For thousands of years Easterners have used medicinal mushrooms, which of late have gained popularity in the Western world. Medicinal mushrooms should preferably not be eaten whole or raw but rather taken as a tinctures. Each strain of mushroom is unique and provides various health benefits that includes building the immune system, boosts brain power, helps with hormone disorders, high in antioxidants and so much more.
All medicinal mushrooms contain dietary antioxidants such as selenium, vitamins A and C and beta-glucans among other amazing benefits. Studies have shown that mushrooms contain a type of lectin that identifies cancer cells which in turn prevents these cells from dividing and growing. Although research is ongoing, there are still areas that remain inconclusive.
Medicinal mushrooms are not quick fixes, as more research needs to be carried out due to the concept being relatively new in Western medicine. Mushrooms can be used for strengthening the immune system. inflammation and have also been used to improve the survival of cancer subjects. There is well over a hundred species of medicinal mushrooms being studies across the globe to establish their full healing potentials.
Lets take a look at some of the more well known medical mushrooms and their health benefits:
Reishi Medicinal Mushrooms
This species of fungus can help with anxiety, focus, insomnia and depression due to the compound triterpene. This mood boosting compound helps to encourage better sleep patterns, eases depression and alleviates anxiety. Reishi mushrooms help keep the immune system strong and may also aid in weight loss. The list of health benefits are many, of which the most unique is it’s positive effect on the nervous system.
Lions Mane Mushrooms
Lions Mane is well know for it’s production of myelin that creates insulation around the nerve fibers and the production of NFG (a bio-protein nerve growth factor). Like most medicinal mushrooms, this fungi strengthens the immune system and is packed with antioxidants. Studies have revealed that Lions Mane improves memory, cognition and concentration levels, in addition to reducing irritability and anxiety.
The Popular Shiitake Mushrooms
Shiitake mushrooms are by far the most popular for the many health benefits they offer. This strain of mushroom lowers LDL as the compounds have inhibitors that absorb cholesterol production in the liver. Shiitake also produces phytonutrients, which aid in the prevention of plaque build up, which helps maintain healthy circulation, blood pressure, heart and dental health. Studies have shown that the polysaccharide lentinan has been successfully used with chemotherapy for people with gastric cancer, which was found to extend their survival rate.
Chaga Mushrooms for Free Radicals
When it comes to oxidation and fighting free radicals, chaga mushrooms is one of the most popular choices. Studies have revealed that chaga slows and inhibits cancerous growth cells, and also reduces inflammation in people suffering from inflammatory bowel disease. Chaga has been used extensively for it’s anti aging properties. Benefits such as lowering cholesterol, combating oxidative stress and slowing the growth and division of cancer cells has been well documented.
Always confirm with your health practitioner if taking mushroom tinctures, salts or other is safe, especially if you are pregnant or taking other medications. Side effects such as allergies or an upset stomach can be caused by certain mushrooms strains.