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Beauty of Mushrooms

Holistic healer Dr. Andrew Weil is passionate about mushrooms—foraging for them, cooking them and praising their health and beauty benefits.

Dr. Andrew Weil, America's most famous proponent of alternative medicine, loves mushrooms, an interest that began when he visited Oregon in 1970 at the height of mushroom season. "I liked being around foragers," he says. "They are interesting, creative, eccentric people." Today he picks chanterelles, blewits and boletes on Cortes Island when he's vacationing in British Columbia. He eats lots of mushrooms—up to three times a day. "I cook for myself. It's one of my main sources of relaxation." Another reason he's enthusiastic about mushrooms: They're good for you, he says, both inside and out. Recently he even partnered with Origins to launch the holistic, mushroom-based Plantidote skin-care line.

Beauty Foraging

Mushrooms were the muse for Dr. Andrew Weil's new Plantidote beauty line for Origins. Weil explains that Asian cultures revere mushrooms for increasing vitality and promoting longevity, qualities that inspired this line of skin products and supplements. The lightweight Plantidote Mega-Mushroom Face Serum ($65 for 1.7 fl oz) reduces inflammation, which Weil believes can cause wrinkles, puffiness, redness and aging of the skin. The complementary Plantidote Mega-Mushroom Face Cream ($60 for 1.7 oz) firms skin with compounds from chaga mushrooms (800-ORIGINS).
—Jen Murphy

Mushrooms & Health

Mushrooms haven't been lauded for being especially nutritious. That should change: A three-ounce portobello cap provides more than 400 mg of potassium, about as much as a small banana. One serving (three ounces) of cremini mushrooms, prized for their meaty richness, delivers 32 percent of the daily recommended intake of immunity-boosting selenium. And researchers at Penn State recently discovered that shiitake, oyster and maitake mushrooms are the best sources of the disease-fighting antioxidant ergothioneine, containing 40 times more than wheat germ, previously one of the top-rated sources.
—J.M.

Published February 2006
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