2265 North Clybourn Avenue    Chicago, IL 60614    P: 773.296.6700     F: 773.296.1131

Mushrooms

What Is It?

Along with the bold yet delicate taste that shiitake, maitake, and reishi mushrooms add to soups and other dishes, these gourmet delicacies are prized as herbal medicines. Traditional Asian healers have used them for centuries to strengthen the immune system and promote longevity. Recently, an extract from a different mushroom altogether–PSK (Coriolus versicolor)–was identified as a possible ally in the fight against cancer. While mushrooms other than these may well have specific health-promoting actions, they haven’t been as thoroughly researched for medicinal purposes.

Shiitake (Lentinus edodes), maitake (Grifola frondosa), and reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) are available as powders. They also come as liquid extracts, which are more potent. For therapeutic purposes, however, supplements are preferred; indeed, maitake, shiitake and reishi are sometimes combined in one capsule.

All three of these healing mushrooms contain polysaccharides, powerful compounds that help in building immunity. Polysaccharides and other compounds in mushrooms may also lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of dangerous blood clots, prevent heart disease, relieve bronchitis and sinusitis, and possibly fight cancer cells and increase the potency of cancer treatments.

General Interaction

Because compounds in reishi supplements can delay blood clotting, consult your doctor before trying them if you take anticoagulant medications.

Consult your doctor before taking reishi mushrooms if you are on long-term aspirin therapy. The two combined may thin the blood and raise the risk of unwanted bleeding.
Note: For information on interactions with specific generic drugs, see our WholeHealth Chicago Drug/Nutrient Interactions Chart.

Cautions

The four mushrooms recommended–shiitake, maitake, reishi, and PSK–are all safe to take at appropriate doses. PSK in particular appears to be free of adverse side effects according to clinical tests of cancer patients. Allergic reactions to mushrooms, although seldom reported, are possible.

Don’t gather mushrooms in the wild yourself. Edible varieties can easily be mistaken for deadly ones.

If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, talk with your doctor before using mushrooms therapeutically.

In rare cases, taking reishi mushrooms daily for periods of three to six months can cause dryness in the mouth, itchiness and skin rashes, nose bleeds, stomach upset, or bloody stools. If you experience any of these side effects, stop taking reishi mushroom preparations.

Ailments-Dosage

Bronchitis
Acute: 400-700 mg reishi and 400-700 mg maitake 3 times a day; can be used in place of echinacea.
Chronic: 400-700 mg reishi and 400-700 mg maitake mushrooms once a day as maintenance; use in rotation with echinacea, astragalus, and pau d’arco.
Cancer 400-700 mg reishi and 400-700 mg maitake 3 times a day
Cold Sores 600-900 mg reishi or 500 mg miatake mushrooms once or twice a day (in rotation with echinacea and astragalus)
Colds 400-700 mg reishi and 400-700 mg maitake mushrooms once a day as maintenance, in rotation with echinacea and astragalus
Flu 400-700 mg reishi and 400-700 mg maitake mushrooms once a day as maintenance, in rotation with echinacea and astragalus.


Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, delicious and time-saving recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

Health Tips

Dr. Edelberg’s Health Tips contain concise bits of advice, medical news, nutritional supplement and pharmaceutical updates, and stress relief ideas. With every Health Tip, you’ll also receive an easy, delicious, and healthful recipe.

When you sign up to receive Health Tips, you can look forward to Dr. Edelberg’s smart and very current observations arriving in your in-box weekly. They’re packed with helpful information and are often slightly irreverent. One of the most common responses to the tips is “I wish my doctor talked to me like this!”

Quick Connect

Get One Click Access to our

patient-portal

The Knowledge Base

Patient education is an integral part of our practice. Here you will find a comprehensive collection of staff articles, descriptions of therapies and nutritional supplements, information addressing your health concerns, and the latest research on nutritional supplements and alternative therapies.

Telemedicine – Now Available at WholeHealth Chicago

In order to maintain your continuity of care, WholeHealth Chicago now offers telemedicine appointments with most of our practitioners. During a telemedicine visit, you and your healthcare provider can review medical history, discuss symptoms, arrange for prescriptions, and more. When necessary, labs and diagnostic imaging can be ordered from a facility near your home, and our Natural Apothecary can ship supplements quickly to your door.

Please contact Patient Services for details and scheduling a telemedicine appointment, or to change a regular appointment to telemedicine by calling 773-296-6700.

We’re looking forward to meeting with you in our virtual consultation room soon.

DIAGNOSE-IT-YOURSELF: COVID-19

Far and away, the commonest phone call/e mail I receive asks about COVID-19 diagnosis.
Just print this out, tape it on your refrigerator door, and stay calm.

ALLERGIES

• Runny nose
• Sneezing
• Red, swollen eyes
• Itchy eyes and nose
• Tickly throat
• No fever

COLD
• Runny nose
• Sneezing
• Sore throat
• Mild muscle aches
• Mild dry cough
• Rarely a low fever

STREP THROAT
• Painful sore throat
• Hurts to swallow
• Swollen glands in neck
• Fever

FLU (Standard seasonal flu)
• Fever
• Dry cough (no mucus)
• Sudden onset over few hours
• Headache
• Sore throat
• Fatigue, sometimes quite severe
• Muscle aches, sometimes quite severe
• Rarely, diarrhea

CORONAVIRUS-COVID 19
• Shortness of breath
• Fever (usually above 100 degrees)
• Dry cough (no mucus)
• Slow onset (2-14 days)
• Mild muscle aches
• Mild fatigue
• Mild sneezing

Recent Health Tips

  • Covid-19 Worries

    You may have noticed fewer Health Tips about Covid-19 recently, which might have struck you as odd given our dreadful numbers here in the US. Well, there was a reason for this. WholeHealth Chicago was one of hundreds of health-oriented websites that were sent cease-and-desist warning letters from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleging widespread promotion and selling what they called “unproven therapies.” In other Read More

  • You Probably Don’t Need A Colonoscopy

    Quite often the patient sitting before me helpfully finishes my sentence. “Yeah, yeah, I know, I need a colonoscopy.” This happens in person or during a Telemed visit when I remark how they’re approaching (or recently turned) 50, 60, or beyond. Or they’re a few years beyond 50 or 60, and I genially ask, “Your colonoscopy current?” I do not willfully induce the stricken look Read More

  • Returning To School + Phosphatidyl Choline for Chronic Illness and Anti-Aging

    Before I start this Health Tip on phosphatidyl choline I want to voice a quick opinion about kids returning to school in the Chicago Public School (CPS) system. The stance of the Chicago Teachers Union seems totally correct, that the decision should be based on a meeting of the minds: those of teachers and those of scientists (who, you’ll remember, were once taught by teachers). Read More

Join our Discount Program

Member benefits include 10% off all your purchases. Low, one-time membership fee of $25 ($35 for family).

MORE INFORMATION

Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!