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Are Mushrooms a Panacea?

Mushrooms are all the rage these days, and for good reason. Modern delivery methods of the chemical Psilocybin (magic mushrooms) can offer brain-changing benefits as highlighted in Michael Pollan’s 2022 Netflix documentary version of his book How to Change Your Mind.

Reishi mushroom has been studied for its potential effects on liver health- it contains triterpenoids and polysaccharides, which have shown hepatoprotective (liver-protective) properties in some research.

Food as Medicine

On the other end of the spectrum are the mushrooms we consume in every day cooking like Button, Cremini, and Portobello. In the middle are mushrooms that straddle the middle of ground between food and medicine. This is where herbalists like me live.

Just as turmeric and ginger are used in cooking and medicine, so too are mushrooms. Reishi, Maitake, Shiitake, and Cordyceps have been studied for millennia for their health-giving properties.

Old News

Shiitake mushrooms have been cultivated and used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years for their immune-boosting and health-promoting (energy production) properties.

Referred to as the “Mushroom of Immortality” and the “Herb of Spiritual Potency,” Reishi was highly-regarded for its potential to promote longevity and overall well-being.

Cordyceps & The Last of Us

If you’re a fan of The Last of Us, a dystopian show about a how a fungus (Cordyceps) zombifies the human race, then you know just how powerful mushrooms can be.  For a little context here, Chinese medical books and Tibetan medicine describe cordyceps as a treasure. With hundreds of different species, it is a parasitic fungus that preys on insects! True. When I was in school for Chinese Medicine, the traditional form of Cordyceps came from harvesting this fungus off the back of silkworms. I can also tell you that cordyceps is my herb of choice in treating any lung condition including tumors.

How to Live Forever

If you’re not already taking mushrooms for you health, you’ll definitely want to consider adding a mushroom supplement like Five Defenders to your daily routine. If you’re like me and want to understand the science behind mushrooms,  I suggest you read this article from the Real Mushrooms website on the benefits of seven key medicinal mushrooms.

Here’s a short list of mushroom benefits:

  • Provide immune support
  • Full of antioxidants
  • Support a healthy inflammation response
  • Help to balance blood sugar
  • Support brain health and cognition
  • Support the nervous system
  • Increase energy and stamina


By now, we all understand the importance of lifestyle factors that affect our health. Exercise challenges our body in a healthy way and promotes metabolism, circulation, and mood. Food can feed us or inflames us.

The new frontier in medicine is about slowing the aging process. To do this we need to support provide our bodies with nutrients to support energy production, cellular (DNA) repair, immune function, and waste-clearing. Mushrooms serve as a potent addition a healthy anti-aging protocol.

For more information about mushrooms or general information about acupuncture or what we treat, please contact us via our website.

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