The word “mushroom” elicits various mental images. What comes to mind for many is the object that enables the video game hero, Mario to grow and level up. Others have fairy tale-based associations of parasols for elfin creatures, or even pedestals for Alice in Wonderland characters. Still others think of the much-talked about effects these “shrooms” are reported to have, whether as psychotic substances or healthy foods.
There are over 10,000 known types of mushrooms in the planet, some poisonous, while others are certainly edible and even believed to possess therapeutic potential. In traditional Chinese medicine, several types of fungus have been used as health supplements for untold generations. These fungi may be consumed fresh, cooked into dishes, or through hot water decoctions. Hot water extraction has long been the standard means of deriving the nutrients from mushrooms without having to actually eat them.
Obtaining this extract involves steeping the substance in boiling water for a long period, and then drinking the water as tea. Through such extracts, people with a tea-drinking habit can conveniently enjoy the benefits of these mushrooms as often as they wish. There are those, of course, who would rather eat the mushrooms. This is more delectable for adventurous palates; and is also healthy dining, considering the vitamins present in mushrooms.
Anyone who has had ample experience in the culinary arts would know how versatile mushrooms are as ingredients in various dishes. Mushrooms can be fried, sautéed, grilled, boiled, roasted, baked, or can even be eaten raw. Vegetarians often opt for mushrooms in place of meat because of its flavor and chewy texture. Some species of medicinal mushroom are readily available at the produce section of your friendly neighborhood supermarket.
You may also opt to set up your own medicinal mushroom plot in your backyard or basement to ensure a fresh supply. If cooking, decocting, or cultivating the fungus seems like too much work, you could obtain the same desired benefits from mushroom supplements. These are available at trusted health food outlets, often in encapsulated powder form.
You can ask your health practitioner about the many types of medicinal mushroom supplements and the specific health benefits they may give you. Whether you dine on mushrooms or take them in the form of one of the many mushroom products available in health stores, mushrooms hold much potential for contributing to your health.
Include Medicinal Mushrooms in your Daily Diet