Medicinal Mushrooms 101
Medicinal mushrooms have been used in traditional and ancient medicine for thousands of years. They have been studied in modern natural medicine to have amazing benefits for different systems in the body. Mushrooms are fungi that exist and thrive only in a parasitic relationship, where they can be symbiotically beneficial to their host, or detriment the livelihood of that living plant or being. Most individual medicinal mushrooms have a host of different benefits for humans, and are all unique. Check out some of our favourite medicinal mushrooms and their benefits below!
Reishi mushrooms grow ALL over the world! They are very prevalent in Asia, and can be found in B.C, right near our home! 🙂 They generally grow on hardwood trees and can often be found thriving on dead or dying stumps. Reishi has been used in ancient Traditional medicine for thousands of years. It is regarded as the “mushroom of immortality” in parts of Asia!
The Benefits of Reishi
– Promotes cardiovascular system health
– Enhances the body’s ability to adapt to stress
– Supports energy and stamina
– Overall wellness support
– Has been known to help with insomnia
Perhaps one of the more unique of the medicinal mushrooms, Cordyceps does not find its host in a plant species. Instead, cordyceps invades the larvae of insects, where it “forces” them to travel to higher ground where the altitude acts as a superior vantage point for mushroom spores to be spread widely. Discovered in Tibet, where herdsman noticed that their Yak were far livelier after eating from pastures containing a lot of caterpillars infected by this fungus!
Benefits of Cordyceps:
– Supports energy and stamina
– Supports the body’s natural metabolic systems
– Promotes healthy kidney function
– Supports healthy libido
– May augment oxygen uptake – supports healthy lung function
– Used to support athletic performance
Lion’s Mane grows all over the world, and is generally found on hardwood trees. It is most often found in small clumps of “spines”. It has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years, and has more recently been studied in modern science and revered for it’s “smart” effects, as well as nerve support!
Benefits of Lion’s Mane:
– Promotes mental clarity, focus and memory
– Provides cerebral and nervous system support
– Many studies have identified a NGF (Nerve Growth Factor) in Lion’s Mane
– Optimizes nervous and immune system health
– Supports cognitive function
Chaga mushrooms grow all over the world, and are prominent in boreal forests where they reside on birch trees. Often this mushroom is referred to as “birch fungus” throughout the world. Chaga has been used for centuries as an immune modulator and a strong antioxidant! It is used in modern alternative medicine today, and is often enjoyed as a health-boosting, and delicious tea.
Benefits of Chaga:
- Maximum antioxidant support against daily free radical damage
- Immunomodulatory effects
This mushroom is perhaps one of the most potent as far as medicinal benefits, and it is thought to be one of the longest living mushrooms in the world with some documented to be over 70 years old! Unfortunately, it is also among the most rare. Agarikon can only be found in a few places in the world, one being the conifer forests of the Pacific North West. Agarikon mushrooms are commonly found on Larch, Douglas fir, Hemlock and Spruce trees.
– Strong immunomodulating benefits
– Has been shown to help reduce inflammation in the body
– May be helpful in the defense against various diseases caused by both bacteria and viruses