Medicinal mushrooms, used
by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for thousands of years to
stimulate the immune system, they are now coming into their own
in the West with the aid of scientific research. Conventional
scientific databases contain hundreds of references to
mushrooms. In China, cancer research and treatment are showing
they can help counteract the toxic effects of chemotherapy and
radiation while increasing
outcomes against control groups not using herbs.
Reishi relaxes the central nervous system helping sleep
and anxiety. It deeply nourishes the immune system, boosting the
life span of white blood cells; its polysaccharides are
anti-tumor, anti-viral and boost T-cell function. It is as
anti-inflammatory as prednisone for arthritis and inhibits
histamine response of allergies.
Maitake targets breast and colorectal cancers, is
anti-diabetic and anti-viral. It is very effective for helping
the immune system rebound from chemotherapy.
Shiitake^s Polysaccharide compounds have exhibited strong
anti tumor activities.
TCM energetics describe the affinity mushrooms have in nature
for ^dispersing,^ ^breaking down^ and ^transforming dead
matter^, ^transforming the accumulation of toxins^, ^moving
stagnation^ and balancing excess environments. As in nature,
mushrooms stimulate balance and rejuvenation. A number of
researchers have come to the conclusion that, to maximize a
host-mediated response to awaken the immune system, a panoply of
mushroom polysaccharides is best.
Why Organically Grown
Mushrooms are great
sources of medicines but they can also concentrate heavy metals,
especially if they are grow close to an industrialized area.
Pollutants from air and water can be taken up from the soil and
passed directly into the mycelial network. Our mushrooms are
grown at our certified organic farm situated at the base of the
pristine Olympic Peninsula
|Why blend Three
Medicinal Mushrooms into ^Power Mushrooms^
A number of researchers have
come to the conclusion that, to maximize a host-mediated
response�that is, to ^awaken^ the immune system�an impressive
array of polysaccharides is best. These polysaccharides appear
to increase the number and activity of killer T and NK (natural
killer) lymphocytes. Combining medicinal mushroom species sends
the immune system multiple stimuli, awakening the body^s natural
Not only are there medicinal polysaccharides in mushrooms, but a
wide variety of other constituents may help improve human and
animal health. Diabetics may benefit from better glucose
metabolism, as may be produced by Maitake and Reishi. Many
species of mushrooms have direct tumor-growth-inhibiting effects
with no or little cytotoxicity to healthy cells, an
extraordinary characteristic of any cancer therapy. The LD-50,
the dose lethal to 50% of a population of organisms, is
typically extraordinarily high in these medicinal mushrooms,
meaning they have very low toxicity, several orders of magnitude
lower than most antibiotics or other immunostimulants.
Anti-Cancer, Anti Tumor,
Improves Circulation, Anti-histamines, Anti-Inflammatory,
Immune-Tonic. Spirit Calming.
This mushroom was held in such high esteem by the Daoists of
ancient China as the Supreme Tonicever since the first Chinese
Emperor (221-210 B.C.) is said to have sent envoys on a search
throughout the Eastern Seas, to search for the herb of
immortality, and they returned from Japan with Reishi mushroom.
In studies on mice, reishi mushrooms have shown very strong
results against cancerous tumors. Other substances, called
triterpenes, have been found in Reishi mushrooms that have
demonstrated to lower blood pressure and improve circulation,
that may account for its success for age related intellectual
decline in dementia and pre-Alzheimers conditions and the
increased circulation need to resist Altitude sickness. (I have
used Reishi, Siberian Ginseng and Ginkgo for remarkable success
for altitude sickness and jet lag.) Reishi mushrooms contain
sterols, which may influence the hormonal system, and natural
anti-histamines, which reduce allergic reactions and
inflammation in the body. Some studies have shown to increase
white blood cell count, reduce allergic reactions, and have a
calming effect on the central nervous system.
