Medicinal mushrooms have a profound healing power, and were used thousands of years ago by the Greeks, Egyptians, and Chinese as a means to promote longevity.
These beneficial fungi offer a vast range of potentially therapeutic uses including enhancing immunity, improving cardiovascular health, promoting detoxification, boosting mood, improving digestion, stimulating memory, and nourishing the body.
What makes these “magic” mushrooms so unique? For one thing, fungi and humans are actually more closely related biologically than fungi and plants.
Perhaps that’s why mushrooms make us feel so good! Here’s a quick guide to a few of our favorites:
1 Shiitake (Lentinus edodes): Rich in nutrients, protein, flavor, and medicinal properties, this mushroom has been a prized food in Asia for many years.
It has been studied for its ability to lower cholesterol, support immune function, fight viruses, and promote a healthy cardiovascular system. Shiitake mushrooms are also part of a proprietary Japanese mushroom extract called AHCC—or active hexose correlated compound—which has been shown to enhance immunity and increase the activity of natural killer cells. Found in most grocery stores across North America, these tasty mushrooms can be added to a vegetable stir-fry or sautéed with garlic to enhance their rich, smoky flavor.
(Inonotus obliquus): Often referred to as the “king of medicinal mushrooms,” chaga is hailed as a superfood because of its powerful ability to support the immune system with beneficial constituents such as beta glucans, melanin, betulinic acid, and superoxide dismutase. Chaga’s micronutrients have also been proven to exhibit anti-aging properties that offer cellular protection against DNA damage. This mushroom is found growing on birch trees in forests in the northern hemisphere. Infuse it into a tea with cinnamon and vanilla, or take it as a tincture or in capsule form.
USE IT FOR: Fighting colds and flu; supporting the immune system; managing stress; nourishing skin and hair; rejuvenating the body.
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