The Politics of Food, Real Nutrition, Healthy Recipes,Organic Gardening,Herbs,Foraging....and More
Thrive Life Freeze Dried Food
Thrive Life Freeze Dried Food
Saturday, March 19, 2011
SUPPORT YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM WITH MEDICINAL MUSHROOMS
PLEASE WATCH THE INTERESTING VIDEOS AT END OF ARTICLE
Living in our modern industrial world presents us with many health challenges.While there are foods that can help to fortify us against chemical and radioactive pollutants, we must begin to drastically curb our input of these toxic chemicals into the environment before the burden becomes too overwhelming. In the meantime there is much we can do to support our immune systems, including the thyroid gland. Medicinal mushrooms are a natural food source that has tremendous ability to nourish, protect and detoxify. Mushrooms are specifically noted, through scientific studies, to support the immune system, prevent cancers,and to help support people's immune system when going through radiation therapy. It is also advisable to consume the types of mushrooms below when undergoing many xrays and other radioactive medical tests.
On a recent car trip I was reading a new book I had ordered...all about mushrooms and how they can help to save our health and the health of the environment. I feel it is a very important book. The name of the book is Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World . The author, Paul Stamets, is an expert in the field of mycology. Michael Pollan, author of The Botany of Desire, has this to say about Stamets and his book, "Stamets is a visionary emissary from the fungus kingdom to our world, and the message he's brought back in this book, about the possibilities fungi hold for healing the environment, will fill you with wonder and hope."
Fungi have the ability to cleanse our environment and Stamets shows us the many ways we can put this idea into practice. He also shows us how we can grow mushrooms, how to repopulate our environment with fungi, how crucial fungi is to the survival of the planet......AND what is of great interest to me.....how we can improve and protect our health with medicinal/culinary mushrooms. Stamets devotes a large section of his book to the specific mushrooms which are naturalized to outdoors and which have been proven to have siginificant medicinal and beneficial ecological properties.This large chapter is called The Magnificent Mushrooms: The Cast of Species. It includes very helpful charts which show which mushrooms have specific medicinal actions. He tells how to harvest and prepare them.
In the photo at the top you can see the mushrooms I have chosen to begin using. The Maitake and Shiitake mushrooms are not only noted for their immune boosting properties but they are also delicious and easy to prepare. They are food! I am finding that it makes more sense, especially if one is trying to stock up on nonperishables....that aquiring the whole food, instead of tinctures and powders, lets you have your food and your medicine all in one package.Whole foods also retain their nutritional and medicinal properties longer if not ground into powders ahead of time. You can't survive on capsules or tinctures. These fractionated forms of natural medicines definitely play a role (you can even make your own from the whole food)however vitamins, minerals and other medicinal substances come in a synergistic package that often needs to stay intact. Whole foods provide the most health benefits and are usually safer than fractionated components.
I have added Chaga mushroom or fungus to my list and it should be arriving today.I will give brief descriptions of these mushrooms and what their purported health benefits are and what bodily systems they aide ....according to Paul Stamet's book.
cardiovascular, cholesterol reducer, immune enhancer,kidney tonic, liver tonic, respiratory system, stress reducer. Reishi is too tough to eat so teas can be made by boiling the sliced mushrooms. Here is a link that shows how I have done it.It's very easy.http://tinyurl.com/4hmhkkgSometimesyou can buy these mushrooms in a healthfood store but often the mushroom is only available in capsules or tinctures and teas. In order to get a much better price and to have a supply on hand, I order my sliced Reishi mushrooms from Mountain Rose herbs, which I have become affiliated with. Here is the link.http://coldfusion.affiliateshop.com/AIDLink.cfm?AID=111632&Redirect=/bulkherb/r.html
Maitake Mushrooms antibacterial, anticandida, antitumor and antiviral, blood pressure , blood sugar moderator,immune enhancer, respiratory, nerve tonic and stress reducer. These mushrooms are delicious AND medicinal. I love having them dried so I always have a supply and don't have to worry about using them soon after purchase. When you get more adventurous and familiar with mushrooms and how to identify them, you might even be able to forage some from your own back yard or local forests.These mushrooms are not readily available in the grocery store but can be bought dried in bulk. They are simple to reconstitute.Break each clump into several pieces and then you just place the selected amount you will use within several days and put them in a bowl of water ...to cover. 20 minutes to half an hour later you have your reconstituted mushrooms AND do NOT throw out the broth or soaking water. That is where many of the nutrients and flavor reside. You can drink it or I like to put it into soups, stews and sauces. You can freeze the broth if you don't have a use for it right away.. So far, the ways I have used these mushrooms after soaking are sauteed with hamburgers and turkey, rice pilaf, and stew.Oh yes....and one morning I mixed left over sauteed mushrooms with my scrambled eggs! When it comes to stew and soups you can add the dried mushroom right to the pot without reconsituting first. Currently I am trying to incorporate the reishi tea into my regular diet, along with whole mushrooms. So...different days I may have both or just one or the other. The first time I ordered a pound of dried Maitake I was very surprised at the number of meals I got from it. Here is the link to buy dried Maitake.http://coldfusion.affiliateshop.com/AIDLink.cfm?AID=111632&Redirect=/bulkherb/m.html
So far I have used the shiitake mushrooms several times. These take a bit longer to reconstitute than the Maitake....about half an hour to an hour. I have sauteed them in butter and added them to soup. These mushrooms are also delicious with a somewhat smoky flavor and meat like texture. Before sauteeing..... cut the mushroom caps into slices and you may want to cut off the stems, which are a bit chewy...or cut them into smaller pieces before cooking. Some of the health benefits are antibacterial, anticandida,antitumor, antiviral, helps to regulate blood pressure and blood sugar, cholesterol reducer, immune enhancer, kidney and liver tonic, sexual potentiator and a stress reducer. The link to Shiitake mushrooms and more info is http://coldfusion.affiliateshop.com/AIDLink.cfm?AID=111632&Redirect=/bulkherb/s.html
I haven't tried Chaga mushroom yet as I have just recieved my order in the mail . Usually a medicinal tea is made out of boiling this ground up fungus. It has been used extensively in Russia, Poland and China and is reputed to be a longevity tonic. This fungus can be found in the U.S and mainly invades birch trees.It's appearance is that of a black charred growth on the tree. Chaga's health benefits are antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, antiviral, blood sugar moderator, immune enhancer and liver tonic.
There is much more to be said about these particular mushrooms and there are other medicinal mushrooms that I haven't covered. Some of them must be acquired directly from the woods and cannot be dried or even refridgerated for any length of time. Mushrooms, especially those found in the wild, are one of the remaining foods which consumes its natural diet. Even many commercially grown mushrooms are grown on logs, which is the natural diet of many mushrooms. This is a very important point. We must go back to eating foods which consume their natural diets. This includes animals, mushrooms, fish and even vegetables. These food substances pass on their quality of health to us. Here is a link that shows pictures of chaga growing on a tree and has more info on the fungus. http://www.survivaltopics.com/survival/the-chaga-natures-medicinal-mushroom/
If this subject interests you, learn more on the internet, acquire books on the subject, try identifying wild mushrooms, learn to grow your own...and even make money doing it. Mushrooms are largely an untapped resource which can benefit our health and the health of the planet.
If some of the mushrooms above are out of stock, look elsewhere on the internet and check your local healthfood store. Sometimes supermarkets sell some of these mushrooms but not always.