7 Medicinal Mushrooms.
Which Mushrooms are healthiest?
After immersing myself into Paul Stamets and mushrooms, I decided to investigate Mushrooms a bit more.
I was looking to find information about our health and what benefits mushrooms might have for our bodies.
After all Fungi and Humans are very closely related, that alone, is a reason to believe Fungi could benefit us.
This led me to find out Which Mushrooms are healthiest.
We will explore the benefits of the following seven medicinal mushrooms.
- Chaga (Inonotus obliquus)
- Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum)
- Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor, Coriolus versicolor)
- Shiitake (Lentinula edodes)
- Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus)
- Cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis)
- Maitake (Grifola frondosa)
Books on Medicinal Mushrooms – Click each one and check them out. Two written by Paul Stamets
Mushrooms have been used in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicines for centuries for the prevention and treatment of diseases and illness.
Mushrooms contain a type of Lectin that can find cancer cells and prevent them from growing and dividing.
Aromatase is an enzyme that produces estrogen, Mushrooms inhibit aromatase so could protect against hormone-related cancers, like Breast Cancer.
All mushrooms contain beta-glucans, which have been found to help fight inflammation and boost the immune system.
Our immune system works hard every day to fight off cancer cells and supports our body to be healthier.
As we get older, our immune system can slow down and not have the same fight in it that it had when we were younger.
Lucky we have mushrooms, as they can boost your immune system and can help immune cells to be better at reacting to any infection or attacks on your immune system.
Mushrooms also have other amazing abilities like antifungal, antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral and tumour decreasing.
You have most likely heard of free radicals and how they damage cells in our body.
Damaging cells leads to an increased risk of developing health problems, mostly relating to aging.
Decreasing free radicals from your body can have amazing benefits for your health.
You can use antioxidants in your diet like vitamin C and A, selenium, beta-carotene for example that will help with the effects of free radicals, but Mushrooms are so powerful that they can NEUTRALIZE free radicals in your body.
So now we know that mushrooms can help with Cancer, the Immune System, as an Anti-inflammatory, Antibacterial, Antioxidant, Antiviral, decreasing tumours and neutralizing free radicals.
Lets now look at 7 mushrooms in particular.
Mushrooms don’t just help you live longer. They can also help you live better — and stronger.
Chaga Mushrooms will help improve your Immune System, it has strong antioxidant properties, can prevent chronic inflammation, fight cancer, lower blood sugar levels and reduce cholesterol.
See these Animal and test-tube studies below:
A study was performed on mice that had run down immune systems, they were given Chaga for 24 days.
The result was, that the number of white blood cells in the bone marrow had increased, which means Chaga can increase the number of Macrophages (“Macrophages are a type of immune white blood cell that engulfs and digests cellular debris, foreign substances, microbes, cancer cells, and anything else in your body that does not appear healthy to the immune system”).
In a study in mice, the Chaga extract reduced inflammation and gut damage by inhibiting inflammatory cytokines.
Chaga supplements resulted in a 60% reduction in tumour size in mice with Cancer.
A recent study in obese, diabetic mice observed that Chaga extract reduced blood sugar levels and insulin resistance compared to diabetic mice who did not receive the supplement.
In this study on diabetic mice, Chaga supplements led to a 31% decrease in blood sugar levels over three weeks.
Chaga reduced “bad” cholesterol, total cholesterol and triglycerides and increased antioxidant levels in an eight-week study on rats with high cholesterol.
Reishi Mushroom Benefits
Watch Paul Stamets on Reishi Mushrooms
Reishi mushrooms have been known to treat cancer, seizures, cardiovascular problems, and diabetes
Ganoderma mushrooms, commonly known as “Reishi” (Japan) or “Ling-Zhi” (Chinese), have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for more than 2000 years
Traditionally preparations made from Reishi were used to:
- Enhance Stamina.
- Increase Immunity and helps cells which detect and destroy cancer cells and cells infected with viruses.
- Treat inflammatory Diseases like Arthritis, Asthma, Bronchitis, Hepatitis and Nephritis.
- Treating cancers.
