Mushrooms may not be the most appetising choice when it comes to boosting your health. But these little fungi are being hailed in health circles in recent years for their many amazing properties. There are so many reasons to add medicinal mushrooms to your diet. Not only are these nutritional powerhouses full of antioxidants but they're anti-inflammatory, are great for immune support, can help keep blood sugar balanced and can even do wonders for the skin. Convinced yet?
There are lots of varieties out there in supplement form. So today we're taking a look at three of the best medicinal mushrooms plus their many health benefits, to help you navigate the world of shrooms.
The Magic Of Mushrooms throughout History
Mushrooms have been used around the world for thousands of years for medicinal purposes from the ancient Egyptians to possibly even the Aztecs as far back at the 13th century. Mushrooms were typically taken to encourage good health, fight disease and encourage long life.
Although the fleshy mushrooms we see growing don't have a long shelf life, the mycelium from which they grow can live for hundreds of years. In fact, the largest known organism on Earth is the mycelium of an Armillaria Ostoyae (honey mushroom) in Eastern Oregon. It covers an expanse of 890 hectares, and is over 2,000 years old! Today, we are rediscovering the fascinating properties of mushrooms.
Medicinal Mushrooms & Why They're Good For You
Of the thousands of edible mushrooms around the world, more than a hundred are currently being studied to investigate their potential health benefits. We know that all mushrooms contain the immune supporting and inflammation fighting Beta Glucans.
But individual species of mushrooms all have their own benefits. Here are some of the most popular medicinal mushrooms available in supplement form in-store and online at Evergreen.ie.
Cordyceps is a fungus and has worldwide distribution. It is typically found in mountainous regions of China. Cordyceps was viewed as a tonic of all illnesses by the traditional healers of Sikkim. Of all the mushrooms popular in a supplement form, this is most likely to be ‘grown’ in a laboratory, ensuring that it can remain a vegan product and is produced ethically.
The benefits of Cordyceps are numerous. Aside from the excellent anti-viral and immune boosting properties, it can also work very well to support energy levels. Your stamina and endurance can be helped by Cordyceps as it works to promote better oxygen efficiency. It also can improve and support libido with its hormonal health benefits.
Lion’s Mane (also known as the Hedgehog mushroom and as Hericium Erinaceus) is named after its resemblance to its namesake. This is down to the long white strands which cascade from it. It belongs to the tooth fungus group. This medicinal mushroom has presented two special compounds in studies, hericenones and erinacines. These are thought to help stimulate the growth of brain cells.
Lion’s Mane was previously used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine as a brain tonic, as it was thought to help aid focus, memory, mood, and creativity. Aside from possibly enhancing cognitive function, this mushroom is also rich in antioxidants, could reduce feelings of irritability and anxiety. It may even support overall cellular health and the functioning of the hippocampus, the part of the brain in charge of memory processing and emotional reactions.
The reddish brown and almost fan-shaped Reishi mushroom (also known as Ganoderma Lucidum, and as ‘the mushroom of immortality’) is another well-known and revered mushroom in historical Asian medicine. In the past, only Royalty used it.
With an impressive range of benefits, Reishi is technically also an edible mushroom when fresh. However with a wooden and bitter flavour, it's not very palatable, and is more commonly taken in supplement form.
The properties of Reishi lend to a huge number of health benefits, including anti-bacterial, anti-viral and antioxidant actions. Reishi may also support your liver and gastric injuries, and can work to regulate blood glucose. Studies have shown that Reishi can also assist with anxiety, irritability, and even boost mood.
Medicinal mushrooms are available in supplement form at Evergreen. Shop them here.
Please note, this blog is for informational purposes only and should not replace medical advice.
It’s always best to consult your doctor before taking any new supplements, treatments or remedies if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or on medication.