The Best Medicinal Mushrooms For Cancer
Who would have thought fungi could be medicinal? God must have known we’d need mushrooms for their therapeutic properties. Mushrooms are used in alternative cancer protocols to stimulate the immune system, nourish the body, and detoxify the cells and tissues. The healing properties of medicinal mushrooms for cancer are pretty astounding when you start learning about their benefits.
Mushrooms grow from the mycelium, or vegetative part, of a fungi. They regenerate growth, decompose cancer, have anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-tumor properties, and increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy. This is significant because it’s vital for any alternative cancer protocol to augment the effectiveness, of chemotherapy.
Mushrooms prevent cancer through the mechanism of apoptosis, or programmed cell death, and inhibit metastasis by blocking cell replication. Medicinal mushrooms can be taken by anyone who wants to enhance immunity, strengthen the body, and prevent disease.
Mushrooms are also being used environmentally to stimulate plant growth, and in water filtration systems to decrease bacterial contamination.
The Health Benefits Of Mushrooms
The health benefits of mushrooms are impressive:
- Regenerates growth of tissue
- Decomposes viruses, bacteria, and other toxins
- Produces enzymes
- Stimulates the immune system
- Detoxifies the cells and tissues
- Heals damaged tissues
- Is chemotherapeutic
- Stimulates apoptosis
- Accelerates healing
- Blocks cell replication
What Are The Best Medicinal Mushrooms?
Here’s a list of some varieties of mushrooms that are used medicinally:
Maitake Mushroom Benefits
Referred to as “The Dancing Mushroom,” Maitake is a broad spectrum tonic that supports immune function, and increases the activity of Th1 immune cells, including natural killer cells, T cells, macrophages, and interleukin-1. Maitake promotes vibrant health, vitality, and longevity, and is particularly useful for cancer of the bladder.
When combined with standard chemotherapy drugs, Maitake inhibits breast cancer cell growth, even if it has metastasized, which is pretty incredible, and helps relieve the negative side effects of chemotherapy. Maitake is liver protective, helps in the recovery of hepatitis B, and protects against a broad range of environmental toxicity.
Maitake supports the body nutritionally by helping the large intestine absorb vitamins and minerals, while stabilizing and balancing blood sugar levels. This type of mushroom is beneficial for PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and infertility, and has long been used in China and Japan to treat diabetes and hypertension.
The alpha-glucans have an anti-diabetic effect by increasing insulin sensitivity. An adaptogen, the Maitake mushroom helps the body achieve homeostasis or balance, and is good for both mental and physical distress.
Chaga Mushroom Benefits
Chaga mushrooms have been widely researched, and have been found to have antioxidant properties, promote healthy immunity, and fight certain types of cancer. Chaga is anti-viral and is commonly consumed as a tea to prevent and treat colds and flus.
Extracts of Chaga have been observed to reduce cancer growth in cultured cells, decrease tumor growth in live animal models, and down regulate Bcl-2, which is an anti-apoptotic gene. Apoptosis is important for cancer prevention as it programs unhealthy cells to die. Chaga also increases natural killer cell activity.
A potent anti-inflammatory, Chaga aids digestion, stabilizes blood sugar, and reduces oxidative damage. It is used to enhance exercise performance because of its ability to fight free radicals, Chaga may even prevent wrinkles, and boasts an impressive ORAC value of 52,000.
Superoxide dismutase is an enzyme abundant in the Chaga mushroom. In fact, it’s up to 50 times more abundant than vitamin C and CoQ10. Chaga has an impressive nutritional profile, containing saponins, beta glucans, amino acids, and a host of minerals, while also balancing the central nervous system.
Reishi Mushroom Benefits
Reishi is one of my favorite mushrooms, and the one I’ve used the most. This amazing mushroom is revered in Asia to promote radiant health, slow aging, and increase life span. It’s even been used to enhance spirituality, wisdom, intelligence, and enlightenment.
Called the “Elixir of Immortality,” Reishi induces awareness, and balance, and is very calming and centering. It also has sedative properties. This is why it’s popularly used in meditation practices.
