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Medicinal Mushrooms

Today’s topic is medicinal mushrooms – and no, I am not talking about the ones that were passed around at Woodstock in 1969 :)

We usually do not think of mushrooms as herbs, but as a fungus. But many of the world’s more than 38,000 species of mushrooms have medicinal uses, and they have been used for thousands of years. Some of the most common are:

• Shiitake- Immune system boosting, antiviral, may lower blood pressure and cholesterol, may alleviate environmental allergies, candida, the flu and colds. Has high levels of calcium, vitamin b2, and vitamin c.

• Reishi- Calms anxiety, anti-allergenic and antiviral, may boost your adrenal glands. Considered health tonic in China.

• Turkey Tail- Has been know to have cholesterol lowering effects, immune enhancing activity and is a powerful antioxidant

• Maitake- May reduce blood pressure and raise good cholesterol (HDL).

• Chaga- May help to prevent cancer. Has been used in Russia as a tonic, blood purifier and pain reliever.

• Oyster- May lower cholesterol, and can relax muscles and joints. Contains amino acids and vitamins b1 and b2.

• Cordyceps- May improve lung function, immune system stimulating, can boost metabolism.

There are many ways to consume these mushrooms. Shiitake, turkey-tail, maitake, and oyster are most commonly consumed through eating. Reishi and chaga are most often consumed through a tea, extract, or syrup. All of them can be found in capsule form. There are even capsules that contain more than one types of mushroom that are sold on Amazon- in fact, I just bought myself a bottle! Those benefits are too hard to resist!

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Darcy. “Medicinal Mushrooms: List of the Best Fungi and Their Healing Benefits.” A-Z List of Medicinal Herbs and Their Uses (Healing Herbs), 27 Apr. 2018, medicinalherbals.net/medicinal-mushrooms/.

“Medicinal Mushrooms (PDQ®)–Patient Version - National Cancer Institute.” Www.cancer.gov, 2 Mar. 2017, www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/patient/mushrooms-pdq.


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