed. Placebo-controlled intervention trials of dietary fiber are under study in Japan. In the past decade, new triterpenoids were isolated from various natural sources, and its biological activities were investigated in Asia. In the late 1970s a comprehensive chemoprevention program was established at the Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences. Since then, many retinoid compounds have been synthesized and screened in the search for chemopreventive cancer agents. The National Cancer Institute (USA) and China are jointly engaged in the two-nutrition intervention in Linxian, China. The results of joint study of the general population and of dysplasia in China
should stimulate further research to clarify the potential benefits of micronutrient supplements. We need to clarify if there is a connection between the lower rates of cancer mortality in Korea and the frequent consumption of anticarcinogenic vegetables or traditional foods, including ginseng and Ganoderma lucidum. The constituents of the nontoxic stable dietary products promise to be the future hope for conquering cancers in the coming years.

PMID: 10668493 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Storing Golden Chanterelles (from Debbie Viess) (top)

I store my chanterelles in large sealed Tupperware containers, lined with paper towels top and bottom. They will keep this way for months. Just be sure to change the towels when they get overly damp, and trim off any reddened areas prior to storage. Check them occasionally for quality. You can also lightly sauté them in butter or oil and freeze them to preserve them, for up to six months. 

Ah, the lovely burden of too many mushrooms...


A Recipe using Helvella lacunosa (top)

The following came from an email message from my friend in Santa Barbara, Bill Tomlin, is response to my April 16 posting about having found a batch of them:

You mentioned finding some Helvella lacunosae recently, I love those little cuties! It has been a couple of years since I came upon a batch but I recall that I made a fine omelet with them, shredded Irish cheese from Trader Joes, shallot, and a half pinch of cayenne pepper. I used about 1/3 pound of them in the 3-egg omelet; it was Great! 

- Have fun, Bill

When I tried the recipe, I had to use chopped green onions instead of the shallots, a big pinch of cayenne, herbed Feta cheese, and added a small amount of sour cream on the top when I served it on a piece of toast.  

It still tasted Great!

I feel that this would also be a good recipe for using Gyromitra montana (Snow Mushrooms), Discina perlata, Geopora cooperi (Fuzzy Truffles), (none of which I have other recipes) and of course, morels.

Featured Mushroom, the Discina perlata  (Pigs Ears) (top)

I often find this mushroom when I am looking for morels, and add them to my basket to be cooked later along with the morels.  I find them to be as good in taste and texture as a morel, but more closer to the Gyromitra gigas/montana that I usually find at the same time of year.

Here is the link to the Discina perlata at the Mykoweb website: www.mykoweb.com/CAF/species/Discina_perlata.html