Originally published February 9 2009
Discover What Traditional Chinese Medicine Knows about Mushrooms
by Jo Hartley
(NaturalNews) Mushrooms are gaining popularity as a beneficial super food in North America. They are high in vegetable proteins and low in calories, making them a valuable source of healthy nutrition. They also contain zinc, iron, chitin, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. Not only are mushrooms a healthy addition to the diet, they also have important medicinal properties.
Traditional Chinese Medicine has used mushrooms for thousands of years. There are over 200 species of mushrooms in China that are used to practice healing. An amazing 25 percent of these mushrooms are credited with tumor-fighting capabilities.
All varieties of mushrooms possess cleansing capabilities. Mushrooms contain a substance called Germanium. Germanium is a nutrient that helps boost the oxygen efficiency within the body. Germanium also helps counteract the body's exposure to environmental toxins and helps to increase the body's ability to fight disease.
Another amazing property of mushrooms is a compound named Polysaccharides. This enables mushrooms to boost the immune system and fight the growth of tumors. Mushrooms are also high in amino acids, nicotinic acid, riboflavin, vitamins B, C, and K, and pantothenic acid. Medicinal mushrooms also contain other compounds that further enhance tumor-fighting capabilities.
The shiitake mushroom is one of the most popular mushrooms. Asians have utilized it for centuries as a stimulant to boost health, prevent strokes, and improve circulation.
Shiitake mushrooms contain a substance called lentinan. Lentinan has been shown to be an effective way to treat chromosomal damage caused by common anti-cancer treatments. In Japan a purified form of lentinan has recently been approved for treating cancer and the effects of chemotherapy.
Shiitake mushrooms also contain a compound called eritadenine. This is thought to be helpful in reducing cholesterol by facilitating fat excretion.
An additional beneficial compound found in shiitake mushrooms is lentinula edodes mycelium (LEM). LEM has been found to be effective for treating and preventing cancer, heart disease, hypertension, infectious diseases and hepatitis.
It's important to note that there are several side effects associated with shiitake mushrooms, including skin irritation and diarrhea. In addition, people taking blood thinners should first consult a physician before supplementing with shiitake mushrooms because there are anti-clotting compounds contained in these mushrooms.
Reishi mushrooms are rich with healing compounds and are touted as being beneficial for the health of both the prostate and the heart. Reishi mushrooms are also considered to effective for fighting cancer. Chinese medicine routinely utilizes reishi mushrooms for their antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and immunogenic capabilities. Reishi mushrooms have also demonstrated their ability to regulate metabolism and fight tumor growth.
Western medicine is now taking notice of reishi mushrooms due to their ability to treat hypertension, heart disease, arthritis, and muscular dystrophy. Additionally, reishi mushrooms have been found to be able to stop tumor growth in prostate cancer patients.
Reishi mushrooms have also been discovered to contain compounds that can produce a calming effect and promote sleep.
Maitake mushrooms are very popular in Asian cultures for their ability to strengthen and improve general health. Recent research shows that the maitake mushroom enhances the immune system and stops tumor growth.
Patients with the AIDS virus have benefited from eating maitake mushrooms and diabetics can improve their blood sugar levels by ingesting maitake mushrooms. Additionally, maitake mushrooms can help reduce high blood pressure, shrink brain tumors, and fight prostate cancer.
Maitake mushrooms can also help to manage emotional and physical stress levels. Cancer patients can benefit from eating maitake mushrooms because they contain a compound that strengthens the body while it fights cancer. Additionally, it is thought that maitake mushrooms can make some chemotherapy drugs more effective and thereby may reduce necessary dosages.
Most mushrooms are available either as a vegetable to include in the diet and as supplements. Not only are mushrooms an interesting and beneficial addition to one's diet, they are also a promising medicinal option for many people.
About the authorJo Hartley
Wife, Mother of 8, and Grandmother of 2
Jo is a 41 year old home educator who has always gravitated toward a natural approach to life. She enjoys learning as much as possible about just about anything!
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