HOW MEDICAL MUSHROOMS CAN SUPPORT YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
The interest in alternative medicines to support your immune system is increasing day by day. Understandable, because who doesn't want a strong immune system? Let medicinal mushrooms have a major influence on that. In addition to the general property to strengthen your immune system, each medicinal mushroom also has very specific properties for your health. In this article we discuss how medicinal mushrooms can support your immune system and what effects they have on it.
What are medicinal mushrooms?
Mushrooms have been around for a long time on this earth and their medicinal use goes back about 5000 to 7000 years, as far as we know. Medicinal mushrooms are full of nutrients and have therefore been picked and eaten a lot from time immemorial. Medicinal mushrooms have a very positive effect on your immune system, are cell-renewing and can be used in chronic conditions. Think of autoimmune diseases, cancer, skin disorders or allergies.
The medicinal effect of mushrooms has been used on earth for quite some time. But real scientific research into the medicinal effect has only been under discussion for 60 years. The research and studies mainly focus on the composition and properties of the mushrooms. For example, not only the fruiting body is looked at, but also the ‘roots’ of the mushrooms.
Peter van Ineveld has been working as a Naturopathic Therapist since 2001. He is an authority in the therapeutic application of medicinal mushrooms.
How do medicinal mushrooms work?
Medicinal mushrooms have a wide range of healthy nutrients. We used to administer these mushrooms according to the ‘hot water principle’, but now we have been able to use the most relevant parts for a good medicinal effect for some time now. For example, we now make capsules, tablets, powder or liquid forms from the relevant parts of the mushrooms. In the past, the extracts were pulled from the mushrooms with hot water and drunk.
You can take these capsules, tablets, powder or liquid forms of the medicinal mushrooms. The effects of this are different per mushroom, but in general it causes:
- The presence of essential sugars and polysaccharides.
- High-quality and essential amino acids that our body does not make itself. We need a total of 22 amino acids, of which our body produces 13 itself and the remaining 9 do not.
- Vitamins and minerals.
- Large amounts of antioxidants to prevent oxidation.
The effect of medicinal mushrooms on your immune system
As we mentioned, medicinal mushrooms contain many healthy nutrients. The previous paragraph describes the effects of the mushrooms that ensure a well-functioning immune system. Thanks to the medicinal mushrooms, our body gets a better chance to heal faster. This not only ensures a good immune system, but also:
- Anti-tumor activity
- Cholesterol lowering
- Blood pressure lowering
- Histamine lowering
In combination with regular medicines
Due to the many possibilities and curative factors of medicinal mushrooms, they come into the picture in many ailments. They can be prescribed for various conditions such as rheumatism, stomach and intestinal problems, skin disorders, Lyme or Crohn's disease, menopause, etc. For the complete overview, although it's in Dutch we refer you to the article by Peter van Ineveld
Top 5 medicinal mushrooms
There are many powerful mushrooms available that can boost your immune system. To help you on your way, a top 5 of medicinal mushrooms.
- A potent antimicrobial and anti-fungal mushroom: the shiitake. An alternative to classic antibiotics and a powerful stimulant for your immune system.
- A mushroom that contains active ingredients such as triterpenoids and polysaccharides: the reishi. The triterpenoids are known for their liver-protective, antihypertensive and antihistamine properties. The polysaccharides have antitumour properties.
- The chaga for a strong immune system and valuable antioxidant. There are also some studies that can show cancer-fighting effects.
- For a positive effect on the blood circulation throughout the body: the cordyceps. It also increases your physical energy and clear thinking.
- The lion's mane for eg an improvement in cognition and mental clarity. But also for reducing anxiety, depression and cardiovascular disease.
Medicinal mushrooms vs. magic mushrooms
There is always a lot of confusion around the well-known magic mushrooms and truffles, and the medicinal mushrooms. Let's clarify this once and for all: these two mushrooms are really different and certainly not the same. Mushrooms cause you to change your consciousness or hallucinate. Medicinal mushrooms have no psychoactive effect. It is a dietary supplement with a positive and balancing effect on your health.However, there is an exception, namely microdosing with psychedelic mushrooms or truffles. Read more about why microdosing with magic truffles, click here!