Many of us have heard of and/or cooked with some of the most common culinary mushrooms: portabella, white button, etc.
However, there is a whole class of mushrooms called medicinal mushrooms, and these medicinal healing mushrooms are not meant for flavor-enhancement, though some of them can be used in recipes. They are often taken in tea form, tinctures and extracts, and in capsules as powders.
These medicinal mushrooms include reishi mushroom, agaricus mushroom (or agaricus blazei mushroom), maitake, shitake, and coriolus mushroom. There are many others, but these are some of the most popular.
Medicinal mushrooms such as these share much in common with human beings in terms of their chemical and genetic structure. Many scientists say that mushrooms are closer to human beings genetically than almost any other plant.
Given this fact, certain "higher level" mushrooms, often called the "medicinal mushrooms" (NOT magic mushrooms!), can positively heal and impact the body, emotions, mind, and spirit of we humans who consume them.
Reishi mushroom is one of the preeminent healing mushrooms of China (though it is found in other parts of the world as well). Reishi mushroom is sometimes referred to as "the mushroom of immortality" since it can be taken everyday as a tonic "herb" and it useful in extending life.
Reishi mushroom is frequently used (in the East) as an immune system stimulant by people with HIV and cancer. Reishi is also purported to help reduce inflammation, help with fatigue, help heal viral issues in the body, and to help calm and relax the spirit, helping people meditate and Magicmushrooms connect with Spirit easier.
Maitake mushroom is another one of the very most powerful medicinal mushrooms in the world. Maitake is used culinarily as well as medicinally, and is a very powerful source of beta-glucan polysaccharides--potent immune system healing chemicals.
Maitake mushroom is used in cancer prevention, as well as helping control diabetes and high cholesterol. Maitake increases the activity of the natural killer cells of the body, helping rid the body of immune system problems.
There are several more common types of medicinal mushrooms, and I've written more full descriptions of them in my blog, linked below.
Just one final note, if you are thinking of checking into the healing properties of medicinal mushrooms: if you take them supplementally alongside a Vitamin C source (preferably a natural plant-based Vitamin C source), you can triple the effectiveness of both the medicinal mushrooms AND triple the effectiveness of the Vitamin C! Powerful information for having the best health ever!
Michael Golzmane is a health educator and online writer about super health and super nutrition, especially through raw and living foods.
Please visit his blog for more tools, tricks, tips, recipes, and resources on raw cacao (raw organic chocolate beans), goji berries, Peruvian maca, and having the best day ever!