Medicinal Mushrooms Turbocharging Our Health!!

Medicinal Mushrooms Turbocharging Our Health!!

Bev Dunne

As a follow on from my article last week I’m writing this week about several other medicinal mushrooms which are believed to contain quite amazing therapeutic benefits.

Cordyceps also known as Caterpillar Fungus is found all over the world, most commonly in Asia in tropical rain forests.

Cordyceps is also acknowledged as a powerful immune booster. It has been found to be beneficial for treatment of bronchitis, asthma, coughs and even emphysema. By boosting our cells’ ability to utilise oxygen Cordyceps is known to protect the lungs, improving respiratory function, and thereby making it easier to breathe.

Because of this ability to utilise oxygen, Cordyceps has been reported to enable the enhancement of athletic performance particularly by Chinese athletes. Cordyceps can also increase cellular ATP levels. This is the molecule which releases energy into the cell. It’s logical therefore, if we have the dual benefit of utilising oxygen more effectively at the same time as increasing the ATP levels, energy and stamina is going to increase.

Turkey Tail Mushroom named because it looks like a plume of turkey feathers, is native to woodland forests all over the world.

Turkey Tail Mushroom is also known for its immune boosting benefits. Once again it is an adaptogen herb which means it is also an immune modulator. As with the previous mushrooms, Turkey Tail is being researched for the health benefits relating to prevention and treatment of cancer.

Turkey Tail Mushroom contains a compound known as polysaccharide-K (PSK) which is known to stimulate the immune system. It is being researched as a natural cancer therapy in conjunction with chemotherapy and immunotherapies.

Lions Mane is known as the hedgehog mushroom because of its very unusual appearance. Once again it has a long history of use in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is native to Asia, Europe and North America and is often found growing on old or dead broadleaf trees. It has this unique feathery pom pom look.

This mushroom is also believed to help boost our immune system. It’s thought a protein in Lions Mane Mushroom assists the growth of good bacteria in our gut thereby helping our immune system.

There is also a belief Lions Mane may help with menopausal symptoms, sleep problems and cognitive health.

As with Chaga Mushroom it is thought Lions Mane may help control blood sugar levels. There are several early studies on rats which showed positive results pertaining to lowering of blood sugar levels, improved antioxidant activity and reduced feelings of nerve pain.

As I wrote last week, medicinal mushrooms come in several forms – powders, liquid or honey pearls. We’re often asked the best way to take medicinal mushrooms. If you’re using powders or liquid, you can simply add these to cold drinks, smoothies or you can add it to your coffee.