“What is striking is that most of these mushrooms and their ingredients cause very few side effects – if at all – even at very high doses.” Paul Stamets from his book MycoMedicinals: An Informational Treatise on Mushrooms
These are a small subset of mushrooms that have been used for thousands of years in Asia for everything from health and longevity to spiritual growth.
A lot of folks ask me why, as a psychotherapist, I would take the time to share about mushrooms.
Well, to be honest, initially when I heard about them, I didn’t pay attention. I wasn’t even really curious about it, and I’m curious about most things!
Then I went home and started researching. First, I found numerous studies that showed some were anti-tumor, and that they seemed to help the immune system during chemotherapy. When I found that they actually use mushrooms to treat cancer in Asia, and that was all I needed to know.
Over the last few years, I’ve seen what medicinal mushrooms can do for people’s health, both physically and mentally.
You may have heard of a few of these: Lion’s Mane, Tremella, Turkey Tail, Agaricus Blazei, Chaga, Maiitake, King’s Oyster, or Shiitake.
The most studied medicinal mushroom on the planet, however, is Lingzhi. It also goes by the Japanese name, Reishi, or the scientific name Ganoderma Lucidum. Lingzhi is the most revered herb in all of herbal pharmacology. It was so valuable in ancient China that if a commoner found it, they had to turn it over to Royalty.
For over 2,000 years, Traditional Chinese Medicine has called Lingzhi the “the herb of longevity” and the “herb of immortality.” And in medical texts going back hundreds of years, Lingzhi was universally described as a way to prolong life and help the body remove subpar tissue, and by doing so, help each of the organs function at a higher level.
So why has Lingzhi been so treasured over the millennia, and why is it now becoming known in the West?
Science explains it to us. Over the last 20 years, scientists have identified many powerful compounds in medicinal mushrooms: Beta Glucans, Polysaccharides, Sterols, Triterpenoids, Statins, Ganoderic Acids, Adenosine, Selenium, Germanium, minerals, and vitamins. New constituents are being discovered regularly. Lingzhi is now the most studied mushroom in the world, with over 1100 research papers and clinical trials in the past 20 years.
Western science is proving what many in Asian cultures have known for centuries. Studies show Lingzhi:
- is a powerful immune system modulator
- can help allergies and autoimmune diseases
- shows strong anti-tumor activity and is being used in alternative and complementary cancer therapies
- promotes cardiovascular health and regulates blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels
- reduces inflammation in the body and has very strong anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties
- supports the liver, kidneys, and urinary tract
- is adaptogenic (which means it helps the body adapt/heal from stress)
- and much more.
This is why I tell people about mushrooms.
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