What’s Nourishing, Immune protective, Aphrodisiac and Anti-aging?

Medicinal Mushrooms!

The great emperors of China used medicinal mushrooms as a nourishing tonic, aphrodisiac and for anti-aging.  Medicinal mushroom use dates back 4,000 years. Medicinal mushrooms are helpful because of their β-Glucans. The exact structure of the β-Glucan gives each mushroom its unique properties.

Here is an overview of three great medicinal mushrooms, however there are plenty more mushrooms to consider when it comes to your immune health.

Reishi “King of the Mushrooms”(Ganoderma lucidum)

Reishi is known from history to tonify the qi or “ life force” as it is strengthening and restorative. Reishi grows on the side of decaying trees or stumps.

  • Boosts Immune (combats avian flu, swine flu, helps with HIV/AIDS)
  • Fights cancer and supports chemotherapy
  • Reduces stress
  • Prevents fatigue
  • Aids in liver & kidney disease
  • Improves cardiovascular & heart health
  • Potential to reduce blood pressure
  • Helps asthma, bronchial affections
  • Reduces Herpes Zoster Pain

Shiitake (Lentinus edodes)

Shiitake mushrooms are a popular edible mushroom widely cultivated on dried wood. It has benefits when served roasted. The roasting temperature may influence the nature of unique benefits.

  • Excellent for boosting immune, even in those with severely compromised systems (HIV/AIDs, cancer)
  • Contains vitamins B1, B2, and C, dietary fiber, folate, niacin, polysaccharides, some minerals and ergosterols
  • Constituent lentinan (0.02%) has tumor reducing properties
  • Ability to reduce serum cholesterol (may reduce plasma levels of free cholesterol, triglycerides, and phospholipids
  • Anti-aging
  • Reduces inflammation by lowering levels of NF-κB
  • Suppression of pro-inflammatory IL-1 family members and IL-6 which has a therapeutic effect in many inflammatory diseases, including viral infections

Cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis)

Cordyceps, also known as Dongchongxiacao (winter-worm summergrass) is sweet in taste. It nourishes the kidney, soothes the lung, stops bleeding, and balances the adrenal gland’s response to stress. It feeds off the larva of some species of insects in the Hapialidae family. Due to human expansion and disruption of ecosystems, the natural yield of Cordyceps is now included in the Ordinance of Resources Protection on Wild Herbal Medicine .

  • Fights cancer and supports chemotherapy
  • Reduces stress
  • Prevents fatigue
  • Regulates intestinal bacteria and supports a healthy immune response in both the gut and body
  • Improves IgA levels, reducing gastrointestinal inflammation
  • Antioxidant activity
  • Anti-aging effects

It is critical to consult your medical professional before adding any medicinal mushoom to your regime. Dose, timing, duration and medication interaction need to be thoroughly evaluated for your health and safety.


Lee KH, Morris-Natschke SL, Yang X, Huang R, Zhou T, Wu SF, Shi Q, Itokawa H. Recent progress of research on medicinal mushrooms, foods, and other herbal products used in traditional Chinese medicine. J Tradit Complement Med. 2012 Apr;2(2):84-95. PMID: 24716120; PMCID: PMC3942920.

Lin B, Li S. Cordyceps as an Herbal Drug. In: Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011. Chapter 5. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92758/

Murphy EJ, Masterson C, Rezoagli E, O’Toole D, Major I, Stack GD, Lynch M, Laffey JG, Rowan NJ. β-Glucan extracts from the same edible shiitake mushroom Lentinus edodes produce differential in-vitro immunomodulatory and pulmonary cytoprotective effects – Implications for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) immunotherapies. Sci Total Environ. 2020 Aug 25;732:139330. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.139330. Epub 2020 May 11. PMID: 32413619; PMCID: PMC7211630.