Mushrooms are nutritional powerhouses with a myriad of health benefits including the following:
- Immune support*
- Full of antioxidants*
- Helps to manage blood sugar*
- Support brain health and cognition*
- Support the nervous system*
- Increase energy and stamina*
Lion’s Mane: The Mushroom for the Mind
Species name: Hericium erinaceus
Main Health Benefit: Supports healthy brain function*
Lion’s Mane is rich in a multitude of important compound: beta-glucans, which are responsible for antitumor growth, immuno-modulating antioxidants and neuro-protective chemicals*. Oxidative stress, which these compounds protect against, is closely related to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease *. Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) synthesis in nerve cells may be induced by certain compounds (hericenones and erinacines) found in Hericium erinaceus, thus making Lion’s Mane an amazing helper with the development and function of nerves because of its neurotrophic factors. .
Historical Medicinal Use
Lion’s Mane, or Hericium erinaceus, is a species of mushroom that is beautiful in appearance, it has long cascading shaggy spines resembling a waterfall. Lion’s Mane grows on the trunks of hardwood trees in Northern forests and has been used in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) for millennia and has become a well-established candidate in promoting positive cognitive function.
Turkey Tail: The Mushroom of Multiple Colors
Species name: Trametes Versicolor
Main Health Benefit: Boosts immune system function
Turkey tail improves immune function by stimulating cytokine production, increasing natural killer cells and other immune boosting functions*.
Medicinal and Historical Uses
Turkey Tail mushroom, or Trametes Versicolor, is one of the most well researched medicinal mushrooms. It grows on dead logs worldwide, and receives its name because its rings of brown and tan look like the tail feathers of a turkey. In TCM (traditional Chinese Medicine) turkey tail has been used for treating lung disease, and in Japan, the drug PSK, which is derived from turkey tail has been used to strengthen the immune system when given with standard cancer treatment *. China also has a similar drug called PSP. Turkey tail contains one of the highest amounts of beta-glucans for all mushrooms, which will help keep our immune systems healthy when used over an extended period of time *.
Reishi: The Mushroom of Immortality
Species name: Ganoderma lingzhi
Main Health Benefit: Sleep aid and potent immunomodulator*
Much of the polysaccharides in reishi mushroom are associated with immune functions, and if taken over time can significantly support the immune system*. It is also known to improve sleep, reduce stress and fatigue*.
Historical and Medical Use
Reishi or Ganoderma lingzhi, has been recorded for its use for around 2000 years. Most notably used in China by Taoist monks to promote calmness, as well as enhance their meditative practices. It has even been used by Chinese royalty who sought longevity and held Reishi or “the mushroom of immortality” in high esteem. Reishi was listed the most cherished among the superior herbs, that are considered to prolong life, prevent aging, boost qi, and make the body light .
*Disclaimer: The statements made in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information in this article is intended for educational purposes. The information is not intended to replace medical advice offered by licensed medical physicians. Please consult your doctor or health practitioner for any medical advice.