Mushrooms are often classified as a vegetable, but they are actually fungi. There are an estimated 38,000 species of mushroom, only about 3,000 are edible, about 700 have known medicinal properties, and less than one percent are recognized as poisonous, therefore it is important to buy only to reputable store, so as to avoid the poisonous species.
Mushrooms have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. Today even with the presence of modern technology some people still prefer using natural medicine because it is safer and prolong use will not cause negative side effect like that of a modern medicine.
Mushroom Nutrition Per 100 gm.:
- Vitamin B: Thiamine .10mg
- Riboflavin: .44 mg.
- Niacin: 4.9 mg
- Vitamin C: 5 mg.
- Calcium: 9 gm.
- Iron: 1 mg
- Phosphorus: 115 mg.
- Potassium: 150 mg.
- Fat: .3 gm
- Carbohydrates: 4 gm.
- Protein: 2.4 gm.
- Calories: 16
Three Mushroom species that contain Medicinal Properties:
- Maitake – is recommended especially for stomach and intestines problems, as well as diabetes.
- Shiitake have been used for centuries by the Chinese and Japanese to treat cold and flu. Today it is recommended especially in treating nutritional deficiencies and liver ailments.
- Reishi extract promotes respiratory health.
Maitake has long been valued in Japanese medicine as health mushroom. In Japanese, maitake means “dancing mushroom.”
Maitake Health Benefits:
- Japanese medicine use of maitake is an adaptogen, a substance that helps the body adapt to stress and “balance out.”
- Can help combat cancer cells by protecting healthy cells from becoming cancerous, it also helps slow and stop cancer cell growth.
- Help boost the immune system
- Can help stimulate proper digestion, thus preventing an upset stomach.
- Can help lower high blood pressure.
- Can help reduce weight.
- Can help in diabetes control by lowering blood sugar levels.
Culinary Uses of Maitake Mushrooms: Cooked Maitake can be added in a variety of dishes such as salads, sauces, and pizzas to enhance their taste.
Buying Tip: It is always advisable to buy organically grown maitake mushroom. Avoid buying any mushroom product that was grown in China. Maitake and all mushrooms absorb the food that they are grown on. If that food contains heavy metals or dangerous chemicals, the mushrooms can absorb these toxins easily. Many manufacturers use made in China Maitake because it is way cheaper than the safe grown in “Japan Maitake”.
Side Effects: The use of maitake mushroom in food is safe in low doses.
- Maitake supplement is not recommended for pregnant and nursing mothers.
- Maitake should also be avoided by people who undergo organ transplant and are using immunosuppressive agents.
Scientific Name: Ganoderma lucidum
Reshi mushroom grows in densely wooded mountain of high humidity and dim lighting. It is known as ‘elixir of life” due to its tremendous reputation for increasing longevity and helping to avoid problems of senility. In the old time this mushroom was kept in secret and only for the use of the Emperor Reshi.
Reshi Health Benefits:
- Stimulates the Immune System
- Aids in combating disorders of auto-immune system such as allergies, erythematosus lupus and systemic lupus.
- May help in the treatment of cancer.
- Has been used successfully to diminish the harmful effects of chemotherapy.
- Improves hypertension and hypotension
- Helps in cases of chronic bronchitis.
- Promotes good blood circulation by eliminating thrombi (blood clots) in the blood streams.
- It helps prevent Phlebitis.
- Protects the liver from damaging toxic chemicals.
- Has a calming effect to the body’s muscles, thus can help against insomnia.
- Help in normalizing and Improving Allergic Reaction.
Agaricus Blazei Health Benefits:
- Has shown benefits in enhancing the immune system of people with cancer and hepatitis. In Japan about 500,000 people used hot-water extracts of Agaricus Blazei for the prevention and treatment of cancer. Agaricus extract also was shown in one study of people with chronic hepatitis C to reduce the liver enzyme GTP in 80% of the participants after 8weeks.
- Can help lower the glucose levels of people with diabetes. A study of 72 people with type 2 diabetes and supplementation of Agaricus extract for 12 weeks resulted in reduced insulin resistance. It also increased the hormone adinopectin, which helps to regulate glucose.
- Can help lower cholesterol levels. A study of 90 women taking Agaricus extract for eight weeks resulted in an 11% reduction in cholesterol as well as weight loss.
- Contains a unique beta glucan complex (one of the highest levels out of the entire medicinal mushroom). A Beta-Glucan presence in your body can produce immune system responses in parts of the body, tissues and parts of bone marrow specifically, that do not generally produce immune system responses.
- Can help decrease systolic and diastolic blood pressure. More research is needed to confirm this effect but it could be an added benefit for those using Agaricus for other medicinal issues.
- Contains a large amount of non-digestive dietary fibers that absorb and discharge materials in your body.
- Helps nourish the digestive system.
- Help promotes energy.