Mushrooms are not only nutritious and tasty but also have several medicinal properties as well.
The latest scientific research shows that medicinal mushrooms possess over 100 different therapeutic applications. They have shown the potential to be effective antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and as adjuncts in cancer therapies. Medicinal mushrooms have also shown to be effective as an antitumor, antidiabetic, antiviral, antibacterial, antiparasitic, and antifungal.
Mushrooms also act as a rich source of carbohydrates, fibers, proteins, unsaturated fats, vitamin B, vitamin D, and minerals. These compounds produce secondary body metabolites. As a result, medicinal mushrooms have emerged as as one of the best mushroom supplements for health by modulating one’s immune system.
The Wonder of Mushroom
This wonder food had been widely consumed by people for centuries at least for at least 5000 years. Mycology, the branch of the science that studies mushrooms, suggests that there is mushrooms are of great therapeutic value.
By eating mushrooms, we can avert a large number of ailments and stop disease before they occur. The natural chemical properties contained in mushrooms are known to have multi-modal medicinal values. It is particularly beneficial for the brain, heart, and liver.
It is important here to say that some countries, including Japan, Korea, China, and Russia, have already adopted preparations derived from mushrooms for use in clinical practice. At the same time, several other Western countries also are regularly studying the medicinal properties of mushrooms and their use in treating different ailments.
The Historical Relevance of Mushroom
For several millennia, Asian nations have researched the medicinal value of mushrooms, specifically with Reishi, Lion’s Mane, Cordyceps, and Shitake. These mushrooms all possess immune-boosting properties along with their own unique secondary attributes that improve endurance, mental cognition, sleep, etc.
It’s interesting to note that mushroom consumption has played a part in the socio-religious patterns of Tibetan Shamanism and Buddhism. In countries such as Mexico or Guatemala, the mushroom formed part of the indigenous practice. There, some mushrooms with hallucinogenic chemical properties as a healing medicine.
Moreover, in countries such as Nigeria, Algeria, and Egypt, different species of mushrooms were used for centuries together for similar religious purposes. In Russia and different European countries, mushrooms have long been considered edible items capable of curing diseases.
Most of the common varieties of mushrooms contain medicinal elements and bioactive compounds that can supply nutrition to help improve one’s immune system and prevent disease.
Ten of the twenty successful pharmaceutical drugs have been derived from fungi. With over 150,000 species of mushrooms and only 10% of them being known to researchers, the potential to find new compounds that cure disease may be found in the wonderful kingdom of fungi.