There are so many different genera and species of mushrooms that it is difficult to make general statements about their bioactivity and use in traditional healing. Some, such as Cordyceps sinensis, found in southern China and Tibet, have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to improve blood circulation, energy and sexual vitality. Lion’s mane (Hericium erinaceum) has long been used in East Asia to aid the digestive tract, while the maitake mushroom (Grifola frondosa) has been used to improve the immune system. Dozens of other species have been – and still are – used in both Chinese and Indian traditional medical systems, as well as surviving as folk supplements in other societies. Traditionally, various species of mushroom have been eaten as part of the regular diet, both for their flavor and as a special boost to health, or dried and used in pill or potion form for their health benefits.
Modern chemical analysis of the various species of mushrooms shows that many of them contain a wide variety of bioactive materials, vitamins and minerals. Mushrooms can also synthesize chemicals that have benefits for the human body. Species that grow in the sunlight, for example, are rich in vitamins D1, D2 and D4, which cannot be obtained from animal sources. Others contain phenols, statins, amino acids, antioxidants and other compounds which can be beneficial to human health. Medicals researchers are intensely investigating the constituents of mushrooms, discovering materials that can lead to synthesized medicines. There is even a research journal dedicated to the subject.
Mushrooms continue to be used as popular dietary supplements today. Most mushroom supplements are provided in dried and purified form in pills or capsules. Some supplements contain the dried form of one specific species, while others provide a range of species and sometimes include other botanical extracts.
Consult a physician before beginning to use mushroom supplements. The active compounds in a supplement may have interactions with other medications or affect an existing condition. BACK TO TOP »
Dietary Supplement Formerly Grifron Pro Ultimate Immune Enhancer Maitake (
Grifola frondosa ) has been prized in traditional Japanese herbology for hundreds of years. Modern science has identified in Maitake ...