Did you know that fungi organisms are important ecological decomposers that absorb nutrients from other organisms? This makes them nutritional powerhouses with a multitude of health benefits. Although the use of medicinal mushrooms dates back thousands of years, we are seeing the resurgence of the practice in the mainstream health community. The sensational superfoods receive a lot of praise for their incredible ability to heal and support the human body. This article will demystify 5 mushrooms commonly found on the market, so you can make informed decisions when choosing the best products for your health.
Lion’s Mane: Ease the Mind
Originating in North America, Hercium Ernaceus, also known as “Lion’s Mane Mushroom” offers a myriad of cognitive and anti-inflammatory health benefits. Research has found that lion’s mane may protect cognitive impairment, aids mild depression and anxiety, as well as reduce inflammation. This mushroom is rich in antioxidants and immune-boosting abilities.
This interesting looking mushroom can be identified by its spine that projects outwards, unlike other species of mushrooms whose spines project from a branch. Lion’s Mane Mushrooms prefer growing on hardwoods like the American beech during summer.
- Could protect against dementia
- Helps relieve mild symptoms of depression and anxiety
- May speed recovery from nervous system injuries
- May reduce Inflammation and Oxidative Stress
- Boosts the immune system
Interested in trying Lion’s Mane Mushrooms to help protect against cognitive impairments, reduce inflammation and boost your immune system? Try the Harmonic Arts Lion's Mane Concentrated Organic Powder available in our online store.
Chaga: The Mushroom that’s not a Mushroom
Originating in 16th century Eastern Europe, Chaga lives on trunks of mature birch trees resembling the appearance of burnt coal, therefore, is hard to distinguish as a mushroom. The fungus is commonly used in medicinal practice to help lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels1. With benefits like these, it's no wonder why these superfoods are gaining popularity in health communities!
- Contain many antioxidants which could be useful in fighting against cardiovascular disease by reducing cholesterol2
- Can boost your immune system
- Lower blood sugar levels
Reishi: The Mushroom of Immortality
The Reishi mushroom is an age-old medicine that can be traced back thousands of years, most commonly recognized for being a tonic for Chinese emperors. Traditional and contemporary Chinese medicine admire it as a tonic benefiting vital energy or "Qi"3, and it’s popularly prescribed for a variety of illnesses. This powerful superfood has since made its way into our pantries in the forms of extracts, concentrated powder and dried foods.
Reishi is a polypore mushroom, growing in damp, dark forests and the occasional rotting log. Modern day demand has forced its cultivation in Japan, China and the United States which is promising for the wild strains of Reishi4.
- Reishi is known to support a healthy functioning immune system Its adaptogen helps the body to combat physical, mental, and environmental stresses5
To learn more, check out the King and Queen of Mushroom video where Chef Paula Maria dives into the history, usage and benefits of Reishi & Chaga mushrooms:
Interested in trying Reishi to help boost your immune system and calm your mind? Try the Harmonic Arts Concentrated Reishi Mushroom Powder, Reishi Extract and Organic Dried Reishi Mushrooms available in our online store.
Cordyceps: Energy Booster
Cordyceps originate in North Sikkim, where they have been used by Tibetan and Chinese healers. The fungus grows on decomposing larvae of insects - are a rare combination of a caterpillar and a fungus6 - pretty neat, don’t you think? These medicinal mushrooms are commonly known to increase energy levels and improve athletic performance. It can be beneficial for the overall functions of nearly every organ in our bodies.
- Can improve sexual functions and can have anti-aging benefits
- Can increase the body’s production of the molecule adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is essential for improving the way your body uses oxygen to deliver energy to the muscles.7
Turkey Tail: The Mushroom of Multiple Colours
Turkey tail mushrooms have been used in Asia, Europe, and by indigenous peoples in North America to treat various illnesses over the past hundreds of years8. Commonly known for their multiple colored rings that look like the tail feathers of a turkey, these mushrooms are found throughout the world. It is a polypore mushroom which is known for stimulating cytokine production, which can improve gut health, boost the immune system, and symbolizes longevity of life9.
- Fortifies immune function
- Rich in polysaccharides (dietary fiber)
- Helps aid digestion
- Supports the colon
- Loaded with antioxidants10
- May help protect against stress
- Supports overall health & wellness
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