Reishi, chaga, cordyceps, lion’s mane.…..what?! Medicinal mushrooms are taking over, and you might just want to give them a try! From body-and-mind balancing properties, to helping you keep a bulletproof immunity…..this could be just the thing your body has been asking for.
Lucky for us, these powerhouse mushrooms are offered in a loose powder or capsule form! You can mix it in a smoothie, juice, or your morning oatmeal. Below I will mention a few of my favorite brands. Most medicinal mushrooms have immune-enhancing properties and contain high levels of antioxidants that help to fight free radical damage. They are rich in bioactive compounds including:
- Organic acids
Do you need to calm your body and mind? Are you looking for a way to relax and sleep better? Reishi to the rescue! Reishi mushroom is generally known as “the queen of mushrooms” due to its mind and body balancing properties. It reduces stress, cleanses the liver, strengthens the immune system, supports adrenal function, and helps to normalize blood cholesterol as well as blood pressure levels. Reishi calms you down and ensures better sleep by naturally regulating the hormonal system and lowering cortisol levels. Not only does it contain antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties…..but it also acts as an anti-inflammatory for reducing symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Reishi also contains ganoderic acid (a triterpenoid), which can treat lung cancer and leukemia. In China, it is known as the “spirit plant” and/or “mushroom of immortality”…….and I can see why!
Are you always looking for that immunity boost? Chaga could be your answer! Chaga is known as “black gold” and has been the most sought-after mushroom in Northern cultures for ages. It grows on birch trees and contains one of the highest sources of antioxidants available in nature. Seriously! It beats out green tea, blueberries, cocoa, acai berries, pomegranate, and goji berries. Not only is it an immune support rock star, but it also aids in digestion, helps the body to deal with stress, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels, is an anti-inflammatory, and slows the aging process. Say what?! Chaga’s a fantastic source of polysaccharides, betaglucans, and phenols, which boosts energy and promotes wellbeing. Regular use has been shown to reduce or eliminate certain types of tumors and viral infections. It is also used in skin treatments for skin issues such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne.
Feeling a little sluggish? Need a pick-me-up? Cordyceps could be the key! Cordyceps mushroom is an adaptogen, not a stimulant, so it helps you to maintain constant energy levels. It does this by activating the body’s own energy production in the cells. So it not only increases energy, but also enhances athletic ability, and strengthens the immune system. Cordyceps are used to help treat cancer/tumor growth, hepatitis B, muscle weakness, dizziness, respiratory infections, asthma, low circulation and irregular heartbeats, liver disorders, coughs/colds/flu, and chronic fatigue syndrome/low energy.
Need to stimulate your brain and boost mental function? You might want to consider the lion’s mane mushroom. Lion’s mane is known as the most powerful nootropic mushroom. Nootropic is a drug, supplement, or herb that enhances the powers of the mind….particularly memory, cognition, and mood. Lion’s mane dominates among natural remedies for the nervous system, mind, and memory. It protects the sheaths around nerves in the body as well as the brain, and can also stimulate the repairing of nerve damage naturally, even long after the damage has been done. With this ability to repair and protect the nerves, lion’s mane shows a lot of promise as a therapy for Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and even multiple sclerosis. Since it also shows to have a positive impact on mood, it may treat depression and anxiety.
A few of my favorite brands are:
- Mehdi Reishi (organic/non-gmo reishi mushroom spores powder): This brand is awesome! They offer reishi shell-broken spores, for better absorption. It is smooth and tasteless, so you can add it to many types of beverages without changing the taste of what you’re drinking. They also have reishi extract, and a reishi mushroom formula (a combination of the spores and extract). This can be found at www.mehdireishi.com and www.thrivemarket.com (if you have a membership).
- Four Sigmatic (organic): They offer reishi, cordyceps, chaga, and lion’s mane powders. This brand has a sweeter taste because stevia is added, along with ingredients such as peppermint, rose hips, and licorice root extract. Although these ingredients are wonderful, it is not my favorite taste…..so I prefer to mix these powders in smoothies, raw honey, and oatmeal. You can find these at foursigmatic.com, and www.thrivemarket.com as well, if you have a membership. I have also seen this brand at Sprout’s Farmers Market.
- Host Defense (organic and non-gmo): If you prefer a capsule….this brand is for you! This brand offers different combinations of mushrooms. My favorite is the Host Defense MyCommunity Comprehensive Immune Support, because it contains 17 different mushroom species. There is also Host Defense Stamets 7, which includes the royal sun blazei, cordyceps, reishi, maitake, lion’s mane, chaga, and mesima mushroom species. Host Defense can be found at hostdefense.com, www.thrivemarket.com, Sprout’s Farmers Market.