Getting The Recognition They Deserve.
Lets face it, they do look a bit weird but as the saying goes “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” and that is the case for mushrooms. Reishi, maitake, cordyceps, and turkey tail are quickly becoming all the rage as the latest superfood trend. In Chinese medicine, however, the use of medicinal mushrooms dates back to some of the first medical texts on record. For example, reishi’s reputation as a powerful medicine dates back to about 200 AD(Yinova Centre).
You can ready more about the health benefits in mushrooms here.
A Europe-wide but rare and unique looking mushroom. One of the four species listed in Schedule 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981). It is illegal to pick or even cut samples so photos only if you are lucky enough to find one. All the specimens that weren’t grown from kits were collected abroad, none of the wild fruit bodies were collected in the UK.
It is a valued culinary mushroom and a well-known medicinal mushroom with many well-documented health benefits. (Wild Food UK)
Cordyceps have been used for more than 300 years as a remedy for treating kidney ailments, chronic fatigue, and low libido.
Traditionally, this amazing fungus was only made available by the wild harvesting of Cordyceps Sinensis, a species that grows naturally on caterpillars high in the Tibetan plateau.
This oddly specific wild version became increasingly rare, and prices eventually skyrocketed to more than £10,000 per kilo! Luckily, another species known as Cordyceps militaris was discovered to be just as powerful – the main difference being that it doesn’t need to grow on insects, and can be cultivated organically on rice and soy. (Fine & Wild)
Chaga mushrooms are especially high in a compound called super-oxide dismutase (SOD), this is an enzyme which reduces the damage done to cells by “super-oxide”, the most common free radical in the body. Studies have shown that SOD acts as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, with researchers now investigating the potential of it as an anti-aging treatment as it is known that, as we age, SOD levels drop whilst free radicals increase. Super-oxide dismutase also aids the body in using zinc, copper and manganese. Naturally synthesised and with a biological power unmatched, Chaga provides SOD in a highly bioavailable form which we can utilise either topically or internally.
Along with most other medicinal mushrooms, Chaga is rich in beta-glucans – one of the most potent and healing polysaccharides known. It is renowned for its role in in activating the immune system and reducing the blood sugar of people who have abnormal blood sugar peaks.
Chaga is highly regarded as an adaptogen – adaptogens are a unique group of phytonutrients which help your body adjust to stressful circumstances ranging from extreme heat or cold to infections or trauma.
Chaga mushroom benefits don’t stop there; they are also anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-aging and help to normalise cholesterol levels and blood pressure. (Indigo Herbs)
Reishi Mushrooms contain hundreds of biologically active molecules which promote the immune system, longevity, the cardiovascular system and the brain. One of these compounds is Ganoderma Lucidum Peptide which is thought to be responsible for its potent antioxidant capacity, with polysaccharides & triterpenes targetting inflammation which in turn can bolster the immune system. Triterpenes also offer protection against viruses, fungal and microbial infections and have been shown to strengthen the lining of the digestive system, helping to fight off bad bacteria whilst encouaging the growth of good bacteria. This can result in better digestion which leads to the absorption of more nutrients from the food you eat. It is now known that gut health plays an important role in immunity, with a healthy gut being an essential component to a strong immune system.
The Reishi Mushroom is a powerful anti-inflammatory and a known adaptogen – adaptogens are a unique group of herbal ingredients which help your body adjust to stressful circumstances ranging from extreme heat or cold to infections or trauma. These adaptogenic qualities also help to improve liver function – this important organ is responsible for flushing toxins from the body and in circulating healthy blood and nutrients.
Reishi benefits don’t stop there – its steroid like anti-inflammatory compounds inhibit histamine, the chemical responsible for allergic reactions, giving it the potential to decrease the symptoms of allergies.
Studies show Reishi can lower inflammation within the blood vessels whilst balancing hormone levels (high blood pressure and high cholesterol can be caused by hormonal issues). This strengthens the cardiovascular system and lowers blood pressure, making Reishi Mushrooms a great contributor to heart health. (Indigo Herbs)