Acuhealth Acupuncture Blog


What is it about the medicinal mushrooms hype?

Posted in 'All around AcuHealth, Healthy Eating, Chinese Herbs, Wellbeing Coaching Blog' on October 3, 2019

 All about Reishi, Chaga, Cordyceps, Lion’s Mane, Shiitake and Co.

 shitake

The range of medicinal mushrooms includes Reishi, Chaga, Cordyceps, Lion’s Mane, Shiitake and many more. They are claimed to provide numerous health benefits including boosting your immune system, supporting your liver and having anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-diabetic, cardiovascular-protective, antioxidant and even anti-cancer effects (Blagodatski et al., 2018; Guggenheim, Wright, & Zwickey, 2014).

It is best to speak to a health care provider about using medicinal mushroom powders for achieving optimum health results. We do especially not recommend the continuous use of medicinal mushrooms if there is no indication to do so, as is the case with any herbs or medicinal products.

 

Did you know you could also use the natural mushroom and achieve remarkable health benefits? As an inexpensive and flavourful alternative, we would like to introduce you to the power of the original shiitake mushroom!

You can buy shiitake either fresh or dried. The dried versions are more intense in their flavour and effect. We suggest adding a few shitake to a regular diet once a week.

In Chinese medicine (TCM), we appreciate shiitake for its neutral thermal nature and sweet flavour (Pitchford, 2002) – this is important because it is neither very cooling or very warming and thus suitable for many people. Energetically, shiitake enters the meridians of Stomach, Spleen and Liver, tonifying Qi and blood and resolving pathologic phlegm in the body. It is often used in the treatment of cancer, it decreases both fat and cholesterol in the blood and helps to discharge residues of animal protein in the body (Pitchford, 2002). A study by Dai et al. (2015) showed that regular consumption of shiitake improved immunity, with improved cell proliferation and decrease in inflammatory markers.

Please note that consuming mushrooms can be too cleansing for individuals who are following a plant-based diet or who are recovering from illness.  

 

Add shitake into your stir-fries or make a shiitake gravy that turns your rice, smashed potato or pasta dishes into a creamy umami-flavoured delight. Not into gravy? Try our powerful shiitake tea for quick & easy use.

 

Shitake-Shallot Gravy


Ingredients

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 or 3 shallots, chopped

1 tsp. dried thyme

5 dried shiitake mushrooms (soaked for at least 1 hour), chopped

A small punnet of brown or white mushrooms

100ml white wine

1 litre of stock

1 tbsp. of flour

Sea salt and pepper

 

Fry the shallots in the olive oil until slightly browned, add the mushrooms and thyme and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the wine and boil until the alcohol evaporates. Fill up with stock and boil for another 10 minutes until the stock has reduced and starts to thicken.

Whisk 2 tbsp. of water with the flour in a separate bowl and pour it into the gravy. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the gravy has thickened. Season with sea salt and pepper.

 

Shitake Tea

 

Ingredients

1 Dried shiitake mushroom, soaked for 1 hour

200 ml of water

1-2 drops shoyu (soy sauce) or tamari

 

Discard the soaking water, remove the stem from the mushroom, slice it and simmer in hot water for 10 minutes. Add shoyu and simmer for another 2 minutes.

 

 

References

Blagodatski, A., Yatsunskaya, M., Mikhailova, V., Tiasto, V., Kagansky, A., & Katanaev, V. L. (2018). Medicinal mushrooms as an attractive new source of natural compounds for future cancer therapy. Oncotarget9(49), 29259–29274. doi:10.18632/oncotarget.25660

 

Dai, X., Stanilka, J. M., Rowe, C. A., Esteves, E. A., Nieves, C., Spaiser, S. J., … Percival, S. S. (2015). ConsumingLentinula edodes(Shiitake) Mushrooms Daily Improves Human Immunity: A Randomized Dietary Intervention in Healthy Young Adults. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 34(6), 478–487.doi:10.1080/07315724.2014.950391 

 

Guggenheim, A. G., Wright, K. M., & Zwickey, H. L. (2014). Immune Modulation From Five Major Mushrooms: Application to Integrative Oncology. Integrative medicine (Encinitas, Calif.)13(1), 32–44. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4684115/

 

Pitchford, P. (2002). Healing with whole foods (3rd ed.). Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books.

 

 



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