Medicinal Mushrooms Fight Viral Infections
Medicinal mushrooms possess antiviral properties that make them effective against various viral infections. They help prevent viral diseases but also aid the body in fighting existing infections, speeding 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 (mainly 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 infections of the respiratory tract. LEM (shiitake mycelium extract) and its most potent component EP3 prevent all damage from herpes simplex (HSV-1 and HSV-2) and equine encephalitis viruses 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) – 10% survived,
- in the group treated two days after infection – 75% survived,
- in the group treated two 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 a moderate improvement
- in 10%, 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. The virus poses a significant danger to pregnant women and can harm the fetus. Official medicine offers no cure, though certain drugs may prevent or shorten the outbreaks.
Hepatitis is highly prevalent with over 500 million cases and an annual mortality rate of 2 million.. 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. Newer 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 the liver from damage – for many medicinal mushroom compounds.
From shiitake mushrooms, lentinan protects the liver in animal model experiments (in vivo), and LEM improves liver function and antibody production in hepatitis B patients. Lentinan combined with polysaccharides from Ganoderma lucidum (reishi) and Trametes versicolor (turkey tail), helps improve and normalize liver enzymes in mice with toxic hepatitis.
16 Japanese clinics conducted clinical trials that showed that LEM improves the production of antibodies in patients with 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 advanced forms of chronic hepatitis in less than three months.
Since Myko San’s founding in 1990, we have helped thousands of patients recover from various viral infections. High-quality medicinal mushroom 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)
Although they are not “magic bullets” that can 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, explained the mechanisms,
- clinical trials demonstrated, and
Myko San’s experience has shown that high-quality mushroom extracts can safely help against many viral infections.