Mushrooms have been valued for their medicinal properties for five
millennia, and the ability of mushrooms to modulate immune functions has
been scientifically researched for about 50 years. Numerous studies have
shown that mushrooms possess potent immune-stimulating properties. And
unlike many immune support ingredients, mushrooms are ideal for everyday
immune support. The beta-glucans from mushrooms bind to receptors on immune
cells such as macrophages.
Maitake Mushroom Benefits:
The maitake mushroom (Grifola frondosa) grows in clusters at the base of
trees (particularly oaks) and is native to the northeastern part of Japan
and North America. Valued in traditional Chinese and Japanese botanical
medicine as an aid to balance organ function, the mushroom is commonly
known as “hen of the woods” in English; in the Asian market, its Japanese
name maitake means “dancing mushroom.”
is especially high in antioxidants such as ascorbic acid, tocopherols,
phenolic compounds, carotenoids, and L-ergothioneine. It contains complex
polysaccharides, which act as immunomodulators and possess antitumor
activity. In 2009, a phase 1/2 clinical trial conducted by Memorial
Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center showed that maitake could stimulate the
immune systems of patients with breast cancer. The beta-D-glucan
polysaccharides present in maitake have been studied as a potential aid for
preventing and treating cancer and as an adjunctive treatment for HIV
infection.6 Preliminary research suggests that maitake mushroom extracts
can prevent the metastasis of experimentally induced tumors as well as
prevent tumor occurrence in normal cells.7*
Additionally, preliminary clinical evidence suggests that maitake mushroom
polysaccharides may lower blood glucose in people with type 2 diabetes,
possibly by activating insulin receptors.8 Research in rats suggests that
maitake mushroom can lower blood pressure and improve lipid profiles in
also known as hen of the woods, is a large mushroom native to Japan, North
America and Europe. Often found growing in clumps around the base of oak
trees, maitake can reach a weight of 50 pounds. Scientific study shows the
extract of this highly prized edible mushroom may have potential benefits
for cholesterol and blood sugar levels, immune function and cancer
treatment and prevention.*
Maitake - Cholesterol
Preliminary evidence shows that maitake may help lower cholesterol levels,
notes CoxHealth Medical Center. A study on laboratory animals published in
the October 2011 issue of the "Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry"
found that four weeks of supplementation with maitake mushroom extract
lowered liver cholesterol levels. Researchers concluded that maitake
exerted its effects at the genetic level by increasing activity of genes in
the liver that promote lipid transport. By contrast, Hypsizigus marmoreus,
or beech mushroom, another mushroom tested in the study, did not show
Maitake - Blood Sugar
Maitake may help manage blood sugar levels and prevent diabetes, according
to a study published in the April 2007 issue of the "Journal of Pharmacy
and Pharmacology." A polysaccharide molecule in maitake, called
MT-alpha-glucan, decreased fasting blood sugar and insulin levels and
increased levels of glycogen, a short-term storage form of glucose, in the
liver. Maitake also increased the ability of insulin to bind to liver cells
and improved pancreatic function. Researchers concluded that maitake may be
useful for prevention and management of diabetes by decreasing insulin
Maitake - Immune Function
Immune benefits of maitake extract include modulation of cytokines,
molecules produced by white blood cells that activate the immune response,
according to the University of Wisconsin Botany Department. Maitake exerts
its effects by binding to the cell membranes of white blood cells known as
macrophages and either activating or inhibiting release of cytokines. A
study published in the summer of 2004 issue of the "Journal of Medicinal
Food" found that D-fraction, a polysaccharide extract of maitake, activated
several types of immune cells and molecules, including T-helper cells,
macrophages and interleukins. Researchers concluded that maitake may offer
immune benefits that help protect against infection.*
Maitake - Cancer
Maitake D-fraction may inhibit cancer development and spread and also make
chemotherapy drugs more effective, according to Dr. Shari Lieberman, author
of the book "Maitake Mushroom and D-Fraction." A study published in the
June 2011 issue of the "Journal of Medicinal Food" found that maitake
D-fraction promotes apoptosis -- programmed cell death -- in breast cancer
cells. Maitake extract interfered with energy production in cancer cells, a
discovery which, researchers note, will help scientists target potential
cancer prevention and treatment approaches.*
Shitake: Immune enhancing:
Shiitake mushrooms contain really high levels of polysaccharides that are
excellent at enhancing your immune system. These polysaccharide compounds
contain lentinans and other beta-glucans, which have been shown to boost
the production of white blood cells. These compounds have also been shown
to possess anti-inflammatory properties.
Shitake: Cholesterol reducing:
Research indicates that much of the shiitake’s cholesterol and blood
pressure-reducing power comes from a compound known as eritadenine. It’s
also important to note that replacing the meat portion of a meal with a
vegan-friendly food like shiitake mushrooms is another great way to avoid
unnecessary cholesterol intake.
Shitake: Bone boosting:
Shiitake mushrooms contain vitamin D, which is one of the vitamins most
necessary for building strong bones. However, according to Healthline, not
all mushrooms contain high amounts of the stuff. Only those that have been
exposed to UV light during the growth process will contain high enough
vitamin D to strengthen bones and improve bone density.
Shitake: Cancer support:
Though the evidence is limited at this time, there are indications that the
lentinan found in shiitake mushrooms could be effective at fighting cancer.
Lentinan found in shiitake mushrooms has been shown capable of extending
survival rates for patients with colorectal, liver, pancreatic, and stomach
cancers when administered orally. These compounds were ineffective against
those with prostate cancer, unfortunately.
Lion's Mane Mushroom
LifeSource Vitamins Hericium erinaceus Capsules, also known as Lion's Mane
and Monkey’s Head mushrooms, has a long history of use throughout Asia and
is one of the staples of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). LifeSource now
produces the pure and most potent Hericium erinaceus, using only certified
organic growth medium in a state of the art 21st century proprietary solid
state fermentation process.*
This results in Hericium that is pure, with no heavy metals, pesticides or
herbicides or other contamination, as can be found in wild or farm grown
Hericium. LifeSource Vitamins Hericium is 100% Pure Hericium erinaceus,
with no fillers or additives, Made with Organic Hericium erinaceus, 100%
Made in America in an FDA registered facility with only American
Ingredients, and it contains NO Chinese or other imported ingredients.
Lion's Mane Mushroom Facts:
This species has many names including the bearded tooth mushroom and
the pom pom mushroom. It is sometimes called the hedgehog mushroom,
although that name usually refers to a different species altogether,
All species of Hericium are considered saprotrophs, meaning they feed
on dead material. Hericium erinaceus is also a parasite, meaning it
attacks and kills living trees.
They're found in late summer to fall on dead or dying hardwood trees,
especially oak and beech. They grow in North America, China, Japan, and
This doesn't look like your typical mushroom. It has no real cap and no
stem. Instead it sports long spines (greater than 1 cm) coming out from
a single clump.
Their color is mainly white, although they become brown or yellow with
age. Their spore print is white as well.
This is not a common species of mushroom, so finding one may be a rare
treat. They grow higher up on trees rather than at the base, which
means that they're also often missed during a mushroom hunt.
There are several species in the Hericium genus that are referred to as
"lion's mane" in North America. This article is specifically about
Hericium erinaceus, but you may also hear about these types of
Native to North America, China, and Japan, the reishi mushroom (Ganoderma
lucidum) has a purple-brown color with a long stalk and distinctive shiny
cap shaped like a fan. Prized for its purported health benefits rather than
its strong flavor, it grows on plum and oak trees. The reishi mushroom has
traditionally been used for enhancing the immune system and addressing
hypertension, hyperlipidemia, cardiovascular disease, and asthma and
Reishi occurs in six different colors, but the red variety is most commonly
used and commercially cultivated in East Asia and North America. In vivo
and in vitro studies have identified the active components of reishi
mushrooms are primarily polysaccharides, including beta-glucans and
triterpenes, and seem to have a variety of pharmacological effects,
including antioxidant, antitumor, immune-modulating, cardiovascular,
antiviral, and antibacterial.*
Here is a list of the benefits that reishi mushrooms have as a daily
dietary supplement or in helping to treat certain medical conditions:
These mushrooms are very strong antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the
body from the negative effects of free radicals that are formed inside
the body by daily exposure to the sun, chemicals, and pollutants.
