How much do we know about fungi?
Well, medicinal mushrooms have been used for their healing benefits hundreds of years in many ancient civilizations. Today they are gaining ever-wider popularity. This new interest is stimulated by the large number of scientific studies that have been conducted on medicinal mushrooms. These studies have confirmed the traditional uses of many of them and have even found new applications in some cases. When you take care of your health, whatever problem you may face, the right combination of mushrooms will help you improve your condition. The kingdom of mushrooms is such a vast and complete entity and has the capacity to change your life in an immediate, powerful, and exponentially beneficial manner.
Since the beginning of mankind nature is the most important source of medicine. Bioactive compounds produced by living organisms can be successfully used as a functional food and be a significant part of our life. Medicinal mushrooms are a special type of fungi that are scientifically shown to have a wide range of benefits in the human body. While there are more than 1500 species of edible mushrooms on the planet, only a small handful have the remarkable properties that categorize them as ‘medicinal ‘. Presently medicinal mushrooms are mainly used as dietary supplements or part of the diet. From bringing balance and restoration to your immune system, boosting oxygen flow and enhancing your creative and mental acumen to regulating your blood sugar, reducing your stress levels and improving your quality of sleep, there’s almost nothing medicinal fungi can’t do
Medicinal mushrooms are a source of many nutrients. They nourish your body at a fundamental level. Additionally, they possess several bioactive compounds, such as polysaccharides, flavonoids, terpenes, phenolic compounds, and alkaloids. Notably, β-glucan, a polysaccharide commonly present in mushrooms, has been studied for its immune-stimulating and prebiotic properties. The most known and studied species of mushrooms and the once we call our Heroes include: Chaga (Inonotus obliquus), Cordyceps (Ophiocordyceps Sinensis), Lion’s Mane (Hericium Erinaceus), Reishi (Ganoderma lingzhi), Turkey Tail (Coriolus Versicolor), Shiitake (Lentinula edodes), Maitake (Grifola frondosa) and Oyster Mushroom.
Hericium Erinaceus a culinary and medicinal mushroom is a well-established candidate for brain and nerve health. Lion’s Mane is truly one of a kind. There is no other herb or mushroom that’s been found in nature that seems to have the same effect on stimulating the production of nerve growth factor and brain-derived neurotrophic factor. Mounting evidence points to this mushroom as helping to support cognitive functioning, boost mental focus and improve memory. Lion’s Mane mushroom benefits may also help to alleviate anxiety and depression through its powerful effects on reducing inflammation. Studies are showing that it may achieve its effects on the mood by upregulating neurogenesis in the hippocampus. Lion’s Mane shows anti-aging effects both directly and indirectly by generally supporting overall health and well-being. Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease and Repairs the Gut. Lion’s Mane, like most medicinal mushrooms, contains beta-glucans and polysaccharides indicated to help support healthy immune functioning.
Traditional Chinese Medicine considers Chaga mushroom one of the most powerful antioxidants on Earth acting as a super adaptogen, giving the body what it needs to return to its natural state. Chaga has the ability to improve the immune response, lower high blood sugar and combat abnormal and mutagenic cell growth. The antioxidant concentration of Chaga is statistically unrivaled among naturally occurring foods. It’s 45x higher than acai berries, 80x higher than pomegranates, and 1,300x higher than blueberries. Chaga is rich in polysaccharides, which help our body to convert food into usable energy, leaving us with a more enduring & sustained mental energy. This mushroom is also high in Beta Glucans, which may promote white blood cell activation and catalyze the growth of healthy new skin cells. Chaga has the capacity to reduce inflammation and to multitask on so many levels making it very powerful for the body. It supports your adrenal system, and aids in a positive response to stress and stress hormones.
Reishi (or lingzhi), also called the “mushroom of immortality,” exhibit a full array of the qualities. Reishi has been recognized as a medicinal mushroom for over 2000 years, and its powerful effects have been documented in ancient scripts. One of the most important effects of the reishi mushroom is that it can boost your immune system. It also reduced fatigue and depression. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is believed that the mushroom will provide a long healthy, happy and vibrant life for the individuals who use it. Reishi can be used as a supporting supplement with many chronic diseases as well as cancer. This mushroom is considered a tonic for Qi, or vital energy.
Shiitake mushrooms have been seen as a natural remedy in alternative medicine for centuries. This type of edible fungus is the second most commonly cultivated mushroom in the world. Research has shown that shiitake mushrooms contain phytochemicals that can protect the DNA from oxidative damage. Lentinan is one of the most important vital components found in shiitake mushrooms; Lentinan is a highly purified polysaccharide that is known for its use in cancer treatment. Shiitake is very powerful in regulating cholesterol and blood sugar. It has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties and protects your liver.
Turkey tail is the most extensively researched of all medicinal mushrooms with many clinical trials showing impressive results. This mushroom is rich in beta-glucans and polysaccharides which help to support the small intestines function to fight against bacteria and viruses. It also contains prebiotics, which help nourish beneficial bacteria of the gut. Many studies have concluded that Turkey’s tail can be beneficial with some types of cancer and it is a powerful antioxidant.
Cordyceps is highly valued in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is used to treat respiratory disorders, male sexual problems, anemia, irregular heartbeat, high cholesterol, dizziness. Cordyceps is considered to be an immune modulator and adaptogen that promotes overall endocrine health, and it is used to support the liver and kidneys. According to some studies, the polysaccharides from Cordyceps has an anti-fatigue effect and anti-aging potential. Another amazing property is that this mushroom can balance blood sugar and has the potential to be the functional food for diabetes. We have to mention that Cordyceps protect your cardiovascular system and fights inflammation.
These medicinal mushrooms have been associated with a wide variety of health benefits, from regulating blood sugar to dropping cholesterol levels. They are also considered adaptogens, meaning that they contain powerful properties that can help naturally restore and balance the body to promote better health. The fruiting bodies of maitake mushrooms are rich in polysaccharides, in particular beta-glucans. They help the immune system to rapidly and efficiently fight against illness. When taken every day, maitake could keep the immune system in perfect shape. As part of its antioxidant characteristics, maitake mushrooms may help people who deal with chronic inflammation issues regularly. Maitake is a true superfood.
Oyster mushrooms have been studied extensively and support health in a number of ways. They contain polysaccharides and beta-D-glucans. These powerful compounds naturally boost the immune system. Oyster Mushrooms have a natural cholesterol-reducing effect and have significant antibacterial activity. Polysaccharides within the oyster mushrooms have shown potent anti-tumor properties. They also helo with lowering blood sugar and this makes them an ideal food for any individual wishing to combat diabetes naturally. Oyster mushrooms have been found to have a relaxation effect on the smooth muscle of the arterial walls, thus effectively lowering blood pressure. With all these health-enhancing and medicinal properties Oster mushrooms are the perfect functional food source.