Mycotherapy for Bone and Joints: Which mushrooms can help with Arthrosis?

According to published studies, over 303 million people around the world have arthrosis. This does not include the many people who suffer from other kinds of arthrosis, including rheumatoid arthritis, which adds to the burden of bone and joint disease prevalence. In addition to the medical complications brought about by arthrosis, significantly decreases the quality of life of the elderly patients, who are most commonly affected. The pain can also become unbearable to some patients to the point that it limits their movement, thus discouraging them from having an active lifestyle, which should be a regular part of their daily lives.

Arthrosis involves initial damage to the chondrocytes, which can be caused by physical, biochemical, or genetic factors. This damage results in the early stages of arthritic development, an inflammatory response allows the chondrocytes to proliferate and release inflammatory mediators that aim to remodel the cartilage but also cause a secondary inflammatory process in the surrounding joint tissues. This is followed by late stage arthrosis which precipitates a cycle of chronic inflammation leading  to a degeneration of joint tissues, which eventually leaves two bones rubbing against each other with painful friction  .

The main forms of management for arthrosis involve nonpharmacologic management, which includes aerobic and strengthening exercises and weight loss, which helps in decreasing the body weight of heavy-set patients and thus alleviates the burden of the weight on those  joints affected by arthrosis. Pharmacologic management involves non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as capsaicin, and duloxetine, in addition to intra-articular glucocorticoids. The problem with pharmaceutical therapy is the accompanying adverse effects of the mentioned drugs, including multisystemic drugs which can cause gastrointestinal, cardiovascular and renal complications. This limits the population that can use drug treatment and may put patients at risk of the long-term complications of these drugs.

Mycotherapeutic Management for Bones and Joints

Mushroom extracts have been utilized in pre-clinical trials and have resulted in positive outcomes in terms of fatigue, joint discomfort, and inflammation.


The Cordyceps sinensis fungus is a mushroom found endemicity in the Tibetan mountains that contains the sought-after bioactive compound, known as cordycepin. This substance regulates inflammation through a seemingly different mechanism than standard anti-inflammatory treatments. It has the capacity to manage patients’ pain, and can potentially control the progression of arthrosis.

According to ongoing research studies, Cordyceps is a good candidate in addition to the conventional anti-inflammatory and steroidal drugs, which have multisystemic side effects, broadening the treatment options for these patients. From being highly valued in traditional Chinese medicine, the potential of C. sinensis and its active component, cordycepin, is  currently  being researched to understand better the potential target tissues it can affect , whether it’s the joint tissues or the nerve endings.

Besides the well studied C.sinensis, other mushrooms have been found to have active compounds that have potential therapeutic properties for ameliorating arthrosis.


The triterpenoids in Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) e.g. ganoderic acid, have been found to have significant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which can offset the pathogenesis of arthrosis in patients. G. lucidum, , known as the mushroom of immortality  in traditional Chinese medicine, is  also known to improve energy circulation and is currently considered as a potential source of anti-inflammatory compounds.


The “King of Mushrooms” has been known for its regulation of hyperlipidemia in patients, which is an important factor in managing arthrosis.Grifola frondosa, is well known as an edible mushroom that helps in weight control and can, thus, alleviate the pressure in the weight-bearing joints affected by arthrosis.


Lentinula edodes, an edible mushroom well known in Japanese cuisine, was discovered to have an alkalizing effect, which helps in the excretion of uric acid in the body, thus preventing its  deposition in the joints. Besides its uricosuric effects, it has inherent health benefits such as an anti-inflammatory action due to its omega fatty acid content.

Royal Sun Agaricus (AbM)

Agaricus blazei Murill contains a potent cocktail of antioxidants, such as glutathione, and catalase, which protect the tissues from further cytologic deterioration, and enhance  the proper healing of tissues. While its health benefits have just been explored during the last forty years, studies have already confirmed its health-promoting compounds, including beta-glucans, coenzyme Q10, and B vitamins.


Inonotus obliquus, historically known in Siberian traditional medicine, is  regarded as the “black pearl” or the “forest diamond” in  the field of mycology. Its health benefits for arthrosis are due to the various polysaccharides it contains, that can stimulate several macrophage membrane receptors. To further support the use of  Chaga in improving arthrosis, it also has remarkable antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which can alleviate the manifestations of arthrosis.


