What are Medicinal Mushrooms?

What are Medicinal Mushrooms?

There are over 2,000 different species of edible mushrooms! Medicinal mushrooms, however, are a subset of these that contain medicinal compounds that can prevent and treat a wide array of ailments and boost overall wellbeing. In Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines they have been used for thousands of years. Even more recently we are seeing them permeate the health and wellness market. They are in everything from coffee, tea, supplements and more!

What can they do?

Well, studies have shown them to do a wide variety of different things like boost memory & focus, regenerate nerves, boost the immune system, reduce blood pressure, increase circulation, increase respiratory function, improve gut health, reduce cortisol levels, help with allergies and more!

How do they do this?

Well, in these medicinal mushrooms is something called beta glucan. It is a complex carbohydrate fiber otherwise known as a polysaccharide. It is found in the cell wall of certain types of yeasts, seaweeds, and algae as well as medicinal mushrooms like reishi, shitake and maitake. And, in 1997, the FDA allowed a health claim for beta-glucan soluble fiber from oats: that it reduced the risk of heart disease. Since then, many studies have been done on beta glucan, increasing evidence for large range of health benefits. In fact, they are one of the most studied compounds for their effects on our health, including preventing disease and as immunomodulators.

Can they get you high?

And the answer is no. Well, not the ones that you see on the shelves or online anyway. The ones that do cause psychoactive effects contain something called psilocybin and are actually being studied by Johns Hopkins university to help with PTSD, anxiety and depression. So these are considered medicinal as well but only currently legal in Oregon starting in 2021.

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Light and love,
Nicole Wallace

Owner at Vera Herbals

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