Although different varieties of edible mushrooms can be found in supermarkets throughout the year, summer is a good time to be eating them for their ability to strengthen and heal the heart. In the Five Element theory, fire is dominant at this time of year and one of the most important aspects of keeping it in control is to calm the heart-mind. In Chinese medical texts dating back to the sixteenth century Reishi mushrooms were said to mend the heart, and current western research has shown that they are beneficial in the treatment of heart arrhythmias. Morel, shiitake and maitake mushrooms were often used by the ancient Chinese to treat heart disease, and doctors today know that they can help reduce cholesterol levels. Eating mushrooms calms the nerves, boosts the immune system, and helps promote youthfulness and longevity. The common button mushroom has antibiotic properties and decreases the fat level in the blood. Shiitake mushrooms benefit the stomach, protect the liver, and are said to be a natural source of interferon, a drug used in the treatment of cancer. The Chinese ling zhi mushroom is said to fight tumors and cancers. Eating mushrooms at the same time as meat products will help clear heat toxins.
Try eating a different organic mushroom variety with your meals each week. Use in stir fries and make mushroom sauces to serve with meat, chicken or pasta.
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