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The Power of Mushrooms

Medicinal mushrooms such as Shiitake, Reishi, Lion’s mane, Chaga, Maitake are powerful multi-cell organisms have been used medicinally for thousands of years throughout Asia for many different purposes including supporting the immune system, inflammatory conditions and longevity.


Immune system

The most common compounds found in all mushroom species are polysaccharides, and in particular beta glucan 1-3 and beta glucan 1-6.Beta Glucans are strong molecules that support the immune system and increases the systems response to viral and bacteria infections as well as anti-tumour activity.


Mushrooms have also been the source for several pharmaceutical drugs, including antibiotics and statins (penicillin, streptomycin, and tetracycline).


Gut health

Research also demonstrates that mushrooms prebiotic effect on the gut microbiome, increase the growth of bifidobaterium and lactobacillus in the gut which help balance the microbiome. These are both also necessary for short-chain fatty acids for healthy food breakdown.


Cardiovascular

Medicinal mushrooms have been researched and show properties which decrease cholesterol and act as an anticoagulant.


Shiitake

Benefits:

• Supports vitality

• rich source of fibre

• rich source of B vitamins, selenium

• Rich source of immunomodulatory substances - beta-glucans (which stimulates the innate immune system)

• Fights diseases, bacteria and viruses due to T-1cytokines

• Contains a substance called ertiadenine, which is linked to decreasing overall cholesterol levels


Maitake

Key benefits:

• activates the immune system to defend against bacterial and viral infections

• Protects normal cells from environmental carcinogens

• supports healthy immune function

• Strengthens the adrenal glands

Therapeutic uses:

• Diabetes: improves glucose tolerance

• Cancer: inhibits environmental carcinogens, induces release of cytokines, inhibits metastasis and tumors, stimulates T-cells

• Helps with chronic fatigue

• Balances blood sugar levels

• Controls Candida

• Hypertension

Mix with vitamin C which increases the absorption.


Reishi:

Reishi is known as the “Mushroom of immortality”.


Key benefits:

• Stimulate the activities of macrophages and T lymphocytes

• Stimulates anti-allergic activity

• Supports sleep and relaxation

• Antitumor activity


Therapeutic uses:

• Anti-allergy & hay fever

• Allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma, blocked sinus

• Anti-inflammatory

• Sedative (treatment of insomnia and anxiety)

• Immune support


Cordyceps:

Key benefits:

• May increase athletic performance

• Antiviral properties

• Supports lung, liver & kidney function

• Improves fatigue / restores adrenals

• May improve sexual performance

Therapeutic uses:

• Asthma, chronic cough & wheezing

• Poor endurance and stamina

• Fatigue

• Infertility, Impotence, sexual dysfunction, reduced libido

Chaga:

Key benefits:

• Boost Immune system-increase lymphocytes, anti viral-herpes virus

• Lowers inflammation, aids muscle and joint recovery times from exercise

• Reduces symptoms of diabetes

• Suppress cancer progression, reduced tumours by 60% compared with control for lung cancer

• Aid recovery time for athletes, with less reduction in energy stores

• Reduced symptoms of diabetes

• Anti-septic properties

• Reduce LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol

• High in anti-oxidants. One typical dose =30lb of carrots.

• Helps promote shiny, thick hair and glowing skin


Uses:

• Sprinkle over a salad

• Add to soups

• Add to hummus

• Sprinkle over pasta sauce

• Add to savoury porridge

• Make into mushroom tea

• Take as a supplement


Contraindications:

Come of the mushrooms have contraindications e.g. Cordcepys not recommended for people with BPH, prostate or breast cancer. Therefore, if you have any serious health issues or on medications please contact a nutritionist before adding to your diet.


Sources:

http://www.nutritioninsight.com/news/New-Research-Ties-Mushrooms-to-Potential-Health-Outcomes.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25866155/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=shitake+hiv

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21887458


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29199568

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