Dr. Tom Guilliams, a longtime friend of the podcast, returns to share his experience researching and foraging for mushrooms.

Dr. Guilliams also speaks about the difficulties of accurately identifying mushrooms due to inconsistent documentation and characterization across scientific resources. These inconsistencies present significant challenges for manufacturers developing medicinal mushroom products since the extracts and powders may not be reliably labeled. Therefore, manufacturers must be diligent in verifying the mushrooms they purchase.

There may also be unintended differences between mushrooms grown commercially versus those foraged from their natural setting. Practitioners and patients should be aware that many marketing claims around consumer-facing mushroom products are likely unsubstantiated.

This episode honors this year’s theme of connection and builds upon what we recently learned from Dr. Zach Bush, who spoke about the role that environmental networks play in human health. Mushrooms are a literal example of biologic networks. Root-like networks of fungi and mushrooms, called mycelia, facilitate communication and allocate resources between plants within ecosystems.

The full episode will bring you more insights about:

  • The benefits of dietary versus supplemental mushrooms
  • The components of mushrooms and their medicinal applications
  • The immune-modulating qualities of medicinal mushrooms
  • The potential benefits of mushrooms for autoimmune patients
  • And much more!

Prescribing Mushrooms: What You Need to Know | Ep 296

Dr. Tom Guilliams: And what we discovered was sort of like we opened up a black box or Pandora’s box, and we realized that the mushroom identification or the methods of identifying mushrooms, especially with DNA or other chemistry, is fraught with huge amounts of problems. Because these mushrooms are very similar, it’s become very difficult to use chemistry to determine one mushroom from another. And because we discovered that 30 to 50% of the DNA sequences in databases are actually linked to the wrong species. So, the whole database that we use to identify mushrooms is just dirty data.

I mean, people get a mushroom, they do a DNA sequence, they upload the sequence, they say, “This is with reishi.” And it turns out they didn’t know how to identify that as reishi, and now there’s multiple sequences that are conflicting with one another.

James Maskell: Welcome to the Evolution of Medicine podcast, the place health professionals come to hear from innovators and agitators leading the charge. We cover the latest clinical breakthroughs in health technology, as well as practical tools to help you transform your practice and the health of your community. This podcast is brought to you by the Lifestyle Matrix Resource Center, who provide a range of options to help you deliver successful, effective, functional, and integrative medicine. To find out more and to get started, go to goevomed.com/lmrc. That’s goevomed.com/lmrc.

James Maskell: Hello and welcome to the podcast. To kick off this year of connection, we wanted to feature a topic that not only exemplified what’s possible in connection but also to talk about something that has been increasingly popular in the functional medicine space, and that is prescribing mushrooms. And ultimately, one of the beauties of the mushroom and the mycelia layers is it teaches us the potential of connection. More and more doctors are prescribing it, and so we wanted to find a voice of someone who really understood the biochemistry of what’s going on inside the fruit of the mushroom but also to understand the sort of connective potential and the nature potential.

We welcome back Dr. Tom Guilliams. When I had a chance to meet with Tom last year, I found out that he is an avid mushroom forager. And so, add that part of his resume to him just being one of the leading educators, biochemists and scientists in our space: understanding of supplements. I thought he’d be a perfect person to bring on. Really interesting half an hour. Lots of good information about mushrooms, how to use them, what’s going on, and best practices for clinical practice. I think you’ll get a lot out of this no matter what kind of practitioner you are.

Thanks so much to Lifestyle Matrix Resource Center for their continued sponsorship. Check out their memberships. If you are building a streamlined, functional or integrative medicine practice, then there’s tons of value for them in helping build structures around your practice. Very grateful for their ongoing support. Enjoy.

So, a warm welcome back to the podcast, Dr. Tom Guilliams. Thank you, Tom, for being here to talk mushrooms with me.

Dr. Tom Guilliams: Great to be with you again, James.

