Photo Credit: Metagenics Insitute
Mushrooms grow from fungal spores that thrive in dark, decaying plant matter; some taking decades to pop their bodies up through the dirt. They are referred to as original technology and history says that way before there were trees on Earth, there was nothing but Earth covered in mushrooms. They even say that humans closely relate to mushrooms and that our DNA is almost 100% similar minus the stuff that gives us eyes, skin, and hair.
While some are poisonous, many of these fruiting bodies are known around the world to feed, cure, and enlighten mankind. They go beyond portabella, shiitake, and button mushrooms, in fact, there are over 14,000 types of mushrooms that we know of.
In those thousands of species, there are a few that are known as ‘medicinal mushrooms’, famous around the world for their medicinal value and benefits on human health and mental health.
Checkout 5 of the Best Legal Medicinal Mushrooms
Lion’s Mane mushrooms are known as mushrooms for the mind. Not a psychedelic mushroom, but definitely one that supports healthy brain function, lion’s mane is sometimes referred to as the CBD of psilocybin. They say lion’s mane is to psilocybin, what CBD is to THC.
In history, medical practitioners used lion’s mane mushrooms to heal people from physical ailments, digestion, water regulation, and stress disorders. Lion’s mane has also been used historically for concentration and food.
The benefits of lion’s mane mushrooms are plentiful, but the main benefit appears to be cognitive function.
Photo Credit: Vegetarian Times
Turkey tail mushrooms are beautiful, multi-colored fruiting bodies known to boost the immune system. These can be found growing in many regions around the world, mainly on dead logs.
In history, turkey tail mushrooms were used as medicine for digestive health, lung health, and vitality. In Japan and China, these fruiting bodies were used to strengthen the immune system.
The benefits of turkey tail mushrooms appear to be overall mind and body wellness.
Chaga is a mushroom that looks nothing like one. This is an adaptogenic fruiting body that has over 200 studies supporting its medicinal benefits: immune support, inflammation, digestion, to name a few.
In history, Chaga was used for stomach health and for skin health due to its high amount of melanin.
The benefits of chaga mushrooms include fighting cancer, lowering blood sugar, and lowering cholesterol.
Reishi mushrooms are gorgeous fruiting bodies that appear in 6 different colors, each color reishi representing a unique benefit. Reishi’s are known as the mushroom of immortality, supporting a long life, healthy aging, and calmness.
In history, reishi’s were used for meditative practices, to boost qi, and make the body light.
The benefits of reishi mushrooms has given them the associated title of: the King of Medicinal Mushrooms because of their total body healing power.
Cordyceps are the mushrooms that look like caterpillar’s. These fruiting bodies are considered energy because they provide a high level of ATP, the compound that gives energy to human cells.
In history, cordyceps were considered a treasure, and used as a tonic to improve energy, stamina, and appetite.
The benefits of cordyceps mushrooms appear to be heavy on the physical body, and is also said to be a good supplement for exercise and physical performance.
Photo Credit: Birch Community
Medicinal Mushrooms Research and Studies
Harvard EDU published information regarding mushrooms and health, and stated:
“Two epidemiological studies found that higher mushroom intake had protective effects on the brain in older adults. Components in mushrooms may prevent the growth of amyloid proteins related to dementia, and act as antioxidants, specifically an amino acid called ergothioneine.”
The National Library of Medicine says the following about mushrooms and human health:
“Mushrooms act as antibacterial, immune system enhancer and cholesterol lowering agents; additionally, they are important sources of bioactive compounds.”
Cancer.gov stated the following about mushrooms and cancer treatment:
“Medicinal mushrooms have been approved adjuncts to standard cancer treatments in Japan and China for more than 30 years and have an extensive clinical history of safe use as single agents or combined with radiation therapy or chemotherapy.”
“I have been on the reishi for over a year and have added periodic Chaga. I believe that the mushrooms have helped to fade mitigate/ameliorate other symptoms including cardiac arrhythmia, dizziness, mental confusion/memory loss and essential tremor.”- Chrisbo (via WebMD)
Plant medicines are taking over as the new way to treat a range of ailments. Mushrooms and cannabis are two that have been getting a lot of attention, and rightfully so.
Do you consume medicinal mushrooms? Tell us about which ones and how they help you in the comments.