- Treat Stress.
- Treat Weakness.
- Treat Fatigue – Body and Mental.
- Heart Palpitations
- Reduce Free Radical Activity
Click here to get your Reishi Mushrooms to grow at home.
In one study, 34 patients with advanced stages of cancer were treated for 12 weeks with a Reishi-sourced polysaccharide. The patients who were given the treatment showed substantial improvements in the effectiveness of their immune function.
In China, they call it the “spirit plant” because of its ability to relax the mind and body.
Watch Paul Stamets on Turkey Tail Mushrooms. (Have the tissues ready to wipe your tears).
Turkey tail contains a wide variety of phenol and flavonoid antioxidants which help promote your immune system health by reducing inflammation and stimulating the release of protective compounds.
One test-tube study found that PSK, the polysaccharopeptide found in Turkey Tail mushrooms, inhibited the growth and spread of human colon cancer cells.
I quote, “The efficacy of PSK (found in has been demonstrated to increase survival in patients with gastrointestinal malignancies, including gastric and colon cancer. Hematogenous metastases are considered to be a prognostic factor in colon cancer, and PSK is believed to act in the process leading to these metastases, thereby increasing survival”
Turkey Tail can be taken with traditional medicines, and several studies have shown that Turkey Tail can increase in cancer-fighting cells.
- Read this study, where cancer patients being treated with chemotherapy and turkey tail show a 9% reduction in 5-year mortality.
- A review of 8 studies conducted on over 8000 people with stomach cancers, those that were given Turkey Tail as well as Chemotherapy lived longer.
- This study of 11 women with breast cancer found that those given Turkey Tail following radiation had an increase in cancer-fighting cells in their immune systems.
Click here to get Turkey Tail to grow yourself
Turkey Tail also contains prebiotics which is so good for gut health.
A study found that Turkey Tail increases populations of good bacteria and reduces harmful bacteria in your gut.
- May combat HPV: A study in 61 people with HPV found that 88% of participants treated with turkey tail experienced positive results, such as clearance of HPV, compared to just 5% of the control group.
- May reduce inflammation: Turkey tail is loaded with antioxidants, such as flavonoids and phenols that may reduce inflammation. Inflammation has been linked to chronic diseases, such as diabetes and certain cancers.
- Has antibacterial qualities: In a test-tube study, turkey tail extract inhibited the growth of Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella enterica, bacteria that can cause illness and infection.
- May improve athletic performance: A mouse study showed that turkey tail extract improved exercise performance and reduced fatigue. Plus, the mice treated with turkey tail experienced lower blood sugar levels at rest and post-exercise.
- May improve insulin resistance: A study in rats with type 2 diabetes demonstrated that turkey tail extract significantly reduced blood sugar levels and improved insulin resistance.
One of the most popular and most-studied mushrooms in the world.
It has the ability to treat cancer, seizures, cardiovascular problems, diabetes and improve quality and length of life.
In a 2014 study reported in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, researchers gave 52 healthy young adults either five or 10 grams of dried Shiitake mushrooms daily for four weeks.
In just one month, eating the dried shiitake mushrooms was found to support both a stronger immune system and a marked drop in inflammation. The subjects who took ten grams of dried shiitake’s daily had the most positive benefits.
Shiitake mushrooms have three compounds that help lower cholesterol:
- Eritadenine. This compound inhibits an enzyme involved in producing cholesterol.
- Sterols. These molecules help block cholesterol absorption in your gut.
- Beta-glucans. This type of fibre can lower cholesterol.
Click here to get your Shiitake Mushrooms and grow them now
Lion’s Mane is for Supporting Brain Health – like Dementia and Alzheimers.
Watch Paul Stamets on Lion’s Mane
A beautifully shaped mushroom that also has a long history in Chinese Medicine.
Amazing compounds in Lions’s Mane can activate a very small but special protein called “Nerve growth factor“, which you need for the survival of neurons in your brain.
Lion’s Mane is able to make your neurons re-grow and trigger re-myelination.
Myelination keeps neurons healthy and ensures they can conduct electrical signals properly.
