Those of us who grow our own mushrooms know how fresh and flavorful they can be. And I previously discussed the nutritional power of the mighty mushroom. But mushrooms may also have therapeutic benefits as well. Fungus for the diseases among us? Seriously? Yes indeed! Here are just a few ways that mushrooms may help us feel better.
Anti-cancer effects – Mushrooms are loaded with antioxidants, which are important agents in neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals can damage cells, which may then become cancerous. Mushrooms also contain selenium, which can potentially detoxify some cancer-causing substances in the body. Scientific studies have shown that turkey tail mushrooms, when taken in combination with other therapeutic agents may be effective against cervical and other types of cancers. Lion’s mane mushrooms have been shown to be effective in the treatment of esophageal and other gastric cancers
Cardiovascular health – Mushrooms are high in fiber, potassium, and vitamin C, all of which are important nutrients for a healthy cardiovascular system. Potassium and sodium together help regulate blood pressure. Eating mushrooms, which are low in sodium and high in potassium may help to lower blood pressure. The beta glucans in shiitake mushrooms have been shown to be effective in lowering blood cholesterol. Studies on patients with high blood pressure and high cholesterol have shown that when given reishi mushrooms their cholesterol and blood and blood plasma viscosity were all significantly lowered
Immune system enhancement – Studies on turkey tail mushrooms have shown that they can increase interferon production, and scavenge superoxide and hydroxyl free radicals. They have also demonstrated anti-viral activity, possibly even inhibiting HIV infection. Reishi mushrooms have shown potent action against sarcoma, as well as stimulating macrophages and increasing levels of tumor-necrosis factor (TNF-α) and interleukins
So someday you may be able to throw away your pills, because the mighty mushroom will cure all your ills!