This basic guide to common medicinal mushrooms for beginners will act as a source for you to know which mushrooms are good for your health.
Mushrooms can come in many different types, as well as in diverse shapes and sizes. Some kinds are healthy for the body, while others can be fatal and deadly.
You will learn what each of these common mushrooms can do for you and how they can benefit your health and overall well-being.
A Brief Overview of Common Medicinal Mushrooms
Mushroom #1: Morel
Morels are actually valuable to chefs, as they are very nutrient-dense and have a distinct earthy flavor. They can be found in your average wooded areas, especially around fallen trees.
However, there are other kinds of mushrooms look similar to morels but are in fact poisonous.
Morels are also quite expensive, which is why many mushroom lovers prefer to search for them personally, despite this danger.
So, you just need to make sure that you know exactly what you’re looking for. Their colors are typically between the brown and gray areas. They also have heads that have a honeycomb appearance.
If you don’t feel like foraging for your own mushrooms, you can also buy them in a dried form.
Mushroom # 2: White Button
The majority of people know about White Button mushrooms. They are also the mushroom that often first appear in people’s minds when they hear the word “mushroom”.
Just as the name implies, it has a button looking top, or cap, that’s colored white or sometimes light brown.
This is the mushroom that you see in supermarkets and are also used in many take-out meals. Some people, in fact, think that White Buttons are too bland and merit no taste.
However, all it takes is to cook it properly.
When cooked correctly, they become nice and crispy, full of flavor and are a great source of protein.
Mushroom #3: Cremini
Creminis are almost identical to white buttons.
Their appearance is very similar, as well as their color. The only difference in features between the two is that the cremini looks a little older in age.
The flavor is also similar too, but this mushroom is a bit firmer in texture. This is another common mushroom that will go very well with high liquid content meals such as stews and soups.
Mushroom #4: Portobello
The Portobella mushroom is part of the same species as the white button and cremini. It can actually be easy to get the three confused.
But, if you know your mushrooms, you can distinguish the three from one another through their slightly different features and distinct taste.
Portobello is very rich in Vitamins D and B and has a very meaty texture. This is a mushroom that would go well grilled, as a meat substitute if you’re a vegetarian, and also in pasta dishes.
Mushroom #5: Shiitake
Shiitake is quite a superfood mushroom. It is packed with vital nutrients and minerals for the body, even containing cancer-fighting compounds.
You can buy them either dried or fresh, but both forms still offer the same health benefits.
If you purchase them dried, then you just need to add them to the dish. If purchased fresh, you should first remove the stems and sauté them before adding to your dish.
Mushroom #6: Lion’s Mane
On par with the Shiitake mushroom, Lion’s Mane also has a great list of health benefits.
They can do all sorts of things medically, the common being cancer-fighting, boosting your immune system, combating depression, improving the flow of digestion, protecting the brain from diseases, and can also promote the body’s healing process when injured.
In order to cook Lion’s Mane, make sure you thoroughly bake or sauté them.
Otherwise, they will taste too bitter to swallow.
Mushroom #7: Reishi
Reishi, one of the common medicinal mushrooms, is mainly found in countries within Asia.
They’re also a very popular medical mushroom. It can aid in inducing proper sleeping habits, boosting the immune system, reducing allergy symptoms, and balancing blood sugar levels.
Unlike other mushrooms, you don’t really cook or eat Reishi as it is even more bitter than the lion’s mane.
It can be scary when searching for mushrooms in the wild, as knowing which will heal you or kill you can prove the difference.
This is why we’ve created a guide to common mushrooms for beginners, in the hopes that you can start to understand both the tasteful benefits of mushrooms and their medicinal properties as well.
You may also find this short article on common poisonous mushrooms interesting: 4 Common Poisonous Mushrooms You Need to Know.