Today’s guest blog post comes from Kate at Real Food RN. She’s a nurse, mom, and real food enthusiast. She’s been an RN for ten years now, and she also studied at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.
Her frustration with a lack of focus in the medical field towards diet and nutrition lead her to recipe development, all things healthy living, and more. Today, we’re talking all about the health benefits of mushrooms, specifically, the reishi mushroom.
You may not want to toss your next salad with some reishi mushrooms (yeah, they are really bitter), but when you hear what all this little ‘shroom can do, you may decide to add it to your supplement regiment!
The reishi mushroom, also known as gandoderma and lingzhi mushroom, has been a staple in Eastern medicine since, well, forever, but as is often the case, the West was slower in recognizing its healing properties.
Now, with numerous medical studies completed, the reishi mushroom is being hailed as the “mushroom of immortality.” Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?
But scientific studies, along with astounding proof from Eastern medical treatments, make a solid case for the benefits of this fungus.
The benefits of reishi mushrooms
Heading the top of the list of benefits, reishi is used as a cancer treatment. In fact, the results of using reishi to banish cancer have been so remarkable that the Japanese have officially included it in their list of cancer treatments.
As a known immuno stimulant, reishi boosts the body’s immune system, as well as slowing down tumor and cancer cell growth, allowing the body to more effectively fight off the disease.
And reishi is used for many other health issues besides cancer. Mainly due to its ability to stimulate the immune system, it has been found hugely beneficial to those with Epstein-Barr, HIV, chronic bronchitis,leaky-gut syndrome and other chronic infectious diseases.
It is also used as a diuretic, and is known to cure insomnia and lower cholesterol and triglycerides. Due to its ability to lower the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, the reishi mushroom is well-known to assist in the fight against heart disease and stroke.
Reishi’s disease-fighting power
How does this one little fungus manage to fight off some of the Western world’s most pervasive diseases? According to Eastern medical science, if the body has an imbalance of some sort, illness or “dis-ease” occurs as it attempts to regain its balance.
Imbalance can occur in the body through physical, emotional or energetic issues, such as viruses, infections, stress or anxiety.
It seems that no matter what form the threat to the body’s balance takes, the reishi mushroom aids in fighting against the threat to bring the body back to its natural state of equilibrium. Because reishi gets to the root of the cause of disease, it benefits a wide variety of illnesses.
Let’s simplify things
Want a more Western medical explanation? Let’s use cardiovascular disease as an example. Reishi provides amazing prevention from this killer because of the high number of heart-healthy substances it contains.
These include ganoderic acids, coumarin, mannitol, polysaccharides and sterols. Medical experts believe ganoderic acids, for example, lower triglycerides in the bloodstream, lower blood pressure, reduce platelet “tackiness,” remove excess cholesterol from the blood, and even aid in correcting arrhythmia.
Reishi also assists those who have chronic illnesses such as allergies and arthritis. It is used to improve sleep, relieve anxiety, improve memory and focus as well.
So yes, just about anything that ails you, reishi can help your body fight. Nevertheless, there is a large discrepancy in the recommended daily dose, so it’s important to discuss taking this natural supplement with your doctor or naturopath, as there are some known side effects.
Overall, though, reishi seems to have truly earned its title of “mushroom of immortality.”
How to use reishi mushrooms
I personally consume reishi mushrooms every day. I drink them! Yep, I drink mushroom tea and coffee so I can experience the benefits of the mushrooms and also enjoy a tasty beverage.
Every morning, I brew up a pitcher of tea (one tea bag makes an entire pitcher!) and I drink it throughout the day. This is also how I make sure that I am consuming more liquids, because with three little kiddos I often times forget to drink enough water!
I also start my day with my mushroom coffee. I am very sensitive to caffeine, it can give me bad anxiety. So, for that reason I rarely drank coffee….but I wanted to so bad! Then, I found this mushroom coffee at my chiropractor’s office.
She explained how amazing it was to consume for its health benefits, and also that the mushrooms helped to modulate that caffeine stress response that I always experienced! So, now I can drink coffee every day with no issues. It’s awesome!
Reishi mushroom recipes
If you want to learn more about the coffee, check out THIS PAGE where there is a list of all of the mushroom products you can try. I also take their mushroom supplement called “Calm”, because, ya know, motherhood!!!
If you want to try some for yourself, go to THIS PAGE and click on “shop now” at the top right of the page
I like to experiment with different recipes for my coffee and I often add a sachet of the coffee to different chocolate desserts that I make. It is really tasty in my flourless chocolate cake, and it adds some health benefits too! There you go, healthy flourless chocolate cake. You’re welcome!
I also brew our kombucha using the mushroom tea, HERE is my recipe and a video how-to.
If you want to learn more, HERE is some great information about the mushrooms, right from the source!
Follow Kate on Instagram to see all of the different ways that she’s experimenting with getting the health benefits of mushrooms into her daily regimen!
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