Healing mushroom

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Badri
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Joined: 26 Feb 2013 09:59
Full Name: Kannivelu Badrinath
Name of Your College/Medical School: Madras Medical College, Madras, India
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Healing mushroom

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Will Humphries London Times reporter writes:

A volunteer at a historic garden discovered a fungus so rare that it has to be kept in a cage to protect it from collectors, who claim it can help fight dementia and cancer.

The Bearded Tooth fungus (Hericium erinaceus) was spotted at the Lost Gardens of Heligan, near Mevagissey, Cornwall. The volunteer then discovered another example of the fungus in the estate’s “bug hotel”.

Staff received advice from local and national experts on the football-sized fungus and have caged it to protect it from people who believe it has healing powers. The fungus also plays an important role in the woodland ecosystem by breaking down dead wood. Toby Davies, the wildlife co-ordinator at the gardens, said: “Usually this mushroom is found in dense woodland where members of the public wouldn’t see it.

It’s protected under Schedule 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, making it illegal to intentionally pick, uproot or destroy it.

“Most of the time, when there’s these fungi around, there’s only 15 reports across the whole country — here we’ve got two within the same vicinity.”

When the fungus was spotted a week ago the volunteer didn’t know how significant it was. Also known as the Lion’s Mane mushroom, it is one of only four species of fungi under the highest level of legal protection in the UK.
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