Got Shrooms? Mushroom Medicinal Properties


IMG_5684When I was a kid, I begged my mom for shiitake mushrooms. I couldn’t get enough. I went through a phase where they weren’t my favorite things but now, I cannot get enough.

Got shrooms? My mushroom guy, Ambrose wears a shirt with this written on the back every Saturday at the Green City Market. Mushrooms have been recognized lately for their powerful medicinal properties. There are so many different types. My grandmother has Parkinson’s and she ate a Lion’s Mane mushroom and was able to write without shaking the next day! Mushrooms help to stimulate the immune system and some have been known to contain cancer fighting properties.

Maitake mushrooms contain a compound called beta 1,6 glucan. According to Jonny Bowden from Clean Eating, “one particular combination of glucans from Maitake mushrooms known as D-fraction has been found to have antitumoral effects on breast cancer.” Mushrooms, specifically reishi mushrooms, can aid in fighting off the side effects of chemo and radiation. Reishi mushrooms also improve the quality of life for cancer patients on conventional treatment protocols. Try a reishi tea. You can make it in a crockpot so it is ready the next morning!

Shiitake mushrooms contain lentinan, a chemical component, which is used as an adjunct to conventional therapy and research suggests it may prolong survival of cancer patients. Lentinan is a powerful immunomodulator. This means it turns immune cells on. It also is anti-inflammatory. Many diseases are caused by inflammation so add in shiitake mushrooms to your diet to decrease inflammation. How will your shrooms show up in your next dish?

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