MEDSHROOM- LIFE ENHANCING MUSHROOMS
Medicinal mushrooms are not a new thing, they have been in existence and used for thousands of years. It is now gaining a lot of attention here in the western world. The benefits of taking medicinal mushrooms keep surfacing everyday, and there are a lot more benefits which are yet to be discovered. There are a lot of research studies that are going on around the world, and new discoveries are being made for the numerous uses of these mushrooms. The results from several studies and trials suggest that medicinal mushrooms are potentially effective in fighting cancer cells and relieving symptoms of radiation and chemotherapy. Besides the obvious mushroom health benefits, medicinal mushrooms are being used nowadays for environmental remediation purposes, helping oil spill cleanup efforts, remediating conventional and nuclear landfills.
There are literally hundreds of thousands mushroom species, but only a few have been used, studied, tested, and made bioavailable. That is not to say that we will not see more research and availability of other mushroom species and mushroom health benefits in the future. There has been an increasing popularity and usage for medicinal mushrooms in the western world, simply because people have tried it, and have benefited from them.
The beneficial compounds of medicinal mushrooms are obtained from the fruiting bodies, the spores, or the fungal mycelia. Different mushroom species have different substances which are then used for medicinal purposes. But one common trait medicinal mushrooms have is that they have high concentrations of polysaccharides, and one type in particular is of significance: Beta Glucans. Polysaccharides are long chains of different carbohydrate molecules. Beta glucans have been studied extensively and are notable for stimulating, modulating, and optimizing the immune system. When combined with other compounds, beta-glucans may exhibit antitumor, antiviral, and anti-inflamatory properties among other benefits. Researchers around the world have found that medicinal mushrooms may have anti-cancer properties, and the ongoing studies are very promising.
But medicinal mushrooms offer more than just Beta-Glucan, the immune system is activated by more than one component found in mushrooms. According to renowned mycologist Dr. Paul Stamets, "The immune system is activated multifactorially by many components in mushrooms. Beta-glucans are just one. Other constituents include but are not limited to alpha-glucans, ergothioneines, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory sterols, lipids, glycosides, and mycoflavonoids—many of which work synergistically to optimize health".
The most widely used and available medicinal mushrooms nowadays are: