Mushrooms are not just a tasty addition to our meals but also hold significant health benefits. With their unique properties, these fungi are now being recognized as 'medicinal mushrooms'. In recent years, there has been a resurgence in the use of mushrooms for their therapeutic properties, and it can be overwhelming to know which ones are best suited for our individual needs. In this blog post, we will explore the most popular medicinal mushrooms and their benefits, to help you make informed decisions about incorporating them into your lifestyle.
Medicinal mushrooms have been used in traditional medicine practices for centuries. They contain bioactive compounds that have therapeutic properties, such as polysaccharides and beta-glucans. Here are some of the most popular medicinal mushrooms and their properties:
Reishi mushroom is commonly known as the "queen of mushrooms". It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years and is known for its calming properties. Reishi is believed to help improve sleep quality and reduce stress and anxiety.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that is also classified as a medicinal mushroom. It is known for its stress-reducing properties and is believed to help improve energy levels and support overall health.
This mushroom contains withanolides, which are responsible for its stress-reducing properties. It is believed that withanolides can help reduce cortisol levels in the body, which are commonly referred to as the "stress hormone." By reducing cortisol levels, ashwagandha mushroom can help improve energy levels and reduce feelings of fatigue.
Chaga, the King of Mushrooms in Northern European traditional medicine, is highly favoured among fungi enthusiasts, despite its dissimilar appearance to a typical mushroom.
This fungus thrives in colder climates, specifically on the bark of birch trees, and is recognized by its exterior resembling burnt charcoal. However, the true treasure lies within, as its beautiful orange hue holds powerful healing properties.
Chaga is a rich source of antioxidants, boasting one of the highest contents of any food. Its antioxidants help to safeguard DNA, slow down the aging process, and even offer protection against UV-light damage to the skin. In fact, Chaga's ORAC score (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) is three times higher than that of acai berries.
Cordyceps mushroom is known for its energy-boosting properties. It is believed to improve physical endurance, reduce fatigue, and improve respiratory health.
This mushroom contains cordycepin, which is responsible for its energy-boosting properties. It is believed that cordycepin can help increase the production of ATP in the body, which is the primary source of energy for cells. By increasing ATP production, cordyceps mushroom can help improve energy levels and reduce feelings of fatigue.
Lion's Mane Mushroom:
Lion's Mane mushroom is a unique mushroom that is said to have cognitive-boosting properties. It is believed to improve memory, focus, and concentration, making it a popular choice for brain health support.
This mushroom contains hericenones and erinacines, which are responsible for its cognitive-boosting properties. It is believed that these compounds can help stimulate the growth of nerve cells in the brain, which can help improve cognitive function.
Incorporating these medicinal mushrooms into your diet can offer numerous health benefits. By understanding the unique properties of each mushroom, you can make informed decisions about which ones are best suited for your needs. Mushroom stacking is also a popular trend in the world of medicinal mushrooms, which involves combining different mushroom species to enhance their therapeutic effects.
For example, combining Reishi and Ashwagandha would be good to have before bed to improve both relaxation and promote sleep .
Mushroom stacking can also provide a more comprehensive approach to reaping their benefits. So, to shroom or not to shroom? It's up to you, but with the many benefits they offer, it's definitely worth considering incorporating medicinal mushrooms into your lifestyle.