The use of medicinal mushrooms can be controversial. There are hundreds of different kinds of mushrooms in the world, all with different properties. Some are known to taste good, some have hallucinogenic effects, some are medicinal, and some can kill you. However, using mushrooms medicinally can be very beneficial. Some mushrooms can help reduce cancer growth, boost the immune system, and improve your body’s anti-inflamitory response.
Why Use Mushrooms?
Knowing the chemistry of medicinal mushrooms can help you understand what makes these mushrooms different and safe. Mushrooms are not plants or animals. They are their own taxa, fungi. These fungi have properties that act similar to both plants and animals, making mushrooms very unique. Mushrooms used medicinally tend to have specific numbers of fats, lipids, and polysaccharides. This chemical combination is what makes medicinal mushrooms, medicinal. Mushrooms are ideal for hosting this combination of chemicals. No plant or animal can host the same chemical combination.
What Are the Benefits?
As mentioned above, mushrooms can have many different benefits. Specifically, certain mushrooms like shiitake mushrooms have compounds that help promote anti-inflammatory effects in the body. Known as lentinan, this is something that is found within other mushrooms too. Lentinan also helps strengthening your immune system and can be a treatment for cancer. Lentinan has shown success in reducing breast cancer cells and improving immune systems weakened by chemotherapy.
Which Mushrooms Are Best?
While shiitake mushrooms are good, they are not the only beneficial mushroom. Oyster mushrooms and porcini mushrooms are also very beneficial. Scientists have also started making hybrid mushrooms that are not available in the wild or commercially. These mushroom strains are very special and can only be produced under laboratory conditions, but have a multitude of health benefits.
If you are curious about medical mushrooms, it’s easy enough to try for yourself. Do you research and find the right mushroom to treat your illness.