Medicinal mushrooms have been used for their medicinal properties for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine and have recently become more widely popular as scientific studies have repeatedly confirmed their health-boosting properties. The active compounds which are abundant in mushrooms have a wide-range of health benefits, including supporting the immune system response to viral and bacterial infection, boosting energy levels and mood, cancer prevention, lowering of cholesterol and blood pressure. Recent research has also shown that mushrooms have a pre-biotic effect on the gut microorganisms, assisting healthy food breakdown.
The most popular medicinal mushroom is Reishi. Due to the presence of the mood-boosting compound triterpene, it may reduce anxiety and depression, improve sleep, promote healing and sharpen focus. Additional potential benefits include weight-loss and immune system support.
Other popular medicinal mushrooms and their health benefits include:
- Lion’s Mane (cognition, memory, concentration),
- Chaga (aging, inflammation, lowering LDL),
- Shitake (lowering cholesterol, heart health, blood pressure and circulation),
- Turkey Tail (immune support, cancer prevention, antioxidants), and
- Cordyceps (energy, athletic performance, muscle recovery).
Medicinal mushroom can be purchased in health food shops, in capsule and powder form. Powdered mushroom can easily be added to smoothies, hot drinks, soups and a wide-range of other foods.
Always talk to your doctor and/or nutritional therapist before taking medicinal mushroom, especially if you are taking specific medication or are pregnant.
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