Medicinal Mushrooms Fight Viral Infections
Medicinal mushrooms can be used for a variety of viral infections. They help prevent viral diseases, but also assist the body inhibit and overcome an existing infection and speed up recovery. The biochemical mechanisms of antiviral effects in medicinal mushrooms include improving the virus-specific and nonspecific immunological response (including improved antibody production and secretion of interferons), and direct antiviral activity (mostly by inhibiting their ability to multiply).
As traditional medicine and research have proven, medicinal mushrooms can help against many viral infections:
- parainfluenza and rhinoviruses (the common cold)
- influenza (the flu)
- herpes simplex (HSV-1 and HSV-2)
- herpes zoster or shingles (Varicella zoster virus)
- mononucleosis (Epstein-Barr virus)
- hepatitis viruses, and
many other viral infections.
For example, lentinan, a type of beta glucan found in Lentinus edodes (shiitake), activates both humoral and cellular immunity; it fights HIV, the flu and the infections of the respiratory tract. LEM (shiitake mycelium extract) and its strongest component EP3 prevent any damage from herpes simplex (HSV-1 and HSV-2) infected cells and equine encephalitis virus, and partially inhibit mumps, measles, and poliomyelitis viruses.
Applying for a US patent in the 1980s, Japanese LEM researcher C. Iizuka mixed polysaccharide components of LEM with the plant growth factor zeatin. LEM mixture protected mice infected with herpes:
- in the control group (no treatment) only 10% survived
- in the group treated 2 days after infection 75% survived
- in the group treated 2 days before infection 90% survived.
In the early 1990s, Koga isolated another LEM fraction, JLS-18. Local or oral application of JLS-18 prevents herpes recurrence in patients by blocking viral replication.
Jones treated a group of patients with genital herpes with LEM for three months:
- 30% experienced major improvement
- 30% experienced moderate improvement
- in 10% of patients the disease stabilized, and
- none experienced progression, worsening of symptoms, or significant side effects.
Genital herpes is the most widespread of all sexually transmitted diseases, infecting millions of people worldwide; however, most people don’t know they have it since they have no symptoms or very mild ones (often mistaken for other skin conditions). However, it can become severe and cause painful genital sores. It is especially dangerous for pregnant women, since the virus may also harm the baby. Official medicine offers no cure, though certain drugs may prevent or shorten the outbreaks.
Hepatitis is the most widespread viral disease: more than 500 million people have it and 2 million people die from it every year. Over 30% of hepatitis patients acquire chronic hepatitis, which leads to cirrhosis, liver cancer, and liver failure. Alpha interferon injections, used since 1992, lead to sustained improvements in about 40% of cases. Recent therapeutic protocols (improved interferons and additional antiviral drugs) moderately improve long-term results.
Medicinal mushrooms have also been used, in traditional medicine, against hepatitis. Chinese and Japanese researchers have found remarkable hepatoprotective effects – protecting liver from damage – of many medicinal mushroom compounds.
From shiitake mushroom, lentinan protects the liver in animal model experiments (in vivo), and LEM improves liver function and antibody production in hepatitis B patients. Combined with Ganoderma lucidum (reishi) and Trametes versicolor (Turkey Tail mushroom) polysaccharides, lentinan improves and normalizes liver enzymes in mice with toxic hepatitis.
Clinical trials, done at 16 Japanese clinics, have shown LEM improve the production of antibodies in chronic hepatitis B.
Four-month use of LEM inactivated hepatitis virus in 36.8% of chronic hepatitis patients; other studies have found it completely cured serious forms of chronic hepatitis in less than 3 months.
Since Myko San’s founding in 1990 we have helped thousands of patients recover from various viral infections. High quality medicinal mushrooms extracts can greatly speed up recovery, limit complications, and reduce the side effects of standard antiviral therapy.
In the last 25 years, Myko San antiviral extracts have helped patients with
- herpes zoster and herpes simplex
- HPV (Human papilloma virus)
- mononucleosis (Epstein-Barr virus)
- influenza (the flu), parainfluenza and rhinoviruses (the common cold)
- hepatitis (including cases of major improvements and complete hepatitis C cures)
While certainly not “magic bullets” that can always cure everyone,
- traditional medicine has used mushrooms for thousands of years
- abundant, high quality research
- has proven their safety and effectiveness
- found the active compounds, and
- explained the mechanisms,