Medicinal mushrooms are eaten to help preserve good health and prevent certain diseases. Shiitake, reishi and maitake mushrooms are examples of medicinal fungi that are beneficial. Mushrooms are a tasty addition to a number of foods. They can be eaten raw or cooked and are a source of fiber. Mushrooms also contain vitamins B and C.
Mushrooms are prized for medicinal purposes because they can help to lower the risk of cancer and are good for the heart. Including medicinal mushrooms in an eating plan treats inflammation, helps to keep blood sugar levels balanced and reduces the symptoms of allergies. The mushrooms also give the immune system a boost, which makes it easier for the body to fight off infections causes by viruses and bacteria.
Shiitake mushrooms are native to China and are used in Chinese and Japanese cooking. They are sold fresh or dried. If the dried version is bought, it must be rehydrated with water before use. Medical studies have confirmed that shiitake mushrooms help the liver to process cholesterol more quickly. Shiitake mushrooms also have cancer-fighting properties and studies conducted on mice indicate that this food can shrink tumors.
Reishi mushrooms is a purple-brown color and has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries. It grows in China, Japan and in North America. This type of medicinal mushroom can be used to treat respiratory ailments. People with asthma or bronchitis may benefit from taking a syrup made with this ingredient. This example of medicinal mushrooms also has antioxidant properties. It can be used to reduce inflammation in the body and may help to fight cancer. This food also gives the immune system a boost.
A third from of medicinal mushroom, the maitake, is found in clusters growing at the base of trees. It is commonly discovered growing on oak trees. It is native to northern Japan, and is also grown in North America.
The maitake mushroom is known as a cancer-fighting agent. It has helped those diagnosed with bone or stomach cancer, as well as leukemia. When cancer patients added the mushroom to their treatment plan, which included chemotherapy, they reported relief from common side effects associated with the treatment. Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and hair loss were reduced.
This type of mushroom can also help to bring high blood pressure down to a normal level. Doctors in Japan may prescribe medicinal mushrooms to their patients suffering from hypertension. The maitake mushroom can also be used to treat digestive problems.