One of the oldest recorded mushrooms used in Traditional Chinese Medicine is the Reishi mushroom, also known as Ling Zhi. In his book, Chaga Mushroom Medical Benefits, Goodman discusses the use of medicinal mushrooms, with a focus on components of the Reishi mushroom, traditionally used for a variety of medical conditions. Goodman starts by discussing the history of the Chaga mushroom in ancient and traditional cultures. These mushrooms were considered ‘royal’ due to their medicinal value, and therefore very few afforded them.
Goodman goes on to discuss psilocybin, the component of Chaga mushrooms that boosts and regulates the immune system.
Mushrooms that contain psilocybin are known to bolster the immune system where they stimulate production of killer T-cells, macrophages, T-lymphocytes, and the production of killer cells
This helps the body in fighting off many diseases, infections, bacteria, and viruses. Psilocybin also helps with blood pressure and stabilizing blood sugar.
The reader learns where Chaga grows, its appearance, and the fungal family from which it originated. This section was quite interesting as many are unaware that fungi are classified this way, each belonging to a different family. Chaga is a parasite found primarily in birch. Per Goodman, Chaga is irregularly formed, and has a burnt appearance due to massive amounts of melanin absorbed from the birch tree.
Goodman touches upon all the characteristics of the Chaga mushroom, such as necessary growing conditions, as well as the phytochemicals Chaga manufactures, to heal and strengthen the tree it grows on. According to Goodman, the trees with a Chaga-symbiotic relationship live much longer. This was quite fascinating!
Some have been known to live as long as 10,000 years or even more; making them the most powerful living thing in the world. The fungus contains an array of B-vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phenols, and flavonoids.
The author reviews research done covering the safety of consuming the Chaga mushroom. Most of the research done shows Chaga to be 100% safe with no harmful side effects! According to Goodman, Chaga was found to fight diseases and stress without side effects, and was concluded to be the most potent adaptive known. It is the health benefits that helps explain the long life expectancy of many tribes of men and women of Siberia, and the ancient Chinese.
Goodman concludes by discussing availability of Chaga, how to make Chaga mushroom tea, and he shares what he labels “the best Chaga mushroom tea recipe”, which does look amazing! At the end of the book Goodman also touches upon some of the health benefits of the Reishi mushroom, and how to make Reishi mushroom tea as well. This is another popular medicinal mushroom with great health benefits as well.
This book is short, simple, and to the point. It helps the novice person looking to explore uses of medicinal mushrooms, and incorporate them into their daily routines through tea drinking. It gives a great overview of the history and health benefits to consuming Chaga and Reishi, and can get people exploring some amazing ways to bring their health to the next level. Overall this was a great, easy, and informative read!