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The magic of mushrooms

You don’t need to take psychedelic mushrooms to experience the magic of these amazing fungi. Fungi are an amazing kingdom, with an abundance of diversity ranging from mushrooms to yeasts and moulds, and they’re critical in breaking down organic matter into forms that can be used by plants and animals.

Fungi are essential for living here on planet Earth.

They’ve even found fungi that can eat plastic and oil spills – and there are many people, including scientists, who claim that fungi are going to save our planet.

And while that’s awesome, right now I’m very much interested in how these wonderful fungi can help us heal and be well.

So, let me introduce my top 4 favourite fantastic fungi – or magical mushrooms, if you will.


Reishi

Reishi is the most widely known and used medicinal mushroom. It has been recorded for over 2000 years as a medicinal mushroom in Traditional Chinese Medicine, being called the ‘Divine Mushroom’ or ‘Spirit Mushroom’ because of its strong action to protect and help heal the spirit as well as the body.

Reishi is used for:

  • Insomnia.
  • Anxiety.
  • Depression.
  • Immune system support.
  • Blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar regulation.
  • Pain relief.
  • Improving cognitive function.
  • Protecting the liver.
  • And inhibiting tumour growth.

Lion’s Mane

Lion’s Mane is a nootropic (I love this word!). What that means is that this mushroom has the ability to enhance your cognitive function – executive function, memory, creativity and motivation.

Lion’s Mane is used for:

  • Nerve support and repair.
  • Mood regulation.
  • Memory enhancement.
  • Cognitive function.
  • Reducing inflammation.
  • Blood sugar regulation.
  • Lowering the blood pressure.
  • And it’s an antibiotic and antioxidant.

Cordyceps

Cordyceps is a parasitic fungi and given my previous life as an Entomologist, I find this one extremely interesting. It’s the fungus that’s often called the zombie fungi, as it infects insects and controls their minds to place itself in the most appropriate place for the fungi to spread itself to other insects. Pretty wild, huh!?

It’s particularly well known for its use by athletes for improving energy levels and endurance. In fact, when the Chinese women’s running team broke the records for the 1500m, 3000m and 10000m races at the 1993 Olympics it created much curiosity. The Chinese government were even suspected of using performance enhancing steroids to get the results but those rumours were shot down when their drug tests reflected zero steroids. They had in fact been taking Cordyceps after every training!

Cordyceps is used for:

  • Boosting energy levels and endurance in sport.
  • Increasing the availability of ATP (short for Adenosine Triphosphate it’s what provides energy to drive different processes in living cells i.e. nerve impulses and muscle contraction).
  • Alleviates chronic lung complaints such as wheezing or chronic coughs.
  • Protecting the kidneys (especially for those with chronic kidney disease).
  • And it’s great as a general tonic.

Chaga

Chaga is typically found in very cold parts of the world and mostly grows on Birch trees.

It has traditionally been used in Europe to prevent tuberculosis and protect the heart, as well as an anti-cancer remedy. It’s generally used as a powerful antioxidant and energy booster.

Chaga is used for:

  • Immunomodulating (or modulating the immune system).
  • Balancing the blood sugar.
  • Cardiac support.
  • And it’s antiviral, antibacterial and an antioxidant

Curious to try some mushroom magic yourself? Check out the range next time you’re at Flourish or contact us to place an order.

And, if you’d like to learn more about Reishi, check out this blog post which includes Kaylee’s Reishi hot chocolate recipe and some details about how Reishi has been supporting Kaylee and her family.

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