People have different opinions on mushrooms. For some people, mushrooms are disgusting, for other people muhrooms are treat they cannot resist. But did you know, that mushrooms have got not only culinary, but also medical use? Maybe you have already heard of psychedelic mushrooms. Scientists are intensely examinating some ingredients found in mushrooms, such as psylocibin, and their use in depression treatment.
History of medicinal mushrooms
History of medicinal mushrooms is pretty long and it has been used in eastern medicine for treatment of various diseases for thousands of years. People used to make tea, soup, they used dried or crushed mushrooms. Greek doctor Hippocrates in year 450 bc. Stated various benefits of medicinal mushrooms and its use. He was often mentioning a mushroom called Fomes Fomentarius (Tinder fungus), which he used to speed up healing wounds, and to prevent inflammation. In 5th century, alchymist Tao Hongjing described the healing effects of mushrooms Reishi (Ganoderma Lucidum) and Polyporus umbellatus. Even Ötzi – most famous Iceman , which has been found frozen in the ice , was carrying various medicinal herbs and mushrooms to survive rough winter – 5300 years ago! But people forgot about positive effects of these mushrooms on people health. One of the possible reasons is theory that because of the mushrooms were posionous, people were cautious about mushroom consumption and were avoiding them.
Nowadays, popularity of medicinal mushrooms is on the rise, because of various possibilities of use. Medicinal mushrooms are often defined as mushrooms , that are used as a prevention and treatment various diseases, or as a supplement. In a few past years, scientists discovered more than 150 active compunds in mushrooms that have medicinal benefits. You can even say that mushrooms are like small pharmacies, where you can find medicine that helps to treat cancer, support imunity or reducing risk of cardiovascular disease. Another compounds extracted from mushrooms act antiparasitic, antioxidant, antiviral and and antibacterial , or antidiabetic.
Lions mane is one of the most important medicinal mushrooms. It impacts the brain in a very positive way. It improves cognitive functions, strenghten memory and improve concetration. It is mostly used in Asia for medicinal and culinary purposes and there are also supplements with extract from this unique mushroom.
Lions mane extract contain a lot of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. It lowers a risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and auto-immune diseases and supports immune system. Studies have shown that Lions mane is improving gut bacteria and can combat depression , anxiety and insomnia.
A great thing about Lions mane is that it stimulates Nerve growth factor, that plays an important role in creation and regeneration of neurons in the brain. Nerve growth factor may contribute to onset of Alzheimer disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. There is not too many side effects that were observed when supplementing Lions mane. It may not be suitable for people with allergies and pregnant women.
Reishi is most often consumed in a form of tea, but you can also find capsules, sirups and tinctures. It is mostly known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Our ancestors were using the mushroom because they believed it extend lifespan. It contain tripertenes, that can lower the amount of cortisol in body and regulates physical and mental mood. It also improves quality of sleep, reduces tiredness, supports immune system, lowers blood pressure, regulate cholesterol levels and helps with diabetes. Some studies have shown Reishi can help with weight management. Reishi can help combat cancer as well. Reishi is not recommended to use by pregnant women, people with allergies and people that go on a surgery, because long-term usage of Reishi can cause problems with bleeding.
Maitake is a herb that grows mostly in China, Japan and some parts of North America. It is well known mushroom in CHina, however Maitake started to gain popularity in the rest of the world approximately 20 years ago. Maitake is rich in vitamin B and C, antioxidants, amino acids, fiber, potassium and copper. Why is Maitake so good? Maitake improves immune system, and studies have show it is the strongest mushroom when it comes to fighting cancer. Study from 2013 have shown that Maitake is useful in prevention and treatment of breast cancer and it lowers negative side effects of chemotherapy.
Maitake is also very useful against diabetes and it effectively lowers cholesterol. It modulates blood pressure and helps to treat flu and cold. You can either use Maitake mushrooms as an ingredient in your food, or use it as a supplement. There are not many side effects of Maitake, but it can be dangerous for people with allergies to mushrooms and pregnant women should consult Maitake usage with doctor.
Shiitake mushroom is a mushroom that mostly grows in China, Japan, Singapur and Canada. Shiitake mushrooms contain a lot of minerals, vitamins, amino acids and other useful ingredients. Shiitake contains ingredient Eritadenine, which positively impacts heart, and also contains ingredients that lower cholesterol and regulate creation of lipoproteins in the liver. Shiitake also regulates blood pressure. Shiitake mushrooms are great as a food ingredient, but they are also used as a medicine for hundreds of years. They are available in a form of supplements as well. There is a big potential of Shiitake mushrooms in using them as an alternative of antibiotics. They also help with Osteoporosis because of high Vitamin D3 content. There is a low risk of side effects by using Shiitake, however they can cause dermatitis. Long-term Shiitake consumption may, in some cases, cause stomach irritation and cause photosensitivity.
Cordyceps is a parasitic mushroom, that is used to support libido, re-energize the body ,to treat kidneys and many other things. Cordyceps is also used as a performance booster, because it contain Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), that is necessary for proper muscle function. Cordyceps acts as an antioxidant, improves memory and is anti-aging as well. It helps to fight cancer and lowers negative consequences of chemotherapy. Another benefit of Cordyceps is that it can mimick the Insulin in the body and help the people that suffer from Diabetes. It is anti-inflammatory and helps to prevent liver disease. Side effects of cordyceps are minimal.