Ethnomycology and nutraceutical potential of indigenous edible mushrooms of Rakai district, Uganda.
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Structured interviews were used to collect ethnomyocological information in Rakai district southern Uganda, west of Lake Victoria. Edible mushrooms were then locally identified and collected for laboratory analyses of chemical composition and antibacterial activities. Volvariella speciosa and Podabrella microcarpa were used in traditional medicinal practice with the latter having an important cultural significance in respect to traditional ceremonies. Analysis of demographic data showed that there was a direct proportional relation between age of interviewed respondents and the number of mushrooms they reported knowledge about. Nutritional assays showed that indigenous edible mushrooms of Rakai had higher amounts of carbohydrates than other macronutrients tested, while agar well assays revealed antibacterial effects of four methanol mushroom extracts against all test bacteria. The lowest microbial inhibitory concentration of 15.625mg/ml was in Volvariella speciosa. The most susceptible bacteria to the mushroom extract was Pseudomonas aeroginosa while Escherichia coli was the most resistant. In conclusion indigenous edible mushrooms are an important aspect of traditional medicine and cultural ceremonies with a potential antibacterial capacity that needs to be further explored.