Our world is made up of an abundance of healing plants and fungi, with one of the most powerful natural medicines being mushroomsMushrooms have dozens of recorded medicinal purposes, including significantly improving brain function, supporting the body’s ability to respond to stress (also known as an “adaptogen”), and strengthening your immune system.

While there are hundreds of varieties of mushrooms, many of which are great for your health, the benefits of these 7 medicinal mushrooms have been well documented…

The Top 7 Medicinal Mushrooms

  • Shiitake: Not just famous in the culinary world, Shiitake mushrooms are also famous in the medical world. They’re most known for their anti-cancer properties, thanks to their high antioxidant content and anti-inflammatory benefits that protect you from bacteria, fungus and viruses. 
  • Maitake: Considered an adaptogenic mushroom, Maitake mushrooms boost the immune system by helping your body adapt to stress while giving you a healthy dose of antioxidants. Both these benefits help reduce inflammation, which is so often connected to disease. 
  • Chaga: Known as the ‘King of Medicinal Mushrooms,’ this adaptogenic mushroom balances your immune system – meaning it gives it a boost when needed or helps to bring it back to balance when it is being too active. For example, inflammation is a necessary response in healing, but TOO MUCH creates imbalance and disease. Getting into balance, or homeostasis, allows your body to fight pathogens and remain healthy.
  • Reishi: Known as the ‘Queen of Medicinal Mushrooms,’ Reishi is a calming mushroom with potent restorative benefits. Among its many healing properties, reishi helps to balance out adrenals, which is especially important for keeping immune-dampening cortisol at bay. 
  • Cordyceps: When you need an energy boost without worrying about any jitters or energy crashes, cordyceps have the ability to increase your strength and energy by helping to increase your body’s oxygen intake and use. 
  • Lion’s Mane: This mushroom is well loved for its ability to enhance cognitive function. Think mental clarity and alertness. Immune dampening mental disorders such as depression and anxiety can be improved as well with this mushroom.
  • Turkey Tail: Like its other medicinal mushroom comrades, Turkey Tail mushrooms are high in antioxidants. Studies show that these mushrooms promote gut health, acting as a prebiotic and feeding immune-boosting healthy gut bacteria. 

How To Maximize Your Medicinal Mushroom Benefits

If you want to get the most out of medicinal mushrooms, here are two tips: 
  • Combination: Where mushrooms and immunity are concerned, more is better. Medicinal mushrooms work best together. When you consume a variety of them, medicinal mushrooms work synergistically and enhance the health benefits offered to your body.
  • Fermentation: Fermenting medicinal mushrooms increases their nutritional benefits. As you probably know, fermenting foods breaks them down, making nutrients more bioavailable (meaning your body is able to absorb a higher percentage of the nutrients). Mushrooms are no exception. This is especially useful if you don’t have access to a lot of medicinal mushrooms, or are on a budget. By increasing bioavailability, you “get more with less” by fermenting them.

Medicinal mushrooms are just one of nature’s PROVEN medicines for a wide range of healing and health benefits.

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