By Dr. Justin Marchegiani
When you think of mushrooms, you might think of something you eat. Perhaps you think back to childhood, being told not to touch mushrooms growing outside, as they might be poisonous. You might even think of mushrooms as a drug. Mushrooms can be any and all of these things, but the most fulfilling role of a mushroom might just be the function that it serves as medicine!
Medicinal mushrooms have been used for centuries for their health-promoting properties. A 4,000-year-old mummy of a Neolithic man was found with Piptoporus betulinus in his medicine kit, a mushroom used for its antibiotic and antiparasitic properties! Both the Egyptians and the Aztecs declared mushrooms the sons of the gods and the flesh of the gods, a plant of immortality. Due to the global presence of mushrooms and their long history of usage, scientists in recent days have begun to study mushrooms in more detail, which has proven our ancestors correct!
Reishi has been extensively researched for its anti-cancer properties. Reishi, also known as, Ganoderma Lucidum, is the most popular mushroom among Chinese traditional medicinal herbs. The Chinese have been using Reishi for therapeutic treatments for over 2,000 years.
In Asia, people widely use reishi mushroom for cancer and immune-stimulating prescriptions. Reishi is actually one of the highest respected herbal medicines in Asia! Additionally, this mushroom has anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-viral, antibacterial and antioxidant properties. More benefits of Reishi include:
Maitake, also known as Grifola frondosa, is another top-rated mushroom which possesses brilliant natural healing properties. Maitake is a giant mushroom which grows in clusters at the trunk of dead hardwood trees, especially oaks. It can be found growing in the northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states, eastern Canada, Japan, China, and Europe. Though mushrooms are light in weight, some specimens of this mushroom can weigh over fifty pounds!
Maitake is a delicious mushroom which you can consume in multiple ways. It can be added to soups and stews, or drink as a relaxing tea. Maitake is amongst the best solutions for vibrant health and longevity, a true blessing from nature. Some top benefits of this medicinal mushroom include:
Turkey Tail, or Trametes Versicolor, is an incredibly common mushroom which is native to forests all around the world. This colorful species is generally found growing on logs and tree branches. Aptly named, turkey tail is a fan-like shape, with many layers and rings of striking and contrasting color ranging from tan to blue, cream, and even red, with an appearance similar to the tail of a wild turkey. In fact, the cloud-like image of this mushroom symbolizes longevity, health, and infinity.
Turkey tail is used all around the world for its many wonderful health benefits, which include:
Mushrooms have been used for thousands of years all over the world. Mushrooms are a part of a very complex kingdom; they can be poisonous or delicious, intoxicating or healing. By learning more about these three superpower mushrooms, you can join the billions of people who have benefitted from these time-tested natural medicines.