(NaturalNews) For thousands of years Chinese medicine has prized the mushroom for its energizing and healing properties. Chinese legend is filled with stories of those who discovered the 1,000 year old mushroom and became immortal. In the West, acceptance is based less on tradition and more on the results of the scientific method. Researchers have been busy scientifically documenting what Chinese tradition dictates, that mushrooms are some of the most potent medicines on the plant. Recent research findings have shown the Coriolus versicolor mushroom stands out above the rest for regulating the immune system.
Coriolus versicolor found to be effective against cancer and human papillomavirus
Researchers at the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York tested several botanicals for their immune enhancing activity using a subcutaneous immunization model of cell surface carbohydrate expression in cancer cells in a study published in September, 2008 Vaccine. They found Coriolus versicolor to display consistent and significant immune enhancement activity superior to all other coumpounds tested. The superiority of Coriolus to yeast beta-glucan, maitake, turmeric, echinacea, and preparation H-48 from Honso USA, was described as surprising. Although the exhibited levels of immune enhancing ability of astragalus was also impressive, it was surpassed by that of Coriolus.
The March, 2008 BMC Cancer reports Coriolus versicolor has shown anticancer activity with positive results in the treatment of gastric, esophageal, colorectal, breast and lung cancers. The efficacy of its protein-bound polysaccharide as an immunomodulator is credited. This activity was independent of its previously described immunomodulatory effect on NK cells.
The journal Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy reports double blind trials on 111 patients with colorectal cancer, using Coriolus versicolor. Although traditional medicine offers little help for colon cancer patients, Coriolus showed a remarkable enhancement of the patient's white blood cells, even in advanced colon cancer cases. The white cells greatly increased natural chemotactic motion and phagocytosis, the ability to scavenge toxins and kill pathogens. Coriolus was also used with patients as a helpful maintenance therapy following cancer surgery.
The results of a year long clinical trial examining the effects of mushroom supplementation in patients with Human Papillomavirus (HPV) were so impressive they were presented in 2008 at the 20th European Congress of Obstetrics and Gynocology. Dr. Silva Couto and his research team found that Coriolus versicolor supplementation over the period of one year substantially increased regression of dysplasia and induced clearance of the high-risk subtypes of the HPV responsible for cervical cancer. Coriolus supplementation demonstrated a 72 percent regression rate in lesions compared to 47.5 percent without supplementation, and a 90 percent regression rate in the high risk HPV virus sub-types compared to 8.5 percent without.
After using the supplement for one year, 72.5 percent of recipients reverted to normal cytology compared with only 47.5 percent of the control group. Coriolus supplementation produced a 90 percent regression rate in the high risk HPV virus sub-tupes compared to an 8.5 percent regression without supplementation.
It is also likely that Coriolus versicolor would be beneficial in high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HSIL), a precancerous condition in which the cells of the uterine cervix are moderately or severely abnormal. The lead physician of the study noted that the optimal supplementation period may be as short as six months.
Coriolus versicolor modulates autoimmune diseases
T cells belong to a group of while blood cells known as lymphocytes, and play a central role in cell-mediated immunity. The activation of T helper (Th) cell subsets also plays an important role in immunity. Uncontrolled Th responses lead to autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. The identification of agents that modulate these helper cells is essential for controlling autoimmune diseases. A study from the November, 2008 Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, reported that polysaccharopeptide (PSP) from Coriolus versicolor exhibited the ability to control aberrant T lymphocyte activation through ciclosporin-like activity. PSP alone suppress production of activated T cells.
What makes Coriolus versicolor special?
Coriolus versicolor, also referred to as the turkey-tail mushroom, contains large quantities of Beta-glucans that act to stimulate the immune system. Coriolus can dramatically regenerate and rejuvenate the body. Its most active medicinal components are biological response modifiers called protein-bound polysaccharides. These polysaccharides are known as Krestin or PSK in Japan, and as Yun zhi, or PSP in China. There have been reports of cases of Bell's palsy clearing up with use of Coriolus for just a few days. Others have found it effective against bronchitis.
Other studies have shown that Coriolus can double the number of natural killer cells after only 8 weeks of treatment. Coriolus has also been found to help patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and may be an effective treatment for Lyme disease.
More research documents the anti-tumor benefits of Coriolus
Japanese researchers screened 200 of the best phytochemicals (plant extracts) known for anti-tumor activity. Coriolus versicolor was designated as exhibiting the greatest amount of anti-tumor activity. In another Japanese study, 185 people with lung cancer at different stages were given radiation. Doctors found those who also took Coriolus showed the best tumor shrinkage and the best survival rate. Another study involving stomach cancer patients produced similar results. Those who received Coriolus survived significantly longer, felt better and had fewer side effects.
Coriolus is first line defense against infection
Coriolus is a good centerpiece for your natural medicine chest, even if you are currently the picture of health. When any type of infection strikes, you will be ready. Coriolus can be used to target any infected organ, gland or tissue. Its immune enhancing properties provide an increased response to deal effectively with infections, and do this without over stimulating the immune system.
Clinical Trial Results Show Proof of Concept for Use of Coriolus Versicolor As Immunonutrition in IPV Patients With Cervical Lesions, Medical News Today.
Coriolus Versicolor, University of California, San Diego Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Cancer Patients.
About the author
Barbara is a school psychologist, a published author in the area of personal finance, a breast cancer survivor using "alternative" treatments, a born existentialist, and a student of nature and all things natural.