Medicinal Mushrooms Explained: What Do Reishi, Chaga And Co. Help Against?

They are said to relieve inflammation, strengthen the immune system, and even heal cancer: Medicinal mushrooms are anchored as remedies in traditional Chinese medicine. What do Reishi, Agaricus, and relatives help against? We provide an overview of the most well-known medicinal mushrooms.

Mycotherapy: Can fungi heal?

It is well known that mushrooms have powerful effects on the body. Because from an early age it is imprinted that the fly agaric is poisonous and that caution is required when collecting mushrooms. Mushrooms and chanterelles, on the other hand, are considered a delicacy. However, there is a completely different world hidden between edible mushrooms and toadstools: that of medicinal mushrooms.

In traditional Chinese medicine, on the other hand, these are regularly on the menu. Some can be cooked normally, others can be consumed as a powder. In Germany, you can usually buy the latter form. Medicinal mushrooms are a valued remedy – they have been used for centuries against many diseases and even cancer. The healing effects are said to be diverse, but especially in the case of serious diseases such as cancer, the consumer advice center points out that research has not progressed far enough to replace regular therapies. Nevertheless, natural remedies can help against many everyday ailments. It’s worth trying. But which medicinal mushroom helps against what? We give a small overview of the five most well-known medicinal mushrooms.

Agaricus blazei – the almond mushroom

The Agaricus blazei is also called almond or sun mushroom. It belongs to the mushroom family, but has special healing powers. The mushroom originally came from South America, whose inhabitants also called it the mushroom of God. Why?

The Effect of Agaricus

  • Strengthens the immune system;
  • Has a supportive effect in the treatment of cancer as it inhibits metastasis formation;
  • Reduces the side effects of chemotherapy;
  • Protects against and relieves allergies;
  • Regulates cholesterol and blood sugar levels and blood pressure;
  • It is said to have a soothing effect on osteoporosis;
  • Fights fatigue and stress symptoms;
  • Alleviates general complaints of old age.

Reishi – the mushroom of immortality

In traditional Chinese medicine, the Reishi mushroom is considered a symbol of immortality. It is hard and inedible as an edible mushroom, but ground as a powder and dissolved in tea or over food it becomes one of the oldest remedies for numerous ailments.

The effects of Reishi

  • Strengthening and preventive for cancer;
  • Against high blood pressure;
  • antibacterial;
  • immune system strengthening;
  • Helps with respiratory diseases such as bronchitis and asthma;
  • Relieves sleep problems and calms;
  • Relieves gastric ulcers;
  • Has an anti-inflammatory effect and supports hepatitis, kidney and joint inflammation;
  • Strengthens the cardiovascular system;
  • Should make age spots disappear.

Chaga – vital mushroom of antioxidants

The Chaga mushroom likes it cold – it feels most comfortable on birch trunks in the north. The medicinal mushroom is one of the most valuable antioxidant suppliers. However, since it also contains oxalic acid, no more than the recommended dosage of 1-2 teaspoons should be taken daily. But then it can even improve performance and stress resistance.

The effects of the chaga mushroom

  • Prevents cancer, inhibits tumor growth;
  • tonic;
  • blood cleansing;
  • immune boosting;
  • antioxidant;
  • Antibacterial, antiviral;
  • performance enhancing;
  • Used for intestinal cleansing;
  • Strengthens and heals the gastrointestinal mucosa.

Cordyceps – the Chinese caterpillar fungus

Cordyceps, also known as the Chinese caterpillar fungus, is best known as an aphrodisiac. It does not grow on plants, but inside the caterpillars that it infects. In TCM, however, it is also recommended for liver, kidney and lung diseases. The valuable effects of the medicinal mushroom have been appreciated for centuries, so that it was used as a diving commodity in Tibet. Cordyceps are still an important source of income there today.

The Effect of Cordyceps

  • Against night sweats;
  • potency enhancing;
  • For hyperglycemia;
  • cholesterol-lowering;
  • empowering;
  • Relieves respiratory diseases;
  • Against diabetes;
  • In liver and kidney diseases;
  • Strengthens the cardiovascular system;
  • Strengthens the immune system;
  • Supports chemotherapy.

Hericium – the medicinal mushroom for the stomach and intestines

The hedgehog’s mane looks more like a huge ball of white fur. The hericium is a tree fungus and is compared to the taste of the lobster as a delicacy. But it should not only be a treat for the stomach in terms of taste. In TCM, the medicinal mushroom is mainly used to strengthen the digestive organs.

The Effect of the Hericium

  • Strengthening for the entire gastrointestinal area;
  • Effective for gastrointestinal ulcers;
  • Heals chronic inflammation of the gastric mucosa;
  • Helps against tiredness and listlessness;
  • Used in nervous diseases;
  • mood-enhancing.

Discuss intake with the doctor

The reported effects of medicinal mushrooms are based on thousands of years of experience in traditional Chinese medicine, but in many cases, they have not been scientifically proven. In the case of mild and everyday complaints, corresponding medicinal mushrooms can have a healing and soothing effect and can simply be tried out. In the case of serious illnesses in particular, taking medicinal mushrooms should always be discussed with a doctor. Then the appropriate powder can prove useful as a supportive measure.

Dosage of medicinal mushrooms

Most medicinal mushrooms are sold as a powder. One to two teaspoons per day is recommended. The powder can be consumed as a hot drink or mixed into food, but the maximum amount should not be exceeded.

Avatar photo

Written by Allison Turner

I am a Registered Dietitian with 7+ years of experience in supporting many facets of nutrition, including but not limited to nutrition communications, nutrition marketing, content creation, corporate wellness, clinical nutrition, food service, community nutrition, and food and beverage development. I provide relevant, on-trend, and science-based expertise on a wide range of nutrition topics such as nutrition content development, recipe development and analysis, new product launch execution, food and nutrition media relations, and serve as a nutrition expert on behalf of a brand.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Caution: Bananas Contain As Much Alcohol As Beer

Butterfat: Good Ingredient Or Cheap Extender?