Mushrooms have been used for medicinal purposes for hundreds (if not thousands) of years.
There is a great deal of recent research surrounding mushrooms and their potential therapeutic benefits for a variety of conditions such as cancer, digestive health conditions, liver conditions, and autoimmune issues.
Medicinal mushrooms are antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral in nature.
Certain types of mushrooms, especially reishi, are also considered adaptogens that lower cortisol, which means they can help your body to deal with stress and keep your mood more upbeat. Mushrooms can also lower inflammation that can trigger a decline in cognitive function, mood problems, low energy and age-related neurodegenerative diseases.
Benefits of medicinal mushrooms
Mushrooms can inhibit tumor formation, protect DNA from damage and stop cell mutation, all while protecting healthy cells and increasing the body’s ability to detoxify itself of dangerous substances.
Improve Immunity and Lower Inflammation
Mushrooms can enhance almost every system in the body and protect you from numerous diseases since they’re associated with lowered inflammation (which is really the root of most diseases). Mushrooms also help alkalize the body. And, they have the natural ability to fight dangerous bacteria and viruses.
Promote heart health
Many types of mushrooms help lower LDL “bad” cholesterol and keep arteries from hardening, which are risk factors for heart disease. They also contain potent phytonutrients that help keep cells from sticking to blood vessel walls and forming plague buildup, which maintains healthy blood pressure and improves circulation.
Improve brain function and energy booster
Mushrooms are a great source of B vitamins, which help support adrenal function and turn nutrients from food into useable energy. B vitamin benefits include the ability to help with neurotransmitter function, which makes them stress-defying nutrients that help break through “brain fog,” prevent thyroid disorders and support a healthy metabolism.
How to use medicinal mushrooms?
Medicinal mushrooms can be taken in many way ways, from dried in whole form and brewed into tea to taken as capsules or powdered supplements. You can add them to your food, or if in powdered form to coffee/smoothies.
Most health food stores carry medicinal mushrooms in supplement form, and you can even grow your own medicinal mushrooms at home.
Commonly used medicinal mushrooms and their benefits
These are some of the major types of disease-fighting mushrooms you should try to regularly include in your diet for their protective, immune-enhancing effects.
Reishi can be used for improving sleep quality, calming the mind, and treating insomnia
Shiitake mushrooms contain many chemical compounds that protect your DNA from oxidative damage.
Chaga has been shown to prevent and treat cancer, support the immune system, is anti-viral and reduces inflammation.
Cordyceps reduce cortisol levels to help lower the stress response, but they’re also shown to improve oxygen uptake in the body, which is essential for boosting energy levels and improving mental focus and concentration
Lion’s mane is most often studied for its benefits on cognitive functions, with new studies pointing to its powerful abilities when used by people who have Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. It also supports gut health.