Ethnomycological Conspectus of West African Mushrooms: An Awareness Document ()
The ethnological knowledge of mushrooms despite its millennial existence and its empirical documentation are more recent phenomena. In Africa, the knowledge of their historical uses as food, medicine, source of income and small scale businesses, and the sociological impacts (myth, culture and spirituality) are apparently threatened due to slow ethnomycology research drive. The poor identification and documentation of edible and medicinal species of mushrooms in many developing nations have created some degrees of inconsistencies in their usages relative to folk medicine practice, food and mythological beliefs. Their relevance in modern day pharmaceutics and nutraceuticals is a product of human experimentation over time.Factors that may be anthropogenic, ethnographic, ethnoecological/environmental have been implicated in mushrooms underutilization and under-exploration of mushrooms in West Africa. Ethnomycological literatures on West Africa are scant, random, are limited in scope and fraught with taxonomic inconsistencies. This paper is based on extant ethnomycology treatise and aims at representing an integrative knowledge of useful mushrooms of West Africa and their uses vis-a-vis indigent cultures.
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