Reishi’s are proven to boost the immune system, especially when taken
with other antioxidant supplements.*
Reishi - It is believed that reishi mushrooms can suppress the
growth of tumors in
people with cancer. It can reinforce the membranes in cancerous cells
to keep the tumor from spreading. For this reason, they are often used
in efforts to prevent cancers.*
are also beneficial for people suffering from asthma and other
respiratory conditions because it seems to have a healing effect on the
lungs. They are good for building respiratory strength and curbing a
mushrooms have anti-inflammatory properties and are therefore used
sometimes for patients who have Alzheimer’s and heart disease. This is
based on the idea that inflammation plays a part in each of these
conditions. The pain that accompanies other inflammatory conditions
like neuralgia and arthritis may also be lessened by reishi mushroom
As far as benefits for the heart, reishi mushrooms can improve the flow
of blood to the heart and reduce the amount of oxygen the heart
consumes. It can help to lower cholesterol and some of the ingredients
may help combat high blood pressure.*
What Are the Health Benefits of Cordyceps?
The evidence that Cordyceps can boost exercise performance is somewhat
limited. Researchers at Brigham Young University studied the effects of
Cordyceps on endurance-trained cyclists. They concluded that the fungus
does not increase aerobic capacity or exercise performance.
However, there are several other health claims linked to Cordyceps. Let’s
look at a few of the most common.
Scientists at the University of Nottingham in Britain have been researching
the potential of Cordyceps to reduce inflammation. While their research
shows the fungus is effective at reducing inflammation at the cellular
level, it has not been tested on humans or animals.*
Protects the Heart
A number of research studies show that Cordyceps has potential for treating
heart disease. It is approved in China to treat arrhythmia. Talk to your
doctor before you consider taking a supplement for any condition.*
Slows Kidney Disease
In a 2011 study, researchers at Zhejiang University found that Cordyceps
cicadae “may inhibit renal fibrosis” in rats. Renal fibrosis is a condition
found in the later stages of kidney disease. Further study is needed.
Slows Tumor Growth
A number of studies on animals indicate that Cordyceps may slow the growth
of tumors from certain types of cancer. One theory is that it can stimulate
the immune system to fight the cancer. No human testing has been done.*
Revs Up Libido
Several studies show that Cordyceps increases testosterone in rats, but
there are no credible human trials that indicate the fungus enhances libido
or sexual performance.*
Chaga: Potential health benefits
The studies thus far on the health benefits of Chaga have been very
encouraging, though scientists say a lot more research is necessary.
Chaga: Inflammation and immunity:
Both animal and test-tube studies in the Journal of Traditional and
Complementary Medicine found reduced inflammation and increased
antibacterial and antiviral properties through chaga’s ability to increase
white blood cells. But human studies are needed.
The findings are intriguing: White blood cells are the body’s main defense
against viruses and bacteria, according to Dana Hunnes, PhD, senior
dietitian at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. They help your body
fight off bacteria and viruses and keep you healthy. This same research
found that chaga mushrooms reduced and prevented the production of
cytokines, which are markers for inflammation.
Chaga’s most acclaimed attribute is its ability to have antitumor
activities. It’s been harvested and used to treat cancer in several
countries, according to Pulmonary Adenocarcinoma: Approaches to Treatment.
But again, human studies have yet to support this finding.
“Animal and test-tube studies show that Chaga can prevent and perhaps even
slow down cancer cell growth,” says Hunnes, who is also a professor at the
Fielding School of Public Health in Los Angeles.
One study in mice showed a 60 percent reduction in tumor size, and a
test-tube study of human cells from livers, lungs, breasts, prostates, and
colons, showed that chaga prevented the growth of cancer cells, according
Managing blood sugar is essential for people with diabetes. When blood
sugar levels are consistently high, it causes damage to vital organs, the
eyes, and the nerves, and it does increase the risk of heart disease,
stroke, and kidney disease.
People are intrigued by the potential of chaga for managing blood sugar,
but so far, it has only been tested in mice, so human studies must be
In a study published in Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy, researchers fed
chaga mushroom extract to a group of overweight mice with type 2 diabetes.
Compared with mice who didn’t eat chaga, the mushroom-eating mice had
reduced blood sugar levels and insulin resistance.
With chaga’s high concentration of antioxidants, it might just help people
who have high cholesterol. This, in turn, could help protect against
clogged arteries and heart disease. In the same Biomedicine and
Pharmacotherapy study mentioned above, overweight mice with type 2 diabetes
that ate Chaga mushroom extract had reduced LDL “bad” cholesterol and
increased HDL “good” cholesterol.
