2 Medicinal Mushrooms: Western Research and Traditional use with a focus on immunity and anti-cancer properties

    

*Reishi image credit in ref section

Reishi

Part: fruiting body, mycelium, spores

Taste: bitter, bland

Energy:  warming

Latin name: Ganodema lucidum

Western medicine/research: constituents (not an exhaustive list); terpenoids, glycoproteins, phenols, nucleotides, steroids, polysaccharides, all the essential amino acids, lysine and leucine, etc.

Actions:  immune-boosting, anti-carcinogenic, anti-allergy, anti-microbial, hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory, sedative, tonic

“G. lucidum could be administered as an alternative adjunct to conventional treatment in consideration of its potential of enhancing tumour response and stimulating host immunity.” (Jin, Xingzhong, et al. 2012)

“meta‐analysis results showed that patients who had been given G. lucidum alongside with chemo/radiotherapy were more likely to respond positively compared to chemo/radiotherapy alone” (Jin, Xingzhong, et al. 2012)

“results for host immune function indicators suggested that G. lucidum simultaneously increases the percentage of CD3, CD4 and CD8… In addition, leukocyte, NK‐cell activity and CD4/CD8 ratio were marginally elevated” (Jin, Xingzhong, et al. 2012)

“Based on the evidence to date, using Ganoderma lucidum for cancer treatment may increase the chance of better response to treatment, but this is uncertain. It may improve the body’s immune response, in particular, on T-cells, but the effect on natural killer cells (NK activity) is uncertain.” (Santesso, Nancy, and L. Susan Wieland, 2016)

“effectiveness of Reishi has been attributed to either the polysaccharide fraction, which is responsible for the stimulation of the immune system, or to the triterpenes, which demonstrate cytotoxic activity against a variety of cancer cells” (Suarez-Arroyo, Ivette J., et al. 2013)

Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) study, in vivo: “tumor volume was significantly (>50%) reduced (P<0.02) in the Reishi treated mice compared with mice gavaged daily with vehicle treatment” (Suarez-Arroyo, Ivette J., et al. 2013)

Traditional Chinese Medicine:

Chinese name: Ling zhi

Organs:  Heart, Spleen, Liver, Lung, Kidney

Traditional use:  said to be the mushroom of ‘longevity’ & ‘Immortality’, long used in China for insomnia/anxiety related to ‘Calming the Shen’ (Calming the Spirit of the Heart), tonifying properties (increasing functionality of organ/energy systems in order to boost immunity), reduce toxicity (anti-inflammatory, reduction of cancerous cells within the body), and protect the spirit/emotions/body of the user (relax cells and allow for healing, rest boosts immunity)

“Ben Cao Gang Mu by Li Shin-Zhen, which is considered to be the first pharmacopoeia in China (1590 AD; Ming dynasty), the mushroom was attributed with therapeutic properties, such as tonifying effects, enhancing vital energy, strengthening cardiac function, increasing memory, and antiaging effects” (Wachtel-Galor, Sissi, et al. 2011)

Cautions: No toxicity found, some studies outlined some nausea and sleep disturbances

Preparation/dosage: there was a lot of conflicting evidence to say what works and what did not.  No one study/site/book referenced a primary preparation or dosage for cancer support or immunity.  Due to the variety of medicinal constituents within the Reishi mushroom, it is recommended by most platforms to do a dual-extraction method (decoct in water, then tincture in ethanol), this allows the extraction of the highest amounts of ‘medicinal constituents’ which are the polysaccharides (beta-glucans) and triterpenes. From my experience using Reishi 1:4 dual-extracted tincture, effects on insomnia and general well-being after use have been supported, but these effects have been observed when Reishi is combined in a synergistic formula with other herbs.

