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The Healing Potential of Medicinal Mushrooms – Practitioner Course

When: 4th March, 7:00 am - 11:30 pm

Webinar Series, Practitioner Course and Practical Workshop with Fred Gillam

Exploring the Healing Potential of Medicinal Mushrooms

Webinar Series, Practitioner Course and Practical Workshop with Fred Gillam

The National Institute of Medical Herbalists is delighted to offer a selection of CPD options exploring the healing potential of Medicinal Mushrooms with renowned mushroom expert Fred Gillam.

These include options of:

• a 5-part webinar series

• a Practitioner course with practical workshop (held in March 2021)

**Institute Members can visit our shop to purchase all tickets at a special discounted price**

Webinar Series

In this 5-webinar series, Fred Gillam will explore the healing potential of medicinal mushrooms and the parallels between the actions of fungi in wider nature and their roles within the human body. This will lead to a detailed overview of the ways in which medicinal fungi can be employed in clinical practice; as reservoirs of vital compounds that can promote health, balance and immunity, as well as in the replacement of factors which may otherwise be lacking when the immune system becomes compromised. The possible mechanisms of interaction between essential fungal biochemistry and human biology will be explored, as will contraindications and adverse events, the sourcing of mushroom medicines and issues that may affect their quality. Drawing on his own reflective practice and research, Fred will challenge everyday concepts about the distinction between ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ within the context of the human body, leading to suggestions on how medicinal mushrooms and herbs can be used together to treat people with a wide range of conditions by using a synergistic approach.

Health practitioners who wish to use them as CPD will also have the option to follow up with a blended learning course module which upon successful completion will allow registration with the newly formed UK & Ireland Mycotherapy Practitioners Register.

Please note, the webinars and course are open to herbalists, medical professionals, complementary healthcare practitioners and students. However, entry to the register will only be granted to qualified health care practitioners who have also completed the course.


Fred along with his partner Natascha, organizes the UK & Ireland Medicinal Mushrooms Conference, now in its 6th year, and runs a community dispensary using medicinal mushrooms and herbs to promote health and wellbeing. After apprenticing as a traditional herbalist, Fred has continued his professional development with research into the human microbiome, immunology and Integrative Medicine. He has taught students about Medicinal Mushrooms at The Plant Medicine School and at Excelsior Herbal Apprenticeships in Northern Ireland, where he is a faculty member. Fred authored a large article on Native Medicinal Mushrooms in the ‘The Herbalist’. He is the author of “Poisonous Plants in Great Britain”, has presented a series of papers on medical ethnobotany to the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution and has delivered conference papers to professional bodies including NIMH, IRCH, IRH and ARCH. His business, ‘The Wild Side of Life’, born from a passion for empowering others to forage for plants and mushrooms to make food and medicine, won Best Foraging Education Provider of The Year in the Food and Drink Awards. He has been featured collecting mushrooms with Gino D’ Acampo on ITV and with Jeremy Vine on BBC Radio 2, talking about poisonous plants.

Webinar Series overview

1) The World of The Mushrooms & Fungal Biochemistry

In this first webinar we will take a good look at the surprising origins of animal life, as revealed both in the fossil record and by big data and the phylogenetic tree of life. Fungi interact with us in many very surprising yet direct ways. An understanding of the interrelatedness of our origins suggests the nature of these therapeutically useful relationships and points towards directions in which new discoveries are likely to be made as well as the functionality of the underlying fungal biochemistry.

2) The Microbiome & the Mycobiome

Biologically speaking, the human being is actually a symbiont life form in which mammalian cells are outnumbered by those from other classes, predominantly bacteria, archaea, helminths, protozoans and fungi. Our cells are also outnumbered by virions and a significant amount of our DNA is of viral origin. The ecological relationships between two of the most numerous categories, the fungi and the bacteria, are increasingly being studied with a view to understand how they may be able to modulate both disease and immunity. Already, new drugs have been formulated from bacteria and fungi in combination, with surprising implications for our diet, the mushrooms that we ingest and the role of the fungi that live within us.

3) Host Fungi Interactions: How the Fungi Communicate with US

This webinar will explore the host of different ways in which fungi, both as living cells in the GI tract and the dead fruiting bodies that we call mushrooms, interact with our biology, even our consciousness, examining the kinds of therapeutic modalities that can be derived from these interactions. We will look at the role of the immune system, the nervous system, the GI tract and even the organoleptic properties of touch, taste and smell, in attempting better to understand how to develop beneficial therapeutic host–fungal interactions, irrespective of whether those interactions are taking place with living micro fungi, or with the glycoproteins, phenolic and terpenoid compounds derived from the dead fungal cells of ‘mushrooms’.

4) Quality Control & Methods of Utilisation for Medicinal Mushrooms

A number of different types of mushroom extracts can be made, and the type of extract needed very much depends not only on the desired effect, but also on the disease process. For example, a water-based extract of lion’s mane is commonly used to treat episodes of gastro-intestinal distress and inflammation, whereas an ethanol extract of the same mushroom is often used to treat individuals with mild to moderate cognitive impairment. This webinar explores manufacturing techniques, both in industry and for the home herbalist. It is important to be able to match the extraction techniques used to prepare mushroom medicines to the types of problems and people that they are being designed to treat. Some extraction techniques may also impair quality, and this will also be the subject of discussion.

5) Mushroom Materia Medica with Case Studies & Treatment Notes

In this final webinar of the series we look at a number of common formulations that are either available commercially or that can easily be prepared at home. We will discuss the properties of different medicinal mushrooms and match the formulations prepared from them to their desired effects. We will discuss synergistic blends made with plant based herbal medicines and examine case studies to illustrate how various mushrooms have been used effectively to treat people with a variety of conditions. We will also learn about obtaining reliable information when considering which types of preparations to use in treating people with conditions ranging from sciatica and joint pain to PCOS and some types of cancer.

Access to all webinars will be now be via recording, as the live events were held in in October, November and December 2020

Registration on the UK and Ireland Mycotherapy Practitioner Register

The UK and Ireland Mycotherapy Practitioner Register ( UKIMPR) register has been set up and will be managed by Fred Gillam. Its members will include medical practitioners including herbalists who have taken the webinar course, training, assessment and workshop.

Since this is a newly created register, there will be no registration fee in the first year.

There will be a continuation fee payable on the 1st of June in the second year of £30.00

and thereafter in each subsequent year of membership, subject to review.

To maintain registered status, members on the register will be required to complete a further

15 hours of CPD per year, which can take various forms, for example.

documented reading or research, taking relevant courses and attendance at the

UK & Ireland Medicinal Mushrooms Conference.

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