Contributed by Nicole Law Founder and Owner of The Rooted Hook
Before we get into why we (and many others in the medical community) love fungi so much we thought we would share this fun (and factual) story with you:
In 1991, Otzi, one of the oldest bodies found in ice around 3300 BCE, was discovered in an alpine glacier. He was carrying two different species of mushrooms with him at the time. One was a tinder fungus capable of holding a warm coal to restart a fire at a new location many hours later. The other was a medicinal birch polypore, a bracket fungi used to fight parasites and other infections. Egyptian hieroglyphics show us that their society saw mushrooms as a plant of immortality and they were typically eaten by pharaohs and other nobles. This is likely what they were given the name "sons of the gods" and depicted as being sent down to earth from the heavens to help heal.
Alright, let's get to the medicinal uses of mushrooms today:
Did you read our blog on adaptogens on our website? An “adaptogen", in a nut shell, is a non-toxic plants that helps the body adapt to multiple stressors; primarily protecting the body (and mind) from the damaging effects of stress, helping the body achieve homeostasis.
Below I've listed our top 4 Adaptogenic Mushrooms and a little blurb of why they made the list:
1- REISHI: There has been extensive research confirming the medicinal makeup of Reishi. In fact, many Asian doctors use it alongside pharmaceutical medicines as a first line of treatment in battling auto-immune diseases! In medicinal circles it is most known for its anti-tumor, anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and immune-protective properties. Pretty attractive during these times right? Reishi can also help to improve mental focus and reduce stress and anxiety, the culprit of most diseases.
2- CORDYCEPS: Cordyceps is another medicinal mushroom and has been used in Chinese medicine for more than 1,300 years. It is considered a super tonic by many because of its unique ability to boost oxygen and ATP. Cordyceps have a great impact on respiratory issues and have the ability to increase energy, and reduce fatigue. This is a great adaptogen for those who suffer from asthma, bronchitis, or anyone looking to boost immunity and vitality.
3- CHAGA: Chaga is a mushroom that grows primarily on birch trees and is widely used in Syberia and other parts of Asia as a medicine to improve overall health. It is great at reducing inflammation (a leading cause of disease in America today!), and reducing free radical damage. It also helps to boost immunity (yay!) and reduce stress and anxiety.
4- LIONS MANE: Lions Mane, also known as the "Brain Tuner", has become well known due to its ability to stimulate the NGF (nerve growth factor), an important compound involved in the growth, maintenance, and protection of brain neurons. Chaga also supports memory and cognition, and helps with anxiety and depression.
All four of these Adapatogens are available in The Mercado. Their formulas are 100% organically grown, contain ZERO fillers or processors, and their cell walls have been steamed in order for their nutrients to be extracted and absorbed easily by the body. Mushrooms also contain both the fruiting body and the mycelium, the most nutrient rich portion of the mushroom. They are sold in powder form and can be incorporated into coffee, tea, juice, smoothies, oatmeal, soup, and any other food/beverage you choose!