When you go to the grocery store, the most common mushrooms you’ll see are white button, portabello, and shiitake. These mushrooms are what you would typically use as additional ingredients in dishes or sides, or even as burger substitues. They are mushrooms that contain rich sources of calcuim, may help lower cholesterol, and can help prevent diabetes.
Those mushrooms taste great and have wonderful health benefits, but did you know that there are over 10,000 different types of mushrooms? “Mycologists suspect that this is only a fraction of what’s out there.” There are many poisonous mushrooms to stay away from, and for many of them their names give that away (death cap, autumn skullcap, deadly daperling, destroying angels, ect.)
All throughout the 10,000 mushrooms that are known, there are plenty that aren’t poisonus; however, these mushrooms may be a little difficult to find at your local grocery store. You may just have to do a little research and go through a walk in the woods to see if you spot any of the following.
Healthy mushrooms to look for in nature
The lesser-known Mushrooms
Black Trumpet mushrooms are known for their fantastic buttery, woodsy flavor that have a sweet aroma. The stem and the cap are both edible and soft.
Morels mushrooms are popular among mushroom hunters. They have an interesting honeycomb/coral apperance, and they taste nutty and meaty.
Turkey Tail mushrooms are only edible in tea. They’re too tough to eat any other way. Interstingly enough, these mushrooms are the most studied mushroom when it comes to using them for medicinal purposes.
Reishi mushrooms have a potent fungus. These mushrooms have been commonly used in chinese medicine for thousands of years. Some people say this mushroom is pleasntly earthy while others say it tastes like tree bark.
A closer look at Reishi
Reishi, “commonly known as Ling Zhi in Chinese, is a herbal mushroom known to have miraculous health benefits.” It grows all over the world. It has been found in Maine and other states in the Northeast during the summer months.
“Red Reishi is primarily composed of complex carbohydrates called water-soluble polysaccharides, triterpeniods, proteins and amino acids.” It has been found by researchers that water-soluble polysaccharides are the most active element within.
Cap: Kidney or fan-shaped and reddish with a wet. The cap rarely gets larger than a foot across and an inch or two thick. It may or may not be attached to a stem.
Ecology: Saprotrophic, which means it feeds on dead organic matter. They are found on dead or dying trees and old stumps or logs.
Habitat: This type grows on hardwood stumps and log trees like oaks, elms, beeches, maples, and more.
Reproduction: Spores come out of tiny pores on the underside of the mushroom rather than gills.
For all Reishi Mushrooms:
“The shiny, reddish cap is one of the main identifying features of reishi mushrooms. As they age the flesh becomes tougher and spores drop. Air currents often blow these spores to the top of the mushroom, dulling its shiny cap.”
Reishi Health Benefits
The Reishi mushroom is best known for improving the immune system and blood circulation.
Reishi Mushrooms have also been linked to:
- Cancer prevention
- Enhance liver function
- Anti-aging properties
- Increase oxygen utilization
- Enable many organs to function normally
- Natural boost in energy
- Be an antiviral and antibacterial
- Improve allergies
- Detoxify the body
- Amplify bone marrow
- Relax muscles
- Boosts NGF (nerve growth factor)
Most common ways to ingest Reishi:
Surprisingly, there is a Mushroom Hot Cocoa Mix from Four Sigmatic that is made from Reishi Mushrooms. Time magazine wrote an article about this Hot Cocoa saying that:
Reishi mushroom has a lot of benefits for the human body. It is frequently used in Chinese medicine (also known as alternative medicine) which includes various forms of herbal medicine, acupuncture, and dietary therapy. This mushroom has a very distinct taste and look, but what it is able to bring into alignment within each persons health is quite shocking.
Living in the United States, oftentimes people quickly turn to western medicine in order to try and fix problems they may have, but maybe it’s time to start taking a closer look at the success of chinese medicine. The Reishi mushroom has been linked to a lot of different successes within the human body. If there are over 10,000 different kinds of mushrooms and this is just one in-depth look into one of those, imagine what other mushroom benefits could do.
Let food that comes from nature be medicine for the body.
To try Reishi mushroom out, get $8 off your first purchase of Reishi mushroom by visiting VitaJing herbs through this link. Try their reishi mushroom powder which can be added to smoothies or drinks.
Sources: https://www.mushroom-appreciation.com/types-of-mushrooms.html, http://www.reishi.com/what-is-reishi.htm, https://www.mushroom-appreciation.com/reishi-mushroom-identification.html, Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/25092924@N08/18361053524