Traveling, especially by air, during the holidays or at any time of year can be stressful and why does it always seem that a cold shows up immediately after a flight? Traveling to new places and by air exposes us to environmental toxins and new germs. Protection from all of this is, obviously, to minimize exposure, but sometimes it is just not possible. Adding a medicinal mushroom supplement to a daily diet can boost immunity and help us cope with a high level of stress, especially during travel.
Over 30 species are currently used as medicinals, but some of the most common compounded into a supplement may be maitake, reishi, turkey tail and cordyceps. Taking a mushroom supplement is beneficial due to the synergy effect of mushrooms. Mushrooms absorb from each other as well as from the soil they are grown in. It is crucial to purchase an organic supplement since polluting soil toxins are soaked up into the mushroom.
The reishi mushroom is the oldest mushroom known to man. The list goes on and on to what this potent veggie can do. It is an anti-bacterial against streptococci, staphylcocci and an anti-viral and an antioxidant. It is an expectorant and provides anti tumor effects. Belonging to the polypore family, it has a upper reddish surface and a strong woody conk. Since the reishi has a bitter taste, it is more commonly used as a tea or synergized with other mushroom species in a capsule.
The maitaki mushroom has immune stimulating as well as anti-tumor properties. It helps with digestion, regulates blood sugar and stabiizes cholesterol. The mushroom holds polysaccharides, an essential sugar, which helps activate its natural killer cell function and detoxifies metabolic wastes.
Used as a sacred tonic in China for over 1000 years, the cordyceps sinensis mushroom helps with fatigue and increases energy. It also aids in treating bronchial issues and will also increase stamina. The mushroom also protects the liver from toxins.
The mushroom turkey tail, or also known as trametes vericolor, can be found on any dead tree stump in North America. Its potency lies in the polysaccharide that it holds. Known as polysaccharide-K or sometimes Krestin, it can strongly boost immunity and according to human clinical trials, can reduce recurrence of cancers.
While there are numerous mushrooms that support immunity, research continues to be extensive. Valued for centuries in Asia, the west only recently has sparked interest on the fungi. Medicinal mushrooms are safe and well tolerated. The extensive traveler would benefit by taking a mushroom supplement.
“Healthy Aging”; Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D.; New York; 2005
“Mushroom harvest: Medicinal Mushrooms”
“The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods” Michael Murray, N.D.; New York; 2005