Mushrooms and Wellness

 

The healing benefits of functional mushrooms have been revered since ancient times.

Even before Netflix’s hit show Fantastic Fungi made mushrooms so popular, they have long been celebrated for their medicinal properties within the wellness community. This hero ingredient is not only packed with flavor, it is also loaded with vitamins that help promote immunity and enhance bone strength. Functional mushrooms are also now often used for regulating mood as well as sleep, boosting digestive health, and improving skin radiance.

A Quick History

Mushrooms have been used in traditional Chinese medicine (“TCM”) for over 2,000 years. The use of medicinal mushrooms date back to some of the first medical texts on record. For example, the reishi mushroom was written as a powerful medicine in the great classic herbal text, the Shen Nong Ben Cao in about 200 AD.

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Functional mushrooms were prized in Roman society for both their medicinal properties and deadly potential. Varieties like truffles and Caesar’s mushrooms were popular among Roman and forbidden for the lower classes. The deadly side of mushrooms is most remembered by the poisoning of Emperor Claudius, one of the more infamous murders in Roman history as it paved the way for Nero to take the throne.

Functional Mushrooms - Poison

The ancient Egyptians called mushrooms “sons of the gods” and “plants of immortality”. Consuming mushrooms was the exclusive privilege of the pharaoh and his dining companions. Not only did the Egyptians think mushrooms were scrumptious; they were also considered health food. In the early 400s, an Egyptian scholar named Athenaeus authored Deipnoshistae (translation: The Gatronomers). eipnoshistae included a mushroom recipe for a dish called mykai that became heavily replicated and quoted as a healthy dish.

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The Mushroom Superstars

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Reishi

Reishi supports the body’s natural ability to fight viruses and destroys cancer cells. Regular intake of Reishi has also rendered impressive results in managing stress, enhancing mood, and improving one’s quality of sleep.

functional mushrooms reishi

Cordyceps

Cordyceps is a type of mushroom that continues to gain traction among athletic or active individuals. It boosts metabolic rates and helps with muscle recovery, especially following a killer workout. A shot of cordyceps before exercise or sport also supports the body as it regulates oxygen.

Functional Mushrooms Cordyceps

Lion’s Mane

Lion’s Mane supports productivity, focus, mood, overall brain function, and helps in prevention of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Functional Mushrooms Lion's Mane

Chaga

Chaga does wonders in fighting inflammation. It’s been found to not only help fight cancer, but also lower blood sugar levels.

functional mushrooms chaga

Turkey Tail

One of the most researched mushrooms on the planet, Turkey Tail contains pre-biotics and antioxidants that help inhibit or reduce damage caused by oxidative stress. Researchers are exploring how turkey tail may help balance blood sugar levels, boost athletic performance, fight viral and bacterial infections, and reduce fatigue.

Functional Mushrooms Turkey Tail