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Our planet is really a spectacular thing. Our environment provides multitudes of substances that contribute to our health and well-being. There is tremendous healing power in nature: Vis Medicatrix Naturae, which is one of the principles of Naturopathic Medicine.

Nature provides healing in so many ways, including herbal medicine. Plant medicine is such a gift- effective and widely accessible.

A great example of powerful plant medicine is mushrooms. In all its varieties, mushrooms provide us with both nutrition and medicine.

There are, of course, the mushrooms that are more common to eat- button mushrooms, portobellos, oyster, porcini, truffle, and the like. While these culinary mushrooms are very nutrient dense, there are other mushrooms that have greater health benefits – reishi, turkey tail, chaga, cordyceps, and psilocybin, to name a few.

Mushrooms have over 100 medicinal functions and have been used medicinally for over 2000 years. Mushrooms are most often used medicinally as antioxidants, to prevent cancer and tumor growth, to regulate blood sugar, lower cholesterol, protect the liver, lower inflammation, fight infection, protect the brain, and modulate immune function. Whew!

As a whole, mushrooms are very high in minerals and are a really great source of fiber. The specific type of fiber in mushrooms is considered a prebiotic fiber, because it increases the diversity of the microbiome by acting as a source of food. The microbiome uses that fiber to make short-chain fatty acids that keep the cells of your large intestines healthy and are the signaling molecules that communicate between the gut and the rest of the body.

The microbiome plays a crucial role in your overall health. Intimately affecting the digestive tract, immune system, genitourinary tract, skin, cardiovascular system, brain and nervous system- let’s just say everything! When the microbiome is healthy, we have improved overall health and well-being.

Mushrooms contain a lot of different kinds of polysaccharide, but the main player is called beta-glucan. Beta-glucans modulate the immune system. They stimulate all of the essential immune cells to better patrol for invaders and then activate the immune system to act against those invaders. So mushrooms are incredibly effective in treating all the things that affect the immune system like infection, cancer, and autoimmunity.

Mushrooms are rich in a wide variety of phenols. Phenols are potent antioxidants, and in addition to anti-inflammatory and heart protective effects of phenols, they also provide protections against neurodegenerative disorders like dementia, It is because of these compounds that we are finding that taking mushrooms regularly can have a positive effect on mood.

There are so many health benefits from mushrooms that their components are being isolated, extracted and formulated into pharmaceuticals. I say, why? When the mushrooms itself does it all, and is widely available in supplement and food form, we would take advantage of the gifts of nature and simply eat more mushrooms.

Many of the medicinal mushrooms are already available in supplement form. There are more reputable companies that are properly growing and harvesting these mushrooms. You can find them in our online supplement store, and we carry some in the pharmacy as well.

I have been taking MycoActive for several months now, and have seen my white blood cell counts go up significantly. I highly recommend adding more mushrooms into your diet and taking a mushroom supplement to make sure you are getting all the health benefits mushrooms have to offer.

Call me today to schedule your appointment and allow me to help you become your healthiest self!


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