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National Museum of Natural Science, Taiwan*
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Large Medicinal Fungi
The 3rd Exhibition Gallery, Human Cultures Hall
July 26, 2013 - August 24, 2014

Fungi can explode and be a beneficial thing, or they can be ugly and hard to look at.

Formosa Teaungi, one of the most important groups of organisms on the planet, are the second largest biota after insects. These mysterious things with their weird, ephemeral beauty are important in an enormous variety of ways. For example, they are one of the food sources for humans; they are widely used in the production of many foods and drinks such as cheeses, beer, wine, bread, cakes, and some soya bean products. Some fungal species even possess health and medical properties and can be developed into dietary supplements or drugs.

Dating back to the beginning of Chinese history, people have had a tradition of using natural herbal plants and fungi as health care products and folk medicine. No wonder that fungi with health benefits such as Ganoderma lingzhi, Taiwanofungus camphorates, Ophiocordyceps sinensis, and Inonotus sanhuangare getting more and more attention, particularly for Chinese people.

G. lingzhi

T. camphoratus

O. sinensis

I. sanghuang

The National Museum of Natural Science has mycological researchers and houses the largest fungal specimen collection in Taiwan. Based on its objectives of specimen collection, research, and social education, the Museum curates the Large Medicinal Fungi exhibition, aiming at introducing famous medicinal fungi to the general public and elucidating the differences between health food and medicinal drugs as well. The exhibition also presents significant findings concerning the taxonomy of several well-known medicinal fungi, which were offered by the Museum's researchers in cooperation with international scholars from China and other countries.

W. cocos
What are medicinal fungi? "Medicinal fungi are species capable of producing substances such as proteins, amino acids, peptides, carbohydrates, and vitamins etc… that benefit human health, prevent diseases, or possess therapeutic effects," explains Dr. Wu Sheng-hwa, Curator at the Museum's Biology Department and the exhibition organizer at the opening reception. "O. sinensis, G. lingzhi, I. sanghuang, T. camphorates, and W. cocos… are all well-known large medicinal fungi," Wu adds. He also points out that the exhibition aims at reminding our people of the safety of using fungi.

A whole new world of discovery awaits you. Large Medicinal Fungi exhibition introduces more than 30 medicinal fungi species to you, with objects or illustrations. Learn about how medicinal fungi become certified as health foods, phytomedicines, or western medicines, find out the new taxonomic discovery, delve into methods for extracting the effective ingredients of large medicinal fungi, get to grips with how fungi can save the world. Plus, a 13-minute film tells you about the collecting, identification, and preservation of fungal specimens. There are more…

Large Medicinal Fungi is the first major exhibition in Taiwan to focus on the fascinating and diverse world of medicinal fungi and their relationship with humans and the planet. Join us for a rare look at the remarkable world of mycology in the Museum's 3rd exhibition gallery. Prepare to be shocked and surprised, and enjoy other extensive programs and events.

  • Admission: FREE with gallery tickets
  • Guided tours: 11am & 2pm

Large Medicinal Fungi is organized by the National Museum of Natural Science, and presented with special thanks to Dr. Huang Guan-chung, Dr. Chen Chi-chen, Dr. Chu Yu-min, Ms. Lo-ching, Prof. Chou Li-ping, Prof. Mao Hsiao-lan, and Prof. Chang Hsiao-ching.
Additional support is generously provided by Rich Year, Taiwan Leader Biotech, Grape King INC., and Po-Zone.