Medicinal mushrooms boost immunity for the cold & flu seasonNow that the cooler weather and shorter days have arrived, you start to think about the cold winter months ahead and looking forward to keeping warm and cosy indoors. Unfortunately it’s also the dreaded cold and flu season. If you’re conscious about staying well this winter, now is the perfect time to prepare for winter by boosting your immune health naturally with the magic of medicinal mushrooms.
Mushrooms have a long traditional useMushrooms have a long traditional use as a nutritional food source and for their medicinal properties in many cultures around the world. In particular, mushrooms have been studied widely in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and their medicinal use is well documented and extends back to around 200AD. These traditional uses are now being explored and increasingly supported by a wide body of scientific evidence. Some good examples of medicinal mushrooms include Shiitake, Reishi, Cordyceps, Snow fungus and Turkey tail.
Prevention beats the cure every timeYour body’s immune system is like a surveillance system, constantly monitoring and protecting your state of internal and external health. These protective measures range from simple defences such as maintaining healthy skin and mucous membranes to more complex defences such as the production of specific antibodies and chemical agents that fight and destroy foreign organisms. Being proactive and maintaining a strong healthy immune system reduces your risk of catching those typical winter illnesses including colds, flu, sore throats and cold sores.
Is your immune system unhappy?Signs of an unhappy immune system include decreased resistance to bacterial, fungal and viral infections, prolonged recovery after illness and a feeling of being tired and run down. There are many factors that can influence our immune health; excessive consumption of simple sugars, dietary fats, trans-fatty acids or alcohol, environmental toxins and pollutants, certain medications or pre-existing health conditions, excessive or prolonged exercise, stress, insomnia, anxiety, poor nutritional status, obesity, smoking, allergies etc.
What can mushrooms do for you?Mushrooms have a number of uses medicinally. For winter, medicinal mushrooms help support your immune system on many levels with many mushrooms containing potent antimicrobial, antiviral and antifungal properties. Mushrooms also contain a number of powerful antioxidants, essential minerals plus selenium, copper, vitamin D, B vitamins and fibre.
Mushrooms can help you to:
- maintain a healthy strong immune system
- stimulate your body's defences
- relieve symptoms of upper respiratory tract (URT) allergies
- strengthen the lungs
- relieve coughs & colds
- relieve symptoms of mild URTI’s
- reduce mucous congestion
- reduce viral, bacterial & fungal infections
Individual qualities of 5 medicinal mushroomsAll 5 of these mushrooms provide immune activity for winter wellness. Individually they offer different medicinal properties although there is evidence that using combinations of mushrooms can have a greater effect on the immune system than single mushrooms alone.
|Medicinal Mushroom||Indications||Traditional TCM Dosages|
|Shiitake||AntiviralAntimicrobialAntifungal||6 – 16g daily|
|Reishi||AntiallergyAntiviralAnti-inflammatoryRespiratory complaintsTonic||1.5 – 3g daily|
|Cordyceps||AntiviralChronic viral infectionsRespiratory tonicClears mucous congestion||3 – 9g daily|
|Snow fungus||Tonifies lungsMoistens lungs||3 – 9g daily|
|Turkey tail||AntiviralAntimicrobialAntioxidant||None available|