Medicinal mushrooms are not a new concept. They have been around for years and have been part of various cultures. Their health benefits have become the foundation of today’s interest
in these mushrooms.
With plenty of information online and trends about healthy lifestyles and staying fit, people are finding alternative and more natural ways to do so. Medicinal mushrooms help contribute to many health benefits modern society can enjoy.
There are thousands of mushrooms worldwide, but not all are safe to eat. Some mushrooms have psychedelic library of compounds, while others are straight-up poisonous. That’s why it is essential
you have an idea of how medicinal mushrooms look.
Before we jump right into different types, let us define what medicinal mushrooms are.
What are Medicinal Mushrooms?
Medicinal mushrooms or functional mushrooms contain health-boosting components that are beneficial for enhancing a person’s overall well-being. In the past, people enjoyed them for medicinal purposes and sometimes for consumption.
However, in today’s society, we are given plenty of options, from cooking the mushroom to supplement capsules like Evoke – Medicinal Mushroom – Elixir. Therefore, we can choose any product which makes us more comfortable.
Each functional mushroom has distinct properties and health benefits. But in general, they are an excellent supportive treatment for colds, chronic fatigue, inflammation, anxiety, etc.
They function like adaptogens.
Adaptogens are naturally-occurring substances, including plants, mushrooms, and herbs, that help the human body deal with stress. They ensure that the mind and the body can cope with whatever changes are going on to maintain a balanced system.
Are Medicinal Mushrooms Safe?
Mushrooms for medicinal purposes are 100% legal and safe to consume. It doesn’t have a psychedelic effect on the user.
You can ingest them without thinking much of the side effects. But, unfortunately, most people develop a terrible response to medicinal mushrooms due to excessive consumption.
A study shows that a lower immune system is the most common side effect of overdosing on mushrooms. But of course, always be precautious when ingesting them.
Types of Medicinal Mushrooms
Even though thousands of mushrooms exist, only a tiny fraction is considered medicinal. That’s why you must ensure that the mushroom you consume is safe.
There are two species of cordyceps, and they grow differently. The C. sinensis grows at high altitudes, particularly in the mountains of Tibet.
This mushroom requires an insect for it to flourish. So, if you are vegan, it’s not your medicinal mushroom of choice.
Because of its strange lifecycle and complicated way of growing C. sinensis, this mushroom is considered one of the most expensive. It is also a rare mushroom.
- militaris can thrive on a natural substrate so that you can grow them at home. They have similar properties to C. sinensis but are much cheaper.
Cordyceps boosts the energy of the user. In addition, it increases lung function, stamina, and sexual function.
Reishi is the most well-studied medicinal mushroom. It is also well-known for its health benefits. In addition, they thrive in hardwood trees and stumps.
When you see a Reishi mushroom, they have a fruiting body that’s red and polished. When eaten fresh, it has an extremely bitter taste and tough texture similar to wood.
It is dubbed the mushroom for immortality due to its lasting immune effects. In addition, they can help in reducing allergy symptoms, anxiety, and chronic stress. It is described to have a mild sedative effect. Therefore, it’s an excellent option for those who have insomnia.
Because of its bitter taste, traditionally, they are left in hot water for several hours. Now, we can purchase ready-made Reishi mushroom products in capsule forms or tinctures.
Maitake is your mushroom of choice for making delicious gourmet meals and, at the same time, receiving powerful health benefits. The number of medicinal effects is countless. It has almost every nutrient that’s great for helping you build your immune system.
The mushroom is rich with the following:
- High beta-d-glucan: You can extract a concentrated amount by using hot water
- Polysaccharide: Controls blood sugar level, lowers cholesterol, helps in weight maintenance, and improves blood pressure.
- MD-Fraction: Support the immune system during chemotherapy.
It is known as Hen of the Woods or Sheeps Head.
Turkey Tail is given to this mushroom because of its beautiful polypore appearance with velvety caps and striations. They look like a turkey’s tail indeed.
Due to its rigid surface, you’ll need to extract the nutrients out of the mushroom by using the hot water extraction method. Once removed, you can use them to help support the immune system.
Turkey’s Tail is excellent for providing a solid immune system during chemotherapy. The polysaccharides PSK and PSP can boost the immune system during cancer treatment.
Lion’s Mane is one of the most popular medicinal mushrooms in the market due to its brain-boosting benefits. In addition, it is a great mushroom you can use when serving a meal.
This mushroom can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Hence, improving a person’s mood and well-being.
Furthermore, the increased production of the Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) helps the brain neurons be at their best and function well.
You can find Shiitake mushrooms in grocery stores. They are a perfect addition to your meal. It is the second-most grown mushroom, button mushrooms being the first.
In Asian culture, Shiitake is not only part of their meal but is a powerful medicinal mushroom they use for various purposes. Like in Japan, they use this as an herbal treatment for
But aside from assisting cancer treatment, they are also helpful for improving liver function, controlling cholesterol levels, and maintaining healthy glowing skin.
Chaga can be an anti-vital mushroom to fight infection in the body. In addition, it is rich in antioxidants that people use for reducing free radical damages, immune support, and detoxification.
Like Turkey’s Tail, Chaga is tough to eat. Therefore, you’ll need to convert this mushroom to a fine powder by drying and extracting the nutrients using hot water or alcohol.
Chaga is not a mushroom in its classification. They are, in fact, a sclerotium and grow on birch trees and appear as light brown to orange.
Enoki is mainly cultivated in China, and it’s a culinary mushroom with some medicinal use. Studies have shown that it can prevent cancer, fight viral infection, and improve a person’s response to an allergic reaction.
Whether you want to use medicinal mushrooms as part of your meal or have a daily dose of capsules, they can all be available over the counter. However, before taking them, you need to know their effects and benefits.
Why is it essential to know how each mushroom acts? First, it is to determine what time of the day you must take them since some can cause you to relax and fall asleep.
Best time to take your mushrooms:
- Reishi: It has a relaxing effect and can cause drowsiness.
- Cordyceps: People who use this mushroom say it has a similar effect to caffeine. So, it gives an energy-boosting result.
- Lion Mane: It improves mental clarity and creativity, so it’s a great option when you want to start the day right.
Where to Buy Medicinal Mushrooms?
You can use medicinal mushrooms in Canada in different ways. Some are available in fresh form, which you can cook and prepare a delicious meal. However, you can also buy ready-made products in the market.
Zoomies Canada offers medicinal mushroom-rich capsules that will help you boost your energy and stay healthy. The Evoke Medicinal Mushroom Elixir is a powdered drink with multiple flavors to choose from, and you can enjoy them hot or cold. It contains dried magic mushrooms and medicinal mushrooms.
If you want to boost your cognitive function, improve your immune system, or get a good night’s sleep, investing in any medicinal mushroom will help. Effects can start to show when you take them for a long time. In addition, you can give your mushrooms some boost with a microdose of psilocybin.