Tag Archives: benefits of mushrooms

Health Benefits of Ganoderma Lucidum – Medicinal Mushrooms

Health Benefits of Ganoderma Lucidum Medicinal Mushrooms
Reishi Mushroom (Ganoderma Lucidum)

Continuing my series on medicinal mushrooms, today I’d like to introduce you to the Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum).  It’s quite an amazing looking mushroom.

For thousands of years, mushrooms have been used in Japan and China for their medicinal benefits. The Reishi mushroom is prized above all other varieties. Once reserved exclusively for members of the royal family, Reishi is often referred to as “the King of Mushrooms” in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Today, modern medical science is affirming the health benefits that Eastern cultures have known and enjoyed for generations.

Reishi’s Potential for Beneficial Impacts on Cancer Treatments

Reishi is used for a wide range of health conditions.  An overall Qi (energy) enhancer, Reishi is said to sharpen the mind and promote longevity.  Extensive research done on Reishi is proving that it has an abundance of positive benefits. Recently, several Japanese studies have confirmed that Reishi can be responsible for arresting metastatic cancer, and The Japanese Cancer Society has found Reishi to be effective against sarcomas, according to Terry Willard, internationally renowned clinical herbalist.

In clinical studies at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Raymond Chang reported that applications of Ganoderma should be considered for:

  • Chemoprophylaxis of cancer in individuals at high risk for developing cancer;
  • Adjuvant use in the prevention of metastasis or recurrence of cancer;
  • Palliation of cancer related cachexia;
  • Adjunctive use with concurrent chemotherapy to reduce side-effects, maintain leukocyte counts and allow a more optimal dosing of chemo or radio therapeutics.

So what is it that makes Reishi the most potent herb on the market today?  The active ingredients responsible for its healing, rejuvenating and beneficial implications are the polysaccharides, which are expressed at their highest power in the mushroom’s spores.

A study conducted by S. Zhao, G. Ye, et al found that Reishi has proven to be successful in the treatment of ovarian cancer.  In addition, Terry Willard writes that Reishi has the ability to stop the proliferation of many cancer cell lines in vitro, including:

  • Lymphocytic leukemia
  • Lung carcinoma
  • Hepatoma
  • Breast cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Cervix uteri tumor
  • Bladder cancer

Reishi is found to be effective in cancer when used as a supplement.  It helps reduce side effects of chemotherapy or radiotherapy, reduces pain, prolongs survival and minimizes metastasis, while improving overall quality of life and preventing occurrence or recurrence.  Reishi alone is not a cure-all for cancer but has been shown to be beneficial in most cases of malignancy, according to Chang’s research.

I have found a company here in the United States named True Reishi. I do not receive any benefits from recommending their product, I just wanted to share with you that this company offers the first 100% pure Reishi spore oil product cultivated from mushrooms grown on self-managed farmlands in China.  Because they own the farmlands, that provides a controlled environment that allows the company to grow the Reishi mushrooms in a way that upholds their strict standards.   Even the water used to feed these plants is carried through a pipe from a pristine mountaintop to ensure purity from the source.  The company has spent years cultivating the mushrooms and researching the best production methods to enhance their product’s healing benefits.

For more information on medicinal mushrooms, see my recent articles  Medicinal Mushrooms: Fungi That Fight Cancer Cells and  The Benefit Of Mushrooms and 6 Tips For Taking.

If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com).  It is my honor to help you through this.

The Benefit Of Mushrooms and 6 Tips For Taking

benefit of mushrooms1

Image source: stock.xchng and 13dede

There is quite a buzz in the cancer community about the benefit of mushrooms for cancer patients.  See my recent post Medicinal Mushrooms: Fungi That Fight Cancer Cells. Today I will share even more information on this topic, so read on, thrivers!

The Benefit of Mushrooms

Mushrooms are pretty fantastic for healing.  In addition to their culinary delights, many common mushrooms are a good source of protein, antioxidants, fiber, B vitamins (I believe they’re one of the only vegetarian sources of B12, though it is minimal) and also vitamin D, a vitamin that is known to be lacking in many breast cancer patients.

Research on mushrooms show that they have antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits with potent immune bolstering benefits.

The Magic Part of the Mushroom

The most potent and beneficial part of the mushroom is the mycelium – the part on the underside of the mushroom cap that you can see in the photo.  The mycelium contains the “magic” ingredients that confer so many health benefits.

The Chinese have been using mushrooms to support their health for thousands of years and you might not be aware of it but some widely used drugs in Western medicine are derived from mushrooms, penicillin being the most popular.

One Passionate Man and His Research

According to Paul Stamets, DSc, one of the world’s leading mycologists and author of “Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save The World” there are about 150,000 species of mushrooms and that about 5% have “interesting nutritional or medicinal properties”.

Stamets was involved in the study “Phase 1 Clinical Trial of Trametes versicolor in Women With Breast Cancer” and is on the advisory committee of the trial’s second phase.  Trametes versicolor (also known as turkey tail) improved the immune systems of breast cancer patients after chemotherapy and radiation.

Now that’s the kind of research I like to see – NOT involving synthetic drugs!