These mycotherapeutic options offer a wider range of natural solutions for osteoarthritic patients and can spare them from the complicated adverse effects of pharmacotherapy.

The traditional use of these fungi as a mycotherapeutic tool, in addition with the preceding  scientific evidence presented here, support medicinal mushroom nutraceuticals as a good choice in alleviating arthrosis.

Actinic Porokeratosis: Mushrooms against a scaly skin disease

Skin keratinisation disorders are known to form layers of crusted epithelium, which are not only problems of esthetic and comfort, but also of cancer potential. This group of disorders with abnormal keratinisation are known as porokeratosis. The most common form of porokeratosis is the disseminated superficial actinic porokeratosis (DSAP), which afflicts patients through accelerated keratinisation of the skin, thickening it further, especially in the third to fourth decade of life. This specific variant of actinic keratosis warrants an efficient medical attention to prevent the development of cancer. According to a study, the overall management of this condition has not been maximized in varying aspects, including access to field treatments, therapeutic approach, and referral rates from primary health care physicians.

Besides an inadequate cost-benefit treatment plan, actinic porokeratosis is often misdiagnosed due to the similarity of its clinical picture with other dermatologic manifestations. As sun exposure is contributory to the prominence of the skin lesions, it is often mistaken as other skin conditions. Misdiagnosis brings about erroneous treatment plans that can aggravate the current condition of the patient.

Pathophysiology. How does it develop?

In general, DSAP is a genetic disease inherited through autosomal dominant fashion, which means that if just one parent passes on the defective gene, the child will be affected. While the evolution of the lesions are unclear, some etiology are suspected including exposure to radiation, immune-mediation, and even infection. As the sites of affectation have been observed in areas with sun exposure, it is suspected that solar radiation significantly contributes to the incidence of DSAP, growing multiple reddish or colored annular hyperkeratotic lesions, presenting as macules, papules, and plaques surrounded by edges of increased keratinisation with an atrophic centre. This has been widely observed in Australians who have had an increase in sun exposure throughout their lifetime.

Pharmacological and integrative treatment: Why do we need help from mycotherapy?

The current standard practice has no definitive evidence-based treatment for any form of actinic porokeratosis. This dermatologic condition has been studied in previous cases which used retinoid creams, 5-fluoriouracil, iquimoid cream, ingenol mebutate gel and other topical treatments as the primary management. Here is where mycotherapy can help, by addressing solutions for this unsolved problem.

As incidences are directed to general practitioners, the DSAP has been one of the subjects of misdiagnosis as clinical presentation is uncanny, with practitioners ending up with a final diagnosis of rashes or other skin lesions. Healthcare professionals should be educated on the incidence and prevalence of porokeratosis, especially in areas with higher cases. If treatment of these type of lesions is not correctly approached, they may progress to skin cancer, whether squamous cell carcinoma, or basal cell carcinoma, and with a smaller incidence, melanoma as well.

In this context, mycological approaches are being studied in order to improve the standard therapy and offer complementary tools against hyperkeratosis and malignant potential of DSAP.

Chaga mushrooms.

 Inonotus obliquus is discovered to have betulinic acid initially isolated back in 1788 [6]. Upon extraction from the outer bark of white birch trees,  this has been found to induce programmed cell death in pre-cancerous cells, such as the ones that can be present in actinic porokeratosis. In previous studies, betulin from Chaga mushrooms has resulted in significant tumor regression, with minimal toxicity to healthy cells.

Reishi mushrooms

Ganoderma lucidum has been used for decades due to its multiple benefits and its high content in terpenoids. Besides, polysacharides and other bioactive molecules, more than 200 triterpenes have been identified from the fruiting bodies, spores, and mycelia of this mushroom. Studies show that these terpenoids exhibit anti-cancer, antioxidant and antiinflammatory properties, which can be very useful in dermatological conditions like actinic porokeratosis [7].

Turkey tail

Along with Reishi, Coriolus versicolor has been noted to have significant amounts of terpenoids that are active in reprogramming the capacity of the cell to undergo apoptosis. In fact, a Turkey tail extract was found to inhibit the mitotic potential of cells that underwent mutation due to radiation exposure, and also by reduction of the tumor size.