Turkey Tail Mushrooms
Powerful Immune System Booster
Of course, Turkey Tail mushrooms can do wonders for anyone’s immune system,
even individuals who are already in good health. Some of the many
conditions Turkey Tail mushrooms can improve and eliminate are . . .
Infections and inflammations of the upper respiratory tract*
Infections of the urinary tract*
Infections and irritations of the digestive tract*
General lack of energy and malaise*
These properties have been attributed to two polysaccharides,
polysaccharide-K (PSK), also known as krestin, and polysaccharide-P (PSP).
The Japanese government approved the use of PSK in the 1980s for treating
several types of cancers, and it is currently used along with surgery,
chemotherapy and radiation. PSK was shown to significantly extend survival
at five years or beyond in cancers of the stomach, colon/rectum, esophagus,
nasopharynx and lung (non-small cell types) in Japanese trials since 1970.*
Polysaccharide-P (PSP) was discovered more recently and has been studied
mainly in China. In double-blind trials, PSP significantly extended
five-year survival in esophageal cancer patients. PSP significantly
improved quality of life, provided substantial pain relief and enhanced
immune status in 70-97 percent of patients with cancers of the stomach,
esophagus, lung, ovaries and cervix.*
Both PSK and PSP boosted immune cell production and alleviated chemotherapy
symptoms. Research indicates that PSP may slow the growth of certain tumors
and help protect the immune system, particularly from the effects of cancer
Undoubtedly the most well-known and highly valued fungi-derived medicine is
the life-saving antibiotic penicillin. But other fungi are highly medicinal
as well, as Paul Stamets learned firsthand.*
In June of 2009, Stamets received shocking and distressing news from his
mother: her right breast was 5 times the size of her left, due to 6
walnut-sized lymph nodes. The swelling and the enlarged nodes turned out to
be caused by cancer. By the time of her examination and diagnosis, Stamets’
mother already had stage IV breast cancer, and it had already metastasized
to her liver.*
The oncologist at the Swedish Breast Cancer Clinic at the University of
Washington said that Stamets’ mother had the second worst case of breast
cancer she’d seen in 20 years of practice. After predicting that Stamets’
mother had only 3 to 6 months to live, the oncologist told both mother and
son about an intriguing new study using Turkey Tail mushrooms to cure
Stamets’ mother tried the mushrooms (along with the drug Ariceptin). Fast
forward 7 months later… Paul declared, “As of February 2010, she was
Turkey Tail - Cancer-Killing PSK
Stamets is not the only one interested in discovering what Turkey Tail
mushrooms can bring to the fight against cancer. Turkey Tail mushrooms are
actually one of the most researched and highly regarded medicinal
mushrooms. They have a very long history of curative and medicinal use in
China and Japan, where they are known as Yun Zhi or Kawaratake.
Turkey Tail mushrooms offer a long list of medicinal properties and health
benefits, but they are most prized as a natural source of the anti-cancer
PSK is said to fight cancer and halt tumors by inhibiting the growth of
cancer cells and “stimulating a host mediated response.” PSK also promotes
the body’s own “Natural Killer Cells” to strengthen and kick start the
PSK is frequently combined with chemotherapy to increase cancer survival
Turkey Tail - A $2.25 Million NIH Study Confirms Turkey Tail Mushrooms’
Power Against Breast Cancer
Recently, the National Institute of Health (NIH) approved a $2.25
million-dollar study conducted jointly with Bastyr University, the
University of Minnesota, and the University of Washington. Researchers
analyzed the impact of Turkey Tail mushrooms on the immune systems of
patients with breast cancer.
Dr. Cynthia Wenner is one of the principal investigators on the NIH study.
In an interview with Bastyr University’s Bastyr Magazine, she said, “As an
overall goal, we’re trying to discover if this mushroom will help stimulate
the human immune response to breast and prostate cancers.”
The study — which used mushrooms provided by Stamets’ company, Fungi
Perfecti, LLC — confirmed that the mushrooms definitely stimulate the
immune system and can even correct deficits in the immune systems of
patients, all without the toxicity and side effects that are so common with
more traditional treatments.*
White Button Mushrooms: Potential Health benefits:
White Button Mushrooms:
are very low in calories. They offer essential protein and amino acids,
sufficient levels of mineral, vitamins, and fiber.
White Button Mushrooms:
carry vitamin-D in the form of ergocalciferol. Vitamin-D is an essential
fat-soluble vitamin required for bone growth and calcium metabolism.
White Button Mushrooms:
carries excellent levels of selenium, copper, phosphorus, zinc, and
White Button Mushrooms:
100 g contain 0.318 mg or 37% RDI of copper. It is essential for blood cell
production (hemtopoiesis), neurotransmission, and as a co-factor for
White Button Mushrooms:
100 g of buttom mushrooms carry 9.3 μg or 17% RDI of selenium. Selenium is
co-factor nutrient for the antoxidant enzyme, glutathione peroxidase. It
plays a critical role in the integrity of liver and heart tissues.
White Button Mushrooms
: Rich in the B-complex group of vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin,
vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), and pantothenic acid.
White Button Mushrooms:
100 grams carries 0.402 mg or 37% RDI of riboflavin (vitamin B-2).
Riboflavin deficiency could lead to ulcers in the mouth, cracked lip and
mouth angles (angular stomatitis), scaly skin rashes, etc.
What are the health benefits of Black Fungus Mushroom?
Black Fungus Mushroom (Wood Ear) Nutritional Value
Fiber: Black Fungus or Wood Ear is a rich source of fiber.
Prebiotics: It has high content of polysaccharides, which act as prebiotics
and support gut health.
Vitamins: Wood ear is a good source of Vitamin K, Folate, and Vitamin B2.
Minerals: It is rich in Minerals such as Iron, Magnesium, Potassium,
Calcium, and Phosphorus.
Black Fungus Mushroom (Wood Ear): Promotes Heart Health and Weight Loss
Black Fungus increases blood circulation and prevents formation of blood
It reduces bad cholesterol LDL levels and prevents oxidation damage to
heart from free radicals.
Regular consumption of wood ear can help in heart conditions such as
atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease.
It supports gut health, boosts digestive system functioning, and supports
Black Fungus Mushroom (Wood Ear): Anti-Microbial, Prevents
Inflammation, Boosts Immunity
Wood Ear is a rich source of antioxidants in the form of polyphenols. It
prevents inflammation, boosts immunity, and prevents oxidative damage.
It is anti-microbial in nature. Therefore, it prevents stomach disorders
such as dysentery and diarrhea.
Black Fungus Mushroom (Wood Ear): Supports Healthy Liver and Brain
Wood Ear mushrooms contain enzymes and bioactive compounds that prevent
brain cell degeneration and increase blood circulation to the brain.
Wood Ear mushroom prevents fat accumulation in the liver. Also, it supports
the detoxifying function of the liver.
It has been shown to purify the blood and boost blood cell generation.
Health Benefits of the Royal Sun Agaricus Mushroom
Royal Sun Agaricus Mushrooms:
Here are some potential benefits of Royal Sun Mushrooms and have only
recently started to be tested on humans. Although there isn’t much research
done here are some benefits that show the most promise.
Royal Sun Agaricus Mushrooms: Diabetes
Recent studies, such as the one done in 2017, have shown that the royal sun
mushroom might be helpful in treating type 2 diabetes. The researchers
reported that this mushroom includes certain compounds like beta-glucan
(dietary fiber) and oligosaccharides (a type of carb). Both compounds can
help regulate blood sugar levels by decreasing inflammatory stress that can
occur on the pancreas (the main source of insulin in the body). This
mushroom might even work better when combined with 1500 milligrams of
metformin (anti-diabetes drug). This way, the insulin resistance may
improve even more, and the blood sugar levels can decrease two times more
than when patients take the drug alone.
Even though these findings show promise, there is still a lot of research
that needs to be done. It is still unclear whether or not the royal sun
mushroom can control diabetes by itself or prevent diabetes from occurring
in people with pre-diabetes.
Royal Sun Agaricus Mushrooms:
Inflammatory Bowel Disease:
The royal sun mushroom was most widely used for its anti-inflammatory
potentials. It has proven to have a role in treating people with
inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative
A study done in 2011 examined adults who were diagnosed with Crohn’s
disease. The results showed that those who were prescribed oral Agaricus
extracts (AndoSan) for two weeks have shown a huge reduction in intestinal
The reduction rate was huge, varying from 20% to 80% depending on the
inflammatory protein (cytokine) that was taken from the blood and stool
tests. These results have proven that the royal sun mushroom might have a
future in treating inflammatory bowel diseases. Although, much more studies
are needed to determine just how effective this fungus can be.
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