Medicinal Mushroom Tour
Medicinal Mushroom Tour of Central Park
Mushrooms have been used throughout the world for millennia as food and medicine. On this two-hour walking tour, you will be introduced to the fascinating realm of medicinal mushrooms; you’ll learn the basics of foraging in the woods of beautiful Central Park: Longtime Hudson River Valley mushroom forager and Central Park tour guide J. A. Squires will conduct the walk.
Ötzi the Iceman, whose five-thousand-year-old mummified remains were discovered in September 1991 in the Ötztal Alps in Italy, had two pieces of Birch Polypore fungi tied to his clothing. This non-edible fungus is prized for its medicinal qualities. It treats inflammatory bowel (IBD) and other digestive issues. Ötzi’s remains showed evidence of intestinal parasites.
Medicinal mushrooms combat and prevent many illnesses and diseases, including cancer, leukemia, diabetes, insomnia, lupus, and allergies. They ease and alleviate many chronic inflammatory diseases. Medicinal mushroom tinctures (extracted in alcohol and hot water) are increasingly popular to treat illness and as a preventative health strategy similar to a once-a-day vitamin.
While all edible mushrooms have health benefits, medicinal mushrooms refer specifically to certain types prized for a high concentration of therapeutic compounds. Those include Reishi, Birch Polypore, Chaga, and Turkey Tail.
On tour, you will visit the Arthur Ross Pinetum (A stand of coniferous trees) and The Ramble in Central Park; You’ll learn to identify the three trees that every mushroom forager knows, the Northern Red Oak, White Birch, and Eastern Hemlock. Many mushroom species enjoy a symbiotic relationship with these trees by exchanging nutrients for a mutually beneficial purpose. Fungi are also the grand recyclers of nature, decomposing dead trees and other forest materials. Some mushrooms have a parasitic relationship with trees, parasitizing dying or unhealthy trees.
With guide J.A., you will explore Central Park, a special place for all nature lovers. At the end of the tour, the fascinating world of medicinal mushrooms will await your further explorations.
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