Perhaps you sometimes enjoy some mushrooms on your pizza or in a salad. Or maybe you don’t enjoy eating mushrooms, but you love their unique beauty when you come upon a patch of them in a forest. Not everyone loves mushrooms in the same way, but we all feel some sort of primal, visceral connection to them that is difficult to explain.
Either way, the question lingers – have you ever thought of mushrooms as medicine?
Believe it or not, mushrooms have been used as medicine all around the world for many thousands of years. Medicinal mushrooms can aid in human health in many ways. Most people in today’s society are completely missing out on this type of natural medicine. Regular and ongoing consumption of certain mushrooms can help you sleep better, can strengthen your immune system, can increase your energy and focus, and more.
If you are interested in learning more about how to use mushrooms as medicine, read on. Learn about the long history of the use of mushrooms as medicine, the parts of a mushroom, types of medicinal mushrooms, dosage and consumption, and more. Soon, you’ll be adding mushrooms to your health regimen and you’ll be amazed at the changes and benefits that you feel.
Mushrooms As Medicine?
Mushrooms are an important part of our natural world. They are part of the fungi kingdom and they grow and thrive in a wide variety of ecosystems. Their job on our planet is to break down dead matter into basic nutrients so they can enter the nutrient cycle again. In the process, they clean toxins from the environment and soil just like they have been doing for millions of years.
Since everything on our earth is connected, it’s natural that human beings should have some sort of relationship with mushrooms. People have been eating mushrooms for many thousands of years and continue to do so today. As with many living things in the plant kingdom, over time we have come to understand that mushrooms have medicinal properties, too.
History of Mushrooms as Medicine
People have been using mushrooms for both food and medicine for many thousands of years. Healers from a wide variety of different cultures have promoted the consumption of mushrooms to support overall health and to help people live longer and more fulfilling lives. Through observation and through oral tradition, these healers discovered that mushrooms can help human beings on their quest for optimum health.
Although mushrooms as medicine were most common in traditional Chinese medicine, news of the healing benefits of mushrooms has traveled around the world. After the discovery of penicillin in 1928, scientists, doctors, and researchers began to pay stronger attention to the medical possibilities of mushrooms and other fungi.
Parts of a Mushroom
When you picture a mushroom in your mind, or when you see one in nature or at a store, you are thinking of or are viewing the fruit of the mushroom. However, that’s only one part of the mushroom, and it’s not even the most important or interesting part.
Below the ground, stringy, white, branching filaments grow and travel and connect that little mushroom to the greater world. These filaments are called mycelium.
Mycelium covers the forest floor just below the visible surface and in many cases goes on for miles and miles. They connect with the roots of trees and plants in the forest and allow these living beings to exchange nutrients while the mushrooms do the hard work of cleaning the soil.
The little mushroom you see on the forest floor is one small part of a gigantic, active, and alive organism that is all around you.
Benefits of Medicinal Mushrooms
Mushrooms offer a wide variety of health benefits. Some are better for some purposes than others, and some are good for your body overall.
Consumption of medicinal mushrooms can help to balance the immune system. They can keep you from getting sick often, and if you do, they can help you get better more rapidly. They provide antioxidants and soothe inflammation and they can help to calm the nervous system as well.
Many people find that the consumption of medicinal mushrooms gives them energy and aids in long-term focus on work and other projects. There has even been some evidence that mushrooms can be used as additional support for cancer treatment.
When it comes to mushrooms, we are only beginning to scratch the surface of all of the medical possibilities and applications.
Types of Medicinal Mushrooms
There are almost seven hundred different types of mushrooms that can be used as medicine. That may sound like a lot, but it is only a small percentage of the 50,000 different kinds of mushrooms that grow on earth.
It’s likely that you have already heard of some of the most common types of medicinal mushrooms. Some medicinal mushrooms you can even buy in the grocery store, such as shiitake, maitake, and reishi mushrooms. Others have memorable names like lion’s mane and turkey tail which stick with you for many years after first hearing of them.
Different kinds of mushrooms offer different kinds of benefits. The unique combination of enzymes, triterpenes, metabolites, and more in each type of mushroom work together to positively affect human health.
When it comes to adding mushrooms to your personal health regimen, take the time to consider your wants and needs and then research the type of mushrooms that will best accomplish your goals.
How to Take Medicinal Mushrooms
There are many different ways to consume medicinal mushrooms. Depending on your needs and preferences, you may find that you like one delivery method better than others. Certainly, mushrooms can be eaten raw or cooked or can be boiled into a tea, but there are other options too. Some mushrooms have a bitter taste and you may find you prefer to consume them in powder, capsule, tincture, or extract form instead.
Dosage of Medicinal Mushrooms
The is no simple way to determine the correct dosage of medicinal mushrooms; much of this determination is through trial and error. Mushroom supplements list a dosage on the label, but this is just a starting point.
Try a small amount and see if you feel or witness a difference. Slowly add more until you feel a noticeable change in your body. Work together with a health practitioner to find the sweet spot.
Mushrooms Can Change Your Life
Many human beings are making their way through life without any idea or understanding of the fact that mushrooms can be used as medicine. You are now one step ahead of many of them; your next step is to give medicinal mushrooms a try. You may just find that they change your life.
We are connected to mushrooms just as we are connected to all other things. Incorporate mushrooms into your life and you will be very glad that you did.
If you want to learn more about mushrooms, please check out the rest of our site and our blog. We have so much to share with you!