The Magic of Medicinal Mushrooms

The Magic of Medicinal Mushrooms

25% of the world’s biomass is made up of fungi.  92% of all plants are dependent upon mushrooms for their survival. 40% of all pharmaceuticals contain some form of mushroom. And, incredibly, 85% of human RNA and 50% of human DNA is shared with fungi.

Edible mushrooms are as ‘magic’ as food gets.  We aren’t talking about the psychedelic kinds here, regular mushrooms to include on you’re diet are magic enough.

Mushrooms have powerful health benefits:

  • Mushroom’s phytochemicals, such as beta-glucan, enhance the activity of several different types of immune cells including natural killer cells, which attack and destroy virus-infected and cancerous cells.
  • Mushrooms contain known angiogenisis inhibitors, which makes it harder for your body to grow new blood vessels.  You are born with most of the blood vessels you will ever need, so these inhibitors basically make it harder for your body to grow fat and tumors
  • Consuming mushrooms regularly is associated with decreased risk of breast, stomach, and colorectal cancers.
  • In one recent Chinese study, women who ate at least 10 grams of fresh mushrooms each day (about one mushroom per day) had a 64% decreased risk of breast cancer.

(references for bullet points here and here.)

Little did I know…

I learned about the health benefits of mushrooms years ago, and began including them more in my diet. I started added them in soups, pasta, and sometimes on my salads.

Recently, I heard a podcast about medicinal mushrooms that blew my mind.  It inspired me to write this blog post. Everyone knows about crimini, portobello, and shiitake mushrooms. Most of us can find those at the grocery store. Those mushrooms are all beneficial. All kinds of edible mushrooms are high in fiber, phytochemicals, and an excellent source of Vitamin D. What I didn’t understand was the protective and healing power of rare mushrooms.

What I learned the benefits of lesser known mushrooms like reighi, chaga, cordyceps, oyster, lions mane, and turkey tail, I was inspired. I found new ways to add even more mushrooms to my diet… But first, lets

These 2 podcast episodes opened up a whole new world to me:

Tero Isokaupilla podcast episode

This episode the Rich Roll podcast featuring Tero can be found here.  Tero is

I read his book too. Here are some of the best parts:

This is the other episode that blew my mind.

Paul Stamets podcast episode

Check out that podcast episode here, and Paul Stamet’s website at www.fungi.com)

The mushrooms in my life now:

First of all, I wanted to try growing my own.

  • First of all, I wanted to try growing my own. I ordered an oyster mushroom kit on amazon.com that was called ‘grow your own blah blah’. All I had to do was open the box, cut the plastic open, scrape off the top later, and spray on water every day.
      • At first, I didn’t think it was working. Then, after day 3 or 4, I saw them explode. Here are some pictures I took every day after work. In other words, you will see how much they grew over a 24 hour period.
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
Day 8 (I missed one day)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So much fun. They are done growing when their edges start to turn brown. All it takes is a twist to pull them off from their base and they are ready to go. I rinsed them off, chopped them up, and sautéed them in a small amount of olive oil (the oil supposedly helps their nutrients become bioavailable in your body). I put them on a veggie burger and went to town.

With this particular kit, when you are done with one side of the soil, you can flip the brick over and repeat the process. In my experience, the second batch didn’t grow nearly as much as the first time, but it was still cool. The first kit was totally worth it, but now I am inspired to try building my own. All you need to do is order spores online, and then build the right stuff to grow it in, for example damp sawdust in a bag. Next time, I will try this method because although the kit was fun for the first time, I didn’t really get enough mushrooms to make it worth $20.

Four sigmatic coffee:

Tero Isaupallika has company called Four Sigmatic that sells high-quality products containing medicinal mushrooms. So far, all I’ve tried is their cordyceps and lions mane coffee. Personally, I like the cordyceps better so far. I took a box camping with me and it was freaking sweet. Add one packet to 7oz. (I use 16 oz.) of water

Chaga tea:

Reishi powder.

Avoid uncooked mushrooms

It’s important to remember that mushrooms should only be eaten cooked. Several raw culinary mushrooms contain a potentially carcinogenic substance called agaritine, and cooking mushrooms significantly reduces their agaritine content.  Paul Stamets and Joel Fuhrman agree on this.