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5 Amazing health benefits of medicinal mushrooms

Date Posted:8 March 2023 

There are many different varieties of medicinal mushrooms, each with a unique property for improving health and wellbeing. While some mushrooms stimulate the immune system to help fight off illness, others can nourish the adrenal glands and support the body through periods of stress. Others are amazing as an energy tonic and can be used as a natural pick me up instead of relying on caffeine.


There are more than 100 species of medicinal mushrooms, and each has its own unique benefits. One of the most popular varieties is shiitake mushrooms, which contains beta glucans, an immune boosting compound that helps fight off infections. Another variety, maitake mushrooms, is rich in vitamin D, which supports bone health. Reishi mushrooms are high in antioxidants, which help protect against free radicals and reduce inflammation. Chaga mushrooms provide increased athletic ability in terms of performance and endurance. All medicinal mushrooms offer anti inflammatory properties along with additional vitamins and minerals, making them a superfood in the medicinal world. Mushrooms contain many nutrients that promote good health, including protein, fibre, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and polysaccharides.



1. Boost immunity

Medicinal mushrooms are a unique and powerful type of fungus that have been used for thousands of years for their health benefits. The active ingredients in medicinal mushrooms include polysaccharides, beta glucans and ergosterols. Polysaccharides are responsible for many of the immune boosting effects associated with medicinal mushrooms, while beta glucans and ergosterols help to regulate the immune system. Medicinal mushrooms also contain vitamin D2, which can be very beneficial to those who do not get enough sun exposure or who live in areas where the sun is not strong enough to produce vitamin D naturally.

Chaga mushrooms are incredibly high in anti oxidants, benefiting all aspects of health and vitality. Similar to reishi, chaga mushroom benefits include boosting the immune system, although they more specifically act as an anti viral. Chaga mushroom powder has also been shown to increase physical endurance, making it an ideal addition to improve athletic training. Drinking chaga tea is particularly helpful during winter when exposure to pathogens is significantly increased.

Chaga mushroom powder is one of the most potent antioxidant superfoods on the planet. Chaga overtakes ORAC values of other well known antioxidants like acai berry and turmeric root. This type of mushroom contains polysaccharides that also function as prebiotics, increasing the levels of beneficial bacteria such as bifidobacterium and lactobacillus species. Teelixir organic wild chaga mushroom is sustainably harvested from birch trees in the deep, isolated mountains of Siberia and is certified organic by Australian Certified Organic (ACO) body.



2. Sleep better

If you're having trouble sleeping, you may want to try medicinal mushrooms. Mushrooms are a type of fungus that can be used for their healing properties. They're often considered a superfood because they contain nutrients that are beneficial to your health. Medicinal mushrooms can help with a range of ailments, including sleep disorders.

Here's how:

  1. Mushrooms contain tryptophan, which is an amino acid that helps regulate mood and treat insomnia by increasing serotonin levels in the brain.
  2. Mushrooms contain vitamin D, which helps regulate melatonin production in your body - the hormone responsible for helping you fall asleep at night and stay asleep throughout the night.
  3. Mushrooms have antioxidants called ergothioneine and beta glucans that protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals like stress or pollution.

If you’re looking for ways to improve your sleep quality, consider adding some of reishi mushrooms to your diet. Reishi mushrooms, along with shitake are probably the most well known of all medicinal mushrooms, as these can be eaten in meals, as well as dried into a reishi mushroom powder for supplementation. They are very good at boosting immune function by improving white blood cell formation, along with increasing natural killer cells. These cells are involved in fighting off pathogens once the body comes into contact with bugs that pose a threat, resulting in a higher resistance to infection.

The nutrition information of medicinal mushrooms such as reishi claim to have 6-12 g of protein per 100g serving. This is a great addition to your daily protein intake. Consuming ½ a teaspoon of reishi mushroom powder on a regular basis is a great way to reduce stress, calm the mind and promote deep sleep. Teelixir certified organic reishi mushroom powder is are wild cultivated deep in the mountains of China, away from pollution and it’s slightly bitter and earthy. Reishi mushrooms can also be found in this reishi mushroom blend, together with Ayurvedic ashwagandha and ancient Chinese adaptogenic herbs - helping you get a good night sleep.



3. Improve cognitive health

Medicinal mushrooms are one of the most powerful natural remedies for cognitive health. Here's why you should be adding them to your diet:

  1. Chaga mushrooms have been shown to improve memory and protect against Alzheimer's disease.
  2. Reishi mushrooms can help prevent Alzheimer's disease and dementia by boosting brain health and reducing inflammation.
  3. Lion's mane mushrooms can boost brain health, improve cognition, and prevent Alzheimer's disease.
  4. Maitake mushroom extract has been shown to improve memory in older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

Consuming medicinal mushrooms has also been shown to reduce stress levels, improve mood, boost immunity, and even improve cognitive health. Lion’s mane gets its name from the long, draping appearance of this particular mushroom, resembling a mane. It is particularly beneficial for cognitive function, specifically for stimulating the growth of brain cells. Research has shown benefit in patients suffering from degenerative cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer's, by increasing nerve cell production in the brain. For the average healthy individual, lion’s mane can help to improve mental clarity and cognitive performance.  

