Medicinal Mushrooms

Written by Norene Anderson
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One of the fastest growing items on the natural health charts is medicinal mushrooms. They have been a staple in Chinese and Japanese medicine for centuries. It is estimated that there are some 20,000 different species of mushrooms and 2,000 of these are edible and nutritious. You are probably aware of the wonderful flavor the mushroom adds to that slice of pizza or topping that favorite fresh salad. But did you know there are 300 mushrooms that are known to be medically active?

Some mushrooms are being used as tonics, as immune system enhancers, and anti-tumor. Three of the most famous are Cordyceps-which comes whole, dried, or powdered, Reishi-which can inhibit tumor growth, and Coriolus versicolor. Recent studies show that mushrooms are active in assisting the body to strengthen itself and its own immune system. Medicinal mushrooms have been used in the treatment of such diseases as cancer as a substantial anti-cancer agent.

Medicinal Mushrooms Are Valuable

Other mushrooms that are noted to be high in medicinal value include Maitake - which is marketed as having anti-cancer, anti-viral, and immune-system enhancing effects; Shiitake-which has a substance that encourages body tissue to absorb cholesterol; and others. Other medicinal benefits are strengthening metabolism and hormonal balance.


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