Functional Mushrooms and Why They're So Important
There's been a surge in mushroom-infused products recently, and there's a good reason why. While many parts of the world have known the power of fungi for centuries, the Western world is slowly beginning to catch up with the medicinal, functional and nutritional benefits of including mushrooms in the daily regimen. Mushrooms aren't just a superfood, rich in antioxidants and nutrients. Many mushrooms demonstrate the ability to fight off cancer cells, slow aging, boost the immune system, and improve overall well-being.
There are dozens of medicinal mushrooms, but several stand out as distinct, powerful healing agents. These include Chaga, Red Reishi, Lion's Mane, and Cordyceps, and these are the ones we use in all our products. Maybe you've seen these mushrooms on the market, in teas, coffees, and supplements? But, what do they actually do, and which one should you take? To understand more about how these special and unique mushrooms can improve your life, well-being, and health, keep reading and discover the best ones for you.
Known as the "King of Medicinal Mushrooms," there is a reason Chaga's popularity has soared in recent years. In traditional medical practices, Chaga is prescribed to treat cancer, boost the immune system, improve lung function, alleviate pain, relieve joint inflammation, regulate blood sugar, treat tumors, regulate cholesterol, and as an antibacterial. You can see why it's called the king!
Modern medicine backs the potential of Chaga, with recent studies demonstrating that it has promise for treating and preventing cancer. The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, a leading cancer research institute, lists Chaga as a possible agent for fighting cancer, stimulating the immune system, reducing inflammation, and protecting the liver.
Chaga is an immunomodulator, meaning it naturally adjusts the immune system as the body needs. This is beneficial if you're fighting infections, but it also holds great importance for people suffering from autoimmune diseases, like Multiple Sclerosis, Psoriasis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, and IBS. Chaga is also gene-protective, which allows it to protect the body against diseases naturally.
In recent trials, Chaga inhibited colon cancer cell growth and demonstrated the ability to treat cervical cancer, leukemia, and liver tumors. In addition, a treatment of Chaga reduced inflammation and pain related to acute edema (swelling) and colitis (swelling of the colon). Subjects given a regular supplement of Chaga displayed greater memory skills, increased cognitive ability, and an enhanced capacity to learn.
In Chinese medicine, Red Reishi is the "Mushroom of Immortality." The Reishi mushroom is packed with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory abilities, and boosts the immune system like no other. Like Chaga, Reishi is an immunomodulating fungus, regulating and improving the immune system from the inside out. Eastern practitioners prescribe it for everything from minor infections to cancer.
Reishi is an approved cancer treatment in Japan, used to support the immune system in chemotherapy patients. Reishi enables the immune system to regulate itself, decreasing or increasing cell activity naturally and adapting to the body's changing needs.
Reishi holds another power, though, that makes it unique and extra powerful in strengthening the immune system. Triterpene, a mood-booster formed in fungi, animals, and plants, is also found in Reishi. This naturally occurring compound improves overall mood, eases depression, lowers anxiety, and betters sleep quality. When our mind is healthier, so is our immune system; it is well documented that stressed-out minds lead to reduced immune function. Reishi alleviates the stress on our immune system while also boosting it to function stronger.
The brain-boosting properties of Lion's Mane, along with its ability to slow signs of aging and boost overall health, are why it is so celebrated as a medicinal mushroom. Like Chaga and Reishi, Lion's Mane improves the immune system, though it is not an immunomodulator. In a recent study, Lion's Mane demonstrated potential in combating common pathogens.
The main triumph of Lion's Mane, though, is the way it stimulates the brain. Lion's Mane improved overall brain function in elderly patients when taken every day. It may stimulate two essential neuroprotective elements that are connected to memory. Erinaceus, a unique element found in Lion's Mane, delays nerve cell death and may also regenerate dying neurons. For people suffering from neurodegenerative diseases, like dementia and Alzheimer's, neuron cell health and performance are crucial.
The memory-enhancing abilities associated with Lion's Mane also reduce depression, anxiety, irritation, and concentration. A weakened recognition memory causes the brain to struggle with unfamiliar, new, or novel situations, which is an underlying cause of depression and anxiety.
A fascinating fungus often referred to as "Himalayan Gold," Cordyceps excels at improving endurance, enhancing immunity, boosting energy levels, and elevating the libido. Cordyceps possess the ability to transfer oxygen to our muscles quicker, which in turn increases our overall energy, exercise abilities, and quality of life. This mushroom also staves off fatigue and expands brain function; athletes worldwide use Cordyceps as part of their daily training routine to improve results.
In addition to improving athletic ability, Cordyceps is also earning its other nickname, "Himalayan Viagra!" The benefits of Cordyceps are more than just endurance and increased energy. Recent studies show that Cordyceps may increase longevity, and it might slow the aging process.
As you can see, the benefits of these mushrooms are vast and varied. If you're looking to become a better athlete, Cordyceps is the best choice. For dealing with specific ailments or illnesses related to the immune system, Reishi and Chaga are ideal. Lion's Mane is integral to a healthy brain and memory function. Mushrooms have so much to offer, and we're still at the beginning of discovering just how much these incredible natural agents have to give.
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