James Maskell: Yeah, I really wanted to get into this. It’s the year of connection, and last year, I was super inspired by a film called Fantastic Fungi that I saw that was really well done. My daughter loved it and just gave so much awe for nature and what nature is capable of. And not just the mushrooms themselves but the mycelium layer. And maybe that’s not as interesting to everyone else as it is to me, but I do know that such other health properties of mushrooms… I thought it would be great to have someone on the show who could talk to that. And as I looked around for someone who I thought would be good at sort of giving some, I guess, brandless advice on what is really going on, there weren’t that many people. There’s a lot of people with their own mushroom supplements. So, thanks for being available, and thanks for agreeing to do it. So, let’s just jump right into it. Mushrooms have been used for medicine and food for a long time. So, I guess, what are the challenges in leveraging these technologies into drugs and supplements and that kind of thing?

Dr. Tom Guilliams: So, like you said, this is a huge topic. There are who knows how many number of mushrooms and fungi that’s existed. Probably over 2,000 edible mushrooms. So, ones that are safe. And of course, we’re talking about medicinal mushrooms. Most of these have to be edible—at least not toxic or at least not toxic at the dose you’re going to consume them. And we’re not talking about sort of the psychedelic components. That’s a kind of a different category of mushrooms more recently that… I mean, they’ve been around a long time, but been recently… So, if we have about 2,000 safe mushrooms, probably about 700 of them have been identified with some sort of pharmacological properties, medicinal properties. But the challenge is taking all of that information. Of course, this is only the last couple decades that we’ve really been able to investigate these in the modern scientific way to find out what they are, what kind of constituents they have and then what do they do physically, even though they’ve been used for thousands of years, probably medicinally and as food. Only recently have we been trying to discover exactly what they do.

So, there’s lots of layers of things that I think we need to talk about as far as that’s concerned. And we’re going to get into that. Some of the regulatory issues, some of the like: What is this mushroom? What exactly is this mushroom based on the ancient writings? And a lot of the ancient writings have come from Japan, China, Eastern Russia. It’s where a lot of the use of these mushrooms medicinally have come from in the semi-modern era. And probably in Western medicine, we have only really been introduced to them recently.

I mean, I happen to live in central Wisconsin. I’m blessed to live on about 100 acres of land, and I’m a mushroom forager. So, I go out, and I only can pick what’s on my property. Thankfully, chanterelles grow on my property. So, every September, October, I’m in the woods for probably 20, 30 hours. Who knows how many hours I spend out there getting and harvesting these? So, oyster mushrooms, puffball mushrooms. So, not only do you have the idea of all of these mushrooms—up to 700, let’s say, pharmaceutical mushrooms around the world—but you have very isolated… So, people that use medicinal mushrooms, obviously, only use the ones that grow around them, so they don’t necessarily know about the ones that grow in other lands. Today, of course, we have access to all of these.

And before we get into more specifics, one of the interesting things that I think we need to realize is that for almost all of this history, these have been forged. People go out, and they find them, and they use them. Today, we’re growing them commercially. And just like with anything, when you start growing things commercially, even though they might be sort of the same mushroom species, when you grow them, depending on what you’re growing them on, it can change their chemistry. So, you may not have the exact same balance of chemistry as you have if they’re grown wild. So, these are all the nuances that we can begin this conversation with to start this thing to just give you just the beginning of the complexity that’s out there.

James Maskell: Yeah. No, I see that and I’ve experienced it and yeah, it’s super, super fascinating. I’m here in California and just had record rains, and now the sun’s coming out. So, even where I live, I can see a lot more out there. At a very basic level, how can mushrooms support health?

