Mushrooms could easily be considered the Omega Super Food of the body. They have been utilized for thousands of years as a vegetable, an herb and a medicine. There are over 14,000 kinds of mushrooms but only 3,000 are edible. Out of those 3,000 varieties, 700 have known medicinal properties.
Many varieties of mushrooms have antibiotic, antiviral and anticancer properties as well as the ability to increase immune functions. It was thought in China that eating mushrooms were one of the keys to never falling ill.
There is an ancient story about the Emperor of China who told his herbalist to go and find him the magical potion that would increase his immune system, rendering him immortal. The herbalist came back with Ling Zhi, a mushroom. Legend has it that the Emperor lived to be 101 years of age.
Physical and emotional functions of the Lungs
Anatomically, the lungs are the most exterior organ in the body, meaning they are closest to being the outside of the body of all the organ systems. In Chinese Medicine, they regulate the pores (skin) in the function of sweating, i.e. chills and fever, (chills would be the closing of the lungs and fever the opening of the lungs). They regulate the respiration out of the body (the kidneys regulate drawing the breath in of air) and controls the sinus cavity, i.e. nose and throat, regulate water metabolism and in large part are the immune system (being that the lungs are the first line of defense in a pathogenic attack). A person with weak lung function will have frequent sore throats and colds.
The lungs have a dispersing and circulation effect in the body. This differs from other organs that filter, ascend, descend or collect to utilize its organ functions. The lungs circulate air and disperse water. The physical functions of the lungs are to filtrate and let go. Thus it is associated with emotionally letting go (grieving). And it functions peak in the fall when the season “withers and lets go” of crops and vegetation.
The health benefits of mushroom include the following:
Cholesterol Levels: Mushrooms themselves pinhibiting cancerous cells.
Diabetes: Mushrooms can be an ideal low energy diet for diabetics. They have no fats, no cholesterol, very low carbohydrates, high proteins, vitamins and minerals, a lot of water and fiber. Moreover, they contain natural insulin and enzymes which help breaking down of sugar or starch of the food. Again, they are known to contain certain compounds which help proper functioning of liver, pancreas and the other endocrinal glands, thereby promoting formation of insulin and its proper flow. Diabetics often suffer from infections, particularly in their limbs, which tend to continue for long. The natural antibiotics in mushrooms can help protect them from this dreaded situation too.
Immunity: Ergothioneine, a powerful anti oxidant present in mushrooms is very effective in giving protection from free radicals as well as boosting up immunity. Mushrooms contain natural antibiotics (similar to penicillin, which itself is extracted from mushrooms) which inhibit microbial and other fungal infections. They also help heal ulcers and ulcerous wounds and protect them from infections. A good combination of vitamins A, B-Complex and C, found in mushrooms also strengthens immune system.
· Weight Loss: Would you believe me if I say that a totally lean protein diet is ideal for losing fat and building muscle mass? Perhaps no! But it is true. A lot of fats are burnt to digest (break-down) proteins in the food, more so when the protein is accompanied by a very low carbohydrate, zero fats and cholesterol and a good amount of fiber. This is exactly what mushrooms offer.
Other Benefits: Mushrooms are the only vegetable and the second known source (after cod liver oil) to contain vitamin-D in edible form. They are rich in calcium (good for bones), iron (benefits in anemia), potassium (very good for lowering blood pressure), copper (anti bacterial) and selenium (very good for health of bones, teeth, nails, hair and as an anti oxidant). The best source of selenium is animal proteins.
So, mushrooms can be the best choice for vegetarians to obtain selenium, but probably the most interesting benefit of eating mushrooms is the health benefits that they have on the lungs. rovide you with lean proteins as they have zero cholesterol, fats and very low carbohydrates. The fiberand certain enzymes in them also help lower cholesterol level. Moreover, the high lean protein content in mushrooms helps burn cholesterol when they are digested.
Breast Cancer & Prostrate Cancer: Mushrooms are very effective in preventing cancer of breast and prostrate due to presence of Beta-Glucans and conjugated Linoleic Acid having anti carcinogenic effects. Out of these two, linoleic acid is particularly helpful in suppressing effects of estrogens. This estrogen is the prime reason for breast cancer in women after menopause. The Beta-Glucans, on the other hand, inhibit growth of cancerous cells in cases of prostate cancer. Selenium in mushrooms is very effective in
Wei Qi Soup for Building Immune Strength
Fill a pot 2/3 full with purified or spring water, then add:
1. Astragalus membranaceus (5-7 sticks)
2. Ganoderma lucidum (reishi) (1 medium) any other tonifying mushrooms 2-3
3. Slightly sprouted beans (1/4-1/2 cup) (aduki, black, etc.)
Bring water to boil, simmer for 20 minutes, then add:
4. Organic barley (1/2-1 cup) (choose amount depending on thickness desired)
Simmer another 20 minutes, then add favorite vegetables such as:
5. carrots & celery
6. beet tops (or chard, collards, mustard greens, etc.)
8. potatoes (optional)
9. sea vegetables (nori, kelp, wakame, etc.)
10. gobo (i.e., burdock root)
11. nettles or other wild greens (when available)
12. garlic & onions
Simmer until the vegetables are tender, then add miso and spices such as ginger, celery, or fennel seed. Make enough for a few days and store it in the refrigerator.
Indications and Dosage: During illness, when solid food is not desirable, drink 3-4 cups of the warm broth (add less barley and more water to make broth). For degenerative immune conditions, eat 1-2 small bowls per day, and drink the broth as desired. For autoimmune diseases such as allergies, lupus, diabetes, and hepatitis accompanied by fatigue, weakness, or autoimmune conditions, eat the soup when desired, or drink the broth. This soup can be used upon occasion (1-2 times per week) for general tonification and may help to increase stamina.
Remember, mushrooms rock. Eat them in the form of several varieties and eat them often! Your lungs will thank you.