Medicinal mushrooms have been used in the traditional Chinese medicine for ages. They are called “medicinal” mushrooms because they are used to treat various types of diseases or conditions.
Medicinal mushrooms and fungi are thought to possess approximately 130 medicinal functions. Which is why we should really consider taking some of them.
There are hundreds of different types. The most important ones, that we want to have a closer look at today, are:
They all have on thing in common. Special ingredients that come with a load of health benefits. So far, the useful compounds found in mushrooms include different types of polysaccharides, sterols, lipids, proteins, and triterpenes. Eh what? No worries, we will explain what those ingredients are and how you can benefit from them. In fact, the mushroom polysaccharides and triterpenes are the most important ones.
Mushroom polysaccharides are basically carbohydrates. They have gotten the most scientific attention because of their ability to enhance a healthy cell’s ability to fight off viruses, cancer cells, and other foreign substances. So they act like little warriors fighting alongside your immune systems and thus protecting your body from infectious and severe diseases.
Triterpenes are also bioactive molecules found in medical mushrooms with an amazing ability. Various scientific studies have proven that they can help to fight cancer. There are really promising outcomes of studies showing the anticancer effect of those molecules. And that’s not their only benefit. They’ve also shown anti inflammatory properties.
This may sound to you like the usual blabla in articles about healthy food. And I have to admit that we scientists are quite impressed with those findings whereas a normal human being might be thinking… ok, so what? I dont have cancer, thank God.
I understand your point of view. Maybe just one fact to reflect on. Cancer is a disease that starts with the uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in the body. A process we don’t recognize by any chance. This is why it may take a very long time to diagnose cancer. And sometimes too long.
By now there is no 100% effective treatment against cancer. The only thing we can do is to try to avoid the probable causing effects, which are also not known 100% and to help our body avoiding the onset or further development. This is why, amongst others, all of the foods with anti-cancer properties are so important.
Let’s now have a look at the three different types of mushrooms we want to talk about today. We will not describe where they come from or other historic curiosities. The reason for this article is for you to know, why YOU should take them.
Reishi - Ganoderma lucidum
Reishi has shown various benefits, of which the most important ones are:
Lowering blood glucose levels: High blood glucose levels can lead to very uncomfortable situations, which are:
Weight gain: In general weight gain (We are talking about gaining body fat) is not the in the plan of many of us
Insulin resistance: This means your body can’t cope with glucose anymore.
Type II diabetes: In simple words, suffering from diabetes means having to control your diet day in day out and most likely having to inject yourself insulin. This is not fun guys.
Modulation of the immune system: Again little warriors fighting against possible invaders that can harm our body. But Reishi has also shown the ability to weaken the immune response if it gets out of control, like in case of allergies.
Hepatoprotection: Our liver is a very important and super busy organ. It is responsible for detoxifying our body (and there’s a lot of stuff to throw out nowadays…), but also to provide energy, produce hormones and many more. If someone could need a little help in there, the liver would be a perfect candidate.
Bacteriostasis: This means it stops bacteria from growing.
Sounds already quite impressing, doesn’t it?
We read many times about health benefits like the above mentioned but many readers, who are not scientists or maybe even those who are, do not know what it means to suffer from those diseases.
Just imagine you are not in control of your life anymore. You can’t do whatever you want, whenever you want. You can’t eat whatever you fancy right now, you can’t go out all night long and maybe drink a bit too much. Everything changes and you only wish it would go back to normal.
Maitake - Grifola frondosa
Maitake has shown particular promise as:
Adjunct to cancer therapy
HIV therapy: This is something special in Maitake. It is already used in Japan for HIV treatment, which is great because even if the treatment possibilities for HIV have advanced a lot and official campaigns lead to a dramatic decrease of people infected, it is still present.
There is also a lot of research that shows the anti-cancer and immune modulating effect of Mitake.
Shiitake - Lentinula edodes
For our third candidate, Shiitake we have also found a very promising health benefit that we want to make a bit more tangible for you.
Shitake has different compounds that help lowering cholesterol:
This is another one of those medical expressions many people don’t really know what to do with. It seems like almost everyone has high cholesterol and there are tons of products to lower cholesterol, but what does it really mean for your daily life to have high cholesterol? Cholesterol is a sticky substance, it is basically a fat. The problem with permanently high cholesterol is, that it can build up in your blood vessels. It disturbs the blood flow, which means for you that you may have less energy because of fewer nutrients and oxygen that is brought to your organs and worst case the plaque gets that big that it clogs the artery which leads to heart attack or stroke, depending on which artery it is.
Each of the mushrooms comes with its own properties, but there are many health benefits they all have in common. To sum up, we just want to mention three more, that we found especially interesting for young and active people like you are.
Medicinal mushrooms have antioxidant and radical scavenging properties
There are many things we can do for our health that are in our hand. But something we are exposed to risk factors that we can’t control. We are talking about pollution in big cities, toxins in food packings or pesticides on commercial fruit or veggies just to name a few. Toxic compounds that are invisible, untouchable, impossible to eliminate and thus very difficult to avoid. What they come with for sure is a damage to our health. This is why amongst other reasons, you should take antioxidants, to help the body eliminate those invisible dangers.
Medicinal mushrooms are used in cosmetics because of their beneficial ingredients
For the ladies out there (and of course also for the guys interested in this topic!) interesting to know is, that cosmetic companies use the bio active compounds of medicinal mushrooms for their activation of epidermal growth factor, antioxidative, anti‐allergic, antibacterial and anti‐inflammatory activities and stimulation of collagen activity. All of them help our skin to look radiant and youthful.
And the last topic we want to talk about, just in case you still need an argument to be convinced.
This goes to the active people and athletes out there, and we don’t make any differentiate those who practice weight training, marathon running or crossfit. Because they all face a certain problem at some point: Fatigue – or the point every athlete is scared of, the moment he can’t carry on.
Fatigue is the symptom of tiredness caused by physical and/or psychological stresses.
There are many theories why it comes to fatigue and by now none of them has been proved 100% right. And it doesn’t matter today, because what matters is, that medicinal mushroom can help to avoid fatigue.
That was a lot of information. Quite impressive those little guys, aren’t they? The best way to have your medical mushrooms is from organic powders. If there are ready to eat/drink ones with various mushrooms in it, perfect! Check out our Top Health Mix which doesn’t only include the three medical mushrooms mentioned in this article, but also a load of other foods that come with additional health benefits. Check our website for tasty recipes and you can start right away doing something really beneficial for your health.