Along with these mushrooms, other natural remedies, with more limited evidence of effectiveness, have been used to improve the standard treatment of actinic keratosis including apple cider vinegar, virgin coconut oil, tea tree oil, and even green tea.


Actinic keratosis has been highly prevalent through the years and has been an important basis of skin cancer because of its neoplastic potential. This condition requires medical and integrative management plans that can significantly reduce the development of cancer and other complications and should have been prioritized in the current setting. This is where mycotherapy should be looked into, further studying their bioactive substances to deal with the hyperkeratosis and to prevent the progression of cancer.

In addition, patient education in complementary therapies as adjuvants and in prevention should be also addressed.

Why Proprioception Exercises are Useful Beyond Sports Medicine

With sports injuries like sprains, it’s vital to restore proper function as soon as possible. This is particularly the case with ankle sprains, where chronic instability can cause the ankle to give way while walking, running, or standing. In addition to the usual range of motion and strength training, rehabilitation should include exercises that restore the body’s kinesthetic awareness, or sense of its position in space. Medically termed ‘proprioception exercises’, these movements help re-familiarise the body with the sensation of joint movement.

Proprioception is a largely unconscious ability that allows us to, for example, walk down the stairs without looking at our feet. Without proper rehabilitation, chronic ankle instability can lead to repeated injury, arthritis, or tendon issues. Meanwhile, ageing takes its toll on our proprioception, so maintaining these functions are essential to the patient’s well-being long term.

Why Proprioception Exercises Aren’t Only for Sports Injuries

Proprioception exercises such as balance training have been shown to prevent ankle re-injury in athletes and reduce the risk of long term ligament problems [1]. However, they have benefits beyond sports medicine; they have also been shown to help reduce the risk of falls in older people and women with low bone mass and to improve postural stability after a stroke [2].

There is also research underway to ascertain it’s benefits for overall mobility and preventing falls and injury for people with neurological or orthopaedic conditions. For example, other recent studies that suggest that proprioception exercises could be a beneficial integrative therapy for patients with Parkinson’s disease. [3]

More research is needed to identify which proprioception exercises are most beneficial according to each condition. However, as part of a regular exercise regime of at least 30 minutes of moderate activity every day, proprioception exercises have clear benefits. This is particularly the case for patients with issues with balance, whether it be a chronic condition or injury.

Incorporating Balance Training into Daily Life

What’s good about proprioception exercises is that you don’t need a lot of equipment to perform them – therefore, it’s easy to get patients to incorporate these exercises into their daily routine. These exercises will also help build strength, which will further improve stability and reduce the risk of falls.

Below are some ideas for proprioception exercises that patients can do with the supervision of a physiotherapist or integrative healthcare professional. With these simple moves, the patient can complement their treatment and be on their way to better balance in no time.

  • Stand on one leg when waiting in queues.
  • Use a ‘wobble board’ when standing at work or talking on the phone.
  • Play catch while standing on one leg and then the other.
  • Sit down and stand up from a chair without using your arms.
  • Walk as if you were on a tightrope.
  • Take up tai chi or a dance class. Choreography is great for spatial and bodily awareness, so this has many physical benefits as well as being an enjoyable hobby.

Enhancing Therapies with Proprioception Exercises

Proprioception exercises such as balance training are an integral part of a comprehensive approach to injury recovery. With its adaptability and ease of practice, it’s becoming increasingly popular among sports medics and physiotherapists. Alongside strength and flexibility training, proprioception exercises can help ensure the patient recovers the full scope of movement in the affected joints and ligaments. With an increasing amount of research to suggest that these exercises can also help those with chronic conditions, the incorporation of proprioception exercises is becoming more widespread among integrative therapists.


  1. Barrack R., Skinner H., Buckley S. (1989). Proprioception in the anterior cruciate deficient knee. Am. J. Sports Med. 17, 1–7.
  2. Meyer S., Karttunen A. H., Thijs V., Feys H., Verheyden G. (2014). How do somatosensory deficits in the arm and hand relate to upper limb impairment, activity, and participation problems after stroke? A Systematic Review. Phys. Ther. 94, 1220–1231.
  3. Konczak J., Sciutti A., Avanzino L., Squeri V., Gori M., Masia L., et al. . (2012). Parkinson’s disease accelerates age-related decline in haptic perception by altering somatosensory integration. Brain 135(Pt 11), 3371–3379.

