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She’s an Ex-Addict Turned Forager, Her Anxiety is Gone: ‘Mushrooms Saved My Life’

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For 6 years, Jessika Gauvin used alcohol and drugs as a way to escape life and ignore past trauma.

But in April 2018, Jessika wandered into her local woods, in Moncton, New Brunswick and found being around nature gave her a “new perspective” on life.

The Canadian is now five years sober and dedicates her time to finding natural ways to reduce stress and trauma through mushrooms and other wild edibles.

The full-time forager even uses blended-down black trumpet mushroom as a spice for all of her dishes due to its high levels of nutrients like protein and potassium, as well as a unique kind of fiber called beta-glucan.

Part of her full-time occupation is teaching other adults and children how to pick mushrooms safely.

“Mushrooms saved my life,” says Jessika simply. “I used to spend every paycheck on getting wasted. Now I’m debt-free and have discovered what mother nature can offer. I now use fungi to treat my trauma.”

Jessika began drinking at an early age with friends, but the dependence grew as she started a family.

In March 2012, her first son Noah, now 11, was born at Moncton Hospital, with a second son Jasper being born in the same hospital just one year later.

She suffered from post-natal depression that led to 6 years serious of substance abuse when she regularly felt “incredibly tired and lonely” trying to raise both children, and turned to drugs and alcohol to relieve stress.

As the children grew up, Jessika noticed her dependency on alcohol left her sad and anxious “every hour of every day.”

After finally becoming sick of her own behavior, Jessika took herself to Moncton forest for guidance and dug her bare feet into the soil to connect with nature. On that day, she recalls, she decided to tackle her problems head-on with nature as a guide.

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