If you need a good reason to eat mushrooms, look no further than the ancient art of Chinese medicine.
Thousands of years ago, our Chinese ancestors observed the results of ingesting certain fungi. They saw its incredible healing powers, and have been using these mushroom superfoods in Traditional Chinese Medicine ever since.
Nowadays in the Western world, we are all super modern, forward-thinking, well-informed individuals. We don’t like to believe the evidence of our own eyes without some serious science to back it up. Well, we have news for you.
Modern science has all sorts of multi-syllable words to throw at you to confirm that which the elders always knew. Medicinal mushrooms are good for you!
Medicinal Mushrooms are like the gods and goddesses in Olympus while ‘regular’ mushrooms are the normal people. They are playing in a different league. There are medicinal and nutritional benefits in all mushrooms, however, when it comes to the “Olympian” mushrooms there are some special traits.
Most medicinal mushrooms have a high concentration of the immunomodulating polysaccharide beta-glucan, which is the main reason why medicinal mushrooms are so potent in their healing properties and hence deserve to be called a superfood. They are also known for
just to name the most important benefits.
There are hundreds of ‘high league’ medicinal mushrooms, however, only a small number has been scientifically studied. Each medicinal mushroom also as a set of unique medicinal properties, five of which we will discuss below.
It’s all about managing your stress levels. Any kind of illness, mental or physical, puts stress on your body. Stress can come from external triggers such as pressure at work or home. It can come from an internal struggle, such as a hormone imbalance or an allergy.
The good news is that mushrooms and other adaptogenic herbs help your body to adapt to these stress levels. Medicinal mushrooms have certain properties that help to deal with this stress at a cellular level. They can play a vital part in keeping you as healthy as possible.
There is a variety of mushrooms growing under the cordyceps name. The best known is probably cordyceps militaris. This mushroom powerhouse gained a certain amount of notoriety when Chinese runners admitted to taking it before their performances in the 1993 Asian Games. They went on to break two world records by incredible amounts.
So, it comes as no surprise to hear that cordyceps are said to support stamina, endurance and energy levels. They are ideal for athletes, however, also for ‘normal’ people who just would like to feel more lasting energy in their lives.
In addition, cordyceps are a blessing for intimate relationships: they are known to increase sexual health, libido, hormonal balance and emotional stability. And it works for men and women. Marvelous!
Shop for cordyceps here.
As the king of mushrooms, chaga mushroom takes everything the medicinal mushroom family has in common to the next level.
The chaga king’s special troops are antioxidants and anti-viral properties.
Antioxidants fight free radicals. Free radicals are street gangs driving around looking for trouble. Given the chance, they will damage cells. Our king is on a mission to stop the gangs forming, thus heading off problems before they exist.
In our bodies, this means less inflammation, an improved immune system, even longevity and youthfulness. Take chaga-infused tea when it’s cold outside to combat sniffles and flu.
In a study, extract of chaga exhibited a marked decrease in herpes simplex infection – bye, bye cold sores! In another study it even showed effects on the HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and Hepatitis-C.
Shop for chaga here.
And now it’s reishi’s turn. What does reishi do?
Reishi is one of the most ancient Chinese medicinal mushrooms. It has attracted the most study in modern laboratories.
Our Chinese elders gave it the glorious name ‘queen of mushrooms’ or ‘the mushroom of immortality’. It is especially known for its anti-aging, vitalizing and peace inducing qualities.
The way we probably can most benefit from reishi these days is to take advantage of its calming yet clearing properties. If you feel overwhelmed or feel wound up over the day’s course, drink it down as a tea or infused with your hot chocolate. At night it’s ideal when you feel insomnia creeping up the stairs.
Shop for reishi here.
This particular mushrooms superpower is Nerve Growth Factor and it acts as a natural nootropic.
Lion’s mane mushroom may stimulate the growth and repair of nerve and brain cells. In rats, it has shown to reduce the size of brain injury caused by a stroke by 44%. Of course, improved nerves mean all sorts of improved functions, as the nervous system is a biological information highway.
In particular, lion’s mane mushroom may help to improve symptoms of memory loss and prevent damage caused by Alzheimer’s. Taken as a supplement, it can help with everyday brain fog, trouble concentrating, and mental fatigue. Ok, sold, I’ll take some of… What was I talking about?
Shop for lion’s mane here.
This funguy is named after its distinctive striped fan that resembles the feather formation of a wild turkey, however, the exoticness does not stop here. The Ancient Egyptians called this power mushroom the ‘sons of gods’, sent to protect them from harm.
While all medicinal mushrooms have immune boosting properties, turkey tail takes it a few notches up. Trametes versicolor, its botanical name, houses special compounds called PSK (Polysaccharide Krestin) and PSP (Polysaccharide Peptide). Theses polysaccharides form a special bug police among its fungal family.
Hence, turkey tail is said to be especially effective when it comes to fighting off viruses, harmful bacteria, parasites and cancer cells. Modern science slowly catches up with what our Chinese and Egyptian elders have known for thousands of years.
Shop for turkey tail here.
Medicinal mushrooms are not choosy about who they heal. When they’re running wild, as yet unpicked by human hopefuls, they’re busy sorting the planet out. Research shows that they are nature’s recyclers, in particular cleansing the soil of toxic heavy metals. They’ll do the same for you, so if you have heavy metal poisoning, munch a medicinal mushroom. They will detoxify your liver, colon, and kidneys.
I think that we’ve established that medicinal mushrooms are good for us. It’s time for some small print. As with anything you put in your body; choose carefully, use wisely. Not all medicinal mushroom powders are of high medicinal value. It depends on how it has been grown and how it was prepared. Pick your fungus based on quality. Use a reputable source.
Read “6 important tips for buying high quality Medicinal Mushrooms” to make an empowered decision.
Medicinal mushrooms have benefited and transformed many lives. They are a super supplement to your daily diet. Although many of them have a bitter taste, they come in powdered form and can be added to many foods and drinks. Add them to matcha, coffee, hot chocolate, tea or smoothies. Bake them into, well, whatever you feel like baking!
For delicious recipes, read here.