Healthy mushrooms:
supporting your health with fungi

Informational content and recipe

Fungi as a remedy? That's right! Fungi are in fact something very special. They are not only an everyday food or can be poisonous, but they can support our immune system or individual organs. Some are even said to have a healing effect. Below you will find a recipe for a delicious and soothing Chaitea with fungi.

 


Many people think of medicinal fungi as Asian and therefore "foreign" fungi. This is technically not wrong, because the use of fungi in medicine has its roots in the Asian region. However, there are also some native fungi that we consume without thinking about it twice and thereby unknowingly support our body and our immune system in healing processes.


You want to know more about fungi?

If you have any further questions, you can find more additional information 
and links to material, that we have found online on the topic, below!


Overview

  • Suitable for age group: 12- 99 years

  • Especially interesting for: kids and young adults, enthusiastic mycophagists (mushroom pickers) and students of nature

  • Preparation time: about 15 min

Background knowledge

Before you renounce conventional medicine and start to treat your ailments with fungi, please read this information first.
Mushrooms are exciting and wonderful, but they have no magic powers. They are not a substitute for real medicine in case of specific diseases. In the following you'll find a brief summary answering questions such as: What is this so-called mycotherapy and what can you achieve with it's help?

 

What is mycotherapy?

Mycotherapy is a term that many people probably don't know. However, the active ingredients of fungi have been used for thousands of years to relieve pain and heal diseases. Fungi are mainly used in traditional Chinese medicine and were studied much more closely in Asia than here in Germany in the course of time. It is very important that the entire fruiting body of the fungus is used, as this allows all the important contens to be absorbed.

 

Where do vital fungi grow?

Most of these "vital fungi" grow on trees and use substances developed by the tree to their advantage. Of course, the individual fungi have different preferences, for example, on which tree they like to grow on. That is because each fungi requires different substances of the tree and thus can treat different disease patterns.

How do vital fungi work?

It is also important to know that fungi are not used to cure a specific disease, but rather to support the body as a whole in healing processes and stabilisation of the immune system. Meaning that they are not used against something, but may have a supportive effect on the organism. As with other forms of therapy, the focus is less on the symptom and more on the underlying problem, the cause of the disease. For this reason, fungi are rarely used as the sole therapy, but rather to reinforce the therapeutic approach through their special features.

What does that mean in concrete terms?

Sometimes the first sign of a disease, is a reaction of the skin. This can occur, for example, in the form of an allergy or a skin rash. However, the cause of this reaction often lies much deeper. Therefore, the immune system may need to be strengthened so that the skin irritation disappears again and, in the best case, does not reoccur in the future. In this case, one could take vital fungi, such as the reishi or the many-coloured polypore, as a therapy or treatment for immunodeficiency in order to strengthen the immune system again.

Shiitake

Also called the "king of medicinal mushrooms". As the Japanese name suggests, this fungus particularly likes to grow on the pasania tree. After the champignon, the shiitake is the second most consumed edible mushroom. It is eaten for digestive problems and to support the immune system and the liver.

Maitake

Due to its shape it is also called the "dancing mushroom". It particularly likes to grow on the roots of deciduous trees such as lime, chestnut or oak. The Maitake is said to counteract the growth of tumors and even help with weight loss, since less fat can allegedly be accumulated by taking it.

Reishi

Called the "Fountain of Youth" because it is said to counteract the risk of age-related damage (organs, skin, etc.). It grows preferentially on deciduous trees such as oaks and beeches. The Reishi is also used to treat allergic reactions, as it is supposed to inhibit inflammatory reactions and support the immune system. Through its components, it also helps the liver to detoxify the body.

Oyster mushroom

Grows on the bark of deciduous trees (especially common beech). The oyster mushroom is a parasitic fungus, which means that it deprives the tree of valuable nutrients and water, causing lasting damage to the deciduous tree. Due to its cholesterol-lowering effect, it is mainly used in cases of increased risk of heart attack.
But it also has positive effects on the liver, immune system and gastrointestinal tract thanks to its numerous vitamins, trace minerals and proteins.

Many-coloured polypore

Is widespread especially in Germany and the EU. It grows on dead wood, tree stumps or old wooden boards. Due to its antibacterial and antiviral effect, it strengthens the immune system and is also said to inhibit tumor growth.

Commercial button mushroom

Is the most consumed edible fungus in the world. It does not grow on trees, it is much more likely to be found on the ground. Due to its many vitamins, minerals and low purine content, it is said to be particularly effective in lowering blood sugar.

All these are only parts of the therapeutic approaches regarding these fungi. If you are playing with the idea of using a fungus for medical reasons, it is advisable to discuss this in greater detail with a specialist. In fact, the philosophy of fungal medicine can in no way be used as a sole remedy. Rather, by taking vital fungi orally, one aims to animate the body to heal itself preventively, or to use them as an adjunctive therapy to absorb and mitigate the symptoms of a serious illness. That way, one can give the patient a better quality of life and hope.


Recipe: Reishi-Chaitea

How easy it is to incorporate fungi and their supporting effects into everyday life is shown in the following recipe for a delicious chai tea with reishi.

Ingredients

  • 2 tea bags Chai Tea

  • 350 ml water

  • 20 g milk chocolate

  • 120 ml coconut milk

  • ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon

  • ¼ teaspoon Reishi-Powder (available in pharmacies or organic markets)


Preparation

Step 1: Boil Chai-Tea

Boil 350 ml of water in a small pot, add the tea bags and let them steep for four to eight minutes.


Step 2: Coconut milk and milk chocolate

Next, remove the tea bags and add the minced chocolate and coconut milk. Stir the ingredients until the chocolate is melted.

Tip

If you don't like it quite that sweet, you can also use dark chocolate.


Step 3: Cinnamon and Reishi powder

Mix in the cinnamon and reishi powder and pour the chai tea into a cup.

Congratulations you now have the perfect tonic to warm you up after an extensive winter walk, while simultaneously supporting your immune system!


Bon appétit and have fun trying!


Learn more!

Even if they didn't make it on the list of the vital fungi, there are some other fungi, we all like to eat but never knew that they may also have a positive effect on our body. For example, the chanterelle is said to help with vision impairments and lung problems. However, it should not be eaten in large quantities, as it can be difficult for us to digest.

The king oyster mushroom on the other hand contains a high proportion of vitamins and thus supports the nervous system. In addition, it is very high in protein and therefore represents an optimal meat substitute.

The aphrodisiac effect of the porcini mushroom can be attributed to its high content of zinc, which is an important mineral for hormone balance. It is also said to have an immunostimulating effect, like most vital fungi.


Related Links

Erstellt von Anna Ziegleder






BIOTOPIA –
Naturkundemuseum Bayern
Botanisches Institut
Menzinger Str. 67
80638 München, Germany

BIOTOPIA Lab:

Phone: +49 (0)89 178 61-411
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Pressekontakt:

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sonstige Anfragen:

Phone: +49 (0)89 178 61-422
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


© BIOTOPIA - Naturkundemuseum Bayern

BIOTOPIA Newsletter