Another amazing benefit of lion’s mane is its ability to improve depression and anxiety. Neuronal inflammation (inflammation of the brain) is a key characteristic of mood disorders, and it affects the ability for the cells in the brain to signal to one another, increasing the likelihood of depression and anxiety. The anti inflammatory effect of lion’s mane mushroom has been shown to reduce such inflammation, resulting in reduced symptoms of mood disorders. You can buy lion's mane mushroom powder in Australia here at Sassy Organics for a quick and convenient delivery to your home.



4. Increase energy

Along with chaga, if you’re looking to boost physical performance, including cordyceps mushrooms can help by increasing the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate/energy). But you don’t have to be into sports to reap the benefits of cordyceps. Often contained in natural energy formulations, cordyceps fungus can assist in increasing natural and most importantly, sustained energy. Unlike caffeine or sugar which will give you an instant energy hit followed by a crash, cordyceps mushrooms include boosting energy while also supporting and nourishing the nervous system. When taking cordyceps as mushroom nutrition supplementation, there are two kinds that are predominantly used in formulations. These are cordyceps sinensis and cordyceps militaris. Both have clinical research supporting their health claims. 

Cordyceps has been shown to increase nitric oxide production, aerobic capacity and the utilization of cellular energy stores. The production of nitric oxide causes vasodilation within blood vessels which helps improve oxygen utilization and the clearing away of lactic acid; improving circulation, skeletomuscular and cardiovascular abilities. Adding cordyceps mushroom powder to your daily routine will help elevate your athletic performance, boosting your evergy levels.

This species of mushroom grows on caterpillars and other insects, and is considered one of the most expensive foods in the world. It's also known as Caterpillar Fungus or Deer Mushroom. It contains many vitamins and minerals such as niacin, riboflavin, B6 and B12; phosphorus; protein; iron; zinc; calcium; potassium; magnesium; amino acids including tryptophan which helps with sleep disorders such as insomnia or restless leg syndrome (RLS); beta sitosterol which lowers cholesterol levels; polysaccharides which help reduce inflammation related conditions like arthritis or fibromyalgia/chronic pain syndrome (FMS); cordycepin which helps fight viruses like influenza A virus H1N1 (swine flu); peptides which helps fight bacterial infections and more.



5. Improve gut health

The gut is the key to many of our health issues. It’s the second brain, and it is responsible for a lot of what goes on in our bodies. That’s why it’s so important to keep your gut healthy!

One way to do that is by eating medicinal mushrooms for gut health. Medicinal mushrooms are mushrooms that have been proven by science to help with gut health. They can help you with everything from reducing inflammation and helping your body absorb nutrients, to preventing leaky gut syndrome and healing damaged cells in your digestive tract.

Antibiotics disrupt the normal gut microbiome, killing four years of healthy flora each cycle, weakening the microbiome, immune system and leaves the body more exposed to the overgrowth of non beneficial bacteria, digestive issues (IBS/IBD) and illness. To offset the use of antibiotics, it is highly recommended to use turkey tail mushroom on a daily basis, along with a high, multi strain probiotic, to help repopulate an effective, happy, healthy microbiome. Turkey tail extract contains prebiotic compounds that help balance healthy gut bacteria, support digestion and fortify the immune system.

With mushroom polysaccharides acting as prebiotics, they feed the beneficial microbes in our gut, which in turn create nutrients, such as vitamin K and SCFA (short chain fatty acids) that repair our enterocytes (intestinal wall cells) and fuel our cellular energy production. Incorporating just ¼ teaspoon (1 gram or more) of turkey tail mushroom extract into your daily routine almost seems too easy to reap such epic benefits, but that’s the power of these medicinal mushrooms.



Medicinal mushroom uses

Mushrooms are a great source of vitamins and minerals, and they're easy to incorporate into your diet. Here are some of the best ways to get more mushrooms in your life:

  1. Eat them raw or cooked. You can use fresh shiitake mushrooms in salads, or saute them with garlic and onions for an easy side dish. When it's cooked, mushrooms have a meaty texture that makes them a great replacement for meat in many recipes.
  2. Add them to your smoothie! You can add mushroom powder with other fruit and vegetables for a healthy boost to your morning drink.
  3. Make mushroom tea! The tea made from medicinal mushrooms has many health benefits, including reducing stress levels, improving blood circulation, and fighting cancer cells. To make this tea at home, just simmer dried shiitake mushrooms in water until they're soft enough to chew easily (about 20 minutes). Then strain out the liquid and add it to hot water - you'll have delicious mushroom tea!


Final thoughts

If you're looking to add some extra vitamins and minerals to your diet, medicinal mushrooms are a great place to start. They're not just for vegetarians anymore - in fact, there are five amazing health benefits of medicinal mushrooms that make them worth trying out even if you don't identify as a vegetarian.