Mushroom medical benefits are considered many. They have been “gourmet cuisine” across the globe due to their unique taste and “delicate flavor”. They are also considered, “medicinal food in many cultures, even more of a “miniature pharmaceutical factories” in Oriental medicine”, according to research.
They are fascinating funguses, and the knowledge of their “biological properties” goes beyond our expectations. In this article, we picked few special kinds of these funguses to make the highlight of our subject.
It is important for us to educate ourselves about all types of mushrooms available for us to consume, due to their great benefits to our health and the flavor they add to our food.
Mushroom medical benefits
Consuming mushrooms few times a week can add great benefits to our health in general, according to health studies including:
- Boosting the power of our brain
- Improving sleep
- Reduce fatigue
- Increase energy level
- Combat cancer
- Control weight gain
- Improve immune system
- Balance hormones
- Aid our gut health
“Chaga mushroom is one the most medicinal food and overall tonics of the century. It is rather unsightly type of fungus, resembles a dark clump of dirt more than a mushroom, it grows on birch trees in cold climates such as Northern Europe, Russia, Alaska, and Northern Canada”. According to Anthony William, New York Times Best-selling author of Life-Changing Foods,
Finding mushrooms that are considered medicinal in the market, may become complicated sometimes. People who have an easier access to such fungus, make them available in form of spice or as dry ingredients that can be used with food or tea.
Mushroom health benefits in fighting cancer cells
“Mushrooms have emerged as wonderful source of nutraceuticals, anti-oxidants, anti-cancer, prebiotic, immunomodulating, anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular, anti-microbial, and anti-diabetic”. According to Seema Parel and Arun Goyal in their anti-cancer review.
“The ongoing research projects are aimed to promote mushrooms as new generation “biotherapeutics”. He added. “They might complement chemotherapy and radiation therapy by countering the side-effects of cancer. Several kinds contain bioactive and active compounds”.
According to studies, mainly conducted in 2010 in Korea. “Chaga mushrooms have shown results in slowing the growth of lung, breast, and cervical cancer cells. Also, studies included that the consumption of Chaga mushrooms helped slowing the growth of tumors in mice”.
In addition, “Phellinus is a genus of mushrooms belonging to the family Hymenochaetaceae. This kind of mushroom has anti-tumor, immunomodulating and anti-metastasis properties Baker, 2008
He added that, “the extract of Phellinus is reported to contain antimutagenic activities and play a role in the prevention of cancer. Hispolon, the phenolic compound extracted from his mushroom has potential to induce apoptosis of breast and bladder cancer cell”.
“Agaricusblazei Murill Is another type of mushroom that has been typically used as a health food for the prevention of cancer. It is extracts have immunomodulatory, anti-carcinogenic and anti-mutagenic properties as studied by its action on mice”. Delmanto, 2001
Mushroom Health Benefits for Women
Mushrooms health benefits are beyond women’s expectations. Many types of mushrooms can support women’s health in many ways including “balancing sugar level in the blood, help in preventing breast cancer cells, support sleeping cycle, and balancing hormones during menopause”.
“Reishi Fungi is considered the type of mushrooms that helps minimizing the symptoms of menopause in women”. Research said.
Some of menopause symptoms include but not limited to, are “hair loss, sleep disturbance, vaginal dryness, mood swings, weight gain, decreased libido, and the most common hot flashes”.
Studies have proven that “Reishi Fungi have helped greatly in reducing menopause symptoms in women. It is known for its apoptogenic capacity, being a powerful hormonal balancing mushroom. The Reishi has energizing properties, reduces stress levels and is a natural hormonal regulator”.
In addition, “Several symptoms of menopause indicate an increase in the general inflammatory state, which is why Reishi has an important role due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capacity”.
Mushroom medical benefits for brain function and Immune System
The best type of mushroom consumed for brain functioning and Immune system is Lion’s Mane. “It is wildly used in China, Korea, and Japan as medicinal fungus for thousands of years”. According to studies.
“It’s known as “Smart Mushroom” because of its support for cognitive function and neurological health and have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties”.
“Recently, it has been receiving attention all over the world for its exceptional brain supportive potential and assisting in boosting our immune system by encouraging the growth of beneficial gut bacteria”.
“Lion’s mane contains a broad range of naturally occurring bioactive compounds such as erinacines and hericenones which can effect the protective blood-brain barrier to support its natural cognitive functions”.
“The extract made from lion’s mane benefits our body and was given to rats with peripheral nerve injuries. The extract supported and completed regeneration of nerve tissue as compared to rats who didn’t receive it”. According to neuroregeneration research.
In addition, based on more studies, scientists suggest that lion’s mane mushrooms have abilities such as:
- Lower the risk of diabetes
- Treat ulcers
- Help with heart diseases
- Improve memory and focus
- Help repair of nervous tissues and cells
- Help with dementia,
- Help certain types of cancers
To be able to obtain Lion’s mane, you can order online or try your local health food store. You may find it dry, in spice section or as supplement for intake in form of powder or liquid extract that can be added to your food as an ingredient.
Mushroom role in hormonal health system
Our body hormones are responsible for big range of physiological processes many of us go through, especially women, and when they are out of balance, they can lead to a group of unwanted symptoms.
Some of these hormonal symptoms can be treated through medicinal mushroom that can bring the balance to the body. The balance of these hormones can be important for women’s health, especially when they all work together, they “regulate women’s general health” based on medical facts.
Reishi mushroom is “excellent for liver to eliminate harmful toxins in the body, in addition to the calmness that add to the body when consumed”.
Cordyceps mushrooms, “a medicinal properties are known as “Worm-Shaped”. It is originally grown in China and can help support the production of hormones including cortisol, estrogen, and progesterone, according to research”.
“Cordyceps also help reversing the fatigue generated from cortisol, a female hormone caused by stress to stamina, endurance, and energy”.
Mushroom medical benefits and side effects
Due to the scarcity of many mushroom kinds, especially the ones that are considered medicinal. People consider taking them in form of supplements such as capsule, gummies, or liquid extract.
The most common mushrooms supplements people use, is mushroom supplements containing Reishi, Chaga, Cordyceps, Lion’s Mane and Turkey tail mushrooms.
The extracts of some mushrooms “are mainly used as herbal medicine, they taste bitter, so people add the extract to food or drinks to lessen the unpleasant taste”.
You should always consult your doctor before including any type of mushrooms to your diet. Woman who are pregnant, breastfeeding or taking medicine should consult their doctor before considering mushroom supplement, including the person who suffers from any allergies.
Consuming mushrooms or taking mushroom supplements can cost side effects when certain health issues are present. Some of these side effects are:
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Increased heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature.
- Muscle weakness.
- Lack of coordination.
- Dilated pupils.
Based on our research and healthy diet habits, we recommend the supplements below (click on the image) for anyone searching for better immune system, more focus, antioxidants, and butter brain functioning. According to World Health Association (WHA) more research is being conducted until today on medicinal mushrooms and their benefits and side effects.
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