Best Medicinal Mushrooms

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All you need to know about different species of Medicinal Mushrooms and their Benefits

Trametes versicolor, commonly known as “Turkey Tail”, are found growing on dead logs all over the world, making them one of the most common mushrooms found today and the most widely researched of all the medicinal mushrooms. It’s named Turkey Tail because its shape and rings of various colors look like the tail feathers of a turkey. Like other medicinal mushrooms, Turkey Tail is a very powerful means of influencing many functions in the body, and of suppressing the growth of cancerous cells and infectious pathogens.

There have been over 400 published studies focusing on modern clinical use and research of Turkey Tail mushrooms. It is the source of the major pharmaceutical drugs PSK (Krestin) and PSP, licensed in China and Japan for its immuno-modulating and anti-cancer properties. Sales for these unique all-natural compounds of Turkey Tail have reached several hundred million dollars a year in Japan and China, making them one of the most widely used mushroom products in both countries by people facing serious immune challenges.

In most cases, Turkey Tail is consumed in extract form or tea. It is not recommended people eat Turkey Tail mushrooms since the body cannot digest the tough, chitinous tissue of the woody mushroom. Either way, unless you break down this chitinous tissue found in all mushrooms with either a hot-water and/or alcohol extraction process, you will not be benefiting from its medicinal properties.

“Maitake” means dancing mushroom in Japanese. The mushroom is said to have received its name after people danced with happiness upon finding it in the wild due to its incredible healing properties, especially in cancer therapy. Maitake is a polypore mushroom that grows in clusters at the base of trees, particularly Oak, Elm, and Maple trees.

This fungi is commonly known in North America as “hen-of-the-woods” and is a delicious and prized mushroom in Japanese Cuisine, having a rather sweet flavor and soft texture. It compliments just about any culinary dish.

Like many other medicinal mushrooms, Maitake mushroom has been used in Japan and China for thousands of years, but has only gained popularity in the United States over the last twenty years. Maitake is increasingly being recognized as a potent source of polysaccharide compounds and several myco-nutrients with dramatic health-promoting potential.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Maitake was used as a tonic, strengthening the immune system, enhancing vitality, treating high blood pressure, strengthening the spleen and stomach, as a remedy for hemorrhoids, and an adjunct therapy against cancer.

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