Our immune system helps protect us from diseases. It continuously works to defend our bodies and keep us in balance.
There’s a lot of discussion on what can keep our immune system healthy. You can read about eating more vegetables, sleeping well, and exercising. However, there are alternative natural ways to enhance your immune system.
The use of medicinal mushrooms is not new. People have been using them for cooking and medicinal purposes. But it was only in modern times that we found its benefits.
There is a long recorded history of mushrooms and their use.
- A frozen man (3300 BCE) was discovered in 1991 carrying two different species of mushroom- tinder fungus and birch polypore. One mushroom is for keeping coal warm. Meanwhile, the latter is for fighting against parasites and other infections.
- Pharaohs and nobles eat it as it is a plant for immortals.
- In 100 BCE, the Chinese used mushrooms to treat different conditions like respiratory infections.
- In 1928, Alexander Fleming extracted and experimented on a fungus to bring us Penicillin.
- Mesoamerican cultures use medicinal mushrooms for spiritual purposes.
- North America and Siberia have been using Chaga and other fungi since the 16th century.
Today, scientists continue to learn about the benefits of mushrooms and how they can use them in treatments.
How can Medicinal Mushrooms Boost the Immune System?.
Medicinal mushrooms are rich in beta-glucans. The beta-glucans are a type of polysaccharide that can stimulate the immune cells and produce nitric oxide and cytokines for inflammation.
It helps reduce the inflammatory response of the proinflammatory cytokines and lets immunity cells like T-cells, B-cells, and antibodies take control. Mushrooms can stimulate different inflammatory cytokines and prevent them from overworking.
Besides its immune response, mushrooms contribute to a healthy balanced diet. It has high value in vitamin B, C, and choline.These vitamins help in red blood cell production and protection from free radicals, respectively.
Potassium, selenium, copper, and magnesium are some minerals present in organic mushrooms. These minerals are difficult to obtain in plants, so eat mushrooms if you want to add them to your diet. The said minerals are good for DNA repair, increasing cell ATP, and anti-inflammation.
Mushrooms are packed with nutritional values that protect people from getting sick and help them build a strong immune system.
Types of Medicinal Mushroom for Immune Response
This list of medicinal mushrooms can improve immune response since not all mushrooms have that property.
Scientific name: Ganoderma lucidum
Reishi mushrooms have a lengthy history of medicinal use. It has been part of the Chinese traditional medicine practice and is known for being the mushroom for immortality.
It has a range of colours, but the red variant has the most potent and effective characteristic.
The mushroom often resides in a woody environment. It grows on the side of trees. Therefore, you cannot eat raw Reishi mushrooms. In addition, these mushrooms taste bitter due to terpenoids.
There are 50 different types of polysaccharides in Reishi mushrooms. These amino-polysaccharides can inhibit the progression of cancer. Studies suggest that it has an antitumor effect when used with cancer medications.
Aside from protecting the immune system from cancer, Reishi can also prevent the entry of viral cells into other cells.
The mushroom can prevent heart disease, diabetes, and liver damage.
Scientific name: Lentinula edodes
It is one of the most common medicinal mushrooms in the supermarket. It’s seen in Asian cuisine and has a meaty texture.
Aside from their delicious taste, Shiitake mushrooms have excellent immune response properties.
It activates macrophages, T-cells, and effector cells to fight microbes and tumour cells. They are also suitable for fighting colds and viral symptoms in Hepatitis B, C, and HPV.
But aside from helping the immune system, it can also lower cholesterol and prevent dental cavities.
Scientific name: Grifola frondosa
These mushrooms appear in more prominent clusters. They are often as large as a basketball. You can eat the mushroom raw because it doesn’t have a woody texture, and the flavour is mild.
Maitake is rich in polysaccharides and polysaccharide-protein, suitable for fighting cancer. In addition, it increases the immune response against infections like AIDS-HIV, diabetes, hypertension, and urinary tract infection.
Scientific name: Cordyceps militaris
Its anticancer properties focus on the inhibition of leukemia progression. It also increases innate and cell-mediated response and fights against infections like flu.
For its non-immune response properties, Cordyceps is rich in antioxidants, manages cholesterol, and strengthens blood vessels and the heart.
Scientific name: Trametes versicolor
It has a colourful, fan-shaped look similar to a turkey’s tail, hence the name. This mushroom is common in North America, Europe, and Asia.
Turkey Tail has an antitumor property for breast cancer and fights viral and fungal infections.
Scientific name: Hericium erinaceus
It has a large and hairy, white appearance. When it’s cut open, it resembles the texture of cauliflower. People who have tried Lion’s Mane likened its flavour to a lobster.
Lion’s Mane regulates intestinal mucosal activity to limit bacterial infection in the gut lining. Hence, it prevents the possibility of stomach ulcers.
It’s also helpful to stop the growth of tumours, regenerate brain tissues, and treat Alzheimer’s disease.
Scientific name: Inonotus obliquus
This mushroom looks more like charcoal than a mushroom. It grows on birch trees and is mistaken for wood because of its appearance. When Chaga is cut open, it has a bright orange colour.
For immune response properties, Chaga can inhibit hepatitis C and HIV. Also, it increases immunostimulatory activities and uses in cancer treatment and for wounds and swelling.
Medicinal mushrooms are beneficial for keeping our immune system ready to fight infection, preventing overgrowth of abnormal (cancer) cells, and managing inflammatory activities.
Can I Mix Mushrooms?
You can use medicinal mushrooms in many ways. You can try blends, but some argue that it is best to take them separately. You can find capsules online that offer a mix of mushrooms.
One example of a mushroom blend is Osmosis Immune Support. It’s a combination of a microdosing blend of Golden Teacher Psilocybe and organic mushrooms. These microdose capsules protect the immune system by reducing inflammation, increasing anticancer effects, fighting bacterial infection, and lowering cholesterol levels.
Most capsules are a blend of different mushrooms because it has more benefits.
How to Take Medicinal Mushrooms?
There is no standard way to consume mushrooms. You must select a strategy that makes you feel more at ease.
When taking your mushrooms, the options are limitless. You can even add a psilocybe microdose with your mushrooms. They offer beneficial effects rather than a psychoactive
- Powders: They are versatile and economical. You can add them to coffee, tea, or any food. The food masks the earthy flavour of mushrooms.
- Capsules: It comes in pure or mixed form. They are a convenient option when you are travelling. Check the ingredients of your pill because some may contain other components other than mushrooms.
- Tinctures: It is highly concentrated. When mixing with your food or beverage, a drop or two is already enough.
- Fresh Mushroom: Use them when cooking or for medicinal purposes. Do not eat them raw because mushrooms have a cell wall that our body cannot digest.
- Dried Mushroom: The best way to use dried mushrooms is to make tea.
You can use capsules that offer magic mushrooms to reduce anxiety and depression.
Depression or any mental health condition directly affects a person’s immune response. So, by combining medicinal mushroom and Psilocybin microdosing components, you can improve your overall immune response.
Our immune system needs to always stay in shape to ward off any infection in our body. But it’s not often that it can manage to keep up the work. So, the best way is to boost your immune system with natural and organic mushrooms.
Medicinal mushrooms are healthy and beneficial. It offers lots of immune support. When you mix your organic mushrooms with a microdose of psilocybe mushroom, you get a complete immune system and mental support.