Functional mushrooms have been used medicinally for thousands of years due to their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, immune boosting and aging benefits.
Whether your immune system is in trouble or you simply want to stay on top of your health, indulging in the world of mushrooms can be extremely beneficial.
It might seem overwhelming to choose the right mushroom, or combination of mushrooms, that are right for your body. In this article, we will dive into some of the most popular and useful fungi for immune support to help you decide what mushroom supplements may be right for you.
Called the "Mushroom of Immortality" and the "Elixir of Life” in traditional Chinese medicine, Reishi mushrooms have been sought after for generations.
Originally, reishi mushrooms were rarely found in nature and thus were specifically saved for Chinese royalty. Today, reishi mushrooms are grown commercially and are sold in the form of capsules, tea, skin care, and food products.
There have been many studies conducted over the years that show the immune boosting effects of the reishi mushroom.
However, one of the most sought after effects of the reishi mushroom is their ability to help the body fight cancerous tumors by boosting the immune system in order to defend against cancerous cells.
Reishi mushrooms, along with many other functional mushrooms, contain compounds called polysaccharides, or long chain carbohydrates, which ultimately increase our energy storage or cell structures.
Some studies have shown that reishi mushrooms help our bodies produce a type of white blood cells, called natural killer cells, which help to treat a variety of viruses and infections.
Turkey tail mushrooms, sometimes called “cloud mushrooms” in Japanese culture because of their likeness to puffy clouds, grow on a large variety of fallen logs and tree stumps in many countries worldwide.
Turkey tail mushrooms are often extremely abundant in nature, which is why their ability to support an overactive or under active immune system has been incredibly popular for thousands of years.
Turkey tail mushrooms are one of the most researched and studied functional mushrooms of all.
This antioxidant rich mushroom is known specifically for its natural protein-bound polysaccharides, including polysaccharide K (PSK) and polysaccharide peptide (PSP), which boost our body’s immune and inflammatory response at the core cellular level. PSK and PSP are often used in anti-cancer agents, such as chemotherapy, to help fight cancer within the body.
What's more, the antioxidants found in the turkey tail mushroom help reduce oxidative stress, which has been linked to cancer and heart disease.
If that wasn’t enough, turkey tail mushrooms contain prebiotics, which help the healthy bacteria in your gut. Maintaining a healthy gut is incredibly important in having a healthy immune system and is directly linked to immune support and response.
Chaga mushrooms, often called the “King of Mushrooms'' for their dense nutritional qualities, are mostly found in cold Taiga forests. These interesting mushrooms can grow on and live peacefully with the branches and stumps of certain trees.
At one point in history, the chaga mushroom was found scarcely in the wild, however modern science has made this incredible mushroom readily available in a variety of forms.
Studies that have been done over the years show that chaga mushrooms are likely linked to reducing inflammation and quieting oxidative stress in the body. Chaga mushrooms also protect the liver, which is directly linked to stabilizing the immune system and supporting healthy aging.
Like turkey tail mushrooms, chaga mushrooms have an exorbitant amount of antioxidants, which even surpass the antioxidant content of fruits such as blueberries and acai berries.
If you somehow aren’t convinced of the power of chaga mushrooms yet, this fungi possess beta glucan compounds, which increase the production of cytokines, or proteins that boost immune health, and ultimately stimulate white blood cells in the body.
Maitake literally means “dancing mushroom” in Japanese, which is said to have come from the dancing and celebrating that ensued after people found these in the wild due to their excitement over their nutritional and healing qualities.
Maitake mushrooms grow at the base of Elm, Oak and Maple trees in China, North America and Japan in the autumn months. Its popularity in modern society is directly linked to their suggestions of health and life longevity.
The maitake mushroom’s high beta glucan levels, or polysaccharides that are found naturally in the cell walls of many mushrooms, are proven to provide anti-viral and immune boosting results in people who consume them.
Maitake mushrooms also have bioactive polysaccharides, which aim to support the immune system and clear it of pathogens that ultimately make you sick.
Other studies have shown maitake mushrooms to be beneficial in supporting weight loss and management, maintaining healthy blood sugar levels within the body, as well as reducing insulin in people with blood pressure complications.
Where Can You Get These Mushrooms?
Reishi, turkey tail, chaga and maitake mushrooms have been sought after and adored for thousands of years for their healing and nutritional properties. But where and how can you find these mushrooms in modern society?
Alchemi Mushrooms is a functional mushroom and wellness company on a mission to transform health with the power of mushrooms. Our organic mushrooms are grown from spores and produced to help people incorporate the magic of mushrooms into their daily routines through capsule supplements.
Our immune boosting mushroom blend called Immune Shield combines reishi, chaga and turkey tail and vitamin D to keep you protected and rejuvenated everyday. Check out our products and see how mushrooms can improve your mental and physical health!