Though some may dismiss medicinal food, medical researchers have demonstrated how prescribed diets can be used to reduce health risks. Mushrooms are one such functional food. There are currently 38,000 medicinal mushroom species that have been discovered and classified.
Certain fungi and their extracts have even been shown to have anti-cancer properties due to their immune-boosting properties.
The role of the immune system in the maintenance of health has increased over the past two decades. According to a study on medicinal mushrooms, the general focus of medical researchers and clinicians is on “immune-dysfunctional diseases” such as cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, AIDS/HIV, hepatitis, and autoimmune diseases. In consequence, practitioners turn to mushrooms because of their immune enhancement properties. More study is needed on this.
Shiitake mushrooms have potent immune-boosting and antiviral properties, which help to lower cholesterol while inhibiting virus growth. Shiitake mushrooms contain lentinan, which not only boosts the immune system but is also thought to slow tumour growth, according to the American Cancer Society. The fungus, which is native to Asia, is also high in iron and antioxidants, which help reduce free radical damage.
Reishi is a well-known Chinese mushroom that is also known as the “herb of spiritual potency.” Reishi has been shown to help with tumour healing while also lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels. According to one study, Reishi aids in immune system modulation and provides hepatoprotection as well as bacteriostasis (the inhibition of bacterial growth) in the body. It has been used for over 2,000 years and is unique in that its pharmaceutical value outweighs its nutritional value, distinguishing it from other medicinal mushrooms. Reishi can be consumed in a variety of forms, including powder, dietary supplements, and tea.
The edible mushroom has powerful medicinal properties. One study discovered antioxidants in the rare mushroom. The antioxidant agents were identified by detecting 10 fatty acids and fatty acid esters in an extract and then evaluating the antioxidant activity. Russulaceae contributes to the overall health of the immune system due to its antioxidant constituents. The fungus, in particular, can act as an anti-cancer and anti-viral advocate. There are over 400 species worldwide, with the majority growing in coniferous forests.
The mushroom, also known as “Turkey Tail,” has long been used in Asian herbal remedies. According to the American Cancer Society, two mushroom extracts—polysaccharide K (PSK) and polysaccharide-peptide (PSP)—are being studied as cancer treatments. Clinical trials suggest that PSK may help people with certain types of cancer. It can increase survival rates by lengthening periods without disease, that also without causing significant side effects. Turkey Tail mushroom is also beneficial in immune system boosting and is used in the naturopathic treatment of various HPV infections.
Morels are polymorphic, varying in shape, colour, and size, and are high in Vitamin D. They have an earthy flavour and a high iron and B vitamin content. Because of their similar appearance, distinguishing “true morels” from “false morels” is critical (poisonous mushrooms). Even with “true morels,” there have been documented cases of allergic reactions to these edible mushrooms, so it is critical to exercise caution when consuming morels.
Read more posts on various kinds of mushrooms on our blog.
If you ever doubt any mushroom, always check with a professional before consuming it! Check out our post on poisonous mushrooms too.
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