Certain types of functional fungi, namely medicinal mushrooms, are seemingly the next big wellness trend, but the use of medicinal mushrooms goes back to the neolithic period. In fact, they’ve been a part of traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years and are still used today by indigenous tribes throughout Africa.
Craig Fourie, the Managing Director of Mushroom Guru, believes that people are losing faith in big pharma. “People are starting to look for alternative medicines and they’re finding medicinal mushrooms,” he says. Fourie is now a medium-sized producer in the Western Cape province of South Africa reports www.forbesafrica.com
He trains anyone looking to grow gourmet and medicinal mushrooms. “While it is easy enough for anyone to grow mushrooms, there is a steep learning curve. Unlike agriculture where you put a seed in the soil (geoponics) or when you put a seed in water (hydroponics), growing mushrooms is the treatment of air, or aeroponics,” explains Fourie.
Africa is currently undergoing what scientists call a mycelium revolution. In Kenya, mushroom farming is expanding at an alarming rate because the fungus mushrooms are made of can produce everything from plastics to plant-based meat.