Nature provides us medicine. In Western cultural we have somewhat lost that connection with nature and all of the amazing healing products Mother Earth produces for us, like mushrooms! Mushrooms are truly amazing from a scientific perspective, but also the impact they can have on the body.
Why are Mushrooms Medicinal?
Medicinal mushrooms are a diverse group of fungi that have been used for centuries in traditional medicine for their healing properties. They are rich in polysaccharides, which are complex sugars that are believed to have immune-boosting properties. They also contain beta-glucans, which are thought to help the body fight off disease. In addition, many mushrooms contain antioxidants and other beneficial compounds.
Types of Medicinal Mushrooms
Some of the most well-known medicinal mushrooms include:
- Shiitake – Rich in antioxidants and have been shown to boost the immune system and lower cholesterol levels. Additionally, they high in lentinan, a polysaccharide that has been shown to have anti-tumor properties. They also contain a compound called eritadenine, which has been shown to lower cholesterol levels.
- Reishi – also known as “the mushroom of immortality,” have anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties and are often used to improve overall health and well-being. It is also used to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It is also used to help with anxiety and insomnia.
- Maitake – Known is known for its ability to boost the immune system. It is also used to help lower blood sugar levels and is thought to have anti-tumor properties.
- Chaga – High in antioxidants and are used to fight inflammation and improve overall health.
In addition to these mushrooms, there are many other medicinal mushrooms that have been studied for their potential health benefits. Some of these include the cordyceps mushroom, which is thought to have anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties, and the turkey tail mushroom, which is believed to have anti-tumor properties.
Incorporate Medicinal Mushrooms Into Your Diet
There are many ways to use mushrooms medicinally. They can be consumed as a food, taken as a supplement, or used as a tea. When using mushrooms medicinally, it is important to use a high-quality product that has been tested for purity and potency.
Not sure where to begin? Keep it simple start with the common mushrooms like portobellos that you find in your local grocery store. This type of mushroom is loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidant phytonutrients including copper, selenium and B vitamins. Not only are they packed with good for your nutrients they are super tasty! Especially if you are trying to cut down on your meat consumption, these are a great alternative for a plant-based alternative with a meaty texture.
Usage of Medicinal Mushrooms
One of the most well-known medicinal uses of mushrooms is in the treatment of cancer. Several studies have shown that certain mushroom extracts can slow the growth of cancer cells and even cause them to die. For example, the polysaccharides found in shiitake mushrooms have been shown to have anti-tumor properties.
Additionally as noted above medicinal mushrooms have been linked to:
- Boosting the immune system and increase the ability to fight off disease and infection
- Decreasing and preventing inflammation in the body
- Improve athletic performance by increasing the amount of oxygen in the body, which reduces the feeling of fatigue
Takeaway on Medicinal Mushrooms
Mushrooms are an all natural product that have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, and recent scientific research has begun to uncover the mechanisms behind their medicinal properties. Mushrooms are rich in polysaccharides and beta-glucans, which have anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. They also contain antioxidants and other beneficial compounds. They can be consumed as a food, taken as a supplement, or used as a tea. It is important to use a high-quality product that has been tested for purity and potency.
It’s worth noting that while mushrooms have many potential medicinal properties, more research is needed to fully understand how they work and how they can be used to treat various health conditions.