Mycelium

When talking about mushrooms, most of us think about the part of the fungus we can see, like the famous red, white-dotted toadstool. The truth is that there is much more to the fungus, most of which is underground. An entire network of hyphae hides underneath the surface. If you see the entire fungus like a plant, the mushroom on the top is the flower and the mycelium is the root system.

You may be familiar with the term ‘spores’, the unicellular organisms responsible for the reproduction of the mushroom. When these spores spread and come across other compatible spores, fungal filaments known as hyphae are grown from the spores, creating fertile mycelium. Through the mycelium, the fungus absorbs nutrients from its surroundings.

There are incredibly valuable nutrients in both the mycelium and the fruiting body of certain mushrooms. The most important ingredients of the mushroom we use for our Memory Recall® are erinacines and beta-glucans. Interestingly, research has shown that erinacines, the active ingredient that supports the production of Nerve Growth Factor, can only be found in the mycelium, which shows once again how valuable this part of the fungus is.

In nature the chances of mushroom spores germinating and then actually producing a mushroom are quite slim. All the different conditions and factors have to be just right to actually produce a mushroom, they certainly don’t just grow everywhere at random.  For this reason, mushrooms are highly prized and hunted in the wild.  However, we use mushrooms that have been carefully grown in private laboratories, producing mushrooms that are free of contaminants.  Our mycologists cultivate them indoors where the mushroom mycelium can grow without the harsh environment nature sometimes provides.