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Blackthorn, a mushroom that in the scientific world is called Calocybe gambosa but which we more frequently hear called St. George's mushroom. This is because there is a popular legend that tells how this mushroom is you start growing exactly on St. George's Day, April 23rd. The scientific name derives instead from the Latin gambosus which means with a lot of stem, in fact the mushroom has a very robust one with a good diameter. Other alternative names of the mushroom are Dogfish and Lightning Mushroom, because it often grows in a zigzag pattern.
The blackthorn mushroom: properties
It is not just a risotto mushroom, the blackthorn, on the contrary, is often and willingly used in the herbal and pharmaceutical fields, as well as in food. Its most appreciated properties are its diuretic, purifying and laxative properties but the fruits of’Tree under which it grows, called Blackthorn, from which the mushroom takes its name, contain antioxidant substances that make it interesting also from this point of view.
Also for skin care the St. George's mushroom it is used, as well as to achieve general well-being that involves internal organs and their deterioration state that worsens with advancing age.
Excellent for the cardiovascular and intestinal systems, the blackthorn is also used as a tonic, gives energy and, especially its fruits, produce a sensation of general tone if eaten. That's why we also find real ones on the market natural blackthorn supplements.
The antibacterial and astringent properties of this mushroom are appreciated by those suffering from diarrhea but are also useful in case of nosebleeds or oral infections.
As for the benefits that the blackthorn has on the skin, they relate to the onset of problems such as dermatitis, wounds and minor burns, or to appearance of fungi and bacteria. Berries fight acne while pregnant women can use the oil extracted from the fruit of the tree to prevent the formation of stretch marks as it makes and maintains toned and flexible skin.
The Calocybe gambosa it appears in spring, if not exactly on April 23, a few days earlier or a little late, it also depends on the climate and the areas in which it is located. Its general habitat is one in which there is an alternation of meadows and woods but we can also see it sprouting among thorny bushes like the Hawthorn, the Rosaceae, as well as the Blackthorn understood as a tree, which gives it its name.
Until May the fungus remains, in stretches of grass bordering woods or forests, either alone or in rather populous groups that are called by experts, mushroom farms. Pushed early, it is one of the first mushrooms of the year, but in autumn it is rare that there are left to collect.
The hat of the San Giorgi mushroomor can even have a diameter of about ten centimeters. It was born and grew up in its early days while remaining cream color, then gradually darkens. The gills are immediately very dense and of similar colors to those of the cap while the stem remains of a lighter tone, always tending to brown but almost white and with only some shades that "stain" it. To the touch it is firm, full, robust, the flesh remains consistent, even when cut, and has a very pleasant smell and taste.
We have talked about the mushroom so far only by mentioning the plant but the first one to talk about would have been her, since it is the mushroom that steals the tree's name and not vice versa. Of the properties of the fruit I have already told, those of the leaves remain which, in infusion, are an excellent homeopathic remedy for the treatment of colds and sore throats. Also tree flowers are useful: macerates are an effective remedy against constipation and water retention, in general Blackthorn-based herbal teas they have a antispasmodic effect on the intestine and are recommended for those suffering from irritable bowel.
In addition to herbal teas, there are also jams, syrups and food supplements based on blackthorn, and even liqueur. The taste is not too sweet, but it is pleasant, never bitter, pleasing and retains the benefits of the fruits of the plant from which it is obtained.
Blackthorn mushrooms: recipes
From North to South Italy there are passionate collectors but also excellent cooks who know how to serve a mushroom like this on the table. It is often among the protagonists in dedicated festivals, especially in Tuscany and Lazio, and on these occasions you have the opportunity to taste traditional recipes with the mushroom as the main ingredient.
We can also cook it, both fresh and dry, but those who do not want to sauté too much can find juices and jams that facilitate digestion. Also online at 12.30 euros we can buy a 200ml bottle of blackthorn syrup, a drink recommended for those who need energy and to fight psychophysical stress.
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