Medicinal Mushrooms in Santa Monica, CA
All mushrooms are essentially the "fruit" of a fungus that grows in moist darkness—either underground, or on trees and fallen, rotting logs. Most commonly recognized mushrooms develop a domed cap on a stalk, with gills on the underside of the cap, but mushrooms can assume various forms. Reishi, chaga, shiitake, maitake and oyster are the most commonly recognized medical mushrooms. The mushroom is no longer simply a wild unidentifiable growth that randomly appears on decomposing logs. Mushrooms are a commercial crop—both as food and medicine.
For thousands of years—particularly in China, Japan and other Eastern and even Middle Eastern cultures—certain medicinal mushrooms have been prized for their healing qualities. Maitake, for example, is Japanese for "dancing mushroom" because the Japanese peasants who found maitake growing wild at the base of trees knew they would receive its weight in silver due to its ancient and renowned medicinal properties.
Modern day studies confirm what the Japanese knew thousands of years ago, but it was not until 2008 that UC Davis published its groundbreaking review of the immunobiology of mushrooms and helped to legitimize further research and clinical trials. A year later, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center conducted a human trial showing that maitake mushrooms enhanced immunity in breast cancer patients. Since then, the mushroom-immune system connection has been repeatedly established through continued human trials, and the list of immune-enhancing mushrooms is growing.
To schedule a consultation with a healthcare provider in Santa Monica that can make medicinal mushroom recommendations to benefit your health, call (424) 365-1800 or contact Vitality Integrative Medicine online.
Types of Medicinal Mushrooms
There are over 38,000 species of mushrooms, and many of them have medical value. Over 270 of those species have been identified that are known to have medicinal applications. However, there are less than 25 that are widely recognized for their healing qualities.
Some of the most commonly recognized medical mushrooms include:
- Reishi or Lingzhi
- Turkey Tail
- Maitake or Hen of the Woods
- Agaricus Blazei or Royal Sun Blazei or Almond
- Lions Mane
- Tinder Conk
- Chestnut Mushroom
- King Oyster
- Birch Bracket
- Split gill
- Birch Polypore
- Amadou or Horse
- Mesima or Black Hoof
- Hericium erinaceus or Monkey Head
The method for extracting and using their various medicinal properties will vary by species and even by the part of the mushroom that contains the medicinal property sought. Some are edible, while with others, ingesting serves no benefit. The benefits of the legendary reishi mushroom, for instance, can only be absorbed in certain forms like tinctures. Tinctures are made through hot and cold water extractions, as well as alcohol extraction processes. Some supplements offer all three extraction processes in one supplement, since each type of extraction process pulls liquid extracts with different chemical compositions.
Medicinal Uses of Mushrooms
Mushrooms—and many other types of fungal growths and molds—have long been sourced for medicinal benefits, even in Western medicine. They include clear anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-cancer effects which have been proven both in laboratory research and clinical trials. Penicillin is probably the most famous and irrefutably proven medicine extracted from fungus—the penicillum fungi, to be exact.
Certain medicinal mushrooms have been proven in laboratory studies to arrest certain types of tumors by helping increase natural killer cells to help attack cancerous cells. Medicinal mushrooms for cancer treatment often include reishi, cordyceps, chaga, turkey tail, maitake and shiitake.
The most widely renowned medical mushrooms are recognized for stimulating immune response and thus arresting common infectious conditions like colds or more serious diseases, like cancer. They contain beta glucans to help regulate the immune system and optimize your immune response as well as potent antioxidants to help promote healthy levels of inflammation.
Mushrooms are also known for their action on blood glucose levels, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and joint and muscle function. They are chock full of vitamins and trace minerals like magnesium, zinc, vitamin D and the B vitamins. Mushrooms are low in carbs and calories, but high in protein, which make them ideal to consume regularly.
Getting Started with Medicinal Mushrooms
Whatever the purpose in which you are considering the use of medicinal mushrooms, for health and general wellness or to fight disease, it is important to discuss this course of treatment with a qualified healthcare provider trained to recommend an appropriate treatment plan. They can ensure adequate dosing and help you to avoid toxic or contaminated mushrooms. Request more information about medicinal mushrooms today. Call (424) 365-1800 or contact Vitality Integrative Medicine online.
Vitality Integrative Medicine
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