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Medicinal Mushroom Series: Willow Bracket (Phellinus igniarius)

Is it just me or does this mushroom look like a dinosaur foot? The Willow Bracket mushroom can be found growing perennially on rotting logs or infested trees. It feeds on the cellulose of the host tree and slowly degrades and softens it. This mushroom is considered inedible but has been used in the past as a great kindling for starting fires.

It can grow up to 40cm in diameter, adding more layers to itself with each passing year. Described as having a bitter taste and strong mushroom odour, we now conveniently encapsulate this fungi for its proven health benefits. Here are the top 5 benefits of the Willow Bracket mushroom! 1) Anti-Tumour

Like many other mushroom on this list, the Willow Bracket mushroom also seems to exhibit tumour fighting properties. Supplementing with this mushroom can effectively help decrease tumour progression with the hopes of stopping cancer spread.

2) Anti-Oxidant

Packed full of free radical destroying properties, this mushroom can help keep oxidation at bay. The benefits of this include; lowering risk of heart attack or stroke, decreasing risk of cancer, and aiding in recovery from injury or regular exercise to name a few! 

3) Anti-Inflammatory 

Inflammation can and does lead to so many chronic diseases it would be more difficult to name some it doesn't play a role in. While inflammation is a valuable and mandatory step in the healing process, having it linger around longer than normal is where problems arise. Supplementing with the Willow Bracket mushroom can help decrease this inflammation, allowing your body to heal itself properly. 

4) Protects the Liver from Alcohol Damage

The research here is quite specific, but supplementation with the Willow Bracket mushroom in those who have suffered liver damage due to excessive alcohol intake will have a protective effect on the liver. The liver is an incredible organ with a lot of responsibilities in the body. Keeping it happy and healthy is key to living an optimal life.

5) Anti-Diabetic

A very impressive action to end on, the Willow Bracket mushroom has a potent anti-diabetic effect on a few levels. It has been shown to improve glucose tolerance, reduce hyperglycaemia and normalize insulin levels. I assure you, this is no small feat. This supplement should at the very least be on every diabetics radar!

Dr. Rob Raponi ND, CISSN, B.Kine(Hons)

Podcast: Well Talks

Facebook: @Dr.Raponi

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