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Today we are going to look at one of the most potent natural medicines on the planet – mushrooms.


There are around 140,000 species of mushroom-forming fungi, with around 100 species of mushrooms being studied for their health benefits. Mushrooms absorb and concentrate whatever they grow in, whether it is good or bad, so it is important to eat only organically grown mushrooms. Humans are more similar to fungi than any other kingdom, as we share the same pathogens – bacteria and viruses. Because of this, fungi have developed strong antibiotics, which are effective for us humans as well. Some fungal extracts are penicillin, streptomycin, and tetracycline.


Shiitake is a popular culinary mushroom used in Asian dishes. It contains a polysaccharide called, lentinan, which has anti-tumor properties. It has been used to treat stomach and other cancers, and has been found to protect the liver, relieve stomach ailments, anemia, ascites, and pleural effusion. In a Japanese animal study, shitake’s anti-tumor effect showed that 6 of 10 mice had complete tumor regression from sarcoma, and 100% regression with higher concentrations. Shitake mushrooms also show antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties, as well as reduced platelet aggregation, reduced atherosclerosis, and blood sugar stabilization.


Reishi  has also been called “Mushroom of Immortality”, and has been used medicinally in Asia for thousands of years. One of its more useful compounds is ganoderic acid (a triterpenoid), which is being used to treat lung cancer, leukemia and other cancers. Reishi’s benefits includes:

  • Antibacterial, antiviral (Herpes, Epstein-Barr), antifungal (including Candida) properties
  • Anti-inflammatory; useful for reducing symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
  • Immune system up-regulation
  • Normalization of blood cholesterol levels and blood pressure
  • Reduction of prostate-related urinary symptoms in men

Turkey Tail
Turkey Tail have two polysaccharide complexes that are getting a great deal of scientific attention–PSK (or “Kreskin”) and PSP, making it the most extensively researched of all medicinal mushrooms with large scale clinical trials. A large study in 2011 found that Turkey Tail mycelium improves immune function when dosed daily to women with stage I–III breast cancer. Immune response was dose-dependent, with no adverse effects. PSP has been shown to significantly enhance immune status in 70 to 97 percent of cancer patients. Turkey Tall is also being used to treat infections, Candida albicans, streptococcus pneumonia,  E. coli, HIV,  and Herpes.


Himematsutake is a relative of the common button mushroom. It was not cultivated in the East until recently, and now it is quite popular among the Japanese. Due to its remarkable anticancer properties, many scientists are studying it. Like most medicinal mushrooms, Himematsutake protects you from the damaging effects of radiation and chemotherapy.


I hope you enjoyed this article. At Herbs4You, we carry Dr. Mercola’s Organic Fermented Mushroom Complex that contains more than ten species of highly valued mushroom mycelium.  This provides an array of enzymes, nutrients, antioxidants and immune-supporting compounds that make it a great addition to one’s health regime. 


We’re here to help YOU!
Amy Willis MH, CTN

Source:  The Many Health Benefits of Eating Mushrooms (

About the Author

Amy Willis M.H., CTN

Master Herbalist, Board Certified Naturopath
Amy is the Owner and Founder of Herbs4You. She is a Master Herbalist from the School of Natural Healing, and Board Certified Naturopath from the American Naturopathic Medical Association. Amy has 30 years experience with herbs and 15 years experience muscle testing.