Because of its neutral classification by TCM its considered safe
for everyone to use as an immune tonic, this is especially
important to consider when using a tonic for someone with
auto-immune disorder, immune stimulation herbs such as echinacea
are not well tolerated by this group. Reishi helps build-up the
immunity with-out revving-up immune responses, that would only
be further aggravating to already overactive auto-immune
Sloan Kettering Cancer Center website states "Reishi mushroom is
used as an immune stimulant by patients with HIV or cancer.
Extracts of Reishi can stimulate macrophages and alter the
levels of TNF and interleukins (8) (10) (11) (12). In clinical
studies, Reishi increased plasma antioxidant capacity (14) (15)
and enhanced immune responses in advance-stage cancer patients
(13). Reishi was also shown to inhibit platelet aggregation (2)
(4) (9). Studies done in rats have shown that reishi extract may
alleviate chemotherapy-induced nausea (17). Adverse events
reported include dry nose and throat, nausea, vomiting and other
GI symptoms. Theoretically, Reishi can interfere with the
actions of immunosuppressants, anticoagulants, and certain
check out their studies at...
Anti-Cancer, Anti Tumor,
Improves Circulation, Anti-histamines, Anti-Inflammatory,
Immune-Tonic. Spirit Calming.
Scientists today are finding that shiitake can help the body
combat heart disease, cancer, and viruses.
Dr. Goro Chihara, of the National Cancer Center Research
Institute in Tokyo, isolated and purified polysaccharide
compounds from shiitake that exhibited strong antitumor
activities. The most active of these compounds he called
lentinan. Lentinan is an extract of Shiitake which is the name
given a highly purified polysaccharide fraction extracted from
Shiitake mushrooms, it is an approved drug in Japan. It is
generally administered by injection and has been used as an
agent to prolong survival of patients in conventional cancer
therapy as well as in AIDS research. LEM is another extract from
Shiitake. This protien-bound sugar is solubule in water and has
been the subject of intense research. In Japan, mushroom
extracts like LEM and Lenitan have become the leading
prescription treatment for cancer
Research conducted in Japan identified a specific amino acid in
shiitake that helps speed up the processing of cholesterol in
the liver The active principle is an amino acid named
eritadenine, lowers all lipid components of serum lipoproteins
in both animals and man. Shiitake has also shown the capacity to
lower high blood pressure in laboratory.
From the Whole foods Website
" Recent studies have traced shiitakes^ legendary benefits to an
active compound contained in these mushrooms called lentinan.
Among lentinan^s healing benefits is its ability to power up the
immune system, strengthening its ability to fight infection and
disease. Against influenza and other viruses, lentinan has been
shown to be even more effective than prescription drugs; it even
improves the immune status of individuals infected with HIV, the
virus that can cause AIDS.
Lentinan, which is technically classified as a polysaccharide
and referred to as a branched beta-glucan, has also been shown
to have anti-cancer activity. When lentinan was given for human
gastric cancer, reticular fibers developed in tumor sites.
Reticular cells, which are spread throughout the body in various
tissues, are immune cells that have the ability to ingest (phagocytose)
bacteria, particulate matter, and worn out or cancerous cells.
When lentinan was administered, not only was there a
proliferation of reticular cells in gastric tumor sites, but
many T lymphocytes (another type of immune defender) were drawn
to these cancer sites with the result that the cancer cell nests
were fragmented and destroyed.
A large number of animal studies conducted over the last ten
years have shown that another active component in shiitake
mushrooms called eritadenine lowers cholesterol levels-and this
amazing compound lowers cholesterol no matter what types of
dietary fats the lab animals are given. Even when lab animals
are given dietary protein rich in methionine (an amino acid
researchers have found causes an increase in cholesterol
formation), eritadenine still lowers plasma cholesterol levels
in a dose-dependent manner. In other words, the more eritadenine
given, the more cholesterol levels drop.
L-ergothioneine, a powerful antioxidant, has been discovered in
mushrooms, thanks to a new analytical method capable of
identifying this antioxidant in plant material. In research
presented at the 2005 American Chemical Society meeting in
Washington, D.C., an American research team revealed that
mushrooms contain higher concentrations L-ergothioneine than
either of the two dietary sources previously believed to contain
the most: chicken liver and wheat germ.
