Sometimes what you can’t see, can hurt you. Beyond the vision of the naked eye, there’s a battle going on all around you, every day. Viruses, environmental toxins, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, harmful fungi, allergens and other fierce combatants are waging war with your body.
While you probably know that a healthy immune system is one of your best lines of resistance to the health challenges all around you, it may surprise you to learn that one of the best ways to boost your immunity – and reduce your risk of cancer – is to rely on an ancient remedy: medicinal mushrooms.
Proven results with centuries of evidence
Today’s unhealthy environment, with pollutants found outside, in our workplace and even in our homes – has caused many to look for natural solutions to the hazards of modern living.
While medicinal mushrooms may seem like a new approach, they have actually been used for thousands of years throughout the world. In fact, according to many health experts, the ability of certain mushrooms to promote wellness and restore health has been consistently proven and is remarkably safe.
Those same health benefits of medicinal mushrooms are now being experienced in today’s world, resulting in a resurgence of their use.
How do medicinal mushrooms boost immunity?
There are a number of reasons the ‘little old’ mushroom is actually a health-boosting superstar. For one, they contain a family of carbohydrates known as beta-glucans that stimulate the body’s many types of immune cells, particularly so-called “first responders.”
At the same time, medicinal mushrooms can act to calm your body’s over-reactive autoimmune response, essentially performing double duty to ward off illness by giving your immunity a ‘jump start’ while also alleviating symptoms of such conditions as psoriasis, lupus and arthritis.
And it doesn’t stop there. Along with their helping hand to the immune system, mushrooms are believed to support heart health, reduce blood pressure, improve circulation, boost cognitive health, increase metabolic efficiency, improve digestive health, and aid other systems and functions of the body.
Can medicinal mushrooms help to prevent cancer?
Because these healthy fungi are so adept at supporting the immune system, they can play a role in helping your body to fight off potential and developing tumors. As a secondary defense in combating cancer, medicinal mushrooms are powerful antioxidants, helping to neutralize free radicals in the body that can otherwise invade cells and damage DNA.
The third punch they deliver to cancer is by acting as natural detoxifiers, ridding the body of accumulated dead cells and tissues, wastes and other substances that can act as potential carcinogens. Think of these helpful fungi as sponges, soaking up toxins, much as other types of fungi thrive on decaying material.
A basic guide to picking the right medicinal mushrooms
With nearly 300 types of medicinal mushrooms, it can seem a daunting tasks to determine which could be useful for any given health need. Among the more commonly used and their areas of function are:
Agaricus blazei: supports the immune system, believed to fight tumors, and helps to control cholesterol and blood sugar.
Cordyceps sinensis: improves immunity, and promotes a healthy cholesterol profile.
Coriolus versicolor: used for its antitumor properties and may be useful in enhancing certain cancer treatments.
Ganoderma lucidum: reduces cholesterol and promotes healthy circulation; may be useful in fighting cancer and HIV.
Grifola frondosa (maitake): used to combat cancer, moderate blood sugar and support liver health; may also be useful against HIV.
Polyporus umbellatus: believed to enhance the immune system, while also supporting liver health; particularly helpful against bacteria-borne disease.
When selecting a daily supplement, it’s best to choose one that includes a balance of species to cover a number of health areas, including immunity, cardiovascular and circulatory, and cancer-fighting properties. If you have specific health concerns, such as digestive issues or arthritis, be sure the formula includes medicinal fungi known to benefit these conditions.