Dr. Tom Guilliams: Well, so, if you look at, historically, they’re used… It’s sort of depending on the species. They can be used for a range of things. So, there’s almost probably no condition that you can think of that there isn’t a mushroom that has some effect on that. So, probably the biggest area that everybody focuses on, probably the majority is immune related. In the research, probably cancer related is probably the most specific condition or mechanism which is being explored in the literature. But more broadly, it’s really immune related. And of course, with COVID, there are a lot of people interested in sort of this idea of promoting immune health in a more generic fashion. So, as it turns out… And we’re going to talk a little bit about the idea that if we think of the word mushroom, we think of typically that’s the fruiting body that comes out of the ground. Whereas you were talking about the mycelium, which can be, in some cases, square miles underneath the surface, is typically growing on some sort of wood either inside of a tree or inside wood or some sort of organic material under the soil.

But the fruiting body is what comes up. And typically, obviously, that’s what people can see and that’s what people have been harvesting over the millennia. And because of the way mushrooms function, the cell walls are polysaccharides. And so, probably, most people have heard, if they’ve talked about the benefits of mushroom, they talk about beta-glucans or these glucan molecules. There’s actually alpha-glucans and beta-glucans. Essentially, these are carbohydrates. They make up a lot of the cell walls of the mushrooms themselves. And based on the branches… So, these are polysaccharides that are basically connected with different bonds. And that is a sort of difference between the alpha-glucan bond and the beta-glucan bond and then how long these are. So, some of these molecules can be branched, be very large. And as it turns out, those structures are recognized by a lot of the receptors on immune cells.

So, what we call pattern recognition receptors. Some people know them, the subfamily of toll-like receptors, but there’s others like known as the Dectin-1 receptors. All these different receptors are found on the innate immune cells and some adaptive immune cells. And essentially, apparently, these beta-glucans are able to stimulate the functions of some of these—either cause maturation of dendritic cells or maybe trigger a balance between what we call Th1 and Th2, two sort of helper cell families, T-helper cell families, to balance out between inflammation and other aspects of the immune system function.

So, this very generic way of functioning. It seems to be across a lot of different species because a lot of different species have these beta-glucans. So, this is why sometimes you can’t differentiate all the nuances of every different mushroom because many of them have this. In fact, even yeast have some of these beta-glucans in them as well. Of course, oats and other things do, and they’re slightly different, but they all have the ability to bind or to attach to these immune receptors and then trigger these effects.

And that’s one of the reasons why it seems like with the innate immune system, why there’s so much interest in up-regulating the immune system in people with cancer. Because if you can up-regulate these cells and then kind of up-regulate the immune system, the attack on cancer cells, then you can have obviously some benefits that are universal for many different cancers. And so, I think, that’s where you see a lot of the research, but anti-inflammatory activities, cardioprotective activities, antiviral activities, these are all being studied. And then, when you start digging deeper into specific species of mushrooms, you find triterpenes, you find flavonoids like polyphenols. Like, for instance, chaga, which is this black fungus that grows on the outside of birch trees, kind of like a canker or a kind of just a blob.

It actually takes compounds from the birch tree, and it’s like a polyphenol, which can then can be converted by the chaga fungus, I will call it. It’s not really a mushroom. And then that then has this other benefit, so betulin and betulinic acid, cordyceps, which is this very unique fungus that originally grew from a caterpillar. So, it actually grew out of a caterpillar. Now we can grow some of these compounds, some of these fungus from other matrices, so we don’t have to kill caterpillars to grow it. But it has cordycepin, which is a very unique compound, really not found in any plants. It’s a very unique compound, and it has biological or biomodulating activity.

So, in some ways, if you think phytochemistry is sort of a new thing, myco-chemistry or fungal-based chemistry is really in its bare infancy in understanding what these compounds do. And it also depends on what substance they’re growing on, how they’ve grown, probably what season it is. So, we have so much to learn about the bioactive components in mushrooms and fungi, generally.

James Maskell: Yeah. You mentioned there that the fruit and what comes above. One of the things that was really a revelation from that movie, Fantastic Fungi, was understanding that mycelium layer and how it can be used not just for the mushrooms to communicate with each other, but perhaps other things to communicate with each other underneath the soil. Is there any sort of science going on in understanding the mycelia as opposed to just what comes up out on top?