The best thing I wanted to share was that Paul Stamets’ own mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer and given three months to live.  She took turkey tail mushrooms and is still with us, three years later, with no detectable tumors.  He speaks about her experience in this YouTube video and shares the dosage that she took. It must be stated that she was also taking the cancer drug Herceptin along with the mushroooms, but she is still alive and well and with us today. Inspiring!

6 Great Tips For Taking Mushroom Supplements For Healing

  1. Make sure the product you purchase has at least 10% to 12% polysaccharides
  2. Try to take only certified organic mushroom supplements – particularly if you have active cancer in your body
  3. See my post on which mushrooms have the most research to back them up
  4. Take a natural vitamin C supplement with your mushrooms to improve absorption
  5. Some are finding it helpful to take the mushroom supplement for a month, stop for a few days, then begin again
  6. According to the Phase 1 clinical trial mentioned above, up to 9 grams per day of Trametes versicolor was a safe and tolerable dose in women with breast cancer – that’s 9,000 mg!  Experiment with that for yourself though – start with a lesser dosage and work up to 9,000 mg to see how well you tolerate it.

Source article: Medicinal Mushroom Magic by Corinne Garcia, Energy Times Magazine, October 2012

If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (Marnie Clark Breast Health Coach).  When you’re in a desperate situation, you need an ally.  You can depend on me to help you through this.

Medicinal Mushrooms: Fungi That Fight Cancer Cells

medicinal mushrooms
Photo courtesy of stock.xchng and Rybson

Medicinal mushrooms are nothing new – the Chinese have been using them for thousands of years.  Recent research indicates that (among other things) these funky fungi have the ability to kill cancer cells.

There was a very interesting article earlier this year in the Huffington Post and it reminded me of my own experience with a natural supplement given to me by my Australian naturopath.  I was given some freeze-dried granules that contained some of the mushrooms listed below to boost my immune system and white blood cell count prior to undergoing 6 months of chemotherapy.  I took it the entire time of my chemotherapy regime and I truly believed it helped me a lot.  My white blood cell counts were usually within acceptable ranges so that I was able to continue with the chemo treatments.

Unfortunately, the product is not available here in the U.S. (I checked) but go to any health food store and you will find any number of supplements based on these amazing fungi. Don’t be afraid to eat them fresh too – put them in soups, stews, salads!

Here Are The 7 Best Medicinal Mushrooms:

  1. Reishi Mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum and Ganoderma tsugae) – Traditional Chinese Medicine doctors have long used this variety as a tonic, it improves vitality, strength and stamina and prolongs life. It is important in cancer treatment because it enhances immune response, alleviates chemotherapy side effects such as nausea and kidney damage, and protects cellular DNA by raising antioxidant capacity.  Its name means “supernatural mushroom”!
  2. Shiitake Mushroom (Lentinula edodes) – this mushroom is found in many Asian cuisines. It is considered both a delicacy and a medicinal mushroom. Shiitake is widely used in alternative and complementary treatment of cancer in Japan due to its immune-enhancing functions. Lentinan, a compound found in Shiitake, is used as an intravenous anti-cancer drug with anti-tumor properties. Clinical studies have associated lentinan with a higher survival rate, higher quality of life and lower recurrence of cancer.
  3. Coriolus Versicolor (also known as Trametes versicolor and Polyporus versicolor, or Turkey Tail) – found in many parts of the world, it is one of the most studied medicinal mushrooms.  It  has been used in Chinese Medicine as a tonic for centuries.  Studies indicate that it improves survival rates and acts as an immune modulator with immune stimulating and anti-tumor properties. Some studies show that it can enhance the effects of chemotherapy and reduce the side effects of radiation treatments.
  4. Cordyceps Sinensis (also known as Ophiocordyceps sinensis or Chinese Caterpillar fungus) – this little delight acts as an immune stimulant by increasing T-Cells and Natural Killer Cells (useful for both cancer and AIDS patients).  It also prolongs the life of white blood cells, important for healing infections. It has anti-tumor effects and also protects the kidneys from the side effects of chemotherapy.  It is one of the most widely used tonics in anti-cancer formulas in Chinese Medicine.
  5. Maitake Mushroom (Grifola frondosa) – another immune stimulator, it is widely used in Japanese cooking. Studies have shown that it is a powerful immune stimulant.  Maitake also protects cells with its antioxidant properties and decreases the inflammatory factor COX2 enzyme which is common in cancer physiology. Studies have also shown that Maitake has potential anti-metastatic properties inhibiting the proliferation and spread of cancer.
  6. Chaga Mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) – used as a medicinal mushroom in Russian and Eastern European traditional medicine. Chaga has been studied as a potential anti-cancer agent, it contains betulin, a precursor to betulinic acid, which has been shown to inhibit cancer-promoting enzymes. It also promotes apoptosis, or the natural progression of programmed cell death.
  7. Oyster Mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) – a potent antioxidant, oyster mushrooms also have antibacterial and immune boosting abilities.

For more information on some specific tips on taking medicinal mushrooms, see my newer article.

If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com).  When you’re in a desperate situation, you need an ally.  You can depend on me to help you through this.