You’re not one of those Fungi-phobics, are you?
Well, even if you are… I’m about to tell you why it’s well worth your while to conquer those fears.
Obviously, there are many different types of mushrooms.
Edible Mushrooms and Medicinal Mushrooms have incredible health benefits. As you will see, some are even delicious... and medicinal.
Mushrooms are among the oldest and most potent natural healing fruit bodies... on the entire planet... maybe even the universe.
In my opinion, edible wild mushrooms are what's up… love them!
Wikipedias definition of medicinal mushrooms:
Fungi contain metabolites or can be induced to produce metabolites through biotechnology to develop prescription drugs
I didn’t honestly know whether to laugh or cry at that definition. But… it does go on to boast about mushroom compounds being used for research.
The research cited on Wikipedia included uses like—antibiotics, anti-cancer drugs, cholesterol, and ergosterol synthesis inhibitors. The site also indicates medicinal mushrooms have been studied and used for psychotropic drugs, immunosuppressants, and fungicides.
While I am glad the many benefits of mushrooms are being recognized, we aren't here to discuss what science is doing with or too our natural resources; to make synthetic drugs.
Mushrooms have, in fact, been around since the beginning of time. They’ve evolved right alongside humankind, and they embody a sort of harmonious restorative energy.
Dr. Leanna J. Standish, Ph.D., Nd, Lac, FABNO, is the medical director of Basyre Integrative Oncology Research Center. Basyre is where the first FDA-approved trials on “Turkey Tail” mushrooms took place.
Dr. Standish states, "mushrooms have multiple actions that science cannot Recreate."
Mushrooms are perfect... just as they are!
So here we go…
Reason # 1… Mushrooms Are A Powerful Healing Resource.
Concentrated research all over the world gives validity to the therapeutic properties of medicinal mushrooms.
There are over 650 species of mushrooms that are considered medicinal.
These divinely furnished fungi possess bioactive compounds that are:
The list of possible benefits can go on and on. Each species and variety have unique properties specific to that particular specimen.
The use of medicinal mushrooms can be dated back to the stone age.
Appreciation for mushrooms was common among ancient cultures, not just in isolated areas but worldwide.
Egyptian Hieroglyphs and cave paintings like these clearly show a cultural fascination with mushrooms.
A Few Of The Most Commonly Used Medicinal Mushrooms Today Include
Trametes versicolor, “Turkey Tail Mushroom.”
Popular for treatment of Viruses, Cancer, HIV, Herpes, etc. These potent little guys grow in abundance on downed logs and trees.
Placebo trials show immune recovery—or
"enhanced natural killer cell activity" in Women with Breast Cancer.
Lentinus edodes, “Shiitake Mushroom.”
Also edible... and delicious!
This multi-beneficial mushroom is a staple in Chinese cuisine and can be found at your local grocery store.
Studies show the biological effects of Shiitake as immunomodulating, antitumor, anticarcinogenic, antiviral, and much more.
Ganoderma lingzhi, syn G. lucidum, “Reishi Mushroom.”
These are actually two strains of one kind of mushroom. G. lingzhi is from Asia, whereas G. lucidum... is from Europe.
In short... there are many types of Ganoderma. You may even have Reishi growing somewhere near your neck of the woods.
Reishi Mushroom Benefits:
Reishi mushrooms have been used favorably to treat:
Nervous system disorders
Reishi is my personal favorite. I eat them every day. I like to dry these turning them into powdered form and put them in my mid-day smoothies. Of course, if you buy them, you want to make sure they are organic and sustainably grown. I like this brand on Amazon.
Ophiocordyceps sinesis, “Cordyceps”
In his presentation, Medicinal Mushrooms, A Clinician's Overview, Dr. Christopher Hobbs, Ph.D., discusses cordyceps in detail.
He presents that numerous studies have shown the Cordyceps' ability to support the kidneys.
Kidney-related maladies are still one of Cordycep's primary clinical uses. These fungi have also been indicated for things like fatigue, anti-aging, and enhanced sexual performance.
It is important to note that “wild harvest” is not sustainable; therefore, purchasing Cordyceps from responsible cultivators—is kinda; really important.
The #2 Reason is… They Are Easy to Find, And Tasty!
I know it's two reasons rolled into one, but the "twofer" applies if you actually forage for your mushrooms.
I’m from the Mid-West, and when spring comes… the hunt is on.
Many take to the woods in search of the infamous Morel Mushroom or Morchella. This sponge-fungus-favorite… is among the most popular foraged edible mushrooms.
In northern Indiana (where I am from), these woodland jewels pop up in the spring right before or around Mother’s Day.
Morel mushrooms are also high in:
There are plenty of beneficial mushrooms, whether foraged or purchased. Even the smallest local grocery stores usually have at least two or three kinds of mushrooms to pick from.
You can visit your local co-op or farmers market too. Sometimes you can score the more unusual mushrooms there.
Morels are only one variety of foraged mushrooms. It’s not unusual for me to go out on any given day and bring back multiple varieties of mushrooms and each season has a new list of mushy goodness.
Some other popular varieties to forage
Hen of the Woods (edible/medicinal)
Chicken of the Woods
Jelly Ear (edible/medicinal)
Shrimp of the woods
Hen of the woods
These are all varieties that I personally... hunt for... and eat!
(Photo from Mothers Day hunt 2016)
While you get more bang-for-your-buck when you forage your mushies, you can also try your luck at a local organic market or farmer's market.
I have found many of my favorites right on the supermarket shelves, although you will pay a pretty penny for the rarer mushrooms.
Reason # 3… They are Ridiculously Nutrient Rich!
Mushrooms are high in protein—usually about 20%-30%.
All of the essential amino acids are presented—which is what our bodies use to build proteins.
They are low calorie—they have very little fat... and not only contain zero cholesterol; but they also help regulate your cholesterol levels.
Fiber-rich— fibers like Chitin found in mushrooms are made up of amino sugars. This insoluble fiber is prebiotic, antioxidant, cholesterol-lowering, and anti-fungal. They are also rich in cellulose and lignan.
They are full of Vitamins & Minerals—Mushrooms contain large amounts of minerals like potassium, phosphorous, selenium, and copper.
Additionally, some varieties like the morel are high in zinc, manganese, and Vitamins B.
No matter how you choose to get your mushrooms—foraging, buying them online, or buying them at the local market— one thing is for sure; You are missing out if mushrooms aren't a regular part of your life.
With so many toxins, dis-eases, conditions, and digressions... we can't afford to not use these wonderful fungal "gifts from God."
So... if you have a fungal-phobic friend or family member who needs some convincing. Or, if you just want to, feel free to share this article.