We can thank medicinal mushrooms for these activities due to the many bioactive metabolites that are present within the “fruiting body” of the fungi. They have very diverse bioactivity which plays a crucial role in the prevention and treatment of various diseases.
Above all, polysaccharides in medicinal mushrooms are one of the most important compounds in the fungal cell wall. They are responsible for carrying biological information and have antitumor, immunomodulatory, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antidiabetic activity.
As for mushrooms themselves, they are rich in proteins, something that is important for us to have a substantial amount of in our diets. The proteins in medicinal mushrooms have been studied to have cytotoxic and anticancer properties as well.
WHAT TYPES OF MUSHROOMS ARE MEDICINAL?
There are quite a few species of mushrooms that are considered to be medicinal, some of which you may be familiar with already. Mushrooms like shiitake and maitake mushrooms are considered medicinal but are also a staple in many diets.
The medicinal properties of shiitake and maitake have both been studied to demonstrate potential antitumor and anticancer effects. Shiitake mushrooms in particular are widely used in Japan to treat gastric cancer due to its immunomodulatory properties.
Turkey tail is another mushroom that is considered to be the “magic herb” in many asian regions. The best known active compound in turkey tail is Polysaccharide K (PSK), which is an approved mushroom product used to treat cancer. The role of this compound has been studied in patients with stomach cancer, as well as its potential to repair immune cell damage caused by chemotherapy.
Above all, there’s one common medicinal mushroom that you may be the most familiar with—reishi. Also known as Ling Zhi, reishi is a type of mushroom that grows on live trees. It can be taken in many different forms and is notorious for strengthening the immune system.
WHERE TO BUY MEDICINAL MUSHROOMS AND HOW TO CONSUME
What’s great about medicinal mushrooms is that today, they are easier than ever to incorporate into your daily routine. Supplements, teas, powder formulas and more are a few options that allow you to reap the benefit of medicinal mushrooms easily.
With the medicinal mushroom benefits above, you may have a better direction on which fungi is the best option for you to incorporate depending on your needs.
So, if you’re wondering where to buy medicinal mushrooms, start with Zolt’s plant-powered and totally delicious superdrink mixes. A number of our varieties contain functional mushrooms – 100% organic fungi extracted from the fruiting body of the mushroom. A great product to get you started is Peak, a formulation that helps improve concentration and cognition thanks to cordyceps, lion’s mane, and reishi.