Supporting Digestion with Mushrooms & Herbs
The seasons are changing, and we can finally start to feel Spring approaching. This often means it’s time for a Spring-cleaning session, getting our gardens ready, and even looking ahead to summer activities.
First, let's look inward. It all starts in the gut, after all! Supporting digestive health with mushrooms, herbs and mindfulness helps us feel ready to take on whatever Spring has in store for us.
Read on to learn about our favourite natural remedies for supporting healthy digestion!
Disclaimer: This blog is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice. Please consult your health care practitioner before adding any new herbs to your wellness routine.
Medicinal mushrooms are becoming more popular in North America, and for good reason! They have a wide variety of healing benefits, including immunity, stress support, and of course, digestion. We’ll focus here on Turkey Tail, Reishi and Lion’s Mane for supporting healthy digestion. Let’s take a closer look at these:
Also known as “The Hiker’s Mushroom,” Turkey Tail is the most researched mushroom to date. Turkey Tail has prebiotic components that are great for our gut health¹. These work to feed the healthy bacteria that digest our food.
Reishi is the ultimate mushroom for calming tension in the body and reducing inflammation. By doing so, this adaptogen allows our digestive system to function at an optimal level. Reishi also has prebiotic components that help feed the healthy bacteria in our microbiome and prevent gut dysbiosis².
Lion’s Mane is very healing for our digestive system. It helps strengthen the immunity in our gut by fighting unwanted bacteria. Lion’s Mane may also protect the stomach lining from damage and prevent ulcers by inhibiting the growth of H. pylori³.
Our YouTube channel is a great resource for more information on mushrooms! Learn about where we source our mushrooms and how we turn them into healing tinctures and powders here.
Herbs are major allies in supporting healthy digestion. We’d like to highlight the benefits of fennel seed, ginger root, and meadowsweet. Using these herbs in a tea or a tincture works wonders for relieving common ailments and paves the way for our digestive system to function at its best.
Fennel seed has a long-standing reputation for improving digestion. It has components that relax the smooth muscle in our digestive tract, easing gas, bloating, indigestion, and abdominal pain. The essential oils in fennel seed aid in stimulating gastric juices to help us digest and absorb valuable nutrients⁴.
For thousands of years, cultures all over the world have used ginger root for its medicinal properties. It is traditionally used to provide relief from IBS, gas, and bloating by increasing digestive enzymes⁵.
Meadowsweet soothes the stomach lining and protects the digestive tract from acidity6. It is commonly used to treat upset stomach, heartburn, and ulcers. Learn more about meadowsweet in our blog Meadowsweet: A Choice Herb for Digestion and Beyond.
On top of consuming healing mushrooms and herbs, we recommend these practices to support healthy digestion. Each method below helps to keep things moving along smoothly.
Turn your mealtime into an experience.! Put away any distractions, slow down and notice the smell, taste and texture of your food. Don’t forget to chew! Chewing is the first phase of digestion and signals to the body that nutrients are on their way to the stomach.
When our bodies are in fight or flight, we can’t rest and digest. Deep breathing exercises and meditation can help us get grounded and support digestive function.
Avoid Inflammatory Foods
Inflammatory foods can affect our body’s ability to digest properly and absorb the nutrients we need. Avoid consuming excess amounts of alcohol, sugar, and processed foods. Moderation is key!
Move Your Body
Moving our bodies is great for our health in so many ways. It’s fun and it helps the digestive system move along in its processes.
Supporting Digestion with Mushrooms & Herbs
These are only a few of the many mushrooms, herbs and practices known to improve digestion. Check out our Digestive Wellness collection here to see our favourite products for digestive harmony.
- Pallav, K., Dowd, S. E., Villafuerte, J., Yang, X., Kabbani, T., Hansen, J., … Kelly, C. P. (2014). Effects of polysaccharopeptide from Trametes Versicolor and amoxicillin on the gut microbiome of healthy volunteers. Gut Microbes, 5(4), 458–467. doi: 10.4161/gmic.29558
- Lin, Z.-B. (2005). Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Immuno-modulation by Ganoderma lucidum. Journal of Pharmacological Sciences, 99(2), 144–153. doi: 10.1254/jphs.crj05008x
- Jiang, S., Wang, S., Sun, Y., & Zhang, Q. (2014). Medicinal properties of Hericium erinaceus and its potential to formulate novel mushroom-based pharmaceuticals. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology,98(18), 7661-7670. doi:10.1007/s00253-014-5955-5
- Saddiqi, H. A., & Iqbal, Z. (2011). Usage and significance of fennel (foeniculum vulgare mill.) seeds in eastern medicine. Nuts and Seeds in Health and Disease Prevention. Doi:10.1016/b978-0-12-375688-6.10055-6
- Bodagh, M. N., Maleki, I., Hekmatdoost, A. (2018). Ginger in gastrointestinal disorders: A systemic review of clinical trials. Food Science & Nutrition, 7(1), 96-108. doi:10.1002/fsn3.807
- Haslam, E. (1996). Natural polyphenols (vegetable tanins) as drugs: Possible modes of action. Journal of Natural Products, 59(2), 205-215. doi:10.1021/np960040.2b
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