Medicinal Mushrooms: Nature’s “Smart Drugs”

Medicinal Mushrooms: Nature’s “Smart Drugs”

Medicinal mushrooms are powerful healers—and their benefits never cease to amaze me. I first learned about these remarkable fungi during my early exploration into traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)…more than 30 years ago. Back then, however, nobody was talking about mushrooms outside of the TCM pharmacopeia.

But eventually, the secret got out.

As the research advances, medicinal mushrooms are earning widespread recognition as potent, versatile and extremely beneficial natural agents, capable of repairing and enhancing your health on every level.

It all starts with immunity—but the benefits that mushrooms deliver certainly don’t end there. As powerful natural healers, medicinal mushrooms work to improve fundamental longevity processes in your body…so you can break through your plateau and achieve next level health and wellness.

After all, wild mushrooms can grow just about anywhere, but they especially thrive in conditions of deterioration and decay—so they can help you thrive too, regardless of the challenges you may face.

Past—Present—Future: The Infinite Healing Power of Mushrooms

The unparalleled, multi-dimensional benefits of certain medicinal mushrooms allow them to work not only on diverse organs and systems of the body—but also on different aspects of your health along the spectrum of time.

For this reason, I often say that medicinal mushrooms support past, present and future health.

But wait…What does that mean? Let me explain.

Past: Medicinal mushrooms are outstanding for their ability to repair past damage to organs and tissues. For example, certain mushrooms are shown to repair injury to the kidneys from antibiotics. Mushrooms in general have an affinity for areas of decay. In your body, this means areas that have become stagnant, with reduced circulation and oxygenation—areas where tumors, infections, and toxins can hide out.

Like bioactive sponges, medicinal mushrooms seek out these stagnant areas of your body and clean them up by absorbing toxins and dead tissue, and exchanging them with potent therapeutic compounds that work to repair the damage.

Present: Medicinal mushrooms can have an immediate effect on immune response. This means they can offer fast-acting support and rapid results against infections from viruses, bacteria, and other microbes.

Future: Medicinal mushrooms are potent immune trainers, that work to fine-tune and optimize immune response over time. For example, if the immune system is suppressed, you may experience more frequent infections, even cancer. In this case, mushrooms help to increase immune response to the appropriate levels. On the other hand, if your immune system is overactive, you may experience autoimmune symptoms, like inflammatory flare-ups. In these cases, medicinal mushrooms work to reign in the immune system and prevent damaging inflammatory reactions.

Importantly, the effects of mushrooms on the body doesn’t diminish over time, the way some other natural therapies do. This means you can continue to see positive results with ongoing use. Mushrooms can also be taken at high doses when additional support is needed.

These highly adaptable features are unique to mushrooms, and make them excellent choices for improving your health in both the immediate and long-term.

Antiviral Actions and More…

Immune system training and balance (i.e. modulation) is fundamental—and can go a long way in helping you achieve your best health.

But the immune benefits offered by different mushrooms extend beyond this, delivering powerful antimicrobial activity against bacteria, viruses, and other infectious agents.

Unique antiviral properties are present within many medicinal mushroom species. These actions include:

  • Inhibition of enzymes that allow the virus to replicate
  • Inhibition of enzymes that allow viruses to attach to and infect healthy cells
  • Blocking the spread of viruses viral within the respiratory system

So what’s their secret?

In essence, medicinal mushrooms are some of the most concentrated sources of highly active, health-promoting compounds and “myco-nutrients”. These unique components deliver a diverse array of benefits for immunity, with additional targeted support for major organs and systems including:

  • Cardiovascular
  • Neurological/cognitive
  • Digestive
  • Metabolic
  • Detoxification
  • and much more…

For example, varieties like Cordyceps, Tremella and Ganoderma (Reishi) are very high in nutrients called phospholipids, which can penetrate into the cell membrane to exchange with/remove fat soluble toxins, while actively protecting your nervous system and brain.

Top Mushroom Varieties

There are over 260 species of medicinal mushrooms found so far. Compelling research and a long-history of traditional use have helped identify some of the most powerful and effective species, to help you achieve total-body health and wellness.

Mushrooms can be taken individually, but over the years, I’ve learned how to get much better results by taking them together within a comprehensive formula. Combining different mushrooms gives you broad-spectrum support and coverage for your most critical areas of health. And believe me, you’ll notice the difference!

Here are a few of the top varieties I use often in my practice to help my patients—as well as myself and my family—achieve greater health and longevity.

  • Ganoderma (Reishi)—Antiviral actions, supports front-line immune activity, reduces symptoms of bronchitis and asthma, lowers cholesterol, enhances oxygenation of blood and tissues, reduces inflammation, supports detoxification, protects against radiation damage, and more.
  • Cordyceps (Caterpillar Mushroom)—Immune regulating and enhancing properties: enhances phagocyte, macrophage and NK cell function, improves bone marrow, anti-tumor activity; reduces LDL cholesterol and raises HDL cholesterol, lowers triglycerides, improves oxygenation and vital energy levels, anti-aging benefits, and more.
  • Coriolus (Turkey Tails)—A primary anti-cancer mushroom with unique compounds that demonstrate potent activity against pancreatic, cervical and other cancers; antiviral, supports front-line immunity, reduces symptoms of autoimmune conditions, anti-inflammatory benefits, and more.

Botanically-Grown Mushrooms: Faster Growth, Greater Clinical Benefits

In my quest for the most effective natural therapies that can deliver the greatest clinical benefits, I came to develop a unique method that makes the already-powerful benefits of mushrooms even more potent and effective.

Known as “botanical-enhancement”, this revolutionary method relies on the ability of mushrooms to absorb nutrients from their surroundings during growth. Botanically-enhanced mushrooms are cultivated on a milled blend of immune-supportive, adaptogenic herbs (instead of the normal wood pulp or brown rice substrate that most commercial mushrooms are grown on). This unique herbal growth formula fortifies the mushrooms with additional therapeutic compounds, resulting in even greater benefits for immune health and overall vitality.


Medicinal mushrooms help your immune system work smarter, not harder. With powerful adaptogenic support, they help to adjust immune responses as needed, while at the same time, helping your complex network of organ systems achieve balance and optimal function. And when we use mushrooms together with other powerful natural agents like Modified Citrus Pectin, the synergistic benefits you experience can increase exponentially.

The more we learn about medicinal mushrooms, the more we come to realize the innate intelligence of these time-honored natural healers.


Sources

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Lu J, et al.. Molecular mechanisms of bioactive polysaccharides from Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi), a review. Int J Biol Macromol. 2020 Feb 6;150:765-774.

Saleh MH, et al. Immunomodulatory Properties of Coriolus versicolor: The Role
of Polysaccharopeptide. Front Immunol. 2017 Sep 6;8:1087.

Wasser SP. Medicinal Mushrooms in Human Clinical Studies. Part I. Anticancer, Oncoimmunological, and Immunomodulatory Activities: A Review. Int J Med Mushrooms. 2017;19(4):279- 317.

Xiao Z, et al. Fungal polysaccharides. Adv Pharmacol. 2020;87:277-299.

Zheng Y, et al. Cordyceps polysaccharide ameliorates airway inflammation in an ovalbumin-induced mouse model of asthma via TGF-β1/Smad signaling pathway. Respir Physiol Neurobiol. 2020 Feb 7;276:103412.