Long before trees covered the Earth, it is said that our precious planet was covered with mushrooms. While mushrooms themselves aren’t new, medicinal mushrooms are still a newer topic that are just becoming a mainstream topic in the wellness world. There are tons of different mushroom varietals it may become overwhelming when shopping for your go-to mushroom.
While medicinal mushrooms may be new (or newish) to you, these superfoods have actually been used since the time of the Ancient Egyptians and Chinese for their health benefits. Medicinal mushrooms are great for immune health and also helping the body adapt to stress. Not only that, they are full of antioxidants (which protect your body against free radicals), and have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties making them stellar for helping your body build natural resistance against various diseases, toxins, and viruses it encounters.
Additionally, each medicinal mushroom species has their own specific health benefits based on their own unique blend of polysaccharides, which boost the immune system in different ways. Here are the 3 versatile mushrooms that will each offer their own unique healing properties to your body that I think you should have in your cupboard at all times:
Chaga – Great for anti-aging + inflammation fighting
This mushroom packs a range of potent antioxidants. In fact, it is one of the top superfoods that has the highest amount of antioxidants. Which makes Chaga one of the best mushrooms for anti-aging benefits. Superoxide dismutase is largely present in this mushroom, and is able to neutralize damage caused by free radicals, thus protecting the body against disease. It also has compounds that help to lower disease-causing inflammation in the body.
Reishi – Great for immunity + stress
Regarded as the “Medicine of Kings” and the “Mushroom of Immortality” by the Chinese. Reishi mushrooms can be used to help those with insomnia, a common side effect of anxiety, depression, and stress. The adaptogenic herbs found in it, are able to help your body adapt and handle anxiety and stress. Reishi is also considered to be muscle relaxing, calming, and pain inhibiting. Treat your immune system and stress levels to some reishi.
Lion’s Mane – Brain nourishment
Lion’s Mane is the only mushroom that has TWO potent nerve growth factors, which help to keep your brain healthy and flourishing. In Asia, it is referred to the mushroom that gives you “Nerves of steel and the memory of a lion”. This mushroom is perfect if you feel like you have brain fog, memory loss, or are in need of some extra brain love.
Now that you are aware of the go-to mushrooms, it is time to stock up! My favorite mushroom brands are OM Mushrooms, Root and Bones, and Four Sigmatic. I suggest always purchasing organic medicinal mushrooms, or wild-crafted, when possible. Add them to everything from smoothies, elixirs, oats, bliss balls, pancakes, and more for some ELEVATED health.
**Please consult with your medical doctor before using medicinal mushrooms to help with any disease or condition you may have**
Britt Martin is the founder of Fitbrittnutrition, a Holistic Nutrition Consulting company based in LA. She is a Holistic Nutritionist and Certified Yoga Teacher who is passionate about teaching her clients and community how to nourish their bodies and live more holistic lifestyles. She considers herself a health-foodie who aside from holistic nutrition and yoga, loves hiking, cooking, her dog-child Logan, and traveling as much as possible. Follow her on Instagram: @fitbrittnutrition