Chaga aka “The Diamond of the Forest”, King of the Fungi Family.
Botanical Names: Inonotus Obliquus
Chaga mushrooms get their appearance of black charcoal from a huge amount on melanin in the mycelium which produce a woody growth. Despite the black color on the outside, when cut open the fungus is an orange color. Traditionally Northern European and Russian people would shave the Chaga mushrooms into a fine powder and brew a Chaga tea to boost their immune system health.
Rich in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals, Chaga offers a variety of health benefits that promote overall wellness. Chaga mushrooms boost the immune system, protecting the body from disease causing free radicals, promotes cardiovascular health, benefits digestive health, supports liver health, benefits respiratory health, and aides the body’s response to inflammation.
Research has found that the Chaga mushroom contains components that fight inflammation which may benefit inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and other chronic health concerns. Other studies have found Chaga mushrooms may benefit healthy blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels.
Reishi aka “The Mushroom of Immortality”, Queen of the Fungi Family
Botanical Name: Ganoderma lucidum
Reishi Mushroom is one of the most treasured herbs from traditional Chinese practice where it is thought to nourish and tonify our deep energy stores and soothe the emotional heart and spirit. It has been used for thousands of years to support longevity and vitality, thus giving it the name "the mushroom of immortality".
It is a large, dark mushroom with a glossy exterior and a woody texture. The Latin word lucidus means “shiny” or “brilliant” and refers to the varnished appearance of the surface of the mushroom.
Reishi is unique in that its pharmaceutical rather than nutritional value is paramount. Reishi Mushroom boosts the immune system, supports liver health, promotes heart health, supports normal hormone balance, promotes healthy blood sugar levels and supports respiratory health. It has tonic, adaptogen, antioxidant, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging and immunomodulator effects.
Turkey Tail aka Coriolus Versicolor/Polyporus Versicolor- Meaning 'of Several Colors'
Botanical Name: Trametes versicolor
Turkey Tail mushroom is a popular mushroom used in China and Japan. It is known to support healthy liver function and lung health. It aids in digestion and supports the immune system.
With documented use since the Ming Dynasty, although likely used for centuries prior to this, Turkey Tail is used widely in traditional Chinese practice. Within this paradigm it is used to enhance essential qi, to replenish the spleen and to eliminate dampness. In Asia, constituents from Turkey Tail have been widely used and thus there is a veritable treasure trove of studies on its usage.
Turkey Tail contains polysaccharides which help to support the natural ability of the immune system to identify and nullify risks and to support healthy tolerance when the immune system is overactive. Constituents from turkey tail have also received a significant amount of attention for their apparent ability to support optimal immune function after illness which is why it is revered as a potent tonic herb on nearly every continent.
Lions Mane aka Bearded Hedgehog, Pom pom Mushroom.
Botanical name: Hericium erinaceus
A beautiful mushroom appearing as a white waterfall of cascading icicles on broadleaf trees and logs. Traditionally used for thousands of years, saying to provide “nerves of steel and the mind of a lion,” as it is known as a brain tonic supporting nervous system health. Providing benefits to the five internal organs (heart, liver, spleen, lungs & kidneys), it is used to tonify and promote healthy digestion.
Lion's Mane is a tonic, supports digestive health, boosts the immune system, benefits brain function and mental well-being. This super-food is popular in mushroom coffee recipes, but also offers health benefits including antibiotic, antioxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-fatigue, cardioprotective, anti-inflmmatory, anti-aging, hepatoprotective, nephroprotective and neuroprotective effects.Its powerful immune supporting effects aid in the healing processes of the body.
Cordyceps aka Caterpillar Fungus.
Botanical Name: Cordyceps sinensis
The name Cordyceps is derived from the Greek language, meaning “club head.” A powerful athlete’s tonic that helps build physical strength by helping balance and restore the body’s fundamental energies.
Cordyceps is known for supporting the healthy utilisation and absorption of oxygen in the system which leads to greater endurance, fatigue-resistance and physical enhancement. It is used as a life-enhancing herb in the Taoist herbal system and has been shown to promotes cardiovascular health, boosts the immune system, promotes endurance, benefits oxygen uptake by the body, supports naturally occurring energy, benefits the digestive system, supports the reproductive system and promotes nervous system health.
Maitake aka Hen of the Woods, Dancing Mushroom, Cloud Mushroom
Maitake Botanical Name: Grifola frondosa
A mushroom so incredibly valuable that ancient foragers would literally dance with delight upon discovering it. Maitake mushrooms are a medicinal mushroom that support the immune system, benefit cardiovascular health, promotes healthy blood sugar levels, supports the body's defense mechanism functions, may ease chemotherapy side effects, and promotes the body's cellular waste removal processes.
This superfood is an excellent source of vitamin D and has antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-diabetic and liver tonic effects.
Maitake is one of the few medicinal mushrooms that is also a culinary delight. Amazing in soups and broths, or grilled straight up.