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Benefits of Reishi – Ganoderma Lucidium

Reishi mushroom is revered in the Oriental traditional medicine as a fungus that could make a person immortal. This mushroom is used largely as a medicinal herb. The bitter taste and wood like texture of reishi mushroom will not be fit for preparing soaps and salads.

Nonetheless, people, who are aware of the large number of health benefits of this mushroom, have no qualms of having reishi mushroom in their soaps. However, largely, reishi is consumed in the form of tea.

For best results, one should eat reishi mushroom in the morning in empty stomach. Taking enough water along with this mushroom helps to increase the efficacy of reishi mushroom.

Strengthens immunity

Reishi mushroom is one of the best immunity stimulating foods. Intake of reishi mushroom helps to enhance production of T cells. T cells kill the invading bacteria and virus, protecting our bodies from the onslaught of these disease-causing germs. This immunity stimulating power of reishi mushroom could be utilized for fighting several infectious diseases. This medicinal mushroom could also be effective in fighting HIV. To extract the maximum immunity strengthening benefit from reishi mushroom, consume reishi mushroom along with vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables.

Cures respiratory problems

In traditional Chinese medicine, reishi mushroom is recommended to fight coughs and colds. It could significantly reduce the symptoms of chronic bronchitis and asthma.

Improves liver function

The bitterness of reishi mushroom, derived from triterpenes, a type of plant compound found in this mushroom, promotes liver function. Reishi mushroom can also be used for treating hepatitis B.

Anti-allergic

Reishi mushroom can prevent common allergies. Ganoderic acids present in this fungus check histamine secretion, reducing the symptoms of allergies.

Fights cancer

According to studies, reishi mushroom could prevent as well as arrest growth of cancerous cells. This mushroom could be effective in preventing as well as slowing down the development of prostate, breast and bladder cancers.

Antioxidant

Reishi mushroom is also a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. It can prevent heart diseases and Alzheimer’s disease. It can reduce inflammation and Arthritis pain could be treated with this mushroom.

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Cordyceps and Cancer

Researchers from the University of Nottingham have found that a rare, wild mushroom called cordyceps is an effective treatment for cancer. Commonly used in Chinese medicine, the cordyceps fungi inhibits the growth, division, and proliferation of cancer cells in the body.

Cordyceps was originally formulated into a cancer drug called cordycepin back in the 1950s. Though the drug version was ultimately found to be ineffective because of rapid degradation inside the body once it was administered, the active components from the mushroom continue to be effective cancer fighters.

Depending upon dosage levels, cordyceps mushroom extracts directly impact the process of cell protein development, impeding the production of the mRNA molecules that create them. At high doses, cordyceps inhibits protein development directly, essentially eliminating the ability of cancer cells to function and survive.

Since the study focused on the pharmaceutical drug formulation derived from cordyceps, called cordycepin, lead scientist Dr. Cornelia de Moor and her team specifically sought ways to improve the effectiveness of that particular drug. Their only solution was to suggest giving another drug alongside cordycepin in order to prevent it from degrading in the body. The team warned that the other drug causes serious side effects which may discourage its use.

Though the research focused primarily on cordycepin, it ultimately revealed the powerful effects of cordyceps in preventing and treating cancer. The study is set to be published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry and its authors hope that the findings will spark further research into the potential uses for cordyceps as a cancer treatment.

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger

Learn more: About Cordyceps and Cancer

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Candida and Reishi

Reishi Mushroom Extract and other Medicinal Mushrooms Benefit Candida Sufferers!

Reishi Mushroom Extract is a Beneficial Candida Treatment!

There seems to be a constant babble about whether people with candida overgrowth should avoid mushrooms for the sake of their health. Most people, including “experts” will tell you not to consume mushrooms of any kind.

Let’s set the record straight.

Although they fall under the same general category of fungi: Mushrooms are not mold. Mushrooms are not yeast.

Not all mushrooms need be avoided.

The ones you do want to enjoy include shiitake, maitake (both culinary delights) and reishi mushrooms (not so delicious, usually taken as reishi mushroom extract). In fact, reishi mushrooms can help your immune system to regain balance over the invasive form of candida. Remember, candida is a natural element in the human body, it only becomes invasive and detrimental when it is given an opportunity to grow out of control, which happens when the immune system is weakened.

