Medicinal Mushrooms

Medicinal Effects of Maitake Mushrooms.

 I would love to have one do over in life.

I would go to college and become a food scientist.

I find it fascinating that food can heal you …

Scientific research has proven many health benefits of mushrooms. More than 50,000 scientific studies have verified the millennial experiences of traditional medicine and found that medicinal mushrooms:

• boost the immune system,

prevent and fight cancer,

prevent and fight viral infections,

• regulate blood sugar and fat (cholesterol and triglycerides),

• normalize blood pressure,

• reduce atherosclerotic plaques and ischemia thus improving heart and brain health,

• slow the development of neurodegenerative diseases

• protect bone from degradation and osteoporosis

• help manage healthy weight

• improve strength and endurance

• slow ageing

• and many more.

Medicinal mushrooms are extremely safe to use; they cause no interactions, major side effects, tolerance or withdrawal.

Medicinal Value of Mushrooms

Eating mushrooms is not enough to get their full medicinal value. In serious cases, we must reach for high-quality extracts, which contain concentrated active ingredients. Some medicinal mushrooms affect multiple systems at once, helping with various health issues.

The tradition of using medicinal mushrooms against malignant disease is thousands of years old. About 50,000 research papers and more than 400 clinical trials have proven that medicinal mushrooms can help patients with various types of cancer to:

• fight cancer more effectively,

• improve outcome and survival,

• reduce the side effects of standard tumor therapy, especially chemotherapy and radiation,

• help prevent recurrence,

• and greatly increase quality of life.

Maitake is one of the most promising medicinal mushrooms. Like other polypores, maitake contains polysaccharides that stimulate the immune system.

A polysaccharide is a complex carbohydrate made up of smaller sugar molecules. These sugars stabilize blood pressure, blood sugar, and have an effect on free radicals.

Specific polysaccharides, known as beta-D-glucans, are also suspected to stimulate the immune system to fight cancer. The exact cancer fighting action of these molecules is still not clear and is under study. Rather than attacking tumors themselves, some researchers believe they stimulate the production of T cells to fight the afflicted cells.

An extract of these helpful glucans was patented and is known as the maitake D-fraction. You’ll see this term all over the internet when searching for maitake mushroom supplements. The terms “D-fraction” and “MD-fraction” are simply referring to a concentration of maitake polysaccharides.

So what do these D and MD-fractions do?

Research has shown them to regress tumors, especially in breast, liver, and lung cancer. A summary of one such study can be found here.

Studies are ongoing into its action against:

• may control blood glucose levels)

• HIV/AIDS

• high cholesterol

• high blood pressure

You can start supplementing with maitake by either purchasing an extract of the D or MD fraction or with powdered capsules of the whole mushroom.

Doses range from 1 to 3 grams per day, up to 7 for those fighting disease (check with a health practitioner before taking a high dose).

Recipe

LEEK RéMOULADE

Ingredients

1 leek, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced

Kosher salt

½ small shallot, finely chopped

2 cornichons, finely chopped

⅓ cup vegan or regular mayonnaise

2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp. capers, finely chopped

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon

Freshly ground black pepper

MUSHROOMS

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 Tbsp. plus ½ cup olive oil

2 8-oz. maitake mushrooms, cleaned, halved through the stem

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

LEEK RéMOULADE

Cook leek in a small saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain; transfer to a colander set in a bowl of ice water. Let cool; drain and transfer to paper towels.

Mix shallot, cornichons, mayonnaise, mustard, capers, dill, tarragon, and 3 Tbsp. water in a small bowl, adding more water as needed to thin. Fold in leek; season with salt and pepper.

MUSHROOMS

Combine garlic and 2 Tbsp. oil in a small bowl. Heat remaining ½ cup oil in 2 large skillets over medium-high heat. Season mushrooms with salt and pepper. Cook each, cut side down, in a skillet, pressing to flatten once they begin to soften, until golden and crisp, about 3 minutes per side. Reduce heat to low. Drizzle garlic mixture around mushrooms and cook until garlic is golden, about 1 minute; turn mushrooms to coat.

Spoon leek rémoulade onto plates and top with mushrooms.

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