Picture: Local Sunshine Coast Turkey Tail mushrooms collected by me for dual-extracted tincture 😊

  Turkey Tail

Part: fruiting body, mycelium, spores

Taste: bland, sweet

Energy: neutral

Latin name: Trametes versicolor or Coriolus versicolor

Western medicine/research: constituents (not an exhaustive list); polysaccharides; “beta-glucans, arabinoxylane, glucose, xylose, galactose, mannose, glycoproteins, ergosterols, triterpenoids” (Stamets, Paul, 2012), phenolic & protein components, sterols, triterpene derivatives, hydroquinone-derived aromatic compounds, cerebroside, triglyceride derivative, etc. (Habibi, Emran, et al. 2015)

Actions:  anti-tumor, antioxidant, immune modulating, anti-microbial, hepatoprotective

“results thus indicate that CVPs (water-soluble Coriolus versicolor polysaccharide) can be a potential candidate to ameliorate toxic effects when used in cancer therapy.” (Cai, Xinzhong, et al. 2010)

“T versicolor preparation is safe and tolerable in women with breast cancer who had undergone chemotherapy. Perhaps the most intriguing part of this study was the finding that 6 g of T versicolor appeared to lead to faster immune recovery after radiotherapy” (Stamets, Paul, 2012)

“dietary supplement prepared from extracts ofT. versicolor reduces the growth of hormone responsive prostate cancer” (Patel, Seema, and Arun Goyal. 2012)

“polysaccharide of this mushroom has been demonstrated to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells in vitro and in vivo, examined on the human hepatoma cancer” (Patel, Seema, and Arun Goyal. 2012)

“The strain is excellent in platelet aggregation inhibitory effect, chemokine gene expression inhibitory effect, antimutagenic effect, antitumor effect, antihypertensive effect, and immunomodulatory effect” (Eguchi, Fumio, Ryo Sumi, and Nobuo Mori, 2010)

Traditional Chinese Medicine:

Chinese name: Yun Zhi or ‘cloud mushroom’

Organs:  Liver, Spleen, and Lung

Traditional use:  used traditionally for tonification of the Spleen (digestion and production of nourishing Blood), increasing energy and vitality (circulation of Blood), also said to reduce ‘Dampness’ (tumors, lumps, cancer) whilst clearing Heat and toxicity (inflammation)

Cautions: studies did not indicate any toxicity, safe to use in conjunction with conventional cancer therapies

Preparation: wide variety of preparations, including; in food/drink, pharmaceutical formulations, dual-extracted tinctures, freeze-dried mycelium capsules, etc.

Dosage: (4-9g) “4 g twice daily… capsules consist of activated, freeze-dried, organic mushroom mycelium, containing polysaccharides”…“up to 9 g/day tolerable in women with breast cancer who had undergone chemotherapy.”  (Stamets, Paul, 2012)

 

Table 7

Summary of Potential Clinical Applications

Type of Cancer Indicated Mushroom
Nonsmall-cell lung cancer Cordyceps
Lung cancer Reishi
Gastric cancer PSK (turkey tail)
Hepatocellular carcinoma Agaricus, reishi
Leukemia Agaricus, reishi
Lymphoma Cordyceps
Breast cancer Reishi, maitake, turkey tail
Colon cancer Maitake, reishi, turkey tail
Prostate cancer Reishi
Sarcoma Reishi

(Guggenheim, Alena G., Kirsten M. Wright, and Heather L. Zwickey, 2014)

**Always consult a qualified health professional before using herbal medicine, especially in conjunction with pharmaceuticals, or book an appointment with me!

Book an appointment today with Shannon Hobson

Certified East West Herbalist

Consultations now over the phone or Skype

Text or call 604-993-0169

Click to Email

IG: natural_knowhow

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References:

Image: Reishi mushroom (© 1997-2020 Peaceful Valley Farm Supply, Inc.)

