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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