Dr. Tom Guilliams: Yeah, so, this is unique. There’s a lot of companies that you were mentioning that sell products, and we have mushrooms. So, if you see a mushroom come up out of the soil, like an oyster mushroom coming out of the side of a tree, that only represents the fruiting body. That’s going to be where the spores can be released out. And so, that’s the part you can see. And obviously, if you take a knife and you cut it off, you have the mushroom. But if you look carefully, and you just break it off, it’s usually attached to the woody part of the plant. And if you’re picking these out of the ground, if you pull them, you can basically find that they’re attached to something. And that mycelium, like I said, in some cases, like the honey fungus can be literally square miles of one interconnected matrix of the mycelium.

And so, historically, people picked mushrooms. So, you pick the part you can see. But obviously, now we know that this is going on. The question is: Are there chemical differences? Are there medicinal properties that are different between the fruiting body—the mushroom—and the mycelium, which we’ll call, let’s say, the body of the mushroom? And the answer is we’re just learning that. And that’s partly because only recently have we been able to grow the mycelium and commercially make it available. So, this is typically done, obviously, you’re not growing it out in the forest, you’re growing it in a controlled environment, typically using rice or maybe saw dust or some other substrate that you can grow the mycelium within and then harvest either the mushrooms at a certain time and then harvest the mycelium separately. So, it’s only been recently that we’ve actually been able to really harvest this and make it commercially available.

So, I think, we’re at the very early stages of understanding what the differences are. I think it stands to reason that depending on the species, depending on the substrate you grow it on, and the growing conditions, that you may end up finding some subtle differences, maybe some unique substances. But I don’t think right now we have enough evidence to suggest that they’re radically different in their medicinal properties. I think certainly we need head-to-head studies to even begin approaching that kind of question. And we simply don’t have that. So, I’m kind of skeptical when people say, “you only should use the mushroom fruiting body” or “you should only use the mycelium.” So, if you think historically, we’ve always used the fruiting body, the mushroom, so I usually bend towards that history because we have a little more understanding of the use of those compounds.

And then looking at the mycelium as this sort of new, exploratory substance that we need to understand. And unfortunately, the confusion that we sometimes get is that when we measure these products, we still have some of the substrate left. So, we still have some of the sawdust, let’s call it, or the rice or the other substrates that are there. And many of them have beta-glucans or other carbohydrates. So, it is sometimes confusing to understand in your final product, which most of these come to companies as powders, so they don’t see the mushroom come to them. They see a powder, a dried powder. And so, sometimes you don’t know what in that powder is the substrate versus the mycelium versus the mushroom. And that can be a little confusing.

James Maskell: Yeah, absolutely. And I can get that. So, you mentioned a couple of things, beta-glucans and some other areas. What are… Are there other constituents of the mushrooms that have healing or health properties for practitioners to understand?

Dr. Tom Guilliams: Yeah, so, if you think of beta-glucan, so the beta-glucan family, you get those that are in, let’s say, mushrooms. You get those that are in yeast, which are obviously a single cell fungi. And typically the beta-glucans you find in yeast are often very large. So, they have maybe slightly different properties. But this again goes to the idea that we’re just learning. If you have a very large beta-glucan molecule, like 700 daltons, and you don’t properly extract that from the yeast properly, you may end up breaking it into smaller particles. And you may be changing its ability to affect the biology. It will maybe bind to different receptors, so it’s not just the species of mushroom or yeast that you’re using, but it also may be the processing of those beta-glucans.

But like I mentioned, these other things that I talked about, these, for instance, very specific polysaccharides bound to proteins. So, there’s some unique, what we call, polysaccharide proteins. We have betulin, which I mentioned was this polyphenol that we see in chaga from birch. Cordycepin, which is specifically for cordyceps. It’s kind of like an adenosine-type molecule. It’s a very unique molecule. And then reishi is a very popular, and it’s got some ganoderic acid, which are triterpenes. So, I think, yeah, we’re starting to see that there are not just these alpha-, beta-glucans, but there’re these other compounds as well. And like I said, we’re just at the beginning stages of learning of what these other compounds are and what they might be doing when you consume them.

