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The Magic of Medicinal Mushrooms - How to choose the right one for your health

The magic of medicinal mushrooms and how to choose the right one for your health

Medicinal mushrooms are making waves in the health and wellbeing scene. Whilst we are only just realising their amazing health benefits, all of them have a long history in traditional medicine. Each mushroom has numerous chemically active components that carry medicinal benefits, many of which are supported by science.

To help you choose the best mushroom to support your health, and without going into the full extent of each mushroom’s magic, here is a summary:

 

Chaga (Inonotus obliquus)
Chaga is a type of fungus that grows wild in places like Siberia, northern Canada, Alaska, and some northern areas of the United States. In nature they appear lumpy with an exterior that looks similar to burnt charcoal.

  • Helpful Properties: Antioxidant, immune stimulation, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and improves physical endurance.
  • Conditions it may help: Low immunity (caution with auto-immune conditions), viral infections, inflammatory conditions, easily fatigued when exercise and training.

 

Cordyceps (Cordyceps miltaris)
This mushroom is revered for its potent anti-aging, health-promoting properties. Cordyceps fungus is sometimes called the caterpillar fungus.

  • Helpful Properties: Increase immune function, improve athletic performance, support healthy sexual function, blood sugar regulation, cardiovascular health supportive and anti-oxidant.
  • Conditions it may help: Premature or aging quickly, inflammatory conditions, exercise and associated fatigue or muscle weakness, low libido and blood sugar imbalances.

 

Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus)
Is native to North America, Europe and Asia. In nature they look like white little scruffs, like that of a Lion’s mane.

  • Helpful properties: Brain enhancing, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immune stimulating properties.
  • Conditions it may help: Poor memory and cognition, neurodegenerative disease such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s and inflammatory conditions.

 

Maitake (Grifola frondosa)
Maitake mushrooms are a type of edible fungi that are native to China but are also grown in Japan and North America. Unique, frilly appearance, a delicate texture and an earthy flavour that works well in many different dishes.

  • Helpful Properties: Blood sugar balancing, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, immune boosting and fertility supportive.
  • Conditions it may help: Diabetes and insulin resistance, high cholesterol, low and poor immune system, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and fertility issues associated and high blood pressure.

 

Reishi (Ganoderma lucium)
Traditionally nicknamed as “mushroom or immortality” because of claims of enhancing longevity. When grown it appears as a large dark mushroom with a glossy exterior and woody texture.

  • Helpful properties: Immune system modulation, immune stimulant, anti-inflammatory, liver protective, anti-viral, anti-oxidant, cardiovascular tonic, hormone balancing and blood sugar support.
  • Conditions it may help: Immune conditions (rhinitis, asthma cough, glandular fever, colds and flus and respiratory infections), liver conditions, fatigue, high cholesterol, stress and blood sugar imbalances.

 

Shiitake (Lentinus edodes)
Shiitake mushrooms have been a popular food source in Asia. They’re the second most popular and the third most widely cultivated edible mushroom in the world.

  • Helpful Properties: Rich in B vitamins, cardiovascular disease supportive, anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal and hypolipidaemic (fat-reducing) effects
  • Conditions it may help: Obesity, low gut immunity (prone to gastro), high cholesterol, infections such as gingivitis, low energy.

 

Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor)
Named for the colourful palette of stripes, it looks like the feathers on a turkey. Turkey tail mushrooms have been brewed for thousands of years by the Chinese as medicinal teas.

  • Helpful Properties: Immune modulation, anti-viral and prebiotic.
  • Conditions it may help: cold and flu, viral infections such as HPV, digestive health and supporting beneficial bacterial.

 

Feel free to ask one of our qualified staff members to help you pick your perfect magic mushroom. We stock two wonderful ranges from Superfeast and Teexilir, both of which are delicious and easily enjoyed in smoothies, hot drinks, coffee and soups.

CLICK HERE to explore our range of mushrooms!

By Rachel Larsson
Naturopath & Nutritionist

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