The Hottest Trend in Allergy Relief
Congestion, itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing and irritability. Spring allergies are back with a vengeance. While some opt for allergy medication, others turn to natural remedies. When it comes to these herbal alternatives, medicinal mushrooms are providing much-needed relief to those who have tried them.
While magical in their healing powers, these are not your typical magic mushrooms. Lacking psilocybin, the compound responsible for hallucinations medicinal mushrooms are paving the way for alternative allergy relief.
Used in medicine for centuries, medicinal mushrooms are particularly revered in traditional Chinese medicine for their many abilities: boosting the immune system, reducing stress and fatigue, supporting detoxification, enhancing digestion, providing an energy boost and reducing respiratory symptoms, such as allergies and asthma. The perfect healing tonic for the arrival of spring.
The king of mushrooms, reishi is praised for its anti-inflammatory, allergy-preventing and liver detoxifying functions. Studies have revealed reishi’s immuno-modulating powers help regulate the immune system and decrease the release of histamine, reducing the body’s inflammatory response and associated symptoms.
The most popular nutraceutical mushroom. reishi grows wild in forests around the world, as well as in Ontario and Quebec backyards and is easily identifiable because of its flat, red-varnished, kidney-shaped cap.
If harvesting mushrooms in the wild isn’t your idea of a fun time, reishi is also available in health food stores in a variety of easy-to-find supplements – tincture, teas, powders and capsules.
Popular for its calming and uplifting effect on the neuroendocrine system, cordyceps mushrooms are commonly used to counteract the effects of stress and fatigue. Known as the regeneration mushroom, recent research has revealed its potency in reducing allergy symptoms as well.
A study published last year in the Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin found that cordycepin, an active compound in cordyceps mushrooms, can be used in the treatment of spring allergies, as well as asthma, dermatitis, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune conditions, and other inflammatory diseases.
Often found in humid and tropical temperatures, cordyceps grow wild in Asia, but you don’t need to trek through the jungles of Thailand or Vietnam to find them. Like reishi, cordyceps can be found in tincture, powder and capsule form at your local health food store.
Another great way to enjoy medicinal mushrooms is mushroom coffee. A delicious, caffeine-free alternative which tastes surprisingly like regular coffee, mushroom coffee is packed with health benefits minus the harmful effects. A perfect morning choice!
To maximise healing, pair medicinal fungi with vitamin C. The combination of antioxidants and therapeutic powers facilitates the prevention of symptoms and a speedy recovery.