Medicinal mushrooms have been used in medicinal systems like Ayurveda and Ancient Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. More recently, they’ve become widely popular in the West, ground into a powder and sold as medicinal mushroom supplements. While the powder can be taken several ways, the easiest way to get your fix of medicinal mushroom benefits is to add it to water or stir into your favourite superfood smoothies.
From supporting the immune system to boosting brain function, medicinal mushroom benefits are plentiful. However, what’s so interesting about medicinal mushrooms is that each type is unique in what it offers. Here we’ll share a guide to the different mushroom powders offered by Mountainlife and their amazing health benefits…
Our hero medicinal mushroom is Chaga - a type of fungus that is most commonly found attached to birch, ash, elm and alder trees in the northern hemisphere. The fungus essentially acts as a parasite, draining the host tree of all of its wonderful nutrients and taking them for itself.
Chaga has been used for thousands of years as a natural health tonic. Known as ‘King of the Mushrooms’ in Siberia, it has a nutrient-dense buildup, including over 215 Phytonutrients. What’s more, it contains both polysaccharides and beta-glucans - two key components that strengthen the medicinal mushroom benefits.
Polysaccharides are long complex chains of carbohydrate molecules used to store energy, end cellular information and support the cells and tissue.
Beta-glucans are types of sugars found in plants that boost the immune system and help to reduce cholesterol levels in the body.
Health benefits of Chaga include:
Reishi or ‘Lingzhi’ is a fascinating saucer-shaped fungus that grows on the base of deciduous trees in hot and humid locations. In Eastern medicine, it is one of the oldest symbols of longevity and is commonly referred to as ‘the mushroom of immortality.’
Like Chaga, Reishi contains polysaccharides and beta-glucans, as well as various vitamins, minerals, amino acids and potent antioxidants.
Health benefits of Reishi include:
View more benefits of Reishi mushroom powder.
In need of a brain boost? Let us introduce you to Lion’s Mane! This rather unique-looking mushroom has a shaggy mane-like appearance (hence the name) and has been used for centuries for its anti-microbial and brain-powering properties.
While the fruiting body contains the polysaccharides and beta-glucans, Lion’s Mane mushrooms also carry a plethora of proteins, B and C vitamins, essential amino acids and minerals like zinc, copper and selenium.
Lion’s Mane Medicinal mushroom benefits include:
View more benefits of Lion's Mane mushroom powder.
Cordyceps Militaris mushrooms are cultivated and grown on gluten-free grain. Not to be confused with the traditional 'Cordyceps' fungus, which is a parasitic fungus that grows on the larvae of insects in high mountainous regions.
This type of medicinal mushroom is both nutritious and therapeutic, packed full of essential amino acids like glutamate, arginine and aspartic acid, as well as B vitamins and a wide range of minerals. A staple in Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is primarily used for ailments like sickness, fatigue and low sex drive.
Cordyceps benefits list:
Chances are, you’ve probably come across (and eaten) Shiitake mushrooms before. Widely used in cooking, they’re prized for their rich, buttery taste. But what you may not be familiar with is their amazing medicinal mushroom benefits.
Shiitake mushrooms are rich in a wide range of minerals (such as potassium, zinc and selenium), many of which are natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. What’s more, they’re a great source of vitamins and amino acids, as well as polysaccharides, beta-glucans, sterols, terpenoids and lipids.
Take Shiitake mushroom powder and benefit from:
View more benefits of Shiitake mushroom powder.
Maitake mushrooms have been used in China and Japan for thousands of years and are known as an ‘adaptogen.’ This means they help the body adjust and cope with both mental and physical stresses.
Like the rest of the medicinal mushrooms listed here, the fruiting body of Maitake contains the polysaccharides and beta-glucans. Maitake is also supercharged with amino acids, antioxidants, B and C vitamins, as well as a wide range of vital minerals.
In Japanese, Maitake means ‘dancing mushroom’ and it’s got an interesting story behind it. During Japan’s Feudal era, the mushroom was traded as a form of currency. People would dance with joy upon finding Maitake mushrooms in the wild, as they knew they’d be able to trade the weight of their harvest for silver. It was a highly valuable product.
Benefits of Maitake include:
View more benefits of Maitake mushroom powder.
If you’ve come across Tremella before, it’s likely to be in premium skincare. Known for its beautifying qualities, the jelly-like mushroom is believed to improve the complexion and overall appearance of the skin. It’s even said that Yang Guefei, considered one of the most beautiful women in Chinese history, attributed the Tremella mushroom as the key to everlasting beauty.
Aside from working wonders on the skin, Tremella mushrooms are used as a ‘Yin’ tonic in Ancient Chinese Medicine and prescribed for dry or tickly coughs and immune health.
Tremella mushroom benefits:
View more benefits of Tremella mushroom powder.
Oyster mushrooms are a well-loved culinary ingredient but they also contain a wide range of wonderful health benefits. Used for centuries, in traditional Chinese medicine, they are a great source of protein, vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants like selenium. In addition to the polysaccharides and beta-glucans, found in the fruiting body of Oyster mushrooms, is Niacin. This compound and form of vitamin B is something almost every cell in the body needs to function and metabolise other nutrients.
Take Oyster mushroom powder and benefit from:
View more benefits of Oyster mushroom powder.
Turkey Tail Mushrooms are disc-like in shape and resemble the appearance of, you guessed it, a turkey’s tail! Traditionally brewed as a medicinal mushroom tea, Turkey Tail is packed full of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants to support the body and promote longevity.
Benefits of Turkey Tail include:
View more benefits of Turkey Tail mushroom powder.
We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about all of the different mushroom supplements we offer, along with the unique medicinal mushroom benefits. Please keep in mind that while medicinal mushrooms benefit and support the body, they aren’t a miracle cure. The benefits listed are backed up by science, however many studies are still in the early stages. Please see our benefits pages, linked below each section to view supporting evidence.
Ready to enjoy the benefits of medicinal mushrooms? Explore our full range of 100% natural and authentic mushroom powders, wild-harvested and revered of Chinese medicinal quality.
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Here at Mountainlife, we love nothing more than sharing our wild and natural health products with you and revealing the amazing ways you can benefit from them. But we're more than just our products. We don't want our blog to become a selling space but rather a place to share our thoughts, beliefs and knowledge with like-minded people. Our founder, Thomas' brain, is buzzing with ideas, and we hope, through our blog, we can build a deeper, more authentic connection with readers.
And what better place to start than with the topic of spirituality?