James Maskell: I guess, are there any dangers of thinking it through the same way that we think about food? I mean, ultimately, we get to such a reductionist approach to thinking about ingredients and food, and I think one of the things about mushrooms is that it’s obviously like a very connected substance. And do you think there’s any concerns with taking these ingredients out of their natural environment and to create hyper specific compounds as opposed to…?

Dr. Tom Guilliams: Yeah, I think that’s a good point. The whole is, I think, is going to be more important than all the constituent parts. But the drug world obviously wants to find that one substance which they can then discover and then probably modify it by one molecule and then kind of patent it and go with it. The one thing, for instance, we’ve learned all these things about plant polyphenols and whatnot over the years, and we do all this in vitro research. And then we discover after 20 years of all that, we discover that they may be working in one big way. They may be working just by modulating the microbiome rather than all of this chemistry that we think is really happening at the cell level. And of course now people are looking at mushroom constituents, beta-glucans, other things and how they affect the microbiome.

And as it turns out, we’re seeing that that’s one of the ways that it’s functioning. So, is it possible that the whole is greater than the parts, the sum is greater than all the parts, and it’s working by a mechanism, maybe even different than all the mechanisms that we think just by modulating the microbiome or something else? It’s very possible. So, I think that’s one of the reasons why you see basically these products are either whole compounds, obviously, dehydrated and ground up. Sometimes they’re extracted. So, different extraction, most of these have been historically used as water extracts, but then over time people use different solvents to try to extract different components. So, there’s a whole different layer of, let’s say, subtlety that you can get by extracting with other things. Historically, water, making soups and things like that, were the most common way to do this. But yeah, I think in this area we’re going to be learning literally week by week, month by month as researchers are getting into this.

James Maskell: Yeah, well, it just seems with how valuable these resources are and these mushrooms are, you might expect, I guess, that they would’ve been around for use clinically, but it’s really just come about, I would say, really started to accelerate anywhere in the last few years. Are there particular challenges with developing mushroom-based products to meet good manufacturing practices to make supplements? Or is this just really a function of the science? Or what has slowed it down, I guess?

Dr. Tom Guilliams: Yeah, so, this is actually sort of the most challenging component and really the biggest issue that I’ve had with delivering or helping people decide on formulations or using these mushrooms clinically, and that is there has not been a uniform way to identify mushrooms to ensure that you’re actually using what you think you’re using. So, historically, if you take a mushroom, you can identify a mushroom, but once you start, and different people had called different mushrooms, like with plants, they have different common names or in some cases, they’re subspecies, which all have the same name in one region or have a different name in a different region. And so, what we discovered as we were developing over time products and formulas, because they come in as powders, we said, “Okay, we want to identify… We want to make sure this is cordyceps.” So, you would take your product, and you’d do some analysis, and you’d find out, okay, is this cordyceps?

Well, as it turns out, there are multiple genuses, so these aren’t even the same genus family, that are called cordyceps. And then we started going and asking questions about DNA. So, just like with plants, we said, “Well, maybe I can identify this with DNA.” And what we discovered was sort of like we opened up a black box or Pandora’s box, and we realized that the mushroom identification or the methods of identifying mushrooms, especially with DNA or other chemistry, is fraught with huge amounts of problems. Because these mushrooms are very similar, it’s become very difficult to use chemistry to determine one mushroom from another. And because we discovered that 30 to 50% of the DNA sequences in databases are actually linked to the wrong species. So, the whole database that we use to identify mushrooms is just dirty data.

