Warm greetings on a cold day to all of you House of Buckle blog readers! I hope your 2020 is off to a great start and those New Year Resolutions you made a month ago are still going strong! The topic I want to discuss today centers around the mighty mushroom. With cold and flu season raging, I thought it would be a great time to talk about a rising star: healing mushrooms! They are gaining traction in the wellness world and though their popularity is rising rapidly, there are still a lot of folks that hear the word “mushroom” and the first thing they think of is “pizza topping”. While mushrooms pair really well with pepperoni, as a total group, they have SO MUCH more to offer; from immunity support to adaptogen to nervous system support, mushrooms are definitely worth checking out!
A Fungus among us
Technically speaking, a mushroom is the reproductive structure produced by some fungi. YUCK! Now, I know this isn’t the best lead-in on mushrooms, but it had to be said. Mushrooms are in a way, similar to the fruit of a plant with the “seeds” it produces being microscopic spores that form in the “gills” underneath the mushroom’s cap. At the right time these spores blow away in the wind to hopefully land on and take root in a suitable substrate (like soil or wood). Once they find a good place to set up shop, the spores germinate and take root in their new food source and the process starts over again. I realize this sounds like the plot to a b-grade horror/sci-fi flick, but it is what it is. How’s that pizza taste now?
Benefits of mushrooms
As I said earlier, most people equate mushrooms with food, and rightfully so. There are many types of mushrooms that taste amazing and go great in all sorts of things from soups to sandwiches to salad, and of course next to pepperonis on your favorite pizza. Nutritionally speaking, all types of edible mushrooms contain varying degrees of B-vitamins, selenium (antioxidant), fiber and protein. In addition to this, however, there are many different varieties of mushrooms, each providing additional health and wellness benefits. Let’s talk a look at my top 5 healing/wellness mushrooms!
Top 5 healing/wellness mushrooms:
- Cordyceps: This mushroom (also known as “Caterpillar fungus”) has a long and rich history in traditional Chinese and Tibetan medicine. It is found high in the Himalayas and provides great immune support, energy, stamina, anti-aging, manages blood sugar levels, enhances sexual performance, provides oxygen at the cellular level and improves heart health. Reported side effects are minimal and include diarrhea, nausea, and mild upset stomach.
- Chaga: Known as the “King of Mushrooms”, these babies are loaded with antioxidants and beta glucans and offer awesome immune and heart support as well as provide increased energy! Also known as an anti-inflammatory, good for blood pressure control, and digestive aid. A few things to call out here: If used with aspirin or warfarin, there are increased chances of bleeding. Also, it can lower blood sugar levels so it should be used with caution in people on anti-diabetes drugs, including insulin.
- Turkey Tail: Has an impressive range of benefits. It contains many nutrients including beta glycan and polysaccharides. Another powerful immune booster. Additionally, it has antibacterial properties, is an anti-inflammatory and is packed with anti-oxidants. Finally, Turkey Tail may also enhance gut health due to containing prebiotics, which help nourish helpful bacteria. Note, some people may experience digestive symptoms like bloating, gas, or dark stools with Turkey Tail.
- Reishi: This prized eastern mushroom is revered in Asia as the “mushroom of immortality”. Its use dates to 100 B.C.! It provides amazing immune support, anti-viral, is good against fatigue, anti-inflammatory, as well as strong cardiovascular benefits. It is great for liver detox and even as an adaptogen (stress reducer). Perhaps you have seen the mushroom coffees that are gaining popularity. Reishi is a popular ingredient in these coffees. Reported side effects are minimal but include slight dizziness and skin irritation.
- Lion’s Mane: Another one of my all-time favorites, this mushroom has earned its name as it has a shaggy mane-like appearance. Lion’s Mane is best known as a terrific adaptogen (stress reducer). As such, it provides support against anxiety and has shown to relieve mild symptoms of depression as well. Some studies also indicate that it can promote and support mental health in the way of improved memory and cognition! Lastly, Lion’s Mane has shown anti-inflammatory and immune boosting properties too! Reported side effects for Lion’s Mane have been very minimal and only related to those that have taken Lion’s Mane who were also allergic to mushrooms since, you know, Lion’s Mane is a mushroom-n-stuff…
You can take mushroom supplements in liquid, pill, or powder formats.
How much to take of each depends on your age, current health situation and the mushroom supplement you purchase. The safest bet is to always follow the label. And if you are on any medications, are pregnant or nursing or have any questions, I always recommend talking to your primary health care physician before taking/starting any natural supplements.
I think any of the following make great mushroom supplements:
I have been personally taking the Host Defense Cordyceps Energy Support powder for several weeks and really like the energy it provides.
That’s all for today, folks. Thank you for taking the time to stop by the House of Buckle and as always, please feel free to reach out with questions! You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a GREAT rest of your day and as always, remember, at Bucklebury, we believe your best wealth is your health! Until next time, have a great day!