In the past, people have used medicinal mushrooms to protect themselves from infectious diseases and different types of cancer. These mushroom supplements have been used to help people stay healthy for a long time, especially in ancient Egyptian, Chinese, Roman, Greek, and Mexican societies. In 1991, a 5,300-year-old mummy was found with birch polypore fungus. This fungus causes diarrhea and may have been used to treat the mummified person’s parasites.
Modern research has shown that medicinal mushrooms have a lot of nutrients and bioactive compounds that are good for your health and have many effects, like helping your immune system. Read on to learn more about medicinal mushrooms’ benefits, the best ones for helping your immune system, and how to consume them.
What Are Medicinal Mushrooms?
Medicinal mushrooms are large, edible fungi that can be seen with the naked eye and are used for their health benefits. Moulds, yeasts, and mushrooms are all types of fungi. Fungi eat dead things in the soil or on plants, animals, and other fungi. There are between 14,000 and 22,000 known species of mushrooms in the world. About 20 to 30 species are grown for eating, and about 15 can be found in the wild and eaten. You can eat these mushrooms as food or as a supplement to your diet.
Mushroom supplements are a good source of many nutrients, such as protein, fibre, potassium, selenium, and the vitamins B1, B2, B12, C, D, and E. They also have bioactive parts like flavonoids, alkaloids, phenolic compounds, terpenes, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and polysaccharides. A polysaccharide called -glucan, which is often found in mushrooms, has been studied for its immune-boosting and prebiotic effects.
Medicinal Mushrooms to Improve Your Immunity System
1. Chaga Mushroom:
Chaga mushrooms are black and dark brown fungus that usually grows on birch trees. They are also called Chaga conk and birch mushrooms. Chaga mushrooms may be good for you because they contain antioxidants, polyphenols, and betulinic acid and betulin, which are linked to anti-cancer effects.
2. Cordyceps Mushroom:
Even though it’s not technically a mushroom extract, cordyceps is a rare caterpillar fungus. Cordycepin, polysaccharides, and cordycepic acid are all bioactive parts of cordyceps. A study of healthy Korean people that lasted eight weeks found that taking cordyceps extract led to more natural killer immune cells being active. Compared to controls, this change was also accompanied by better immune system regulation.
3. Lion Mane Mushroom:
Hericium Erinaceus is often called a lion’s mane mushroom because it looks like white fur. Animal studies have shown that lion’s mane may help good gut bacteria grow and may be linked to less damage to colon tissue in people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Researchers think that lion’s mane may help improve the health and regulate the immune system of people with IBD. However, this needs to be proven in humans through clinical trials.
4. Reishi Mushroom:
People often call Reishi the “king of mushrooms” or “the mushroom of immortality.” It has been shown to prevent or treat several diseases and to reduce the inflammation that comes with eating a lot of cholesterol. The health benefits of the reishi mushroom may come from its ability to control the microbiota composition. The polysaccharides in reishi have prebiotic effects and may increase the number of good bacteria in the host.
5. Turkey Tail Mushroom:
The turkey tail mushroom gets its name from the rings of tan and brown on its surface, which look like a turkey’s tail feathers. Turkey tail mushrooms have been used to treat cancer, fungal infections, and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome in traditional medicine (AIDS).
The immune system can be helped in an easy and natural way by taking mushroom supplements. The above-mentioned mushroom supplements for your immune system include different kinds of mushrooms that can help you feel better and give your immune system the best support possible.