Organic Nutrition: Does Science Back this Wellness Solution?

The organic nutrition industry is growing at an incredible rate, ready to reach a value of $320 billion by 2025. Countless companies are now investing more money and time into the potential of natural and organic food, but consumers are still questioning the true value of this solution.

In the last few years, the growth of the organic food sector has highlighted a growing trend for customers to focus more carefully on the ingredients they put into their bodies. During the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, the sales of organic food and drink grew even further, driven by an increased focus on wellness.

But what are the scientific health benefits of going organic? Can the research prove the value of organic eating as part of a full wellness strategy?

The ingredients of organic nutrition

For clinical professionals interested in confirming the benefits of organic nutrition, the research begins with the ingredients within this food. Organic fruits and vegetables are grown without the assistance of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. While these substances are generally deemed safe in conventional farming quantities, repeated exposure could be dangerous.

Common pesticides have been linked with developmental delays in humans, as well as reduced sperm quality in men, and even higher chances of mental conditions like ADHD. Organically-grown crops, on the other hand, are 48% less likely to test positive for dangerous substances like cadmium – a heavy metal that can accumulate in the kidneys and liver.

Organic nutrition can potentially replace dangerous substances with more nutritional benefits. Organic products in the milk and food landscape have 50% more omega 3 fatty acids. Switching to organic products could raise the intake of omega 3 in a standard consumer, without the risk of increased calories.

Replacing hormones with antioxidants

Further scientific study into organic nutrition finds that conventional livestock are often fed antibiotics to prevent against illness. Some livestock may also be injected with growth hormones that allow them to gain weight faster or increase production of milk. Traces of these substances can make their way into consumers, leading to a higher risk of antibiotic resistance, and problems with chronic illness.

Fortunately, eating organic nutrition could be the key to improving consumer diets. One study found that organic onions had a 20% higher content of antioxidants than conventional counterparts. Although experts are still exploring the full benefits of organic foods for nutrition purposes, the existing results are positive.

Another benefit worth considering is that today’s consumers don’t necessarily need to add extra foods to their diet to unlock the benefits of the right nutrition. Some of the biggest benefits of organic substances like medicinal mushrooms can be implemented in the form of regular supplementation. Most mushrooms have huge benefits when it comes to things like Vitamin D intake, but there are also mushrooms like Reishi, which can reduce the risk of inflammation in the body when taken as a supplement.

Clinical professionals recommending a diet of more organic substances could offer their clients the perfect combination of nutritional foods and supplemental solutions. This could be particularly useful for people who have dietary restrictions or preferences to consider.

Are organic foods essential to good health?

The benefits of organic nutrition are evident in the increasingly positive results of various studies into diet and consumer health. However, not everyone will be able to switch to a completely organic diet overnight. Today’s clinicians need to be aware that organic foods are more expensive, and often more difficult to access than their conventional counterparts.

For patients that are restricted in their ability to use organic foods in their diet, the best solution may be to recommend that they avoid foods in the dirty dozen list, as these have the highest concentration of pesticides and dangerous substances. An increased focus on organic nutrition may also be more valuable to vulnerable groups, such as young children, pregnant women, and the elderly.

Individuals who are limited in their ability to access organic foods or replace conventional foods with all-organic options can consider supplementation. As mentioned above, supplementation with the right highly nutritious substances can build upon the existing benefits of traditional fruits and vegetables. Additionally, with medicinal mushroom supplements like the Reishi plant, it’s possible to fight back against the inflammation that conventional products can cause.

Major medicinal mushroom supplements like Agaricus Blazei and Cordyceps Sinensis also deliver further benefits in the form of immune system support. A stronger immune system will be particularly beneficial to those unable to unlock the full benefits of organic nutrition.

Holistic Treatment for Ankylosing Spondylitis Iritis

Inflammatory diseases like Ankylosing Spondylitis Iritis represent one of the biggest challenges for medical professionals. Finding the source of chronic inflammation, and delivering treatment which minimises the problem without causing further side-effects requires careful planning.

Ankylosing Spondylitis Iritis is a component of Ankylosing Spondylitis, a chronic inflammatory condition responsible for stiffness, pain, and swelling. Though it’s more common for this condition to affect the hips, and spine, it can also influence all environments where ligaments and tendons intercede with bones.