I mean, people get a mushroom, they do a DNA sequence, they upload the sequence, they say, “This is with reishi.” And it turns out they didn’t know how to identify that as reishi, and now there’s multiple sequences that are conflicting with one another. And so, I know this isn’t like a pleasant topic, but if you are trying to do something by good manufacturing practices, the very first thing that FDA says you have to do is you have to positively identify the product and make sure it is what you say it is. So, it’s been a big challenge for manufacturers who really want to do this correctly, who don’t grow the mushrooms themselves. Obviously, most manufacturers don’t grow the mushrooms, so they have to purchase the mushrooms typically as a dried powder, and they have to somehow identify that that is what it says it is before they blend it in and put it in the capsule.

And so, I can tell you that a lot of effort is being put into this by companies who really care about these details, while other people who don’t care about the details, they’re just saying, “Whatever it says on the label, I’m just going to put it on my product.” And unfortunately, that has created a lot of confusion.

Now, as a researcher, what really concerns me is that over the last several decades, this has also been true of the research literature. Meaning if you’re a researcher in, let’s say, some university and you purchase something that says cordyceps on it, and you use it in your research, and you don’t have a way to identify that that was cordyceps or which of the hundreds of different species that are called cordyceps this one was, and you publish your data, all of a sudden now the data that’s being published is actually confusing because you may have… The title of the article may say, “cordyceps does this and these cells,” but it turns out that those researchers may not have identified, and you may have 50 articles on cordyceps, and they might represent 20 or 30 different subspecies of cordyceps, some of which are very unrelated to one another.

So, unfortunately, this is taking that ancient data and bringing it to the modern era. I think a lot of people weren’t as savvy with understanding the complexity of mushroom identification when they were doing research and then when they were putting products together. Thankfully, most of the species of mushrooms are sort of similar. So, shiitake, oyster mushrooms, maitake, reishi, chaga, turkey tail, cordyceps, these are very common. They’re used across… They’re grown, and the growers know what they are.

So, usually, those are going to be hopefully on target, the right ones. But it’s when you start getting and start looking at the more esoteric mushrooms that… I think cordyceps is one that does fall into that category where there’s so many different subspecies or even genuses that fall into this idea. So, anyway, it’s sort of a little bit of a buyer beware or a company beware. And they really should be doing it right. And I think as we get more and more people doing it, the research will get tighter and tighter, and we’ll know more specific conditions with specific genus and species of mushrooms than we have in the past. I think that’s one of the reasons why there’s been a little fuzziness in the data with mushrooms.

James Maskell: Yeah. Well, let me ask you this. If you’re a practitioner and you want to help your patients, do you think it’s more reasonable at this point to be it more of a lifestyle prescription like, “Hey, get some more mushrooms and cook them up and put them in your dishes?” Or do you think there’s more value from going after specific species with supplements for specific conditions like you might do with supplements?

Dr. Tom Guilliams: Well, I would say both. I think mushrooms should be in the diet. I think even white button mushrooms do have medicinal value, but when you start looking at… If you think about the different genus and species of mushrooms that people are going to eat in their diet, white button mushrooms, portobello, and maybe they can get a few others, oyster mushrooms or something like that. But if you start thinking of, for instance, like reishi and chaga and turkey tail mushrooms, they’re edible. Oh, I should say they’re, they’re not toxic, but they’re typically not things that are going to be edible. You’re not going to go and eat because some of these are very woody mushrooms. They’re not going to be part of your diet. So, these are where getting extracts and powders typically mixed with some of these others that we mentioned. Some of which like shitake and maitake, which are edible. I’ve been looking through my woods for maitake. I’ve been told to grow in my area, every year I go looking for them. I can’t find them.

So, they may not be available, but some of those are, you can get in your diet, you can go to the grocery store, you can get them. But a lot of these other ones that I just mentioned, like turkey tail and chaga, cordyceps, reishi, Agaricus, in some cases, are not going to be readily found in a diet. And so, if you want those other components, sometimes you can find them in tea form. Obviously chaga is kind of popular now to be used in teas and other things like that. But blending them in a capsule and taking them on a regular basis could be this biological, this way to stimulate or modulate the immune system to keep it prepared. And maybe taking higher doses when you actually have some sort of immune challenge so you can take advantage of the fact that the immune cell is seeing some antigens, and then you give it the mushrooms to up-regulate that response.

