31 May
2022

Medicinal Mushrooms


mushrooms

What if I was to tell you that mushrooms could be so much more than just a mundane ingredient in your nana’s favourite pasta dish?

Well, it’s true! The mushroom mania that has taken the world by storm is not because they’re such fun-guys, but rather because of their incredible medicinal properties.

 Although psilocybe cubensis – also known as magic mushrooms – have a history of being associated with recreational pursuits such as singing Pink Floyd songs around a campfire in the 70s, they’ve also been ingested throughout the ages as a tool for self-discovery and spiritual experiences. Today, they’re being increasingly used in both holistic and clinical settings to manage and treat a number of disorders, including Alzheimer’s, anorexia nervosa, opioid addiction, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

But magic mushrooms aren’t the only incredible species – their non-psychoactive counterparts boast some impressive health benefits, too.

DID YOU KNOW?

Cordyceps, known as the killer fungus, infects insects (mostly ants) and starts to control their muscles, directing them to a high perch, where a zombie-like metamorphosis begins. The fungus then slowly kills the insect, and sprouts a fruiting body from their head, spreading its spores to all unfortunate, unsuspecting insects below, in the hopes of the process repeating. Not to worry, though – humans are, of course, not affected in this way, and the powerful fungi actually has some incredible benefits for us! 

Here’s a guide to some of our favourites…

Mushroom Type   Potential Health Benefits   How to Take Them   Fun Fact
             
Reishi    
  • Eaten raw, cooked or dried
  • Capsules
  • Teas
  • Tinctures
  • Powders
  Originally, reishi and cordyceps mushrooms were so rare and sought after that they were served to royalty. 
             
Cordyceps    
  • Eaten cooked (consuming them raw is not advised, as you may experience nausea and an upset stomach)
  • Capsules
  • Teas
  • Tinctures
  • Powders
  Cordyceps is a favourite amongst athletes, as it increases our oxygen uptake and ATP energy production. It’s best taken in the morning or before a workout and avoided before bedtime.
             
Lion’s Mane    
  • Eaten raw, cooked or dried
  • Capsules 
  • Teas  
  • Tinctures
  • Powders
  Lion’s Mane stimulates and repairs the brain’s nerve cells, thus increasing cognitive function and reducing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

By Juliet Almendro


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