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The Immune Power of Medicinal Mushrooms
By Andrew Hocek, CNC


Medicinal mushrooms are growing in popularity due to their unique and effective immune enhancing properties. Research has shown medicinal mushrooms, like Reishi and Maitake, to be incredible immune enhancers, not only for bacteria incursions to our bodies, but for viruses and yeasts alike. As you'll see, the Fungal Kingdom that medicinal mushrooms are a part of can be fascinating allies in maintaining and bolstering our natural immune defenses.

It is estimated that we share about 33% of the same DNA structure with medicinal mushrooms while sharing only about 10% DNA similarity with the Plant Kingdom. Interestingly, it seems that many of the pathogenic organisms (viruses, bacteria, and yeasts) that attack mushrooms also have an affinity for attacking humans. This is not so with humans and plants where most of the pathogens that attack plants rarely are problems for humans. It seems logical then, that since mushrooms have been around for millions of years longer than humans, perhaps the potent medicines they developed to protect themselves from these pathogens of illness could be of benefit to humans.

The key class of immune-enhancing compounds found in medicinal mushrooms are polysaccharides. Studies have shown immune enhancing and anti-tumor effects through the use of polysaccharides found in medicinal mushrooms, (Institute of Evolutions, Israel, PMID#12436306). These compounds are abundantly found in medicinal mushrooms and are secreted on the outer portion of mushroom flesh to repel and kill off pathogenic organisms. There are many different polysaccharide complexes created by medicinal mushrooms with a variety of benefits to humans. Besides enhancing immune activity, research has shown polysaccharide compounds to be beneficial in many health areas including: calming overactive immune activity (autoimmune disease), rebuilding nerve and brain tissue, reducing allergy symptoms, boosting energy, heart health, blood sugar regulation and much more.

When choosing a complex be sure you are getting the "whole" mushroom. Many mushroom formulas only use specific parts of the mushroom deemed most valuable or only include the fruit body (hoods and stems). To get the full benefit from a medicinal mushroom formula make sure it contains the fruit body parts, along with the mycelia (similar to a plants root system), and growth media extract. All three parts have greater medicinal benefit when used together versus only using one part by itself. In this way you'll also get a broader range of polysaccharide complexes to address your health needs.

Besides getting a "whole" mushroom complex look for formulas that are grown in such a way to insure efficacy. One of the most important things to look for are mushroom complexes that are certified organic. Mushrooms are much like sponges and can soak up heavy metals from the ground and copious amounts of acid rainfall from highly polluted areas. On the other hand, buying a medicinal mushroom complex that is certified organic will indicate that the growing media is at least free of chemical toxins, while many times offering enhanced nutritional quality over conventionally grown mushrooms. This most often occurs due to the use of quality natural fertilizers and growth media when growing to certified organic standards.

The next thing to look for is a Certified P-Value. Having a Certified P-Value ensures that a medicinal mushroom or complex has not been cloned more than 10 generations. For most mushrooms, after cloning more than 10 times tends to weaken the quality of the mushroom. With Certified P-Value you can be assured that the medicinal mushrooms are always at their highest quality and retain nutritional integrity.

Lastly, you'll want to look for mushroom blends. Research has shown that when a mushroom has a certain medicinal benefit to humans its benefit is enhanced when the mushroom is compounded together with other mushrooms. A recent study showed that a 16 mushroom blend increased natural killer cell activity 400% as compared to 300% when using only a single species of medicinal mushroom, (Stamets, International Journal of Mycology, 2003).

Medicinal mushrooms have much to offer us when we consider natural supplements for our immune health…So when preparing your health shopping list for immune supporting supplements, don't forget medicinal mushrooms. You're health is worth it!

The Host Defense Organic Mushrooms meet all the above criteria for the highest quality and purity of medicinal mushrooms available in the market today. Click on the following links for more information.

The statements contained in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information contained here is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Suggestions and ideas presented in this document are for information only and should not be interpreted as medical advice, meant for diagnosing illness, or for prescriptive purposes.

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The statements contained on these pages have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information conained here is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Suggestions and ideas presented in this document are for information only and should not be interpreted as medical advice, meant for diagnosing illness, or for prescriptive purposes. Readers are encouraged to consult their health care provider before beginning any cleanse, diet, detoxification program, or any supplement regimen. The information in this document is not to be used to replace the services or instructions of a physician or qualified health care practitioner.


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