Mushrooms are a form of fungus that is a hugely popular culinary delicacy all over the world. The human consumption of mushrooms goes back to ancient times, and in ancient Egypt, the commoners are forbidden from consuming mushrooms as they are food for royalty. Several cultures around the world use mushrooms as part of their traditional medicine for healing a variety of ailments. Thousands of types of mushrooms grow in an assortment of shapes and sizes.
If you want to pick your mushrooms, you will need to be extremely prudent when seeking to forage mushrooms in the wild, as many species are extremely poisonous. It is difficult to recognize the toxic varieties from the edible mushrooms as many of them look alike, with only subtle differences. Consuming toxic mushrooms can result in mild physical discomfort to even fatal reactions inside your body.
Mushrooms can be extremely beneficial for improving the health of both the body and the mind. Every type of mushroom can provide different benefits and have an exclusive flavor and texture. You may store your mushrooms for a maximum of five days in a fridge inside a paper bag. You can also use mushroom powders or use mushrooms after drying to preserve them for longer. In this article, let us go through the seven medicinal mushrooms and their benefits.
7 Medicinal Mushrooms And Their Benefits
1. Reishi Mushrooms
Reishi mushrooms are one of the most beneficial medicinal mushrooms which is also known as the mushroom of immortality in ancient China. These mushrooms have a bitter taste and a hard texture, but they have immense medicinal properties. Reishi mushrooms boost the immune system due to the presence of beta-glucans and also exhibit antiviral and antibacterial properties. They can help to relax and soothe the nervous system and exhibit anti-inflammatory properties due to the presence of terpenoids.
Reishi mushrooms grow naturally on wood in the wild and it is not possible to consume these mushrooms raw due to their bitter taste. You may mix a spoon of Reishi mushrooms along with a cup of tea or soup or purchase our Reishi liquid extract for easy consumption. These mushrooms also have anti-cancer and anti-aging properties due to the presence of antioxidants.
2. Chaga Mushrooms
Chaga mushrooms commonly grow on the bark of birch trees and Siberian shamans use it as traditional medicine and call it ‘The gift of heaven’. Chaga mushrooms have a high content of betulinic acid and melanin that boosts the immune system and aids the body to reorganize cells with damage for healing. The mushroom resembles coal more than a mushroom and the color is black on the outside and orange on the inside.
The most common way to consume Chaga mushroom is by making mushroom tea ( or Chaga hot chocolate ) and you may even add it to protein balls, sweet treats, bread, workout smoothie, or your coffee. Chaga mushrooms contain a rich assortment of vital nutrients and minerals which can provide anti-aging effects and also lower your blood sugar levels. Chaga mushrooms are also helpful in treating topical wounds and swellings as well as in fighting cancer.
3. Shiitake Mushrooms
Shiitake mushrooms are the most recognizable type of medicinal mushroom that is a common ingredient in Asian cuisine. These mushrooms lower cholesterol and decrease the risk of cancer and you can consume it by including in your soups and stir fries. Shiitake mushrooms can be highly beneficial for liver and heart health as well as improve longevity and blood circulation.
Lentinan is an active polysaccharide ingredient in Shiitake mushrooms that is present in most anti-cancer drugs around the world. Shiitake mushrooms are a rich source of Vitamin B and they can be beneficial in lowering inflammation and blood sugar levels. These mushrooms also aid plaque removal and boost the immune system against viral infections.
4. Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
These mushrooms have a similar appearance to the mane of a lion, which gives rise to its unique name. These mushrooms can grow shaggy white manes and can grow to large sizes. The most crucial benefit of the lion’s mane mushroom is its benefits for brain function and cognitive abilities. The insides of the mushrooms look akin to a cauliflower when cutting open. Lion’s mane mushrooms can even slow down the growth of cancer cells and rebuild nerve cells with damage, according to the National Institute of Health.
5. Cordyceps Mushroom
Cordyceps mushrooms are popular in the athletic community due to their effects in improving cellular performance, blood oxygenation, endurance, and lowering recovery times. You can consume the Cordyceps mushroom by adding it to hot water to make a nutritious mushroom tea. These mushrooms are also beneficial in fighting cancer such as leukemia.
6. Turkey Tail Mushrooms
The turkey tail mushrooms are in use in Japan from the last three decades in cancer treatment. Several studies around the world are researching the usefulness of this mushroom in fighting cancer. These mushrooms have stripes on them, giving it the appearance of Turkey tails and can help in fighting hair loss and nausea from chemotherapy.
7. Psilocybe Mushroom
Psilocybe Cubensis also goes by the name of magic mushrooms and it exhibits beneficial psychological effects on consumption. These mushrooms are useful in treating nicotine, cocaine, and alcohol addiction. Psilocybin can also be useful for treating a variety of psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety, and fear of death in patients with terminal illnesses such as cancer.
Psilocybin mushrooms promote a high degree of openness after consumption of high doses, according to a study. Various cultures around the world use the psilocybe mushrooms for their medicinal and therapeutic effects since ancient times. Even a single dose can have effects that relieve depression and its symptoms permanently. You can also feel an increase in your creativity due to experiencing altered states of consciousness.
Edible mushrooms are some of the most health-promoting foods on the planet and there are around 300 to 2000 varieties of edible mushrooms across the world. They provide a host of essential vitamins and minerals that are vital for the healthy functioning of the body. You can easily source the most common varieties of edible mushrooms from a farmer’s market, Woolworths, or other fresh produce stores.
Medicinal mushrooms you can buy as powders, capsules, or tinctures, we get Chaga from Siberia & use African Forest Medicinals or Harmonic Mycology tinctures & teas.
Mushrooms are beneficial in treating and preventing a variety of health conditions. An excess of 200 medical conditions is treatable with mushrooms according to research.
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