MEDICINAL MUSHROOMS – WHY THEY MAY BE ‘MAGIC’
Mushrooms have been consumed throughout history. The ancient Greeks believed mushrooms gave them strength for battle, the Romans perceived them as the ‘food of the Gods’ and in Chinese culture mushrooms have been used as medicinal for centuries.
There are thousands of species of mushrooms present on earth, however the majority remain unexplored by humans. Recently modern medicine has turned the spotlight onto mushrooms, with research exploring their health–promoting and disease–fighting potential.
Some of the most important health benefits of medicinal mushrooms include their ability to balance and restore the immune system, fight cancer, regulate blood sugar levels, lower stress levels, reduce inflammation, improve energy levels, support the liver, protect the heart, reduce allergies and help the body to fight against viruses, infections, yeasts and parasites.
In fact, the health benefits of mushrooms are so widely spreadthat the word ‘magical’ seems to be the fitting way to describe them.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF MUSHROOMS
Most edible mushrooms contain high levels of nutrients and antioxidants, however some contain properties that could not only benefit health but could potentially benefit human medicine. Chaga and cordyceps are just two of these powerful medicinal mushrooms and are widely used for their healing properties throughout the world.
Wild chaga is a mushroom that grows on the trunk of birch trees in extreme climates. Traditionally is has been used to treat everything from gastrointestinal issues to heart disease. Most of the benefits of chaga are based on traditional use, however research is very promising. Studies have demonstrated chaga’s anticancer, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-fatigue, antioxidant and anti-diabetic properties. A 2016 study assessed the effect of chaga intake over three weeks on cancer. The extract of chaga showed significant anti-cancer properties, observing tumour reduction of up to 60% through the study. The researchers concluded that chaga could be used as a natural remedy for cancer suppression.
Among the different species of cordyceps, cordyceps militaris is considered to be the oldest source with powerful medicinal properties. Studies have shown that the active constituents of cordyceps militaris exhibit anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-ageing, anticancer, immunomodulatory, antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal, antidiabetic, anti-fatigue, neuroprotective andhepatoprotective properties.
One of the most valued traditional uses of cordyceps is its ability to increase energy and reduce fatigue. An experimental study looked at the effect of a cordyceps extract on fatigue. Over the two-week period, fatigue was significantly reduced and the study concluded cordyceps extract could be used as an effective agent against fatigue.
So apart from them being a delicious culinary ingredient, it is pretty clear to see that mushrooms may indeed be magic. You can find both wild chaga and vegan cordyceps (militaris) in Supernova Living Protein Powders, your daily vitality boost: https://staging.supernovaliving.com/home-page
Article written by Supernova Living Naturopathic Nutritionist Sasha Paul.
Disclaimer: The information found on this website is intended for educational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice.