PRC Elective: Medicinal Mushrooms
Learn the basic skills of mushroom identification and explore the therapeutic benefits of over 20 species. By the end of this course, you'll know how to identify fungi in the wild and make your own mushroom medicine at home.
Need to know
*Please note that many of the associations listed under ‘CEUs/PDAs’ do not formally pre-approve online courses for credits, and thus require the student to track their own online course hours to submit for approval for their annual CEU/PDA requirements.
Meet your course instructor
Rogers | Ethnobotanist, Clinical Herbalist, Mushroom Mentor
Robert Dale Rogers has been an herbalist for over fifty years and is a professional member of the American Herbalist Guild. He earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Alberta, where he is presently an assistant clinical professor in Family Medicine. He is also an adjunct professor in Graduate Studies at York University in Toronto, and presently teaches plant and mushroom medicine, aromatherapy and flower essences in the Earth Spirit Medicine faculty at the Northern Star College in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Robert is past chair of the Alberta Natural Health Agricultural Network and Community Health Council of Capital Health. He is a Fellow of the International College of Nutrition, past chair of the North American Mycological Association, and previously on the editorial board of the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms. He regularly posts articles of interest in Fungi magazine. The author of 52 books on medicinal plants and fungi of the boreal forest, Robert authored the must-have book The Fungal Pharmacy: The Complete Guide to Medicinal Mushrooms and Lichens of North America. Another of his acclaimed books: A Cree Healer and His Medicine Bundle, was released in June 2015 by North Atlantic Books, and it documents the tenth generation passing down of over sixty traditional indigenous boreal plants and their medicinal benefit. Robert was honoured as an Herbal Elder of Canada in 2015. Today, Robert guest lectures and conducts walks throughout North America on plant and mushroom medicine, and continues to release must-have books on Mushrooms.
*This is a 0.5 credit PRC-Approved credit course for on-campus students only. Please note that online PRC Electives taken through Pacific Rim College Online do not qualify for Student Loans.
There are over 5 million species of fungi on the planet, and approximately 500 of these are macrofungi that have health benefits. Macrofungi, which we commonly refer to as mushrooms, have extensive historical use as food and medicine and their recognized medicinal properties have given them a rightful place in contemporary health care.
This course covers the mushroom basics, including, and not limited to, the definition of a mushroom, how fungi evolved, their anatomy, and insights regarding their relationship with plants. In addition, you will learn the differences between a fruiting body and mycelium and their respective medicinal qualities, whether to wildcraft or cultivate mushrooms depending on their type and the importance of organic practices in mushroom cultivation. Additionally, this course explores 15+ of the top medicinal mushrooms on the market. The most recent scientific research related to each of these mushrooms is shared, along with tips for proper identification in the field. Finally, when relevant, any cautions or contraindications with pharmaceuticals drugs are provided.
Mushrooms can be consumed as food or through various medicinal preparations. This course provides tips about which mushrooms to add to your diet and how to choose good quality mushroom products. And you can follow along with easy steps on how to prepare mushroom medicines at home.
There are many misconceptions about medicinal mushrooms, and this course offers explanations to dispel common myths and leads you on a virtual forest walk to identify mushrooms along the way. The stories and research covered in this course are deeply intriguing, hopefully enough to inspire you to add medicinal mushrooms to your herbal practice.
Upon completion of this course, you will have the ability to:
- Identify a large variety of medicinal mushrooms and look-alikes
- Understand various medicinal mushroom preparations and actions
- Understand how various mushrooms are used for health conditions
- Distinguish between fruiting body and mycelium products
- Understand the differences between wildcrafted vs. cultivated mushrooms
- Know the difference between organic vs. conventional cultivation
- Prepare mushroom medicines at home
LIMITED RELEASE — Enroll in Medicinal Mushrooms before November 3rd (this is course 17 of the Community Herbalist Program). When you enroll, you’ll have access to the 5-hours of video lessons for life.
