via Reality Sandwich:
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The use of mushrooms as medicine is ancient. In Europe we have the example of Ötzi, the Man in the Ice, who carried along with him on his last journey through the Alps five thousand years ago dried pieces of Piptoporus betulinus, or birch polypore, long established as an effective remedy for gastrointestinal parasites.[i] In eastern Asia there are centuries of written documentation of the inclusion of fungi in the materia medica, including many of the mushrooms most popular today.
If we consider the strength of traditional use as well as modern scientific research, we find a half dozen or so medicinal mushrooms as forming the strongest core of our fungal materia medica: Ganoderma spp. (Reishi), Cordyceps sinensis, Trametes versicolor (turkeytail), Lentinus edodes (shiitake), Grifola frondosa (maitake), and Inonotus obliquua (chaga). Here is [sic] the Northeastern United States we have the good fortune of having four of these species readily available in our woods; I regularly gather reishi, maitake, chaga, and turkeytail.