ALMOST MAGICAL MUSHROOMS

Gotcha! You thought I was going to write about magic mushrooms……well we may not be talking Psilocybin but some of the traditional Chinese and Japanese medicinal mushrooms are pretty magical.


The Chinese and Japanese have been using mushrooms as medicine for thousands of years.

I had my first experience using these a few years ago. I became very ill with pneumonia and pleurisy and although I took a course of antibiotics it wasn’t shifting. I thought before trying more antibiotics I would try some Turkey Tail mushroom. I felt like it was a miracle at the time, as after 24hrs I was feeling significantly better.

Since then, I use mushrooms everyday to help improve my overall health. I used Reishi throughout my pregnancy to help with my immunity (I was pregnant through the worst of COVID and still working with the public) and the Chinese believe that Reishi babies are calm babies….not sure if it’s coincidence or not but my son is super chill. Post birth I’ve still been using Reishi and have added in some cordyceps which is said to help rebuild the blood, and I do find that I notice if I forget.


Please talk to a health professional before starting any new supplements – especially while pregnant or breastfeeding. Results will vary from person to person.


Now I’ve spoken about my experience, let’s dive into the individual mushrooms and what they can be used for.

Reishi

· Increases immune function and a potent antioxidant1

· Modulate the microbiota of the intestinal tract, and have been heralded as effective prebiotics2

· Anti-inflammatory3

· Antibacterial and Antiviral5

· Powerful adaptogen and considered the ‘mushroom of immortality’

· Traditionally considered good to support the immune system, relieve stress, strengthen the spirit, calm the mind and promote peaceful sleep. (SuperFeast)

Cordyceps

· Enhance immune function4

· Antibacterial5

· Considered a life-enhancing herb in the Taoist herbal tradition

· Traditionally used to increase blood oxygenation and cultivate Jing – the primordial energy living in the kidneys. With increased Jing, we experience improved core energy, cellular performance, endurance and reduced recovery time (SuperFeast)

Turkey Tail (Coriolus)

· Increases immune function and a potent antioxidant1

· Modulate the microbiota of the intestinal tract, and have been heralded as effective prebiotics2

· Anti-inflammatory3

· Used by Taoists to cultivate a robust immune system that is able to combat pathogens, turkey tail is also beneficial for boosting Qi (Chi), supporting bone health, toning the liver, and improving gut health. (SuperFeast)

Shiitake

· Immune stimulating6

· Antiviral5

· Could be helpful in inhibiting the influenza virus7

· Considered the ‘elixir of life’ by Japanese elders

· Traditionally considered good for the cardiovascular system, blood vessels, respiratory system and liver (SuperFeast)


I use Metagenics super mushroom, SuperFeast or Host Defence (which you can get from iHerb). Caring Hands Chiropractic stocks Metagenics and a small range of SuperFeast products.


And as always, please consult a healthcare professional before starting a new supplement. Results will vary from person to person.

References:

[1] Zjalic S, Reverberi M, Ricelli A, et al. Trametes versicolor: a possible tool for aflatoxin control. International Journal of Food Microbiology. 2006;107:243-9.

[2] Pallav K, Dowd SE, Villafuerte J, et al. Effects of polysaccharopeptide from Trametes versicolor and amoxicillin on the gut microbiome of healthy volunteers: a randomized clinical trial. Gut Microbes. 2014 Jul 1;5(4):458-67.

[3] He YX, Du M, Shi HL, et al. Astragalosides from Radix Astragali benefits experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in C57BL /6 mice at multiple levels. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014 Aug 24;14:313.

[4] Belwal T, Bhatt ID, Indra D, Dharambir K, Sak S, Tuli HS, et al. Nonvitamin and nonmineral nutritional supplements. USA: Academic Press; 2019. P. 527-37.

[5] Reis FS, Martins A, Vasconcelos MH, Morales P, Ferreira IC. Functional foods based on extracts or compounds derived from mushrooms. Trends Food Sci Technol. 2017 May 19;66:48-62. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tifs.2017.05.010.

[6] Zhang M, Cui SW, Cheung PCK, Wang Q. Antitumor polysaccharides from mushrooms: a review on their isolation process, structural characteristics and antitumor activity. Trends Food Sci Technol. 2007 Jan;18(1):4-19 doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tifs.2006.07.013.

[7] Kuroki T, Lee S, Hirohama M, Taku T, Kumakura M, Haruyama T. Inhibition of influenza virus Infection by Lentinus edodes mycelia extract through its direct action and immunopotentiating activity. Front Microbiol. 2018 May 29;9:1164. doi: https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2018.01164.

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