Advanced Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) can progress to influence spinal development, and can affect sensitive areas of the body, including the eyes. Approximately 40% of patients diagnosed with AS also experience eye inflammation.

The Challenges of Ankylosing Spondylitis Iritis

In most conditions of AS affecting the eyes, chronic uveitis is common, affecting the iris in multiple locations. Patients may experience symptoms one eye at a time, sometimes accompanied by other acute anterior uveitis symptoms, such as back pain, and swelling.

A significant risk of Acute Ankylosing Spondylitis Iritis is how quickly the condition can develop. Patients often notice symptoms appearing rapidly, and developing within a short space of time, usually between a few days or weeks.

Symptoms range from inflammation of the eye, to eye pain, clouded vision, light sensitivity, and decreased vision. Some patients also experience dark spots in their vision. A full fundoscopic exam or ophthalmoscopy can assist in detecting the extent of the inflammation.

Further tests for ocular pressure, or a slit lamp exam may further reveal additional pressure on the eye. Once a thorough diagnosis is established, the first line of treatment is often corticosteroids to reduce inflammation and side-effects. Immunosuppressants may allow for steroid tapering for those dependent on corticosteroids already.

Why Holistic Ankylosing Spondylitis Iritis Treatments?

Corticosteroid treatments are not 100% successful when addressing Ankylosing Spondylitis Iritis. High levels of dependence on steroids has reduced the efficacy of these treatment routes, requiring doctors to use higher doses, and immunosuppressant.

Research into steroids demonstrates numerous adverse side effects, including damage to the GI tract, gastric ulcer formation, and issues with the gut microbiota which may influence overall immunomodulation and response.

Overexposure to corticosteroids can further drive outcomes like impaired healing, hair thinning, and facial erythema. When corticosteroids aren’t successful, procedures may be required to remove vitreous within the eye and reduce pressure. Surgery to implant a device for releasing corticosteroid medication is also a possibility for AS treatment.

Unfortunately, these extreme treatment conditions can come with various side effects that harm the overall wellbeing over the patient.

A holistic treatment to Ankylosing Spondylitis Iritis would provide patients with an opportunity to rectify inflammation problems through positive lifestyle changes before surgery is necessary.

Natural Treatment Options

Physical therapy, hot and cold therapy, as well as lifestyle changes have all been deemed successful treatment methods for Ankylosing Spondylitis Iritis in some cases. Anti-inflammatory diets that remove dangerous substances from the daily routine reduces the risk of flare-ups.

Since no satisfactory pharmaceutical treatment appears to be available for the long-term treatment of AS, holistic approaches are gaining popularity, with a focus on reducing inflammation naturally, before turning to surgical answers.

Mycomedicine, or the use of medicinal mushrooms, offers a powerful solution for inflammation. Mushrooms have been extensively used throughout the years for their therapeutic effects and impact on inflammation. Mushrooms are rich in polysaccharides, indolic and phenolic compounds, which reduce inflammation on a deeper level. The metabolites from mushrooms also contain anti-cancer, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Reishi mushroom supplements, for instance, are proven to improve immune system performance, and promote healing in various parts of the body. Reishi can successfully reduce inflammation and encourage better sleep for healing.

Furthermore, because Reishi mushrooms contain beta glucan adaptogens, they’re capable of adapting rapidly to the unique needs of each patient when given in the correct combination and dose. Combined with its natural anti-inflammatory activity, Reishi’s unique benefits can help to overcome Ankylosing Spondylitis Iritis.

Since cooking mushrooms has the potential to reduce their inflammatory capabilities, extracts are the best treatment route. Mushrooms for inflammation are best given in extract form, where they can be reduced to their most powerful form, without any additional substances or calories.


Mild cognitive impairment NHS: A Natural Approach

The Mild Cognitive Impairment NHS recognised condition is a common neurological issue defining diminished cognitive abilities in a patient. In the UK, experts estimate that between 5 and 20% of all people over the age of 65 have MCI (Mild Cognitive Impairment).

Mild cognitive impairment symptoms may remain stable for a number of years, before gradually progressing to more severe levels. The symptoms of this condition include poor memory recollection, a change in problem solving skills, or issues with concentration, language, attention, visual ability, and thought processing.