James Maskell: Yeah. Well, knowing what you know now, where would you say you have the most sort of hope or understanding as to which clinical areas mushrooms will end up becoming maybe a standard of care or at least a standard in functional medicine?

Dr. Tom Guilliams: Yeah, I think the more we know… I think immune is clearly… There seems to be something connected with these beta-glucans and sort of the immune system generically. I think we’re going to probably learn more about it. I’m kind of interested to see if we can learn more about the autoimmune because we always think of we’re up-regulating the immune system that’s going to be negative on autoimmunity or create a problem with people that have autoimmune conditions. But a lot of times we’re seeing some data to suggest that mushrooms can help with autoimmune conditions. So, it’s clearly a modulator, not just a up-regulator as it were. So, I think that the data is going to be there. I think because of the desire to do research in cancer, I think it’s going to still grow in the area of cancer research.

And then I would love to see it because I think there’s going to be sort of an adaptogenic aspect to this as well. So, I think if you look at this whole idea of longevity or aging or senescence, I think it’s not going to be surprising to me just because if you remember in that movie, the idea that those networks are working, sort of like the brain networks are working. Yeah, I think there’s going to be some evidence to suggest that senescence—and especially in the brain—is going to be a place where if not a wide range of mushrooms, certainly certain mushrooms are going to be useful. So, I’m kind of excited to see what we can learn about neuroprotection with mushroom species.

James Maskell: Awesome. And then when you’re looking at products, like if practitioners are looking at different mushroom products and blends, do you have any advice on what to look for, what to avoid? Outside of, obviously, what you said about the GMP stuff and that. Are there ways to blend that are synergistic? Are there things to look out for?

Dr. Tom Guilliams: Yeah, at this point, I would say I wish that we had more data to give specific. I would say that trying… sort of like I think of probiotics. I don’t typically think of taking a single species of a probiotic because you’re just hit and miss at that point whether that’s going to be beneficial for that individual. So, just like I think of probiotics as a multispecies blend, I think, right now, our best bet is to use multispecies blends of mushrooms, and that could be mostly fruiting body or maybe a combination of fruiting body and the mycelium at this point. I think getting more and using them regularly is probably going to be more important than trying to find the one mushroom that is going to be for a one condition. We may find that down the road. There’s going to be targeted species of mushrooms for very specific conditions, but we’re not really there at this point. And so, I typically think of five, six, seven mushroom blends as being sort of the way that you should get these sort of things.

James Maskell: Great. Tom, thanks so much for coming in. Really great. I know that most practitioners who are considering using these kind of tools always just looking for objective advice. There’s a lot of noise in the industry right now. I used to live in Venice Beach, California, and you can’t move there without knocking into some entrepreneur who’s coming into some sort of blend of mushrooms maybe for current health, but also with an eye to future legalization of psychedelic mushrooms, which is now happening in Oregon and now not too far from me in Oakland and then in Colorado. And all over the country, different smaller cities are starting to legalize psychedelic mushrooms.

So, it’s going to be an interesting time for sure, and really grateful for your input. And thanks so much for being someone that we can come back to when we have topics that we don’t really know what the answers are and need a calm head on steady shoulders. So, thank you so much for being part of it.

Dr. Tom Guilliams: Yeah, I’m glad to help out, James.

James Maskell: All right. This has been the Evolution of Medicine podcast. We’ve been talking mushrooms with Dr. Tom Guilliams. Thanks everyone for tuning in, and we’ll look forward to speaking to you next time.

Thanks for listening to the evolution of medicine podcast. Please share this with colleagues who need to hear it. Thanks so much to our sponsors, the Lifestyle Matrix Resource Center. This podcast is really possible because of them. Please visit goevomed.com/lmrc to find out more about their clinical tools like the group visit toolkit. That’s goevomed.com/lmrc. Thanks so much for listening and we’ll see you next time.


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