Medicinal mushrooms and their magic
Medicinal mushrooms are having a BIG moment right now! We struggle to keep them on the shelf with their new found popularity, but have very historical health benefits.
Mushrooms are classified as adaptogens, which is a group of healing herbs and fungi that regulate your body’s systems and bring you back into equilibrium. So a mushroom can decrease your stress while also increasing your immune capabilities at the same time.
Medicinal mushrooms are different from “magic” mushrooms in that they are non intoxicating. So no trippy highs needed to achieve adaptogenic homeostasis.
They strengthen the body to withstand greater stressors without the detrimental impact on the physical body. I use them all the time in practice with great benefits. Here are my favourite mushrooms and how to use them:
• Reishi – the Queen of Mushrooms
This is by far my most favourite mushroom as it is a potent stress balancer. It helps manage cortisol and calm the nervous system while also helping increase energy and the body’s resistance to stress.
• Cordyceps – The Energy Mushroom
This powerhouse stabilizes energy, enhances athletic performance by increasing endurance, stamina and oxygen uptake. It makes me feel energized without the jittery coffee anxiety. It may boost libido.
• Chaga – The King of Mushrooms
This fungi has the highest content of antioxidants. This makes it a powerful scavenger for unhealthy cells in the body and also boosts the immune system. By creating this antioxidant balance it helps slow the aging process.
• Lion’s Mane – The Brain Power Mushroom
This potent mushroom is a nootropic, which means to improve memory and cognition. This fungi helps to improve mood and focus while also providing protection against age-related cognitive decline.
• Turkey Tail – The Cancer Fighter
Named after its resemblance to an actual feathered turkey’s tail – this colourful mushroom helps boost the immune system, benefits digestion and also helps the body flush toxins. It has been shown to be beneficial in supporting people through chemotherapy.
• Tremella – The Beauty Mushroom
This fungi is known for giving glowing skin due to its hydrating and skin protective qualities. It also helps digestion, liver function and decreasing inflammation systemically.
We offer these mushrooms in tincture form (more potent) or in powder form. They are easy additions to your daily routine as you can add them to coffee. Wishing you all a magical fall.
Kate Hunter is a naturopathic doctor and owner of The Creemore Apothecary.