(Picture via @mushroom.paradise instagram - Chad Dotson).
I'm sure you have all heard of mushroom supplements, they have somewhat taken over the natural health industry lately & with good reason! Not only can they support your immune system during these uncertain times but they also have a number of other amazing qualities that can support your overall health & wellbeing. Below I am going to outline some of my favourite mushrooms for you.
As a naturopath, it is my duty to recommend and supply only the best supplements to my clients & if I wouldn't take them myself, I wouldn't recommend them to my clients. If you are interested to find out the brands I use myself, visit my online store on my website or feel free to send me an email.
Medicinal Mushrooms & how they can support your immune system.
Firstly, what is your immune system?
Put simply, the immune system is how our bodies protect themselves against disease, its the first line of defence against bacteria, infections, toxins & anything nasty!
The immune system is compromised of a network of organs, tissues, cells and proteins that work together to protect us and keep our bodies running smoothly (Science Museum 2019).
Lions Mane: My number one.
Lion's Mane mushroom is a brain food & has shown to support neural growth, reduce inflammation, provide anti-bacterial properties and antioxidant activity while improving sleep quality and mood via a number of olysaccharides and secondary metabolites such as erinacines and diterpines (Lifecykle 2020).
Regular consumption of lions mane supplementation has shown to have neurotrophic properties which may promote brain and nerve health. Studies have also shown its usefulness post-brain injury and also for healthy cognition while ageing (Sabaratnam et. al 2013).
Reishi: An immunity powerhouse!
Reishi has a strong immune boosting function via the white blood cells which are produced in bone marrow called lymphocyte's. They circulate through the blood & lymphatic system and aid in the destruction of cells that have been infected with a bacteria or virus and also lend a helping hand to other immune cells to control positive immune response (Zhang et. al. 2009).
Just like Lions mane, Reishi has shown to benefit cognitive function & longevity along with brain & nerve support in adults (Sabaratnam et. al 2013).
Studies have also shown Reishi has a number of other amazing properties including antioxidant, antibacterial, and antiviral effects and may protect against liver and gastric injury while regulating blood glucose levels (Wachtel-Galor et. al 2011). This makes it the perfect addition to your supplement regime against covid-19 due to its anti-viral properties*.
Cordyceps: A ancient medicinal mushroom
Cordyceps has been used traditionally to aid many diseases & aliments and has more than 21 clinically approved benefits on human health including anti-diabetic, anti-tumor, anti-oxidative, immunomodulatory, sexual potentiator and its anti-ageing effects (Tuli et. al 2014).
Cordyceps is popular among athletes & fitness gurus for its energy & stamina boosting properties. It has shown to boost exercise performance & is the perfect kidney tonic! It is also beneficial for lung support so adults with compromised lung function may benefit from cordyceps supplementation. (Zhang et. al 2014).
What is the best form of mushrooms to take & why?
The mushrooms I use myself & recommend to my clients are created by lifecykle which come in a liquid dropper.
This form of liquid extract is able to hold and preserve the many bioactive compounds that are released during the extraction process for more then 5 years. Unlike other forms, the body doesn't need to break down any capsules or tablets allowing the medicinal properties of the mushroom to start working within 1-5 minutes whereas other forms can take 20-30 minutes just to breakdown the capsule or tablet (LifeCykle 2020).
The other amazing thing about LifeCykle liquid extracts is they contain Kakadu Plum, which contains the highest recorded levels of Vitamin C of any fruit in the world! It contains up to 100 times the vitamin C in an orange. Not only is this amazing for our immune system but it is also perfect for skin health, provides anti-ageing benefits, it has antioxidant properties which can help the body repair damaged skin cells & slow the signs of ageing (Miller 1993).
How to take them:
The liquid form is very easy to take and has a pleasant taste (unlike some other powders on the market).
My favourite way to take them is mixed into my morning coffee, in my smoothie or mixed in with my greens powder!
You can also add them into water or juice if you prefer.
As you can see, mushrooms are so powerful & most people can easily benefit from supplementing with these amazing super-foods daily. If your arming your body against the winter bugs and covid-19 as I am, then mushrooms are something you should definitely consider*.
For more tips like this and health based information follow my Instagram @mungbean_health (you can click the Instagram icon at the bottom of this page) & subscribe to my mailing list!
*Always consult with your healthcare practitioner before starting anything new, especially if you’re taking medication. This information is not intended to 'cure' any diseases mentioned above.
Lifecykle 2020, Lion's Mane Mushroom Liquid Extract, (https://lifecykel.com/products/lions-mane-mushroom-liquid-extract?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI-Z3unr7f6AIVmAVyCh03lw9LEAYYASABEgLl3PD_BwE)
Miller, J, 1993, Kakadu Plum, <https://anfab.org.au/main.asp?_=Kakadu%20Plum>
Sabaratnam, V, Kah-Hui, W, Naidu, M, David, P 2013, Neuronal Health – Can Culinary and Medicinal Mushrooms Help?, <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3924982/>
Science Museum 2019, Who am I?, <http://whoami.sciencemuseum.org.uk/whoami/findoutmore/yourbody/whatdoesyourimmunesystemdo>
Tuli, H, Sandhu, S, Sharma, A 2014, Pharmacological and therapeutic potential of Cordyceps with special reference to Cordycepin, <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3909570/>
Wachtel-Galor, S, Yuen, J, Buswell, J, Benzie, I 2011, Chapter 9- Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi or Reishi): A Medicinal Mushroom, <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92757/>
Zhang, H, Lin, Z, Tung, Y, Kwan, T, Mok, C, Leung, C, Chan, L, 2014, Cordyceps sinensis (a Chinese medicinal herb) for treating chronic kidney disease,<https://www.cochrane.org/CD008353/RENAL_cordyceps-sinensis-a-chinese-medicinal-herb-for-treating-chronic-kidney-disease>)
Zhang, Y, Lin, Z, Hu, Y, Whang F, 2009, Br J Sports Med, Effect of Ganoderma lucidum capsules on T lymphocyte subsets in football players on "living high-training low", (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18048435>)