I had been using the wild blue green algae since 1993, and now I am educating myself about mushrooms. I never thought about them before as being a superfood. In fact, the Cordyceps mushroom is used in a stem cell enhancing product.
There are many natural therapies that many fibromyalgia sufferers turn to but medicinal mushrooms may be new to many, though they have been in use for centuries, but not as frequently in Eastern medicine.
Amazingly, we share the same pathogens, and viruses as fungi, making us more closely related than to any other species. Fungi have developed strong antibiotics against bacterial invasions, which are also effective for us humans! Pencillin, streptomycin and tetracycline all come from fungal extracts!
Dr. Joseph M. Mercola, an osteopathic physician, whom we all know through his various articles on health and wellness, recently wrote about the benefits of medicinal mushrooms and asserts that “mushrooms contain some of the most potent natural medicines on the planet.”
Science knows of only 10% of the 140,000 species of mushroom-forming fungi according to world-renowned mycologist Paul Stamets who has written six books on the subject.
About 100 species of mushrooms are being studied for their health-promoting benefits and of those, only about a half dozen really stand out for their ability to deliver a tremendous boost to your immune system. I have tried to post most of the benefits and some of the ongoing research below.
***Reishi Mushroom – Better known as Ganoderma Lucidum Extract, is a power-house antioxidant with microbial action that can take on bacteria, viruses, stimulating the immune system and calming the autonomic nervous system. It is best taken as an extract, as it is difficult to digest in it’s woody form.
Reishi Mushrooms are effective for Fibromyalgia by reducing spasticity in muscles, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Colitis, Ulcers, bronchial spasms and it helps to detoxify the liver.
***Maitake Mushroom – Grifola Frondosa mushroom, also known as Maitake D-fraction, is believed to be a strong stimulant of the immune system because of it’s beta glucan compound. The latest study shows that Maitake is an efficient and potent activator of macrophages, key immune cells needed for a healthy immune response. This mushroom has also shown an ability to activate natural killer cells that knock out human cells that have been overwhelmed by a viral infection or cancer!
In another study, Maitake mushrooms have also been shown to help reduce inflammation in the intestinal tract. Flu and other harmful bugs usually begin their process with a highly inflammatory attack within the digestive tract before moving onto other areas of the body.
***Cordyceps Sinensis – Also known as Dong chong xia cao, also has a funny name, the Caterpillar fungus, since it can grow on caterpillars! Cancer Research UK suggests that it may be useful in treating cancer patients, AIDS patients, and immune suppressed patients. It is capable of increasing oxygen uptake, making it useful for asthma sufferers, bronchial inflammation, and allergies and has been shown to possess anti-aging effects.
Cordyceps Sinensis has also been shown to have hypoglycemic and possible antidepressant properties. It protects the liver and kidneys, increases blood flow, helps normalize cholesterol levels and has been used to treat Hepatitis B, and to clear toxins from the kidneys, lungs, and lymph nodes.
Other studies have suggested it has potent anti-inflammatory properties that may be helpful for those suffering from Asthma, Rheumatoid Arthritis, renal failure and stroke damage, according to Researcher Dr. Cornelia de Moor, speaking to Medical News Today.
Cordyceps Sinensis is useful in treating Fibromyalgia. It has been shown to treat fatigue, exhaustion and provides energy and increased stamina! It has also been found to help relieve anxiety, treat insomnia, (a biggie for fibromyalgia patients), increase energy, and enhance the immune system.
According to Dr. de Moor, Cordyceps acts by a completely different mechanism than currently used anti-inflammatory drugs, making it a potential drug for patients in which these drugs do not work well. Cordyceps slows down otherwise rapid cellular responses to tissue damage and may also help prevent over-activation of inflammatory responses. Commonly used anti-inflammatory drugs either work much earlier in the activation of inflammatory genes, such as prednisone, or work on one of the final products of the inflammatory reaction (ibuprofen).
****For athletes, Cordyceps is a favorite! It increases ATP production, strength and endurance!
***Black Trumpets – This is the one mushroom that you want to eat if you are concerned about your weight! Black trumpets are considered a gourmet mushroom with no poisonous look-alikes. They actually encourage the body to release stored fat during exercise.
Black Trumpets mushrooms may be the one to incorporate into an exercise and nutrition program, especially for people with weight loss challenges, or those who experience exercise-induced asthma, or muscle pain with exercise.
Mushrooms consist of about 80% – 90% water, and therefore are really low in calories (only 100 calories per ounce). They have hardly any sodium or fat, and 8% to 10% of the dry weight is fiber! The perfect diet food!
***Poria Cocos – This mushroom has been accepted as a treatment for inflammation and as a central nervous system depressant. It is useful for joint pain, swelling and redness in rheumatoid arthritis. It has diuretic properties that can benefit congestive heart failure and edema and has shown to be effective against vomiting and nausea. It can also benefit gastrointestinal problems and is a valuable treatment for depression because of its central nervous system effects. The effect of Poria cocos in depression is camparable to the anti-depressant drug, Prozac for it’s effectiveness and therapeutic effects, though dosing has not been established.
The use of Poria cocos for the treatment of cancer is still under research. Recent studies have been made regarding it’s cancer-fighting abilities and trials are still under way.
In animals, the use of Poria cocos is for the treatment of inflammation and pain of joints and connective tissue. In dogs and mice ear edema, paw and joint edema have been noted to have decreased.when using Poria cocos. Dermatitis in small mammals was also treated.
I would love to hear from you!
Today, besides being an active grandmother, I am a volunteer with several community organizations and love spreading the word of afa blue-green algae. If you are interested in learning more about the products I use and wrote about in this post, you can email me at IamBlueGreen@verizon.net.
To read more about my journey living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia – click here.
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