  • Guggenheim, Alena G., Kirsten M. Wright, and Heather L. Zwickey. “Immune modulation from five major mushrooms: application to integrative oncology.” Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal 13.1 (2014): 32.
  • Jin, Xingzhong, et al. “Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi mushroom) for cancer treatment.” Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 6 (2012).
  • Santesso, Nancy, and L. Susan Wieland. “A Summary of a Cochrane Review: Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi mushroom) for the treatment of cancer.” European journal of integrative medicine 8.5 (2016): 619.
  • Suarez-Arroyo, Ivette J., et al. “Anti-tumor effects of Ganoderma lucidum (reishi) in inflammatory breast cancer in in vivo and in vitro models.” PloS one 8.2 (2013).
  • Wachtel-Galor, Sissi, et al. “Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi or Reishi).” Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, 2011.
  • Habibi, Emran, et al. “Mycochemical investigation of the turkey tail medicinal mushroom Trametes versicolor (higher basidiomycetes): A potential application of the isolated compounds in documented pharmacological studies.” International journal of medicinal mushrooms 17.3 (2015).
  • Cai, Xinzhong, et al. “Hepatoma cell growth inhibition by inducing apoptosis with polysaccharide isolated from Turkey tail medicinal mushroom, Trametes versicolor (L.: Fr.) Lloyd (Aphyllophoromycetideae).” International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms 12.3 (2010).
  • Stamets, Paul. “Trametes versicolor (turkey tail mushrooms) and the treatment of breast Cancer.” Global advances in health and medicine 1.5 (2012): 20.
  • Patel, Seema, and Arun Goyal. “Recent developments in mushrooms as anti-cancer therapeutics: a review.” 3 Biotech 2.1 (2012): 1-15.
  • Eguchi, Fumio, Ryo Sumi, and Nobuo Mori. “Strain of turkey tail mushroom, extract from the same, and use of the same.” U.S. Patent No. 7,790,175. 7 Sep. 2010.

Some Antiviral and Immunity Herbs

*image credit to learningherbs.com

 PDF download:  Some Antiviral and Immunity Herbs Blog

**Always consult a qualified health professional before using herbal medicine, especially in conjunction with pharmaceuticals, or book an appointment with me!

Book an appointment today with Shannon Hobson

Certified East West Herbalist

Consultations now over the phone or Skype

Text or call 604-993-0169

Click to Email

IG: natural_knowhow

Facebook: Natural-Know How

 

My ‘Elderberry Syrup Blend’ for purchase: *Elderberry, *Elderflower, *Echinacea, *ginger, *raw sugar (vegan) or *honey, water  (*organic ingredients)

Tinctures available for purchase:  All antivirals/immunity herbs outlined, except Isatis leaf

Antiviral tincture for purchase: Elderberry, Elderflower, Forsythia, Isatis root, Echinacea, Honeysuckle, Astragalus blend

 

Food Medicine ‘Reset’: Hand-out

Click here for PDF: Food Medicine ‘Reset’ Hand-out

This handout outlines a general Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine method of ‘resetting’ one’s metabolism and/or digestive system through food.  It also helps to alkalize the blood, or ‘Clear Heat’ as Traditional Chinese Medicine would say.  I have done this ‘reset’, ‘cleanse’, or ‘fast’, whatever you would like to call it, and I know that it works.  It was extremely helpful for me and has been very beneficial for my clients.  Alternate between the 2 recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. After the allotted time on the ‘fast’, slowly introduce ‘normal’ food items, adding one item each day. DO NOT go right back into eating your ‘normal’ diet, as this will put stress on the body.

This protocol is not easy, you will get cravings, but your body will thank you for this balancing ‘reset’.

This ‘reset’ can be tailored to an individuals’ constitution and I give custom herbal formulas to go along with it.

Make an appointment today with Shannon Hobson, Certified East West Herbalist

Contact #604-993-0169 by text or call

 Click to Email

IG: natural_knowhow

Facebook: Natural-Know How

Location: Roberts Creek, Sunshine Coast BC Canada

 

 

*Image ref: © 2020 My Heart Beets™ is a trademark ™ of My Heart Beets, Inc.