Medicinal Properties

The spores of L. pyriforme are extremely dry, making a mature puffball pretty much a sack of fine powder.  This powder has been used in some ancient cultures in the healing of wounds due to its anti-coagulation properties.  However, it is extremely important to select a true L. pyriforme because other Agaricomycetes have rather different effects.  For example, Filobasidiella neoformans is a serious pathogen for immuno-compromised individuals.  (Mitchell and Perfect, 1995).


I happened to stumble upon a story involving L. pyriforme that took place very near my home town that I couldn't help but posting.  An incident occurred several years ago in West Bend, Wisconsin in which some of students were sold some Lycoperdon fruiting bodies and were told that they were hallucinogenic "shrooms".  After inhalation of probably around a few billion spores, the students began feeling ill (I have a feeling that some of you saw that one coming).  It wasn't until much later that the students began to experience severe respiratory problems due to growth and germination of the Lycoperdon spores into hyphae.  Fortunately, Lycoperdon is not a very good pathogen, and the students survived after treatment with antifungal drugs.


Other MultipleOrganisms pages of medical fungi:

Schizophyllum commune - antimicrobial

Reishi mushroom - tumor fighting properties

Rhizopus stolonifer - used in birth control pills


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