1. CordycepsCordyceps sinensis. Photo: Andreas Kunze
Previously featured as one of our top ingredients for energy, cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis) has a long history of medicinal use in China and Tibet. “Traditional healers in Sikkim recommend the fungus/mushroom Cordyceps sinensis for “all illnesses” as a tonic, because they claim that it improves energy, appetite, stamina, libido, endurance, and sleeping patterns.” Considered to be a tonic, antioxidant, and aphrodisiac, cordyceps also appears to effect the immune system. This super-powered medicinal mushroom is a great one to add to a daily health regimen!
2. Lions ManeLion’s mane (Hericium erinaceus). Photo by Lebrac
Lion’s mane (Hericium erinaceus) is a unique-looking culinary and medicinal mushroom. Lion’s mane mushrooms are mostly getting attention for their potential as nootropic brain supplement and for regenerating damaged nerves. It’s less commonly known that lion’s mane is also being studied in clinical trials for depression, anxiety, stomach problems, blood sugar, cholesterol, and immune support. The best ways to take lion’s mane are in a capsule or as a liquid extract that has both hot water and alcohol extractions mixed.
Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) is likely the strongest mushroom for overall longevity. It is antioxidant, immune boosting, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-viral, and has shown positive results in cancer trials. There is some debate about whether chaga is best consumed as a tea or if hot water damages some of the active constituents. To ensure efficacy, you can take chaga as capsules.
4. Turkey TailTurkey tail (Trametes versicolor). Photo by Jerzy Opioła
Turkey tail (Trametes versicolor) got its claim to medicinal mushroom fame from an National Institute of Health (NIH) study that showed that turkey tail mushrooms may correct immune deficiency problems that arise during radiation therapy for breast cancer. Evidence suggests turkey tail could be useful as part of larger protocols for other types of cancer too. While there is not much research on what turkey tail can do for other ailments yet, there are a number of other conditions in which turkey tail may be of use,
5. ReishiReishi (Ganoderma lucidum). Photo by Eric Steinert
Reishi (Ganoderma spp.) is another one of the amazing medicinal mushrooms we have written about on the Peach Vitamins blog, in relation to conditions ranging from autoimmune disease to common colds. Reishi acts as an immunomodulator, meaning it can ramp up the immune system when it is challenged by a pathogen, without sending it into overdrive (like in cases of autoimmune conditions). But did you know about the many other ways you can use reishi? In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), reishi (also known as ling zhi) is used for shen disturbance, which basically equates to emotional trauma. Reishi works for some people as a calming herb before sleep, useful when traveling. Some use it for cases of asthma. Reishi has also shown antiviral, hepatoprotective, cardioprotective and cholesterol-lowering properties. This mushroom is amazingly versatile; another great choice to take daily to support a healthy immune system.