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Holistic Horse Issue 112

Mushrooms have been used for thousands of years to nourish the body. Technically classified as fungi, mushrooms offer multiple benefits, including strengthening and balancing the immune system, supporting the respiratory system, calming the nervous system, increasing endurance, preventing or minimizing tumors, healing the digestive tract, and balancing the endocrine system.

Many mushrooms are adaptogens, which mean they help your horse’s body manage stress by supporting communication between the immune, endocrine, and nervous systems.

Most mushrooms are symbiotic with other plants or trees. They have an amazing threadlike root system called mycelium, which forms a complex system of connections in the soil. The mycelium provides nutrition for the plants and the mushrooms that are part of this network.

All mushrooms contain a type of polysaccharide called beta-D glucan, which has been studied for its ability to modulate the immune system and have antitumor actions. Mushrooms also contain antioxidants and many minerals including potassium, zinc, and copper.

Three commonly used mushrooms in horse supplements are Reishi, Cordyceps and Turkey Tail.

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