Exploring the Medicinal Uses of Mushrooms

When we think of mushrooms, for many people it brings to mind delicious salads loaded with tomatoes, onions, avocado and whatever other dreamy fruits and vegetables your heart desires.

Mushrooms are neither fruits nor vegetables though. In fact, they’re probably the only thing on your plate that’s technically not even from a plant. Mushrooms are a fungus. But like many garden vegetables, though, our delicious little toadstools (another name for “mushrooms”) can be safely gardened and cultivated in controlled conditions, they’re highly water latent (about 90%) and fairly nutritious (high in Vitamin B and various minerals, extremely low in fat and high in fiber).

Did you know that just one Portabella mushroom can provide you with more potassium than a banana? One banana (100g) = 358 mg of potassium. One Portabella mushroom (100g) = 364 mg. Put it on a grill and roast it and it increases to 437m!

Mushrooms & Modern Medicine

China is the number #1 producer of mushrooms in the world, putting out more than 6 times[1] the annual quantity of mushrooms than the #2 nearest producers in Italy. China has also used mushrooms for thousands of years to help cure a number of illnesses.

For much of its modern existence, Western medicine has put aside the idea of using natural cures in trade for more synthetic ones, but gradually we’ve come around to understanding some of the seemingly innumerable medicinal purposes this spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus can bring.

The List of “Anti” Benefits of Mushrooms

Shortly, we’ll go into each one of these briefly as I provide just a fraction of all the latest evidence that supports the use and benefits of mushrooms. Here’s the quick list on all the “anti” benefits mushrooms are finding to provide.

Mushrooms are:

      Antiviral agents

They’ve also been found to help lower blood pressure, help maintain blood sugar, lower cholesterol, amplify the immune system and lower stress. Ironically, mushrooms (being a fungus) are even antifungal[2] and multiple effective varieties are even used today in products such as PhytAtge Labs UFD to fight fungus problems within the body (see Urgent Fungus Destroyer).

Simply put, the mushroom can probably just be called, amazing.

Mushrooms as an Antioxidant

ORAC is a classical molecular dynamics computer program for simulating complex molecular systems at the atomistic level. It’s the most widely used for testing antioxidant capacity against the peroxyl radical. N. Joy Dubost of Penn State used the the ORAC assay and found that “portabella mushrooms had an ORAC value of 9.7 micromoles of trolox equivalents per gram and criminis had an ORAC value of 9.5. Data available from other researchers shows that carrots and green beans have an ORAC value of 5; red pepper 10; and broccoli 12.

Mushrooms as an Anticancer

There’s a plethora of useful bioactive compounds contained in mushrooms and six in particular[3]were found to exhibit anti-cancer and immunostimulatory compounds. The well known (and very delicious) Shiitake mushroom was one of them.

Shiitake mushrooms have been found to contain a molecule called AHCC (Active Hexose Correlated Compound) which has immune-enhancing functions and is widely used as an alternative and complementary treatment[4] of cancer in Japan. Lentinan was also found in Shiitake, it’s commonly used as an intravenous anticancer drug with antitumor properties.

Mushrooms as an Antigingivitis

Gingivitis is a preventable disease characterized by red, swollen, tender gums that may bleed when you brush your teeth. Although that may not pose much of an issue for you, it can lead to periodontitis, a much more serious issue that includes associated bone loss.

Again, another study was conducted in which Shiitake mushroom extract was used and compared to that of the active component in the leading gingivitis mouthwash, containing chlorhexidine. The study found that “shiitake mushroom extract lowered the numbers of some pathogenic taxa without affecting the taxa associated with health, unlike chlorhexidine which has a limited effect on all taxa.[5]

Mushrooms as an Antiviral Agent

We use antiviral compounds to help treat viral infections and both whole mushrooms and their extracts have been found to have antiviral effects, according to the “Mayo Clinic Book of Alternative Medicine[6].”

The mushroom group known as polypores has been shown to have the most benefit for such antiviral properties and has even been identified as being able to inhibit the activity “herpes simplex I and II viruses, varicella zoster virus, influenza-A virus and the respiratory syncytial virus is Rozites caperata.[7]

Mushrooms as an Antifungal

Many recent studies have been conducted on the anti-microbial / anti-fungal efficacy of mushrooms. Just one of many studies found that “Shiitake mushroom extract had extensive antimicrobial activity against 85% of the organisms it was tested on, including 50% of the yeast and mould species in the trial[8].”

Another report found that the 5 varieties of mushrooms they used in their study (A polytricha, C., occidentalis, D. elegans, D. concentrica and T. lobayernsis) “all exhibited various degrees of antagonistic effects against the tested microorganisms[9].”

The Effectiveness of Mushrooms
Really Can’t Be Denied

The fact that certain cultural groups have used mushrooms for thousands of years in conjunction with the latest in Western research confirms the efficacy of mushrooms. Whether you eat them whole or consume them through nutritional dietary supplements that use them to affect overall health by reducing and even eliminating various fungus issues we commonly face, the benefits are endless and simply can't be denied.

Add mushrooms to your diet today and start benefitting from them now.

Grab PhytAge Labs’ Urgent Fungus Destroyer Anti-fungalsupplement (w/ Shitake mushroom, Reishi mushroom and Maitake mushroom) today and get 3 BONUS GIFTS, including a One-Day Detox Cleanser Guide for FREE.

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