Incorporating Medicinal Mushrooms into the Diet
Using certain mushrooms for their medicinal properties is nothing new. In fact they have been a part of the human race’s quest for health and longevity for thousands of years.
Briefly checking out the History of Medicinal Mushrooms revealed Egyptian hieroglyphics show mushrooms as the ‘plant’ (they are actually herbs) of immortality, and were eaten only by nobles and pharaohs.
In ancient China, mushrooms, particularly Reishi, were revered as tonic herbs by Taoist shamans and emperors, They were forbidden to common folk (because they were rarity and they were reserved for healers and royalty).
‘Food Trends of 2018’ predictions released by American giant Wholefoods Chain, shone a spotlight on Functional Mushrooms ranking it at number 3. Medicinal mushrooms are well and truly 'on trend'!
But there's a lot of trends that come as fast as they go and in my opinion, probably aren't worth the $$ you spend on them!
So why exactly are medicinal mushrooms worth incorporating into the diet, you ask?
Here’s an overview of my fave medicinal (also known as functional) mushrooms and their main benefits.
Medicinal mushrooms are adaptogenic! This means they help to increase resistance within the body to a wide range of stressors and normalise body functions via their effects on the HPA axis and the sympathoadrenal system. In simple terms medicinal mushrooms help your body cope with stress better and reduce the effects of stress on the body's organs! 110% important in our busy lives today!!
Lets look at some of the AMAZING benefits medicinal mushrooms offer!
Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum)
Known as the Mushroom of immortality
It has the longest record of medicinal use in the world (China and Japan)
Contains polysaccharides that feed immune system
Contains terpenoids (that’s why it tastes bitter) which are anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant
Adaptogen - helpful for stress and anxiety
Helps stimulate and regulate sleep cycles (great for insomnia!)
Supportive of the liver
Great for seasonal allergies and mould problems, helps respiratory system
Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus)
Promotes neurological health
Supports Heart and Circulatory System Health
Used by monks to help them focus during meditation
Looks like a brain and that's what it helps. Studies show it has a positive impact on neurodegenerative diseases.
Shiitake (Lentinula edodes)
Renowned for its support of the immune system
Helps body respond to and eliminate damaged cells
The pharmaceutical 'Lentinan' was extracted from shiitake and is now the third most widely prescribed anticancer drug in the world
Chaga (Inonotus obliquus)
Used in herbal remedies in Europe, Asia and North America. Used in Russia medically since 16th Century.
Contains betulinic acid, which boosts the immune system and is considered antiretroviral, antimalarial, and anti-inflammatory
Contains massive amounts of melanin which is a powerful antioxidant and gives Chaga its DNA-protecting benefits
Aids blood sugar balance
Helps body respond to damaged cells
Was traditionally used topically to treat wounds
Cordyceps (Cordyceps Sinesis CS-4)
Energy - has an anti-ageing and stamina-building effect and is great for recovery
Assists athletic performance by increasing oxygen uptake - is a great lung tonic for breathing issues too, like asthma
Helps modulates cholesterol levels
Those yaks know what’s good for them… when the snow in the mountains melt, yaks in Asia start heading uphill. At 14,000-16,000 feet they find cordyceps and feed on it.
Known as the ’Mushroom of Life’ from Brazil
Helps support the immune system
Helps remove toxic cells from the body
Super high levels of beta glucans (most of any mushroom)
Maitake (Grifola frondosa)
Worth it’s weight in silver in Japan - highly prized
Useful when combined with ginseng to regulate blood sugar
High in Vitamin D
Helps body respond to damaged cells
Supports digestive organs
Just how you incorporate these amazing herbs (yes mushrooms are considered herbs) into your life is up to you. I have noticed an increasing variety of fresh mushrooms available in New World so its worth checking out your local supermarket to see what they stock.
The easiest way to get all of the above mushrooms sourced from the wild is through Superfeast Mason's Mushrooms. This is a powdered form of all the above mushrooms and is very potent. You can start by adding 1/2 tsp to hot water to make an instant tea (sweeten if desired), or add to smoothies, juices, soups, coffee, hot chocolates or your favourite recipe for a healthy boost, worthy of nobles and emperors. After incorporating this amazing product into me and my families diet for the last couple of years I'm continually amazed with positive health and wellness support they provide!
For those that like live videos check out Mason from Superfeast instructing on how to make the ultimate tasty mushroom Hot Chocolate here