In one small Japanese clinical study, elderly men and women with mild cognitive impairment were given Lion’s Mane for 16 weeks.
Throughout the study period, the mushroom-eating group showed significantly increased scores on a cognitive function scale compared with the placebo group.
But if they stopped consuming the mushroom, the increase in cognition disappeared.
Short-term memory refers to your ability to hold a small amount of information in your mind in a readily available state for a short period.
Visual recognition memory is a measurement of your ability to recognize previously encountered events, objects, or people, and to “remember” them.
Both of these types of memory are often lost in people with age-related health conditions.
Lion’s Mane has shown to support and prevent the loss of memory and the onset of cognitive dysfunction.
Click here to get Lion’s Mane for you to grow
Watch Paul Stamets in Cordyceps Mushrooms
Mushrooms don’t just help you live longer. They can also help you live better — and stronger.
There are over 400 species of Cordyceps, but two are the main focus for health, they are:
Cordyceps Sinesis and Cordyceps militaris.
Cordyceps can help in the following ways:
1. Boost the Immune System
Like many other medicinal mushrooms, cordyceps contain Beta-D-Glucans which naturally help you avoid disease and illness. (1)
2. Improve Stamina
Cordyceps has been used to improve athletic stamina as it increases our ability to take in Oxygen and use it to benefit performance. (2)
Cordyceps has been linked to enhancing the work of anti-oxidants, by reducing the Oxidative Process (decreasing aging). (3)
4. Increase Energy
ATP is a crucial supplier of energy to your cells while exercising.
Cordyceps can increase your bodies supply of ATP which gives you an increased exercise performance, energy and liveliness. (4)
5. Breath Easier
People have reported Cordyceps helping with Asthma and Immune-Related disorders.
Studies in Mice showed that Cordyceps reduced airway inflammation. (5)
6. A Natural Aphrodisiac
Cordyceps is a natural aphrodisiac, and traditionally it was used to improve fertility and impotence. (6)
Click here to grow your own Cordyceps
Watch Paul Stamets on Maitake Mushrooms
“Maitake” means dancing mushroom in Japanese.
The Maitake Mushroom is a type of Adaptogen.
Adaptogens help the body fight or overcome mental or physical difficulty. They also help to regulate unbalanced systems in the body.
Read more on the ECS in our body.
Maitake mushrooms are rich in:
- vitamins B and C
- amino acids
Maitake mushrooms have been in several studies.
In 2013 a study indicated that Maitake could help prevent and treat breast cancer by stopping the growth of cancerous cells.
In mice, a study revealed that Maitake can suppress tumour growth, and increase the number of cells fighting the tumour.
Another study found that it can kill human cancer cells when taken alongside a cancer-fighting protein, it also increases the performance of the protein.
Click here to grow Maitake Mushrooms
Maitake can also lower cholesterol levels, and increase fatty acids. Maitake can keep your arteries healthy and boost your energy.
A study on rats with Type 2 Diabetes, showed that eating Maitake mushrooms, ” can improve hyperglycemia and diabetes-induced alterations”.
Maitake mushroom may also be useful in treating:
- cold and flu viruses
- high or low blood pressure
- immune function
- side effects of chemotherapy
Are you a Mycologist?
Unless you are a trained Mycologist, I do not recommend you go and harvest mushrooms in the wild, there are many out there that are very poisonous.
I have found that whether it’s a medicinal mushroom or a common mushroom there is plenty of evidence to suggest that mushrooms have considerable benefits for our health.
The most powerful health benefits may be found in the mushrooms described in this article.
Disclosure Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, these are only products that we believe support our philosophy, any money we receive is donated to organisations that work to protect our Earth. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.
I really hope you have enjoyed finding out Which Mushrooms are Healthiest.
I really encourage you to:
- start growing your own mushrooms.
- learn more about mushrooms.
- add them to your diet immediately.
Your body will thank you forever, so happy mushroom growing and eating.
Don’t keep us in the dark, we would love to hear all about you and your mushrooms growing and supplementing so leave us a comment below.
All the Best