Medicinal Mushrooms – Nature’s Most Powerful Immune Support

2018 has been named “The Year of the Mushroom” as they’ve become one of the most popular and consumed superfoods for their proven and powerful immune support and healing properties!

Why Mushrooms?

Medicinal mushrooms help our bodies maintain a state of balance. They are adaptogic producing a non-specific biological responses that improves the body’s ability to recovery from physical, chemical, emotional and other biological stressors.

Adaptogens help the body maintain its homeostatic balance. For example, if stress hormones are too high, they help lower and stabilize them and if stress hormones are too low, they help to raise and stabilize them.

Adaptogens increase the body’s resistance to stressors and help us overcome health challenges more quickly.

What Are The Best Medicinal Mushrooms?

Medicinal mushrooms are specfic mushrooms with extremely potent healing properties. Not all mushrooms are created equal! There are many amazing medicinial mushrooms but these are my favorite…

  • Cordyceps
  • Reishi
  • Chaga
  • Lion’s Mane
  • Turkey Tall
  • Maitake
  • Shitake
  • Oyster

Scientific research has shown that mushroom fruiting bodies (the tops of the mushroom) contain hundreds of therapeutic compounds and have immune enhancing properties, sharpen cognitive function and provide an adaptogenic balance to help our bodies function optimally. They’ve even been revered by the Chinese for centuries for providing energy and as an aphrodisiac.

Mushrooms are just now becoming popular health tonics in Western culture and offer real therapeutic value. Mushroom fruiting bodies contain therapeutic compounds such as beta-glucans, triterpenoids, ergosterols and other polysaccharides known to boost vitality, balance hormones, fight stress, improve brain health, support healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels and more.

These compounds elevate immune fighting compounds including T Killer cells, macrophages and interleukins. Research is continually finding new evidence on mushroom’s health enhancing properties.

Over 600 species of mushrooms have shown at least some level of antitumor or immune-stimulating activity. Mushrooms are truly the ultimate superfood and many people use them as a coffee or tea substitute because they has a similar flavor profile, stimulate blood flow and provide natural energy and mood enhancement without the crash most coffee drinkers experience because they don’t contain any caffeine.

MEDICINAL MUSHROOM FRUITING BODY BENEFITS
– Stimulates immune response and resistance to pathogens, viruses and cancer
– Improves cognitive function and enhances mood
– Provides natural energy without a crash
– Assists in detoxification
– Supports cellular health and DNA protection
– Supports a healthy hormonal balance
– Increases anti-inflammatory response
– Relieves stress and adrenal fatigue
– Promotes healthy aging
– Supports healthy cholesterol levels
– Supports healthy blood sugar levels
– Increases athletic performance, oxygen utilization and recovery
– Supports healthy weight management

Top 6 Myths about Mushrooms!

MYTH 1: ALL MUSHROOM PRODUCTS ARE CREATED EQUAL
The vast majority of mushroom products on the market use mushroom mycelium, a cheaper and less potent form that contains starch fillers from the brown rice grain substrate they are grown on. Always look for the word “mushroom fruiting bodies” on your labels as studies have shown they have up to 50 times the beta glucan levels of the more common mycelium-based products grown in artificial conditions on starchy substances.

Note: It’s not required by law to disclose on the label what part of the mushroom a company uses in its products.

MYTH 2: CHINESE MUSHROOMS ARE BAD
China is the leading supplier of mushrooms worldwide and supplies over 85% of the world’s mushrooms. If you are getting a high quality mushroom supplement they are tested multiple times before and after bottling to ensure purity and strength. The product I reccomend supports the traditional practices of organic farmers in China, Asia and North America. In Asia, these farmers and herbalists have thousands of years of experience growing, preparing and treating illness with mushroom fruiting bodies.

MYTH 3: MUSHROOMS FEED CANDIDA AND FUNGAL INFECTIONS
If you’re fighting these conditions, you should avoid molds and yeast, but Mushrooms Are OK. Much of the worry about fungi (mushrooms) in the diet of Candida sufferers is unwarranted. Mushrooms can be a healthy part of your Candida diet, and in fact their immune-stimulatory properties may be quite helpful. Sugar and stress are the big candida feeders, mushrooms are the body’s great healer!

MYTH 4: MUSHROOMS TASTE BAD
This one is up to debate of course, but may products have a very pleasant nutty and earthy flavor similar to a mild coffee. In fact, many people use it as an enlightened alternative to coffee. It can be served simply by mixing with water, your favorite juice, milk substitute or smoothie. It can also be mixed into hot water as a coffee or tea substitute. Since the mushroom fruiting bodies are hot-water extracted to break down cell walls to make the beta-glucans available, nothing is destroyed when you mix it at higher temperatures during consumption. It also tastes great when you add cacoa powder!

MYTH 5: GROUND RAW MUSHROOMS ARE BETTER THAN HOT-WATER EXTRACTION
Hot-water extraction helps to break down the cell walls of the mushroom fruiting bodies which makes their valuable immune-modulating beta-glucans and other compounds more prevalent and bio-available at higher levels. Compared to simply grinding raw mushrooms into powder which results in beta-glucans levels below 1%, hot-water extracted mushroom blends consists of 100% mushroom fruiting bodies with guaranteed beta-glucan levels not less than 30%.

MYTH 6: MUSHROOMS ARE NOT SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN TO HEAL THE BODY
Many studies have examined the effects of mushrooms on immune response pathways and on direct anti-tumor mechanisms. The immune effects are mediated through the mushroom’s stimulation of innate immune cells, such as monocytes, natural killer cells, and dendritic cells. The activity is generally considered to be caused by the presence of high-molecular-weight polysaccharides in the mushrooms, although other constituents may also be involved. Clinical trials in cancer patients have demonstrated that G. lucidum (Reishi) products are generally well tolerated. The power to heal our bodies is always found in Nature! PubMed, The National Institute of Health, Cancer.gov and many clinical studies demonstrate the anti-tumor and healing properties of over 600 species of mushrooms and everyday we are learning more! For more info: https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/hp/mushrooms-pdq

IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT MUSHROOM PRODUCTS
The majority of mushroom supplements are not 100% mushroom fruiting bodies but mycelium grown on grain. That means you’re paying for BROWN RICE not mushrooms! The grain material that the mycelium grows on ends up being a significant portion of these products. Independent analysis has shown that due to this high amount of grain, they contain very little active compounds. Read your supplement panels very closely and look for the words “mycelium”, “myceliated brown rice”, “mycelial biomass”, “full spectrum”, “whole life cycle” or other derivatives of mycelium.

The Mushroom product I personally use and reccomend is Ultimate Shrooms by Live Ultimate