Posted by: godshealingplants | April 26, 2012


Mushrooms have been used for thousands of years both as food and for medicinal purposes. They are often classified as a vegetable or a herb, but they are actually fungi. While there are over 14,000 mushrooms, only about 3,000 are edible, about 700 have known medicinal properties, and fewer than one percent are recognized as poisonous.

Mushrooms are an excellent source of potassium, a mineral that helps lower elevated blood pressure and reduces the risk of stroke. One medium portabella mushroom has even more potassium than a banana or a glass of orange juice. One serving of mushrooms also provides about 20 to 40 percent of the daily value of copper, a mineral that has cardio protective properties.

Mushrooms are a rich source of riboflavin, niacin, and selenium. Selenium is an antioxidant that works with vitamin E to protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals.

Asian Shitake Mushrooms

Shitake, or Lentinula edodes, is well-known and often used in Asian cuisine.

Cultivation of this mushroom has been practiced for over one thousand years.

The use of Shiitake dates back to at least 100 AD in China. In Traditional Chinese Practice, Shiitake was used to support a wide range of body functions.

In vitro and animal research shows shitake to be useful for helping to:

  • Support immune function
  • Support normal cellular growth and development
  • Support liver function
  • Promote optimal blood circulation
  • Support oral health
  • Promote healthy cholesterol levels already in the normal range
  • Promote normal response to stress as an “adaptogenic” 

The Oriental Mushroom with the Longest Recorded History of Use

Woody, Earthy Reishi Mushroom

Of all the health-promoting mushrooms, Reishi or Ganoderma lucidum is not only the most revered, but also has the longest recorded history of use.

A richly colored mushroom, Reishi is found in the wild around the world, especially in subtropical regions. Active compounds are found in its fruit bodies, spores, and mycelia. Studies, including animal studies, suggest that they help:

  • Support immune function
  • Support normal cellular growth and development
  • Promote the body’s normal detoxification processes
  • Support healthy blood pressure levels already in the normal range
  • Support liver and kidney function
  • Promote restful sleep
  • Help support optimal cellular energy
  • Support healthy blood sugar levels already in the normal range
  • Promote normal response to stress as an “adaptogenic”
  • Support muscular and joint comfort and movement
  • Help support optimal neurological and psychiatric health
  • Promote optimal blood flow and healthy heart muscle function 

The “Dancing Butterfly Mushroom” 

A Culinary Delight

Almost resembling a butterfly in flight, Maitake, or Grifola frondosa, is a large mushroom characterized by multiple overlapping layers.

The fruit bodies and mycelia of Maitake provide immune-supporting beta glucans. Compared to extracted fractions of Maitake, the whole powdered fruit body and mycelium show a wider variety of benefits.

The synergistic chemistry of Maitake’s complex variety of polysaccharides, amino acids, proteins, enzymes and antioxidants contribute to its many suggested health-promoting benefits, including:

  • Supports immune function
  • Supports normal cellular development
  • May promote healthy glucose levels already in the normal range, as well as a normal insulin response
  • May help support weight management when combined with a healthy diet and exercise
  • May promote healthy blood pressure levels already in the normal range
  • May promote skin health

The Turkey Tail One of the Most Researched and Respected

The Turkey Tail, or the Trametes versicolor mushroom, with its fan-shaped, colorful overlapping layers of fruit bodies truly resembling turkey tails, is a common inhabitant in the northern forests of the world.

And it also happens to have one of the longest histories of health-promoting use in China and Japan.

Known for its supply of a particular type of polysaccharide PSK Turkey Tail has been widely studied. Some of its purported benefits include:

  • Promotes respiratory health
  • May support urinary and digestive health
  • Supports immune health
  • Supports normal cellular growth 

Agaricus Mushroom

Himematsutake (or Royal Sun Agaricus or Agaricus blazei species) falls into the same genus as the common button mushroom.

Richly almond scented, Agaricus boasts immune-supporting polysaccharides and other important cellular growth-supporting compounds, clearly setting it apart from its every day cousin.

Other possible benefits attributed to Agaricus, in addition to supporting immune health and normal cell growth, include:  

  • Helps promote optimal insulin response
  • Supports heart health
  • Supports liver health
  • Promotes optimal gastrointestinal health 

One of the Most Valued Herbs Used Traditionally in China

Cordyceps, or Cordyceps militaris, has been used for centuries for a wide variety of health-promoting properties.

Looking the least like a mushroom, long, slender Cordyceps fruit bodies and its mycelia both show important health-promoting properties.

Compared to Cordyceps sinensis, researchers have found the mycelia of this variety of Cordyceps to provide additional bioactive ingredients.

Cordyceps militaris has been shown in studies, to potentially help:

  • Support athletic performance and energy
  • Promote optimal circulation
  • Promote lung and respiratory health
  • Support kidney health
  • Support immune function
  • Support healthy cholesterol levels already in the normal range

Chinese herbalists believe that Cordyceps replenis acts to help the body better respond to exertion, stress, or normal aging.  



  1. is it ok to eat the mushrooms that grow in your yard and on the trees? Ive always been told that we cant eat them because they are poisonous. I live in Georgia.

    • Hi Sherri:

      I could not tell you if you can eat the mushrooms in your yard. I would take a sample to a local health food store and see if they can identify the kind that grows in your yard and if it is eatable. Have a blessed day, God’s Healing Plants

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