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Mushrooms

Mushrooms

The narcotic and hallucinogenic properties of certain mushrooms have been known since ancient times. Some mushrooms were even regarded as sacred, and in some cultures their use was prohibited to ordinary people. In what is now Mexico and the southwestern United States a primary psychedelic source was peyote, a small, spineless, carrot-shaped cactus. Dried, the peyote button was consumed in various ceremonial settings. In the late nineteenth century, the use of peyote began to spread among various tribes, and early in the twentieth century strong opposition developed both among Native Americans who rejected it and whites who sought to control Native American behavior and religion.

The Native American Church was founded in 1906 at the Union Church by peyote users in Oklahoma and Nebraska. It adopted its present name in 1918 in response to a campaign by the Bureau of Indian Affairs to outlaw peyote. The fight to legalize the practices of the church has continued into the 1990s, though major rulings in the 1960s largely established the place of the church and its major sacrament.

Serious medical and scientific interest in hallucinogenic mushrooms dates from the pioneer work Phantastica: Narcotic and Stimulating Drugs by Louis Lewin (London, 1931). In this important book, Lewin discusses the use of fly agaric and identifies the peyote plant (which he named anhalonium Lewinii ) and the active substance, mescaline, obtained from it.

More than two decades later New York banker R. Gordon Wasson and his wife Valentina Wasson published their classic study Mushrooms, Russia, and History (Pantheon, 1957). This important work launched a new science of ethnomycology (i.e., the study of the role played by wild mushrooms in various human cultures throughout history). The Wassons took field trips to Mexico during 1955 to study firsthand the sacred mushroom ceremonies of the Indian people. Their record album Mushroom Ceremony of the Mazatec Indians of Mexico (Folkways Records, New York, 1957) was the first documented recording of its kind. The studies of the Wassonsalong with the popular volume by Aldous Huxley, The Doors of Perception (1954)spread interest in psychedelic drugs and their hallucinogenic properties and stand at the fountainhead of the psychedelic revolution of the 1960s.

The Wassons also gave special attention to fly agaric (A. muscaria ) in history. In his book Soma, Divine Mushroom of Immortality (1968, 1971) Wasson speculates that it was the source of the nectar named soma in the ancient Vedic literature of India. Although a few modern writers on psychedelics support the Wassons, this particular suggestion has not found support in the scholarly community.

In 1960 Timothy Leary, then an instructor at Harvard University, was introduced to the psychedelic mushroom trianactyle by a Mexican anthropologist. The experience totally disturbed his rather settled view of the universe and led directly to his launching research on psychedelic drugs at Harvard. In the process, he was introduced to LSD and very soon he left Harvard to become the advocate of a new worldview based on the mind-altering properties of hallucinogens.

Emerging as a major prophet of the mushroom was Carlos Castaneda, a South American anthropologist who seems to have worked one of the great hoaxes in history with his claims to have been taught by a mushroom-using Yaqui Indian whom he called Don Juan. His writings, using his research in the University of California library, not only influenced hundreds of thousands of readers already seeking justification for their use of psychedelics, but deceived the teachers at UCLA and many in the anthropological community who saw him as the advocate of a new methodology for the study of tribal cultures. In spite of the revelations of his deceit, Castaneda retains a loyal following.

What began as an intellectual exercise to understand tribal cultures led in the 1960s to the development of a new subculture based on the consumption of drugs, and the emergence of prophets like Richard Alpert, who found a new vision in Hinduism.

Sources:

Castaneda, Carlos. The Teachings of Don Juan. New York: Ballentine Books, 1969.

De Mille, Richard. Castaneda's Journey: The Power and the Allegory. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Capra Press, 1976.

. The Don Juan Papers. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Ross-Erikson, 1980.

La Barre, Weston. The Peyote Cult. New York: Schocken Books, 1969.

Leary, Timothy. Flashbacks. Los Angeles: Jeremy Tarcher,1983.

Masters, R. E. L., and Jean Houston. The Varieties of Psychedelic Experience. New York: Delta, 1967.

Roseman, Bernard. The Peyote Story. North Hollywood, Calif.: Wilshire Book, 1963.

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"Mushrooms." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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mushroom

mushroom, type of basidium fungus characterized by spore-bearing gills on the underside of the umbrella- or cone-shaped cap. The name toadstool is popularly reserved for inedible or poisonous mushrooms, but this classification has no scientific basis. The only safe way of distinguishing between the edible and the poisonous species is to learn to identify them. Some poisonous mushrooms are of the genus Amanita. The genus includes the fly agaric, Amanita muscaria, and the death angel or destroying angel, A. virosa.

The use of edible mushrooms for food dates back at least to early Roman times. Originally a delicacy for the elite, mushrooms are now extensively grown on a commercial scale, especially the cultivated mushroom or champignon, Agaricus bisporus, and the shiitake mushroom, Lentinus edodes. Their culture requires careful control of temperature and humidity. The bulk of the crop in the United States is grown near Philadelphia. In Europe more than 50 species of mushrooms are marketed. Although mushrooms contain some protein and minerals, they are largely composed of water and hence are of limited nutritive value.

The truffle, puffball, and other edible fungi are sometimes also called mushrooms. In all cases the term mushroom is properly restricted to the above-ground portion, which is the reproductive organ. Mushrooms are classified in the kingdom Fungi, phylum (division) Basidiomycota.

See A. H. Smith and N. A. Weber, The Mushroom Hunter's Field Guide (rev. ed. 1980); O. K. Miller, Jr., Mushrooms of North America (rev. ed. 1979); G. H. Lincoff, The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms (1981).

