Mycotherapy to strengthen Immune Defenses

17 April, 2020

The use of mushrooms and their health-giving properties dates back to thousands of years ago where they were considered to bring beneficial natural principles and were consumed for their therapeutic properties.

Past history is proof of this!

It is believed that Otzi, a 5300-year-old mummy, found in the Tyrolean Alps in 1991, carried a bag with dried mushrooms (Piptoporus betulinus) with a marked beneficial power. But even in ancient Egypt, about 4600 years ago, only the Pharaohs had the privilege of eating them because they were considered “herbs of immortality”.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (part of alternative medicines), from which mycotherapy originates, considers them capable of restoring an altered and disharmonious balance. In nature, mushrooms must defend themselves against parasites very similar and sometimes identical to those of humans. Their enzymes, and therefore the defensive substances and antibiotics they produce, can be used for advantageous purposes. An example is found in Penicillin which is obtained from the extraction of the Penicillium mold.

Mushrooms contain many essential amino acids, precious trace elements for the body and bioactive compounds such as important polysaccharides such as alpha and beta-glucans (certain types of fiber) that support the immune system. In particular, beta-glucans act on different biological processes of the immune system because they positively stimulate the cells and the functional processes that compose it, in particular: macrophages, neutrophils, monocytes, natural killer cells and dendritic cells. Consequently, both innate and adaptive responses can be modulated by beta-glucans.

 

Introduction: the immune system

The immune system is responsible for safety and makes use of organized components and mechanisms. They are not always ready at the time of the alarm but they constantly safeguard the body to identify enemies and plan various defense strategies against a possible attack by pathogens. These defense mechanisms fall into two main categories: that of non-specific immunity and that of specific immunity.

  • Non-specific or innate immunity represents the first line of defense against aggression and puts the immune system on alert to favor the response of specific immunity. It exploits the natural barriers of our body such as the skin and certain types of cells.
  • Specific or acquired or adaptive immunity represents a more targeted and effective response as a defense system. The directly affected are white blood cells or leukocytes, in particular T lymphocytes and B lymphocytes (also called immunocytes).

 

Mycotherapy: which are the most functional medicinal mushrooms for the immune system?

REISHI

The Reishi, better known by the name of Ganoderma and by the name of Ling Zhi [scientific name Ganoderma lucidum (Curtis) P. Karst], grows spontaneously in the eastern part of the planet, particularly in China and Japan.

It is called “immortality mushroom” and has been used for about 4000 years in traditional folk medicine as a natural tonic. In particular, it is appreciated for the immediate strengthening effect of the immune defenses and for its incredible effectiveness to support the body against physical fatigue and to increase energy.

The beneficial activities of Reishi are attributable to the active substances it contains: polysaccharides, triterpenes, natural hydrocarbons and a very high amount of bioactive substances such as calcium, zinc copper, iron and manganese. Thanks to all these natural principles, it represents a valid ally to support the immune system and to support physical recovery.

 

MAITAKE 

Maitake [scientific name Grifola frondosa] is native to Japan and North America.

For about 20 years, the Maitake has been the subject of interest from the scientific community especially for its high content of beta-glucans, therefore useful as an ally of the immune defenses. In addition, it is rich in B vitamins, potassium, fiber and minerals such as selenium and zinc.

 

SHITAKE

The Shitake [scientific name Lentinula edodes (Berk.) Pegler] is defined in folk medicine the “king of mushrooms” for its multiple properties. Currently his particular interest is to be attributed to the natural substances it contains.

Shitake mushrooms are in fact particularly rich in beta-glucans that play an important role in the ability to promote the body’s natural defenses.

This mushroom grows almost exclusively on oaks, naturally contains essential amino acids and minerals such as: potassium, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium. In addition, it contains B vitamins, essential for the well-being of our body and for the proper functioning of the immune system.

 

CORDYCEPS

Cordyceps [scientific name Cordyceps sinensis] is a very rare and very precious mushroom originating in the Tibetan Plateau. It is historically used in Traditional Chinese Medicine as an anti-aging and antidepressive mushroom as it restores energy and power.

It is particularly indicated as a positive modulating immune system, and as a protector of the respiratory tract, also on chronic bronchitis and asthma. Its components are mainly polysaccharides, vitamins and minerals that give a metabolic support action, which is why it is often used by athletes to improve performance. It is useful for bringing well-being to both the body and mind after debilitating diseases.

 

4 medicinal mushroom supplements to support your immune system

PromoPharma has a line of nutritional supplements based on medicinal mushrooms, concentrated in active ingredients with high nutritional value and available in the form of vegetable capsules.

 

REISHI – BOTANICAL MIX which provides 1000 mg of Reishi as a daily dose.

Who is it for?

  • For those struggling with the flu or its symptoms.
  • For those who want to prevent and strengthen the immune system.

When to take it?

  • In the presence of inflammatory problems
  • Ipoimmunity. We need to strengthen the immune system.
  • Viral infections
  • Bronchitis

How to use it?

  • We recommend taking 1-2 capsules a day. Better if associated with sources of vitamin C because it improves their absorption.

 

MAITAKE – BOTANICAL MIX which provides 1000 mg of Maitake as a daily dose.

Who is it for?

  • For those who want to prevent and strengthen the immune system.

When to take it?

  • In the presence of flu symptoms
  • Ipoimmunity. We need to strengthen the immune system.

How to use it?

 

  • We recommend taking 1-2 capsules a day. Better if associated with sources of vitamin C because it improves their absorption.

 

SHITAKE – BOTANICAL MIX which provides 1000 mg of Shitake as a daily dose.

Who is it for?

  • For those struggling with the flu or its symptoms.
  • For those who want to prevent and strengthen the immune system.

When to use it?

  • Ipoimmunity. We need to strengthen the immune system.

How to take it?

  • We recommend taking 1-2 capsules a day. Better if associated with sources of vitamin C because it improves their absorption.

 

CORDYCEPS – BOTANICAL MIX which provides 1000 mg of Cordyceps as a daily dose.

Who is it for?

  • For those who are struggling with the flu or its symptoms (e.g. bronchitis and sinusitis)
  • For those who want to prevent and strengthen the immune system.

When to use it?

  • Immune defenses debilitated. We need to strengthen the immune system.

How to take it?

  • We recommend taking 1-2 capsules a day. Better if associated with sources of vitamin C because it improves their absorption.
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