You may think that mushrooms are meant to be eaten as food, but mushrooms are useful for so much more! Today we will cover the top 6 types of medicinal mushrooms and their potential benefits.
Native to the Northern Hemisphere, this mushroom has white, icicle like teeth hanging from the center stalk. Lions Mane has been shown to potentially prevent the build up of amyloid beta, a protein associated with Alzheimer Disease. This in turn improves memory function and concentration abilities. Lions Mane has also been shown to potentially reduce inflammation in the body, especially around the heart. This could improve overall heart health. The downside to Lion’s Mane is that it may aggravate allergies or asthma.
Chaga, grown in cold climates like Russia, Alaska, Siberia, Canada, and Northern Europe, looks like a black lump of coal growing on the side of birch trees. These are high in fiber and antioxidants and could potentially fight inflammation linked to heart disease and arthritis. This has also been shown to potentially stimulate white blood cells by promoting the formation of cytokines proteins that regulate the immune system and fight infections. A major side effect of this is sit could affect blood clotting, so people on blood thinners must be careful.
Shiitake (shu-taa-kee) mushrooms, native to eastern Asia, are slender and light brown. These are one of the most popular mushrooms to eat as food in the United States and are high in fiber for digestion. Shiitake is also high in vitamin B and boasts immune boosting and cholesterol lowering polysaccharides, terpenoids, lipids, and sterols. Reducing inflammation, preventing arterial plaque for a healthier heart, and supporting less fatty livers are all also possible outcomes of supplementing with Shiitake! These mushrooms may cause rashes.
Native to China, Europe, and North America, these polypore mushrooms grow on the bottom of oak trees. As an adaptogenic mushroom, these target the areas of the body that need attention and help keep the body in balance. They are also rich in antioxidants, fiber, vitamin B and C, along with other minerals and amino acids, making these an awesome pick for overall wellness. They can be hard to digest and people with diabetes should be careful as they may affect blood sugar levels.
Grown in hot and humid locations in Asia, these red kidney shaped mushrooms have high levels of ganoderic acid to help reduce cholesterol by decreasing triglycerides. Taking these may also boost the immune system by promoting improved lymphocyte function. They may also fight fatigue and depressive moods, improving overall quality of life.
Found in China, this mushroom is actually parasitic and survives on insects. Cordyceps is often taken in conjunction with exercising, as it helps the body utilize oxygen by boosting ATP. It is also high in antioxidants that help with anti-aging and memory. It also helps promote adenosine which may help with heart health and arrhythmia.
*The FDA has not evaluated these claims. Always check with your physician before ingesting new medications or supplements.*