Immune Superstar: Mushroom Blends

To support your immune system, it may be helpful to take one capsule of a good mushroom blend twice daily and eat actual mushrooms frequently, incorporating them into the many meals you’re now cooking at home.

According to Paul Stamets, who knows more about fungi than anyone, there are an estimated one to two million species of fungi, of which about 150,000 form mushrooms. Click here for a fascinating interview.

According to our knowledge of traditional Chinese medicine, physicians experimenting with just about everything at hand for its medicinal effects happened on mushrooms thousands of years ago. Serious scientific research into the how and why of medicinal mushrooms began about 100 years ago, when a species of mold that landed on a culture plate in Alexander Fleming’s laboratory became the first antibiotic.

There’s been an impressive amount of research into the medicinal properties of mushrooms, including clinical trials with both healthy volunteers and patients with illnesses (mild ones, like viral infections, and more severe, like cancer). There are even medical research journals devoted to the field. Click here for the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms.

Here are some mushroom superstars
There may be value in knowing about five or six of the mushroom superstars that help support the immune system. You’ve seen many of these names both on grocery shelves and in nutritional supplement sections of virtually every health food store on the globe. These are just a small handful of what’s available in the world of medical mycology. Click below to learn a little more about these varieties.
Coriolus versicolor (turkey tail)
Maitake
Reishi
Shiitake
Chaga
Basidiomycetes

For a real treat, visit a pharmacy in any Chinatown and ask the pharmacist to show you the rows and rows of jars containing dried mushrooms. 

The value of a blend is immune modulation to boost the immune effect in preparation for a challenge, such as from bacteria or viruses, but also to prevent the body from overshooting, triggering too much inflammation, which we now know as a cytokine storm.

A powerful mushroom blend we’re recommending to patients for immune support is Mycotaki by Metagenics, though supplies can vary base on availability.  A single mushroom supplement that shows incredible immune support is ImmunoKinoko.  Despite a lot of hype about one brand being vastly superior to another, there really have been no clinical trials to confirm these claims.

Know that WholeHealth Chicago keeps careful track of its suppliers and whichever brand you happen to receive will have passed our Apothecary staff’s review process.

Medicinal mushrooms are truly delicious and recipes abound. Here are 49 recipes with mushrooms.

Any type of mushroom can be pricey, but if you cross the ice cream and potato chips off your list you’ll make room for a food that’s truly beneficial.

Be well,
David Edelberg, MD

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