Medicinal Mushrooms and Spagyric Preparations

My love of mushrooms started at an early age after being inspired by a beautifully pictorialized small hardcover book on mycology.  Just recently, my mother and I told one another that this our favorite book in our home library and it still resides there to this day.  I don’t emphasize enough, the amazing health benefits of mushrooms with my patients and students, so here is a brief overview of their medicinal attributes.  In general, most medicinal mushrooms are known as adaptogens, which means that they help the body deal with stress. They also stimulate the immune system, help fight cancer, and reduce inflammation.  They are most often used in Chinese medicine. My preference is to consume them as a spagyric tincture.  Very simply put, a spagyric tincture is one that is supercharged because it contains the minerals of the plant (by plant I mean either an herb or a fungi-mushroom).  Spagyric preparations are made when the ash of the plant is reunified back to the tincture from whence it came.  It is also called herbal alchemy, because it contains the aspects of Mercury, Salt, and Sulphur.  In a chemistry sense, the mineral salts neutralize the organic acids of the plant and this changes it from oil soluble to water soluble, thus making it more bioavailable and non-toxic.  I order my tinctures from and my favorite is Lion’s Mane.  As with any pharmaceutical or natural product, caution and guidance must be honored.

Lion’s Mane – This mushroom is nootropic (benefits the brain) and optimizes cognitive function.  Dr. Terry Wahls recommends it to those with Progressive MS.  It is also anticarcinogenic and cardioprotective.

Reishi –Often referred to as “God of Fungi” for its anti-inflammatory, immune boosting, and liver detoxifying abilities.  It is highly adaptogenic.

Shiitaki – Often used in cuisine, shiitaki is cardioprotective, antioxidative, and reduces cholesterol.

Cordyceps – It is like the ginseng of the mushroom kingdom.  It increases energy and stamina and therefore anti-aging.

Chaga – Chaga is very popular right now and being consumed as a tea.  It holds its place as having one of the highest scores on the ORAC scale.  The ORAC scale shows which foods are the most antioxidative.