Medicinal mushrooms in modern science
Mushrooms are powerful and diverse and remain an enigma to many in the medical field. The deep cultural significance of their use along with their ability to heal is quickly changing this ignorance into further exploration of their use within modern science. Perhaps the time lag for modern science to start exploring mushrooms for their medicinal properties is due to their diverse nature. Some can feed you, some can heal you, some can kill you and some can take you on a spiritual journey. Proceed with caution (and intrigue), right? It seems to be a common view in science to avoid that which is poorly understood and powerful. Hence, mushroom medicines have remained an eclectic science. However, I don’t think anyone can deny their healing ability and it’s time the world find out. There are plenty of people who know what they are talking about when it comes to the safe use of mushrooms for healing purposes. One of them being Mason Taylor, founder of SuperFeast here in the Byron Shire. I asked him a couple of questions regarding medicinal mushrooms. Let’s hear what he had to say.
What are the benefits of medicinal mushrooms over other natural medicine?
‘Medicinal mushrooms are a part of natural medicine. Obviously, different natural medicines are appropriate during different types of illness and infection, whether it be at acute stages or chronic stages. One of the key advantages of medicinal mushrooms is that we see them being used at nearly all stages of both wellness and disease. So someone who is experiencing optimal health will continue to use herbs like cordyceps and reishi to optimise immune system and nervous system function.
Conversely, medicinal mushrooms are being used by practitioners (and in some countries, doctors), to support immunity, to support the body in eliminating viral and bacterial infections, as well as mould toxicity. It is difficult to find a herb, (in this instance we are talking about a mushroom), which is that effective at helping the immune system increase and modulate the immune cells and reactions that are needed to heal, overcome pathologies and move towards optimal health’.
‘A lot of products with isolated compounds from medicinal mushrooms have been created and patented over the years, with particular mushroom polysaccharides being used in very specific clinical circumstances and we will continue to see this use increase. However, we are now seeing a bigger increase in the clinical use of the whole herb or mushroom extracts, where all of the constituents are present. This is as they were used in times of antiquity when herbalists would use the entirety of the herb, in order to help someone heal from acute or chronic ailments.
The benefits of medicinal mushrooms over other natural medicines that are born out of a pharmaceutical angle, by being aggressive or isolated and not being a whole herb, is that there are seldom any side effects from the use of the whole medicinal mushroom extracts. They are gentle on the system, yet absolutely one of the most powerful things you can do for your immune system and general health’.
Do you think that medicinal mushrooms will become more well known in the medical world & why?
‘Medicinal mushrooms are already becoming well known, in the medical world. The data is too strong in medical systems (in Russia, Japan and China), it has been decades that medicinal mushrooms like Chaga, reishi, shiitake have been used in immune therapy. In China, there is a term for this type of therapy, called fu zheng. Fu zheng therapy, which is the use of tonic herbs, in particular, medicinal mushrooms, when someone is going through cancer treatment, to support the immune system, so the aggressive treatments like radiation and chemotherapy don’t decimate the immune system and leave the individual sick.
The number of natural practitioners, who are are now tuning into and integrating medicinal mushrooms into their health protocols is growing at an awesomely alarming rate because they are so effective at supporting immunity. The historical data is so strong, the historical usage is so thorough, that natural progression will see pharmaceutical companies integrating more of these mushrooms into their products and treatment protocols’.
Medicinal mushrooms are on the rise and it seems inevitable that their place in modern science will become much more prominent in the near future. If you are still unsure about the power of medicinal mushrooms, SuperFeast has a great range of products and will help ease you into your healing journey.