Functional mushrooms, also known as medicinal mushrooms, are a special group of fungi that apart from the great nutritional value, provide health benefits for the human organism.
The latest researches show that fungi are a close relative to humans. Yes, for years, people were categorizing them as plants but they are more of animals. The shared DNA sure plays a role in the great relationship between the mushrooms and men. However, as much as some of the mushrooms can be beneficial for humans, others can be very poisonous.
From the thousands of types of fungi in the world, there are several that were recently classified as medicinal. Moreover, they are used in medicine to cure maladies and support a human’s organism.
The Use of Functional Mushrooms
Functional mushrooms have been used in Eastern traditional medicine for thousands of years. Eastern people were well aware of their powerful effects on the immune system, cognitive abilities and curing properties. Moreover, they were often reserved for the royals only.
Today, people are aware of how a simple environment is just enough for them to grow. Moreover, they can be grown even in waste coffee grounds. Pre-prepared mushroom grow box kits are making it easier than ever, to grow your own medicinal mushrooms at home.
The benefits of these powerful mushrooms are easily obtained when they are in liquid form (tincture) or in a form of powder. The mushroom powder is most commonly used as a food supplement. On top of that, the market nowadays offers coffee, protein, latte and other products that contain mushroom powders inside.
1. Lion’s Mane Mushroom
Hericium Еrinaceus is much more popular by its nickname Lion’s mane that fairly describes its appearance. Lion’ mane mushrooms have both culinary and medical use. Their taste when cooked or eaten raw is often described as sea-food like. For medicinal purposes, they can be used as dried mushrooms for tea, mushroom powder or liquid.
Lion’s mane mushroom is known for its neuroprotective properties. Moreover, it boosts cognitive abilities.
· Ergosterol (provitamin form of vit. D)
· All of the basic amino acids
Lion’s Mane is proven to be beneficial for:
1. Helps, support and protect the nervous system and the brain
2. Boost cognitive abilities and memory
3. Supports liver function
4. Improves the metabolism
5. Helps in fighting:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Intellectual disability
- Cancer and tumors
2. Reishi Mushroom
Lingzhi or Reishi mushroom is mostly popular as the “mushroom of immortality”. They are a symbol of longevity and well-being. In ancient China, their use was related to the enhancement of the life energy in Chinese- the life force “Chi”. Therefore, Reishi is mostly used for boosting immunity and for its anti-aging properties.
Reishi mushrooms are used for medical purposes only as they are too tough to eat.
Here are the beneficial properties they provide:
· Cell regenerator
Reishi is proven to be beneficial for:
1. Efficient boost of the immune system
2. Thorough detoxification (from drugs, alcohol, medications, chemotherapy)
3. Fast recovery after surgery, severe illness, physical or mental exhaustion
4. Problems with the respiratory system
5. Regulating Diabetes
6. Weight regulation
7. Cancer and tumor
8. Nervousness, stress and insomnia
3. Cordyceps Mushroom
Cordyceps Sinensis is a great natural stimulant for both physical energy and libido. It’s commonly used by athletes to improve their performance and speed up recovery.
Cordyceps is a mighty fungus that fights against maladies and health conditions. It has the ability to improve the function of all main organs and systems in the body. Cordyceps is used in medical purposes only.
Here are the beneficial compounds found in Cordyceps:
· Vitamins (B1, B2, B12, E, K)
The beneficial properties of Cordyceps mushrooms:
· Cardiovascular tonic
· Natural antibiotic
Cordyceps is proven to be beneficial for:
1. Boosting the immune system
2. Recovery after a physical exhaustion
3. Thorough detoxification
4. Fighting cancer and side effects of chemotherapy
5. Fighting against lung diseases and improves lungs function
6. Fighting against kidney diseases and improves kidney function
7. Improving the libido, sexual and reproductive health