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The Amazing Benefits of Medicinal Mushrooms

Jul 11, 2019

They are many scientific studies published showing a host of benefits certain mushrooms provide. In fact much more than I would have ever imagined. Benefits such as, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour & antioxidant capabilities. Now I am not talking about your average button mushroom you throw into a stir fry, these are very specific varieties that have been analysed and seem to be used as more of a supplement, or perhaps you'd drop a bit of the dried powder into a drink from time to time. You can even get mushroom enhanced coffee that gives you less of a jittery buzz and more of a clear head to set you on your way for the day.

Let’s breakdown a few of the different kinds:

Chaga Mushrooms

Grow on the bark of birch trees, dark in colour, contain high density of antioxidants, phytosterols, & polysaccharides. Elements you maybe don't hear about every day, or have a clue what they are. Antioxidants I'm sure you will have heard of, they remove potentially harmful oxidising agents in the body such as free radicals. Phytosterols are a bit like the cholesterol of the plant word, and when we consume them have shown to help with the metabolism of our own cholesterol, especially when eaten in their natural form.1

Polysaccharides are a carbohydrate molecule and have shown to enhance memory performance by reducing mental fatigue.2

Chaga have shown to have anticancer effects, and rapidly decrease tumour size.3

Reishi Mushrooms

Next we have Reishi, a herbal mushroom popular in Chinese medicine. This one looks a bit more like an actual mushroom as we know it. It has been studied with regard to cancer treatment, and shown to be very potent against tumours. It also has possible therapeutic potential when used as a supplement in patients with breast and prostate cancer.4

There has been great promise with Reishi mushroom enhancing the power of the immune system, helping to keep good cells intact along with the prevention of cell invasion from cancer cells.5

Cordyceps

Search the web for images of these guys and you might just have nightmares, kind of creepy. I wonder who decided, "oh these look like a good thing to experiment with". I mean they wouldn't look out of place deep down in the sea were all the scary creatures hang out.

Again big in the world of Chinese medicine, used to treat coughs, and respiratory disorders, amongst a whole host of others studies cordyceps have shown to have anti ageing effects by improving brain function and antioxidant enzyme activity.6

I think the scientific studies on these mushrooms are amazing, there is some solid evidence worth reading over, as you will see from my references below. 

Furthermore, I have only mentioned a few of the positive effects, there are many more such as anti fatigue and energy boosting improvements . My mind is blown and I wonder why this isn't bigger news!

Let me know what you think over on my Facebook Page.

References 
  1. 1. Ostlund, R. (2004) ‘Phytosterols and cholesterol metabolism’, Current opinion in lipidology., 15(1), pp. 37–41. Retrieved 28 April 2016, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15166807.
  2. 2. Best, T., Howe, P., Bryan, J., Buckley, J. and Scholey, A. (2014) ‘Acute effects of a dietary non-starch polysaccharide supplement on cognitive performance in healthy middle-aged adults’, Nutritional neuroscience., 18(2), pp. 76–86. Retrieved 28 April 2016, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24621069.
  3. 3. Lemieszek, M., Langner, E., Kaczor, J., Kandefer-Szerszeń, M., Sanecka, B., Mazurkiewicz, W. and Rzeski, W. (2011) ‘Anticancer effects of fraction isolated from fruiting bodies of chaga medicinal mushroom, Inonotus obliquus (Pers.:Fr.) Pilát (Aphyllophoromycetideae): In vitro studies’, International journal of medicinal mushrooms., 13(2), pp. 131–43. Retrieved 28 April 2016, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22135889.
  4. 4. Sliva, D. (2004) ‘Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi) in cancer treatment’, Integrative cancer therapies., 2(4), pp. 358–64. Retrieved 28 April 2016, from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/8928055_Ganoderma_Lucidum_Reishi_in_Cancer_Treatment.
  5. 5. Martínez-Montemayor, M.M., Acevedo, R.R., Otero-Franqui, E., Cubano, L.A. and Dharmawardhane, S.F. (2011) ‘Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi) inhibits cancer cell growth and expression of key molecules in inflammatory breast cancer’, 63(7). Retrieved 28 April 2016, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21888505.
  6. 6. Ji, D., Ye, J., Li, C., Wang, Y., Zhao, J. and Cai, S. (2008) ‘Antiaging effect of Cordyceps sinensis extract’, Phytotherapy research : PTR., 23(1), pp. 116–22. Retrieved 28 April 2016, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4387898/.
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