Reishi is a powerful immune modulator, strengthening the body, allowing it to resist disease, while detoxifying the cells and tissues. Polysaccharides, active components of Reishi, attack cancer cells, bacteria, viruses, and yeast. Reishi is also used to lower blood pressure.
Chemicals, known as ganoderic acids, have antioxidant properties, and combat autoimmunity by inhibiting the release of histamine. These acids improve oxygen utilization and help the liver function optimally. Reishi stabilizes blood sugar and fights infections.
Reishi Tea Recipe
I like making Reishi tea. It’s affordable and is super easy to make. I buy my mushrooms at my local Chinese market. Look for Ganoderma lucidum, instead of Reishi, as that’s what the Chinese call it. Fill a crockpot with filtered water, submerge one mushroom, turn the heat to low, and simmer for 24 hours.
Strain and bottle the liquid, refill the crockpot with water, and repeat the same procedure for another 24 hours. The tea will keep in the fridge for about a week. Sip throughout the day on an empty stomach, and sweeten with ginger, honey, or a little stevia. Keep in mind, Reishi tea is an acquired taste.
There are many ways to make mushroom tea. Find the one that works best for you. The tea is contraindicated for those on blood-thinning medications.
If you don’t have the time or inclination to make your own tea, you can purchase a high-quality brand here.
The Benefits Of Cordyceps
Cordyceps is exceptional for strengthening and detoxifying the kidneys. This variety of mushroom boosts brain function and decreases inflammation by reducing Th17 activity. It’s a great mushroom to use for metastatic bone cancer as it strengthens the skeleton, and increases structural integrity. Cordycep mushrooms prevent infections, improve appetite, and accelerate healing.
Used for lung cancer and asthma, Cordyceps strengthens respiratory power, decreasing coughs and shortness of breath. It is an effective tonic to use when recovering from illness or after surgery. Cordyceps has anti-aging properties, enhances athletic performance, and fights free radicals and stress.
A powerful superfood, Cordyceps is used for its medicinal properties, ability to fight disease, reduce oxidative stress, and prevent mutations. It is used in holistic cancer treatment protocols to prevent the growth of cancer cells and tumors. Cordyceps is a nutritional powerhouse loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, and enzymes.
This mushroom shows great promise in inhibiting the growth of many different types of cancer cells, including colon, skin, liver, and lung cancer cells. It’s also been shown to have anti-tumor effects on melanoma and lymphoma.
If you haven’t tried Four Sigmatic tea yet, you’re in for a treat. Check out this 10 mushroom extract blend.
Shiitake mushrooms protect the body against viral, bacterial, and fungal infections, and are particularly beneficial for treating cancer due to their unique chemical makeup. Shiitake mushrooms are effective at healing chromosomal damage as a result of conventional cancer treatment, and preventing DNA damage from oxidative stress.
Containing all eight essential amino acids, along with fatty acids and enzymes, Shiitake builds muscle, fights obesity, and decrease food sensitivities. It is used in natural cancer protocols because of its ability to destroy cancer cells, support immune function, and reduce inflammation.
Interestingly, Shiitake mushrooms are a good source of vitamin D, which is essential for preventing diabetes, autoimmunity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Vitamin D is vital for healthy immune and brain function. Shiitake also contains B vitamins that are necessary for the methylation cycle to operate efficiently, for optimal energy production, and to help the body deal with stress.
An edible mushroom used in traditional herbal medicine for centuries, Shiitake mushrooms are used in soups, stir fries, baked dishes, and salads. Shiitake is available in most grocery stores, and if bought fresh, will keep in the fridge for about a week.
Medicinal Mushroom Supplements
Keep in mind, mushrooms work synergistically with other nutrients, including elderberry, magnolia bark, red clover, mistletoe, and moringa oliefera. You can find many different formulations of medicinal mushrooms online or in your local health food store.
Mushrooms are nature’s regenerators and detoxifiers. They have been used for centuries in Asia, and have recently become popular in the United States in the last 20 years or so. Mushrooms come in all shapes and sizes, each with its unique nutritional profile and therapeutic properties. If you or someone you love has cancer, consider using mushrooms as part of your holistic protocol.
What is your experience with mushrooms? If you haven’t used them before, would you like to? Let me know in the comments:)