Medicinal Mushrooms

Medicinal Mushrooms

 I  personally love mushrooms. Not so much the standard white button mushrooms available on grocery store shelves , I’m talking superfood mushrooms. The kind that grow in deep, dense forests and on fallen logs and trees. While the rest of the world has taken some time to warm up to these superfood, adaptogenic mushrooms, thankfully the tides are changing. Offering a host of benefits, from nutritional to emotional to physical, mushrooms could hold the key to health for people and the planet. But with a kingdom that contains over 5.1 million species of mushrooms and fungi, it’s understandable to feel a little confused. After all, not all of those species are edible. Some are poisonous, some are medicinal, some are psychedelic, and some are just plain tasty! Today I’m sharing seven of my favoirite edible mushrooms and their incredible benefits, along with some interesting history. If the mushrooms below leave you feeling intrigued, find even more mushroom education and delicious recipes in Tero Isokauppila’s book, Healing Mushrooms.

I’m going to tell you about his site and his wonderful, healthful mushroom blends. That is here

The seven mushrooms to take note of are:

Reishi

Need to chill out? Try reishi. Also called lingzhi in China, which signifies longevity and spirituality, reishi has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years, making it one of the oldest mushrooms to be used as medicine. While reishi grows in a variety of colours, it’s the red and black varieties that boast the greatest health benefits, due largely to their higher concentration of immune-supporting triterpenes and polysaccharides. With the ability to soothe nerves and stimulate sleep cycles, reishi could help you manage stress and get a good night’s sleep.

Cordyceps

Used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, wild cordyceps’ origin story reads like a science fiction novel: it begins its life as an endoparasitoid, meaning it grows as a parasite, typically on caterpillars (our cordyceps is much friendlier, we don’t use caterpillars in our production process and our products are vegan-friendly). Cordyceps has been linked to everything from improved athletic performance, to immune support and liver function.

Lion’s Mane

One look at lion’s mane mushroom and you’ll understand where it got it’s name. Fluffy, bright white, and typically found growing on hardwood trees, shaggy lion’s mane has a delicious meaty texture often used in cooking. But the benefits of lion’s mane extend far beyond your dinner plate! Often called “the smart mushroom,” lion’s mane is one of the only mushrooms with neuroprotective benefits, containing large amounts of compounds called erinacines, which stimulate the production of nerve growth factor (NGF). NGF is prevented from entering the brain by the blood-brain barrier, which is why it’s so important for the brain to synthesize the protein on its own to help protect against degeneration and maintain optimum function. This is the king of mushrooms for the aging Babyboomer’s to keep brain function and memory at its best.

Chaga

An outlier of sorts in the mushroom kingdom where warm and humid is the preferred climate of most fungi, chaga grows in cold environments, like Siberia, North Korea, Canada, and some colder parts of the United States. With chaga, the general rule is the more mature the chaga, the more potent and beneficial it is, taking between 15 to 20 years to fully age. Packed with antioxidants like beta-glucans, (remember what I told you about beta glucans) chaga is often brewed as a tea to help stimulate the immune system, although it can also be ground into a powder and consumed that way to reap the same amount of benefits.

Turkey Tail

Turkey tail mushroom looks just as you’d imagine it – like a fanned-out turkey tail with stripes of varying colors radiating out from the edges. A polypore, meaning the fruiting body grows on the underside of the mushroom, turkey tail grows on fallen and dead trees and is quite abundant worldwide. This mushroom is best used as a tea because of its super chewy texture, although turkey tail can be eaten as-is (if you really wanted to). Rich in immune-supporting beta-glucans, studies have found turkey tail could be effective in supporting cancer patients whose immune systems have been weakened by chemotherapy. Additionally, the prebiotics in turkey tail could support the microbiome, aiding digestion and encouraging growth of good bacteria.