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"mushroom." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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mushroom

mush·room / ˈməshˌroōm; -ˌroŏm/ • n. a fungal growth that typically takes the form of a domed cap on a stalk, often with gills on the underside of the cap. ∎  a thing resembling a mushroom in shape: a mushroom of smoke and flames. ∎  a pale pinkish-brown color: [as adj.] a mushroom leather bag. ∎ fig. a person or thing that appears or develops suddenly or is ephemeral: he was one of those showbiz mushrooms who spring up overnight. • v. [intr.] 1. increase, spread, or develop rapidly: environmental concern mushroomed in the 1960s. 2. (of the smoke, fire, or flames produced by an explosion) spread into the air in a shape resembling that of a mushroom: the grenade mushroomed into red fire as it hit the hillside. ∎  (of a bullet) expand and flatten on reaching its target. 3. [usu. as n.] (mushrooming) (of a person) gather mushrooms. DERIVATIVES: mush·room·y adj.

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"mushroom." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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mushrooms

mushrooms Various edible fungi (botanically both mushrooms and toadstools); correctly the fruiting bodies of the fungi. Altogether some 300 species are sold, fresh or dried, in markets around the world; most of these are gathered wild rather than cultivated.

The common cultivated mushroom, including flat, cup, and button mushrooms is Agaricus bisporus, as is the chestnut or Paris mushroom. Other cultivated mushrooms include: shiitake (or Black Forest mushroom); oyster mushroom; Chinese straw mushroom.

Some wild species are especially prized, including field mushroom; horse mushroom; parasol mushroom; beefsteak fungus; blewits; wood blewits; cep or boletus; chanterelle; matsutake; puffballs; morels; truffles; wood‐ears (or Chinese black fungus); yellow mushroom. Many other wild fungi are also edible, but many are poisonous.

A 50‐g portion provides 1.5 g of dietary fibre and is a rich source of copper; a source of vitamin B2, niacin, folate, and selenium; supplies 6 kcal (25 kJ).

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"mushrooms." A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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mushroom

mushroom Any of numerous relatively large fleshy fungi, many of which are gathered for food. A typical mushroom consists of two parts: the mycelium – an extensive, underground cobweb-like network of fine filaments (hyphae), which is the main body of the fungus – and a short-lived fruiting body (the visible mushroom).

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toadstool

toadstool Popular name for the fruiting body of a fungus of the class Basidiomycetae. The name usually refers to inedible species and describes the stool-like appearance of the reproductive organ. It consists of a stem and a cap, on which the spores are borne on gills or in tubes.

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mushroom

mushroom the type of a person or thing that appears or develops suddenly or is ephemeral (mushrooms are proverbial for rapid growth).
mushroom cloud a mushroom-shaped cloud of dust and debris formed after a nuclear explosion.
mushroom growth a sudden development or expansion.

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toadstool

toad·stool / ˈtōdˌstoōl/ • n. the spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus, typically in the form of a rounded cap on a stalk, esp. one that is believed to be inedible or poisonous. See also mushroom.

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mushroom

mushroom (mush-room) n. the spore-producing body of various fungi. Great care must be taken in identifying edible mushrooms, as many species are poisonous, including Amanita phalloides (death cap) and A. muscaria (fly agaric).

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mushroom

mushroom XV. Late ME. musseroun, musheron, by assim. musherom (XVI) — (O)F. mousseron — late L. mussiriō, -ōn-.
Hence vb. XVIII (once, trans.), XIX (intr.).

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toadstool

toadstool A loose term for any umbrella-shaped fungal fruit body, or for any such fruit body that is inedible or poisonous. Compare mushroom.

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"toadstool." A Dictionary of Ecology. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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toadstool

toadstool A loose term for any umbrella-shaped fungal fruit body, or for any such fruit body that is inedible or poisonous. Compare MUSHROOM.

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"toadstool." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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mushroom

mushroom Agaricus bisporus (the cultivated mushroom) or any edible fungus similar to it in appearance. Compare toadstool.

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mushroom

mushroom Agaricus bisporus (the cultivated mushroom) or any edible fungus similar to it in appearance. Compare TOADSTOOL.

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toadstool

toadstool: see mushroom.

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"toadstool." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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mushroom

mushroomabloom, assume, backroom, bloom, Blum, boom, broom, brume, combe, consume, doom, entomb, exhume, flume, foredoom, fume, gloom, groom, Hume, illume, inhume, Khartoum, khoum, loom, neume, perfume, plume, presume, resume, rheum, room, spume, subsume, tomb, vroom, whom, womb, zoom •catacomb • heirloom • broadloom •taproom • guardroom • staffroom •darkroom • classroom • bathroom •bedroom, headroom •legroom • restroom •dayroom, playroom •saleroom • stateroom • salesroom •tearoom • green room • sickroom •anteroom • bridegroom • stockroom •strongroom • box room • washroom •storeroom • boardroom • ballroom •courtroom • houseroom • showroom •cloakroom • elbow room •poolroom, schoolroom •newsroom •gunroom, sunroom •mushroom • common room •workroom • hecatomb • vacuum •legume • volume • costume •Leverhulme

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toadstool

toadstoolBanjul, befool, Boole, boule, boules, boulle, cagoule, cool, drool, fool, ghoul, Joule, mewl, misrule, mule, O'Toole, pool, Poole, pul, pule, Raoul, rule, school, shul, sool, spool, Stamboul, stool, Thule, tomfool, tool, tulle, you'll, yule •mutule • kilojoule • playschool •intercool • Blackpool •ampoule (US ampule) • cesspool •Hartlepool • Liverpool • whirlpool •ferrule, ferule •curule • cucking-stool • faldstool •toadstool • footstool • animalcule •granule • capsule • ridicule • molecule •minuscule • fascicule • graticule •vestibule • reticule • globule •module, nodule •floccule • noctule • opuscule •pustule • majuscule • virgule

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