Why Therapeutic, Edible Mushrooms Are Having Their Moment
After reading this, you may never say “Hold the mushrooms,” again.
That’s because edible mushrooms are becoming increasingly more known for their health-building, therapeutic benefits.
In fact, edible mushrooms are one of the top 10 biggest health trends, with US sales expected to reach over $7 billion by the end of 2020. [SOURCE]
But we’re not talking about the button or portobello varieties common as pizza toppings or stir-frys.
Rather, there are fungi that have been used in traditional Chinese medicine and other folk medicine systems for thousands of years.
And recent research is proving, as we briefly alluded to in this post about protecting your family, that the bioactive molecules of medicinal mushrooms are potent immune boosters.
Not only can mushrooms stimulate your immune system, fungi are also very nutrient-dense. They are excellent sources of essential amino acids, B vitamins and minerals. And depending on how they are grown, mushrooms are a rare vitamin D-rich source of nutrition.
Much of a healthy immune system occurs at the cellular level. For instance, cell-to-cell communication is critical for fighting foreign invaders such as viruses, bacteria, and, yes, even harmful fungus. Edible, therapeutic mushrooms enhance the communication of immune cells.
Many pharmaceutical drugs contain medicinal mushroom compounds. And with peer-reviewed research titles such as, “Medicinal mushrooms as an attractive new source of natural compounds for future cancer therapy,” we can expect to see even more drugs with fungi components in the future…
Best Edible Mushrooms For Health
A medicinal polypore (a bracket fungus in which the spores are expelled through fine pores on the underside), agarikon has been used for millennia to treat diseases of the respiratory tract. Several research studies suggest this ‘shroom shows broad-spectrum antibacterial and antiviral activity. Although mushroom studies on people are few, lab and animal studies demonstrate the ability of agarikon to kill mycobacterium, tuberculosis and Staphylococcus aureus, a bacteria that causes most infections.
There’s nothing blasé about blazei. Native to Brazil, recent research demonstrates it possesses strong immunomodulating properties. Traditionally, it’s used as an adjunct remedy for cancer and hepatitis.
Grown in cold, northern climates such as in the boreal forests of Russia, chaga extract has demonstrated potent anti-tumor activities and has been used to treat cancer in several countries. “Our findings suggest that the extract could be used as a natural remedy for cancer suppression by promoting energy metabolism,” concluded one research study. (See references below.)
A famous traditional Chinese herbal remedy, cordyceps, like agarikon, is beneficial for respiratory ailments, such as cough and phlegm, shortness of breath, bronchial discomfort, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and asthma.
Antigens are foreign substances that spur the immune system into action to produce antibodies, which neutralize harmful matter such as viruses. One type of antigen found in mushrooms such as honey varieties is beta D-glucan. Beta D-glucan protects the cell from free radical oxidation damage.
Like cordyceps, reishi is regarded by herbalists as an adaptogenic fungus. Adaptogens, when it comes to immune health, do two critical things. First, by normalizing body functions in response to chronic stress, adaptogens support homeostasis. And secondly, certain adaptogens contribute to specific immune function.
For instance, supplementing with reishi mushroom supports the production of macrophages, which are like microscopic Pac Mans that gobble up viral, bacterial and harmful fungal matter. In addition, reishi has been shown to increase production of white blood cells as well as enhance natural killer cell activity.
Regular consumption of this popular edible mushroom results in improved immunity, according to numerous research studies. The reason for the immune-supporting benefits is shiitake increases immune cell proliferation and activates immunoglobulin A, an antibody that plays a crucial role in the immune function of mucous membranes.
If you’re vegan or vegetarian, don’t worry about consuming turkey tail. So named
because this fungus resembles fall-like colorful feathers, turkey tail is another mushroom proven in research studies to stimulate the immune system. In clinical trials, the supplement appeared to improve survival for people with gastric or colon cancer.
Conclusion: Use Super ‘Shrooms To Support Your Immune System
While scientists are scrambling to find cures and vaccines, perhaps mushroom extracts will be part of the solution. It wouldn’t be surprising, as fungi have been suggested in recent research studies (like this one) as “substances that could potentially be used as antivirals in the future.”
Mushrooms have been used for thousands of years. But rather than consume one edible medicinal mushroom at a time, why not benefit from several of them? As our loyal customers know, BōKU has been incorporating a doctor-formulated blend of 14 potent edible mushrooms in our award-winning BōKU Superfood since our inception, nearly 14 years ago. As the first superfood company in the world to do this, we’re not jumping on the mushroom bandwagon, we helped build the wagon!
And more recently, we’ve collaborated with our naturopathic formulator to source and blend the top 20 most potent, immune boosting mushrooms in the world.
The result is BōKU Super ‘Shrooms.
Just add one scoop (scooper provided) of Super ‘Shrooms powder every day to your favorite smoothie, or to any stir-fry dish. Or even easier, steep in hot water to make a mushroom tea. If you’re worried that Super ‘Shrooms will have an overpowering, funky fungal flavor, it’s actually very mild in flavor and most of our customers describe it as surprisingly delicious.
Super ‘Shrooms are steam-extracted to release their maximum nutritive and therapeutic value, providing the most powerful combination of certified organic and kosher edible fungi you’ll ever come across. Many of our customers report not only experiencing enhanced immunity but also mental clarity, stamina and many other remarkable benefits.
See for yourself here.