Anti tumor activities of
O-sulfonated derivatives of (1-->3)-alpha-D-glucan from
different Lentinus edodes.
Maitake (Grifola frondosa)
means �dancing mushroom� in Japanese. Supposedly named in
ancient Japan, because those who found it knew they would be
paid the mushrooms weight in silver, and then they would
celebrate by dancing! Many doctors in Japan also must be dancing
because of maitake use to lower blood pressure and blood lipids,
key risk factors in cardiovascular disease, without having to
resort to powerful pharmaceuticals. Yet maitake may best be
known for its cancer-fighting properties. One study in post
operative bladder cancer patients showed reduced rates of
recurrence after surgery 65% down to33%. Researchers have also
discovered that Maitake when taken with mitomycin a chemotherapy
inhibits the growth of breast cancer cells, even after the
tumors are well formed, preventing the spread of cancer to the
liver. These anti cancer compounds are believed to be Maitake
D-fraction. Used for Stomach, colorectal, liver, lung cancers or
leukemia by Chinese doctors.
Some studies also show Maitake�s liver protective qualities for
Hepatitis B even clearing antigens in 40% of those in one study.
It is used in Japan to protect the liver from drug-induced
Hepatitis. It contains grifolan, an important bet-glucan
polysaccharide (molecule composed of many sugar molecules linked
together). Grifolan has been shown to activate macrophages, a
type of cell consider the " heavy artillery": of the immune
system, explains Larry A. Walker, Ph.D., R.D., author of
"Natural products update," published in Drug Topics, June 1997.
D-fraction, one of the polysaccharides in maitake, also
energized the cellular immune system.
Stimulation of the natural
immune system in normal mice by polysaccharide from maitake
References from http://www.fungi.com/search/index.html
Recent, Current & Planned Clinical Studies Using Mushrooms &
Mushroom Derivatives for the Treatment of Diseases
Dr. Stefan Glueck, MD, Ph.D., Medical Oncologist
The Ontario Cancer Treatment & Research Foundation Ontario,
Comments: Shiitake, Lentinula edodes & Cancer therapies. Studies
Dr. M. Ghoneum
Drew University of Medicine & Science
Los Angeles, CA
Comments: Shiitake, Lentinula edodes and other unnamed mushrooms
(^basidiomycetous fungi^) used in a clinical study of 11 cancer
patients. Study completed. Ghoneum et al. 1995. "Immunomodulatory
and anticancer effects of active hemicellulose compound (AHCC)"
International Journal of Immunotherapy XI (1) 23-28
Dr. Harry Preuss
Comments: A factor in Maitake mushrooms, Grifola frondosa,
reportedly has anti-diabetic properties and helps the body
control blood glucose levels by reducing insulin resistance and
enhancing insulin sensitivity. Initial studies show that Maitake
fractions are free from the side effects associated with
conventional drug treatments.
Online Articles and Research Papers on Medicinal Mushrooms
"Medicinal Mushrooms and Cancer", from the Cancer Research UK
We also highly recommend The International Journal of Medicinal
About the Author
Geoff D'Arcy D.O.M. (Doctor of Oriental Medicine) Lic. Ac. Acupuncturist and Herbalist Dr. D'Arcy brings the wealth of Eastern philosophy and training to the healing arts of acupuncture and herbal medicine. He began his training in Japan in the mid-1970s, and returned to England to gain his licentiate in traditional Chinese acupuncture. Geoff went on to study Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in hospitals and colleges in China, and received a doctorate in Oriental Medicine in the United States. He has co-founded two large integrative medical centers in Massachusetts and is now Director of the D’Arcy Wellness Clinic. He is president of D’Arcy Naturals, Inc., a company that produces all natural herbal formulas for humans and pets. Geoff has been in practice for over 23 years.