Enokitake

Enoki for short, enokitake mushrooms are delicate white mushrooms with long, thin stems native to China, Japan, and Korea. Enoki are commonly used in cooking – in fact, you can find a tasty recipe for enoki mushroom fries in my new book, Healing Mushrooms – and have been found to contain a host of benefits along with their great flavor. Packed with B vitamins, enokitake mushrooms can help fill nutritional gaps in your diet, with 1 cup of enoki containing 23% the RDA of the B vitamin niacin, which could help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Tremella

Like cordyceps, tremella is a parasite, but instead of feasting on insects, this parasitic mushroom uses other fungi as its host. Classified as a “jelly fungi”, the fruiting bodies of tremella are gelatinous, gooey, and often silvery grey, earning it the nickname “silver ear mushroom”. Used for centuries as a beauty aid, tremella could help the body produce hyaluronic acid, which binds water to cells and lubricates joints. As we age, production of hyaluronic acid declines, resulting in dry skin and achy joints. Adding tremella to your routine could ease these aches and pains and rehydrate parched skin.

All the mushroom coffees, cocoa and elixirs are available and explained here

 

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Benefits of Lemons

The most powerful healing substances on this planet are masquerading as foods, and this is all the more true for fruits.  We’ve already written about The Amazing Healing Properties of 13 Common Fruits , including lemons, but it deserves its own article for a number of reasons.

Here are 12 reasons why it deserves respect as a cutting-edge medicine, and not just something found in refreshing beverages or as an indispensable ingredient in a number of culinary recipes. Lemon’s Evidence-Based Healing Properties Revealed:

1. It Can Lower Blood Pressure: Simply smelling this fruit has been found in lower blood pressure.

2. It Can Lessen Constipation: In combination with rosemary and peppermint essential oil, the smell of lemon has been found to relieve constipation in the elderly.

3. It Can Remedy Bad Breath: In combination with tea tree and peppermint essential oil, it can reduce malodour and sulphur compounds in the breath of intensive care patients.

4. It Can Reduce Esophageal Cancer Risk: Lemon, like all citrus fruits, contains physiological significant levels of flavones; Flavone intake has been found to be inversely associated with esophageal cancer risk.

5. Oral Yeast Infection: Lemon juice has therapeutic value in the treatment of oral thrush (oral candida infection) in HIV/AIDS patients.

6. It Can Dissolve Kidney Stones:  Lemonade therapy appears to be a reasonable alternative for patients with hypocitraturic nephrolithiasis (a type of kidney stone).

7. It Can Reduce Inflammation:  Lemon mucilage has significant in vivo and in vitro anti-inflammatory effects.

8. It Can Protect Your Heart: Lemon juice antioxidant and cardioprotective properties.

9. It Can Protect Against Cholera: Lemon juice is a biocide against Vibrio cholerae, the pathogen that can cause cholera.

10. It Is A Powerful Antioxidant and Prevents LDL Oxidation: Excessive oxidative stress is a contributing factor to accelerating aging, inflammation and a wide range of acute and chronic health conditions. One of the primary reasons why LDL cholesterol can cause heart disease is that it oxidizes LDL cholesterol, resulting in artherogenicity (the ability to damage the inner lining of the arteries). Lemon is a powerful antioxidant and is capable of preventing LDL oxidation.

11. It Can Help Lift Your Mood and Reduce Anxiety: Lemon oil possesses anxiety relieving (anxiolytic), antidepressant-like via modulation of neurotransmitters.

12. It Can Help You Maintain An Ideal Weight: Lemon peel polyphenols suppress diet-induced obesity, hyperlipidemia, hyperglycemia and insulin resistance.

In addition, lemon is also one of the most concentrated sources of food vitamin C on the planet. Unlike ascorbic acid – which is the synthetic form of vitamin C, commonly derived from GMO corn – lemon contains all the essential cofactors needed to provide the body the means to utilize it, and maximize its effectiveness in disease prevention and treatment (Pssssst. Please don’t tell the FDA, since its not approved to ‘prevent, treat, or cure any disease,’ and they wouldn’t’ look kindly on this statement).

And that isn’t all.  Here’s another list of 45 Benefits of Lemons  They are Amazing!

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Glutathione-There’s No Life Without It Natural Remedies For Peeps & Pets Flu & Cold Treatment
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