Section I | Welcome
2. What is a mushroom?
3. History of medicinal mushrooms
Section II | Myths about medicinal mushrooms
4. Myths about medicinal mushrooms – Part I
5. Myths about medicinal mushrooms – Part II
6. Myths about medicinal mushrooms – Part III
Section III | Medicinal mushroom monographs
7. White button (Agaricus bisporus)
8. Oyster (Pleurotus spp.)
9. Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum)
10. Lion’s mane (Hericium erinaceus)
11. Maitake (Grifola frondosa)
12. Caterpillar fungus (Cordyceps militaris)
13. Shiitake (Lentinula edodes)
14. Chaga (Inonotus obliquus)
15. Liberty cap (Psilocybe semilanceata)
16. Enoki (Flammulina velutipes)
17. Agarikon (Laricifomes officinalis)
18. Amadou (Fomes fomentarius)
19. Fly agaric (Amanita muscaria)
20. Turkey tail (Trametes versicolor)
Section IV| Preparation and explanation of red belted conk
21. Red belted conk (Fomitopsis pinicola) monograph
22. Double extraction with red belted conk (Fomitopsis pinicola) – Part I
23. Double extraction with red belted conk (Fomitopsis pinicola) – Part II
Section V| Forest mushroom walk
24. Forest mushroom walk
Students are saying…
“It felt like high-quality teaching. An excellent introductory course to Medicinal Mushrooms, well-presented by a very knowledgeable and engaging instructor.”
“I really loved all the information presented in the course. Robert is always such a pleasure to listen to; he has so much knowledge and experience and has a sense of humour that brings a special presence and warmth to his teachings. I’m always inspired after listening to him.”
“Very good quality. I’d been wanting to learn more about mushrooms—I use them medicinally in animal patients in my vet practice. I liked all of it; the course notes are great as well. It was wonderful—so glad I signed up!”
“Excellent. I am a novice mushroom forager and I’ve been wanting to learn more about medicinal properties from an expert. So informative. I wish there was a part 2!”
“Mr. Rogers is a good teacher. I like him! Really interesting course, it made me want to know even more and try them all.”
“Love, love, loved it—wonderful lessons! I thought everything was superb. I loved the discussion about essences. I am a crafter of flower essences and always feel so validated when I hear others speak of them! I promptly ordered the Fungal Essences book! Cannot wait to read it – EUREKA – mushroom flower essences!”
“Awesome. I wish it could have been longer! I enjoyed it very much, especially learning detailed descriptions about the identification and uses and benefits of each mushroom.”
“Wonderful. I really enjoyed it—I thought the mushroom walk was really great. I loved the course and would definitely recommend for anyone that is curious to know more about mushrooms.”
“I enjoyed this course a lot for both its medical and practical/daily components. It opened up a new window for me, that’s what I am grateful for.”
“Truly loved this course—one of my favorites! The mushroom varieties and medicinal uses were most useful. I learned so much!”
“Great course with a tremendous amount of information on many types of mushrooms. Highly recommend for those interested in the fungal world.”
“The course was excellent. Full of knowledge and little-known facts, Robert Rogers is a treasure trove of information and true mushroom knowledge and is excellent at conveying knowledge to the beginner as well as the advanced. You can always learn more from him.“
“The healing properties, stories and experiences with plants, and the description and safety procedures were very informative—someone who takes this course could feel confident enough to start using these plants“
“PRCO and Robert Rogers have created a masterpiece with the Medicinal Mushroom course! The amount of information was like mycelium with wonderful fruiting bodies. The quality was outstanding and enjoyable!”
“I’ve been learning a lot about mushrooms and foraging lately so this course was recommended. Very informative, especially the tincture part and when he would explain about the difference between poisonous and non-poisonous ones.”
“Robert Rogers is an excellent teacher and had a wealth of knowledge and personal stories to share. I think the balance of scientific information and folkloric/cultural information was also excellent. It is a great beginner and intermediate course on medicinal mushrooms—I had taken a few other courses from other people and I did learn new things about old favourite fungi.”
Please note, this elective course is for PRC Campus students only.