There are approximately 200,000 identified species of fungi worldwide. The species of fungi are classified into four divisions known as Ascomycota, Basidiomycota, Deuteromycota, and Zygomycota. Mold, mildew, yeast, and the organism that causes ringworm are all species of fungi. Some species of fungi are harmful, while others are very useful and are used to make medicines and industrial chemicals.
This type of fungi is a common household mold that can be hazardous to your health. Aspergillus thrives in areas of humidity and decomposing organic material. Homes that have had foundation or roof leaks or basement flooding are especially susceptible to this type of fungus. This mold causes many health problems, especially in people with weak immune systems. Aspergillosis is caused by this fungus. Symptoms of aspergillosis include fever, headaches, chest pain and respiratory problems including coughing. This type of fungus can be prevented by keeping your home free of mold. Check your home for mold and wipe down any moldy surfaces with a solution of equal parts of bleach and water. Dehumidifiers and air purifiers are very helpful in aspergillus prevention.
Approximately 10,000 species of fungi are considered mushrooms. Some mushrooms are toxic, but many are useful in making medicines and many are edible. Mushrooms have been used in folk medicine for thousands of years. Edible mushrooms include the yellow chanterelle, the hericium erinaceus, or “Lion’s Mane” mushroom, and the common white mushroom. Edible mushrooms are used in a variety of ways including soups, sauces, salads, and fresh eating. Consult an expert before eating any wild mushroom. There are many toxic mushrooms that resemble edible ones.
This type of fungi resembles rubbery blobs. Jelly fungi can be spiked, cupped, or branched in shape and is a variety of colors including white, pink, orange, black, and brown. The unusual flesh of Jelly fungi protects it from drying out. It is commonly referred to as “witches’ butter." One form of this fungus, auricularia auricular, or “woods ear," is edible. It is used in soups because of its slippery texture.