“Candida and Mushrooms? I’ve heard to avoid mushrooms if my health is suffering due to candida overgrowth.”

I know, me too! But for many years I’ve known about the healing effects of shiitake and reishi mushrooms. I ate shiitakes while I was doing my cleanse diet, and never felt any ill effects.

Finally I’ve been taking the time to research it more for myself and my results are really pleasing! Here is some of the encouraging information I’ve been gathering about reishi mushroom extract, maitake and shiitake mushrooms:

Did you know that some fungi are more closely related to animals than plants are to those same animals? And that some diseases which affect fungi can affect humans as well? I didn’t until recently. Weird, but true.

For instance, three pathenogenic microorganisms which cause diseases common to fungi and humans (these are ones I know of, I’m sure there are more):

Escherichia coli (E Coli)
Staphylococcus aureus (the most common cause of staph infections)
Pseudomonas aeruginosa (a bacteria which causes the common “hot tub rash, or “hot tub folliculitis”)

One of medicinal mushrooms’ natural defenses is to produce antibiotics to fight infection from microorganisms. In fact, antibiotics commonly prescribed at the doctor’s office are often derived from fungi.

There is an increasingly accepted hypothesis in modern medicine that polypore mushrooms like reishi mushroom extract and maitake mushrooms can help provide a immune “shield” against a number of infectious diseases, including candida. Shiitake mushrooms, while not polypores, are also known for their immune enhancing properties.

One of the beneficial elements in these medicinal mushrooms are certain polysaccharides, which are a form of complex carbohydrates. Cellulose (plant fiber) and pectin (found in fruits such as citrus, apples and pears) are two other well known forms of polysaccharides.

Okay, once again, let me reiterate that I’m no scientist, but I am an avid reader and always poking around for new and interesting information. Here’s some more information I’ve dug up on reishi mushrooms and other healing mushrooms – some of which even I wouldn’t attempt to explain scientifically, but nonetheless I find it compelling because there is an abundance of scientific and medicinal research coming back with positive results.

Reishi Mushrom Extract and other Medicinal Mushrooms Are Beneficial For Numerous Reasons
Reishi mushrooms and the other healing mushrooms contain an abundance of not only “polysaccharides” but also “protein-bound polysaccharides”, including the much touted beta-D-glucans, which is one reason they all possess such potent immune-strengthening properties (beta-D-glucans is primarily used for immune enhancing properties as well as its ability to help lower cholesterol).

Other medicinal herbs and plants including Aloe Vera, Echinacea and Astragalus contain polysaccharides, which are believed to be a major part of their immune-enhancing actions. Protein-bound polysaccharides found in the medicinal mushrooms have been shown to be even more effective for immune responses than individual polysaccharides.

Thus, it’s hypothesized that the protein-bound polysaccharides found in mushrooms such as reishi mushroom extract, maitake mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms are extra-beneficial for people whose health is compromised by candida overgrowth.

Animal and human trials demonstrate that mushrooms like reishi, maitake and shiitake enhance the production of T-cells, helper T-cells, natural killer cells and macrophages.

They also contain sterols and triterpenes which have been demonstrated to help lower blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels as well as reduce inflammatory responses.

They’ve also been shown to protect and enhance liver function, which is great news for candida sufferers, since the liver is working overtime to process the toxins produced by the candida yeasts.

All mushrooms are surprisingly rich in protein and B vitamins (which help to relieve stress, depression and fatigue commonly associated with candida and poor health in general).

They’re also the only non-animal source of vitamin D that I know of. The USDA’s recommended daily intake of Vitamin D is 200 IU (international units), which is considered a very low estimate by numerous health experts. All mushrooms synthesize vitamin D from natural sunlight (or even artificial light), but look at the comparison between regular button mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms:

100 grams of white button mushrooms contain an average of 18 IU of vitamin D.

100 grams of shiitake mushrooms contain an average of 96 IU of vitamin D!!

Vitamin D deficiency is being linked to many health problems, so make sure you’re getting enough every day. Remember, vitamin D is synthesized by the body from sunlight, or obtained from food sources like cod liver oil, salmon, eggs, milk.

Or… from the shiitakes in your stir fry… Yum!!

I could go on, but I hope instead that these notes will encourage more readers to consider the benefits of Reishi mushroom, as well as cooking with maitake and shiitake mushrooms for candida, health and overall wellness.