The Magic of Medicinal Mushrooms

Medicinal Mushrooms have been throguhly reserached in their role as helping the immune system overcome cancer! They may be cure we have been looking for all along. After all, they are one of the most fascinating living creatures of nature.

The following mushrooms have shown powerful immune-boosting and anticancer activity—including blocking the formation of tumors. These mushrooms contain polysaccharides, substances that increase immune defense by enhancing the function of macrophages and natural killer (NK) cells.

  1. Cordyceps : Reserach has shown that cordyceps is an immune modulator that can activate or inhibit both innate and adaptive immunity. It is as if it has its own intellegant of knowing which cells need to be activated or supressed. It also enhances the activity of NK cells and has been found to initiate T cell responses against microbial pathogens and tumors.

2. Turkey Tail: A seven-year clinical study funded by the National Institutes of Health and jointly conducted by the University of Minnesota and Bastyr University in Seattle found this mushroom to shrink tumors in women with stage I, II & III brest cancer. It also was able to dramatically help the immune system to function better.

3. Lion’s Mane: Lion’s mane mushrooms has shown to inhibit angiogenesis (the development of new blood vessels), contributing to reduction of tumor size.  It was discovered that when this mushroom was used along with chemotherapy drug doxorubicin, an otherwise drug-resistant human liver cancer became treatable.

4. Reisshi : Reisshi  mushrooms are also known as mushroom of immortality. This type contain beta glucans, a type of polysaccharide that has has shown to have antitumor and immune enhancing activity. Recent findings indicate that reishi mushrooms may increase NK cell cytotoxicity against cancer cell lines & protect against radiation.

5. Maitake: This mushroom, also ‘known as hen of the wood’ has been found to inhibit tumor growth in human clinical trials. It has also been found to increase the production of interleukins, neutrophils, T cells, and macrophages while decreasing side effects of chemotherapy.

6. Shitake Mushrooms: A 2015 University of Florida study showed increased immunity in people who ate a cooked shiitake mushroom every day for four weeks.” By comparing blood tests obtained both before and after the experiment, researchers saw better functioning immune cells and reductions in inflammatory proteins.

This is exciting news and I am writing you this blog to isnpire you to use mushrooms in your diet to enhance your immune function and know that these mushrooms seem to have fantastic benefits in the management of cancer.

The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is here to share my knowledge and the information I have gathered from different research articles listed below.

References:

Winters Nasha, Kelley Jess, The Metabolic Approach to Cancer, Chelsea Green Publishing, 2017

Seema Patel, Arun Goyal, Recent developments in mushrooms as anti-cancer therapeutics: a review, 3 Biotech. 2012 Mar; 2(1): 1–15.

Torkelson CJ, Sweet E, Martzen MR, Sasagawa M, Wenner CA, Gay J, Putiri A, Standish LJ., Phase 1 Clinical Trial of Trametes versicolor in Women with Breast Cancer.

Alena G. Guggenheim, Kirsten M. Wright, and Heather L. Zwickey, “Immune Modulation from Five Major Mushrooms: Application to Integrative Oncology” Integrative Medicine 13, no. 1 (February 2014): 32-44

Xiaoshuang Dai, Joy M. Stanilka, Cheryl A. Rowe, Elizabethe A. Esteves, Carmelo Nieves, Samuel J. Spaiser, Mary C. Christman, Bobbi Langlcamp-Henken, and Susan S. Percival, “Consuming Lentinula edodes (Shiitake) Mushrooms Daily Improves Human Immunity: A Randomized Dietary Intervention in Healthy Young Adults,” Journal of the American College of Nutrition 34, no. 6 (2015): 478-87,

Patel and Goyal, “Recent Developments in Mushrooms as Anti-Cancer Therapeutics: A Review.”

Bao-qin Lin and Shao-ping Li, “Cordyceps as an Herbal Drug,” chap. 5 in Benzie and Wachtel-Galor, eds., Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects.