We've even got an epic podcast on all things tonic herbs and medicinal mushies! There are plenty of varieties out there, but to us, we've got our eight faves, sort of like that bunch of kids from the Sound of Music. Or wait, maybe there was only seven Von Trapp kids... anyway, we digress.
These tonic herbs (yep, mushies are actually tonic herbs!) are our friends for life and part of the reason we love them so, is due to their mycelium (stick with us here); this is sort of the like the root system underneath the ground, of the visible mushroom, above the ground. Mycelium is some sort of magic, exactly like the root system of a plant, these dendrites soak up allllll the nutrients from their ecosystem, giving our medicinal mushies the phenomenal health-promoting effects we love 'em for.
We have a FREE, ONLINE tonic herbalism course, which covers all the fundamentals of tonic herbalism. We'd love for you to join us here. You'll continue to expand your knowledge on medicinal mushies, like the ones are we talking about here today.
Keep reading on about the eight most powerful medicinal mushrooms you need to know about *stat*:
Is considered to be one of the most sacred tonic herbs in the Daoist tradition, earning it fantastic-sounding names like the Mushroom of Immortality and Mushroom of Spiritual Potency. Arguably, the most well known medicinal mushie on the planet! Regularly featuring in the Daoist depictions of Heaven, reishi's powerful anti-ageing properties are what it first found fame for—especially as a tonic for emperors seeking immortality. Brimming with polysaccharides and terpenoids (terpenoids are mighty bitter, but trust us, these are the bomb for their health-promoting abilities).
Is know as 'monkey head mushroom' in Chinese and has been used for centuries; monks have traditionally used this herb to asset with focus during meditation and for general vigour and strength. It looks like a brain - and that's what it helps :) Lion's mane is certainly having its time in the sun for biohacking and nootropic effects. The mushroom is also known for its effects on the central nervous system and is used for treating Qi deficiency in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
We love it for: nootropic + neuroprotective properties, add on effects from the neurological support are feeling gooooood with less anxiety and jitters, stimulates nerve growth, anti-bacterial, -candida and-inflammatory, supports stomach health (especially for healing ulcers), fortifies the five organs (spleen liver, lung, heart, kidney), gut nourishing and promotes good digestion and can aid insomnia.
Long prized in the Orient, have traditionally been harvested wild in China during the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644). However the Japanese worked out how to cultivate shiitakes on logs. Villages wanting to gain prestige and increase their commerce would attract Buddhist monks by cultivating the revered shiitake! The suffix -take means 'fruit of the mushroom' in Japanese and the prefix shii- refers to the type of tree the mushie grows on, in this case a Japanese tree similar to birch.
Is also known as the 'mushroom of the sun' and 'mushroom of life'. These mushies actually originate in Brazil and they're huge in Japan. The Japanese recognise them for their potential in fighting cancer and have ben researching the A. blazei since the late 80's after scientists discovered long-living tribes in Brazil (especially the Piedade) consumed the mushies - longevity here we come. Cultivation has only been successful since the 90's, but with their outstanding levels of beta-glucans, this cultivation will continue to soar.
We love it for: supports the immune system, helps remove toxic cells from the body, anti-candida, -bacterial, -viral and -inflammatory, effective against digestive issues, blood pressure, blood sugar, kidney, liver, libido, anti-stress, anti-cholesterol, mineralisation, supports the liver and has shown to have positive effects with hepatitis B.
With one of our fave Latin names, maitake (meaningdancing mushroom) came from the dance of joy one would do after finding it because this sexy 'shroom was worth its weight in silver. Also, from the 'dancing' waves of the fruiting body, it's a pretty mushie! Its other name is a slightly less sexy 'hen of the woods'..someone with a great imagination thought it looked like a chook chilling in the forest. This herb has been known and used since at least 200 BC by the Daoist herbalists, and likely much longer before that. It grows at the roots of trees, and is somewhat parasitic.
We love it for: spleen and stomach ailments, possibly linked to effecting tumour growth, treating haemorrhoids boost immune function, effective for female fertility, remedy for diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels, managing blood pressure, being darn beautiful!
Is a pretty unattractive mushroom to look at - it kind of looks like a potato - but it was very well-respected as a daily health-giving tonic for thousands of years (the Koreans say it was sent by God). Its price made it prohibitive for regular folks to consume in ancient times, but it's a lot cheaper these days, thankfully, so we can include it in our Mason's blend!
We love it for:clearing damp in the body, strengthening spleen and stomach, kidney and liver, supportive of the immune system, may have positive blocking effects of brain plaques, menstrual issues, useful for edema, immune, strengthens heart, lowers blood sugar, anti-bacterial and helps with inflammation, specifically joint pain.
If you are digging these mushies, we have created our unique and flagship blend, Mason's Mushrooms which includes these eight mushrooms.
I had already been practicing cycle tracking and ritual for some years, but this practice immediately brought me into deeper presence and connection with my body, helped to slow me down and brought in another layer reverence to something I had been taught to fear, ignore or hate.