Boost Your Health with Mushrooms
In the Western world, mushrooms have always been viewed with mixed feelings.
In the East, however, mushrooms have long held a place of honor. Chinese herbalists have used mushrooms in their remedies for centuries.
Western science is just catching up to Eastern tradition when it comes to fungi. Today, we’ll look at three mushrooms that could play a role in your future good health. And we’ll start with one that might be familiar.
You may have heard of shiitake mushrooms – they’re popular in Japanese cooking. But they’re also a popular folk remedy.
Compounds found in shiitake mushrooms may help reduce breathing problems, boost heart health, promote normal blood sugar levels, support liver health and more.1 We’re just beginning to scratch the surface.
For example, several studies have shown that these mushrooms enhance immune function.2 Perhaps more interestingly, shiitake mushrooms contain compounds – beta-glucans – that support healthy cholesterol levels… and may help regulate body weight.3
Reishi mushrooms aren’t as well known as shiitake. But they may have an even more powerful effect on your immune system. Studies show they enhance the activity of natural killer cells, T-cells and other immune cells.4
And reishi mushrooms have another quality that will especially interest men. Several studies show reishi extract supports healthy prostate function. In one study, men who took just 0.6 mg a day – that’s about 2 ten thousandths of an ounce! – got significant relief from their prostate problems. 5
It seems as though there’s a new mushroom breakthrough almost every week. One that recently got my attention didn’t come from some exotic variety… but from a mushroom that grows right here in North America.
The mushroom is called “lion’s mane.” Its flavor makes it a favorite with wild mushroom hunters. But it’s newly discovered qualities quickly put it at the top of my list.
You see, lion’s mane promotes clear thinking.
Japanese researchers took a group of people suffering from mild brain fog and confusion. They tested all of them for cognitive function. Then they gave lion’s mane to half the group and a look-alike capsule to the other half for 16 weeks.
After 8, 12 and 16 weeks, they retested both groups. The lion’s mane group showed steady progress… while the other group didn’t improve.6 And that’s just part of the effect lion’s mane has.
Want to boost your mood? Lion’s mane may help you there, too. Doctors gave cookies laced with lion’s mane to a group of women who reported having chronic blues. After just 4 weeks, the women felt much happier and less anxious. A second group, given plain cookies, didn’t feel any better after 4 weeks.7
Other studies show lion’s mane may even promote faster growth and healing of nerve cells.8, 9
These are just three examples of what we’re discovering about Nature’s remedies. There are thousands of other types of mushroom… and I have a feeling I’ll be reporting more breakthroughs before too long.
Dr Kenneth Woliner, M.D.
Best Life Herbals
1 Bisen PS, et al. Lentinus edodes: a macrofungus with pharmacological activities. Curr Med Chem. 2010;17(22):2419-30.
2 Terakawa N, et al. Immunological effect of active hexose correlated compound (AHCC) in healthy volunteers: a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Nutr Cancer. 2008;60(5):643-51.
3 Rop O, et al. Beta-glucans in higher fungi and their health effects. Nutr Rev. 2009 Nov;67(11):624-31.
4 Lin ZB and Zhang HN. Anti-tumor and immunoregulatory activities of Ganoderma lucidum and its possible mechanisms. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2004 Nov;25(11):1387-95.
5 Noguchi M, et al. Randomized clinical trial of an ethanol extract of Ganoderma lucidum in men with lower urinary tract symptoms. Asian J Androl. 2008 Sep;10(5):777-85. Epub 2007 Dec 20.
6 Mori K, et al. Improving effects of the mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) on mild cognitive impairment: a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Phytother Res. 2009 Mar;23(3):367-72.
7 Mayumi N, et al. Reduction of depression and anxiety by 4 weeks Hericium erinaceus intake. Biomedical Research, Vol. 31 (2010), No. 4, August, pp. 231-237.
8 Mori K, et al. Nerve growth factor-inducing activity of Hericium erinaceus in 1321N1 human astrocytoma cells. Biol Pharm Bull. 2008 Sep;31(9):1727-32.
9 Kolotushkina EV, et al. The influence of Hericium erinaceus extract on myelination process in vitro. Fiziol Zh. 2003;49(1):38-45.