Treating Mild Cognitive Impairment NHS

Mild Cognitive Impairment is more than just basic forgetfulness, but the symptoms are not yet significant enough to be classified as dementia. However, the NHS and other medical groups do recognise MCI as a potential warning sign of dementia and other cognitive ailments.

When identifying mild cognitive impairment, NHS professionals will examine the full extent of the issue, using blood tests and other means to determine whether the reason for your cognitive status may be linked to an underlying problem. MCI is diagnosed based on mental performance tests like the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE).

Treatment options include addressing the reversible causes of MCI. For instance, benzodiazepines can assist with treating anxiety, sleep disturbances and sleep issues, which all influence cognitive performance while anticholinergics affect the flow of chemicals in the nervous system. Unfortunately, many of these medications have negative side effects. What’s more, because they only treat the symptom, not the underlying issue, the condition may recur once the medication is stopped.

Holistic natural approaches are often considered the safer treatment route. Intellectual stimulation is proven to reduce cognitive decline and memory training can improve the storage of long-term memories. Medicinal mushrooms are also emerging as a powerful and clinically proven solution for MCI conditions.

Medicinal Mushrooms Support Cognitive Function

On a base level, medicinal mushrooms contain a number of valuable nutrients capable of supporting mental function. GABA, or Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid is effective at reducing stress levels and improving neural performance, while reducing the risk of insomnia. GABA supplementation can significantly improve cognitive performance in tasks like temporary visual attention.

Ergothioneine supplementation can help to prevent the risk of mild cognitive impairment, as cognitive issues often appear when levels of this substance begin to decrease naturally with age. Terpenoids in medicinal mushrooms also contribute to myelin regeneration, nerve growth factor synthesis, anti-inflammatory activities, and antioxidant performance.

Studies have begun to show that extracts and compounds from medicinal mushrooms can significantly improve cognitive performance and reduce the risk of cognitive decline. Some specific types of medicinal mushrooms are particularly valuable.

A project called Neurofood developed by Foltra foundation and HdT, a Spanish biotech specialised in mushroom nutraceuticals,  examined the abilities of mushrooms to improve neurocognitive functions. Researchers found that the use of medicinal mushroom extracts could significantly improve memory recall, attention and processing speed. Participants also demonstrated enhanced visuospatial skills following the use of medicinal mushrooms.

Which Mushrooms Support Brain Health?

For instance, the Hericium erinaceus (Lion’s mane) mushroom proved its impact on cognitive impairment in a study wherein patients ingested the mushroom extract for 16 weeks. At the end of the 16 weeks, cognitive function improved. Even four weeks after treatment was stopped, the cognition of the patients remained improved according to the Hasegawa Dementia Scale – Revised. [Mori et al., 2009].

The benefit of H.erinaceus comes from its ability to regenerate myelin and new synapses thanks to erinacines and hericenones acting as nerve growth-factor enhancing agents. [Kawagishi and Zhuang, 2008; Mori et al., 2008; Ma et al., 2010]. This medicinal mushroom improves neuronal stability and improves normal brain cell development.

Double-blind studies have further proven that patients given the Hericium erinaceus mushroom achieved much higher scales on the Hasegawa Dementia scale compared to those treated with a placebo.

Research into the Polysaccharides in Ganoderma lucidum also demonstrates that this mushroom can significantly improve cognitive function. The administration of G.lucidum extract in this study promoted the proliferation of the neural progenitor cell for enhanced neurogenesis.

Reishi, or Ganoderma lucidum mushroom is also known as an effective anti-aging mushroom. High levels of antioxidants in this mushroom significantly improve cognitive function by reducing cell aging and tissue damage which may impair mental abilities.

Using Medicinal Mushrooms for Cognitive Strength

Increasingly, medicinal mushrooms are proving their abilities to regenerate damaged parts of the brain and improve neural pathways. Backed by science, these mushrooms demonstrate significant value for those suffering from cognitive issues like Mild Cognitive Impairment.

As a safe substance without any potential side effects, medicinal mushrooms can also work in conjunction with other treatments. However, the right quality of the mushroom extract is necessary. High potency standardized extracts grown organically and no artificial fillers deliver the best results.


Chemotherapy side effects can be managed with Mycomedicine

Chemotherapy is proven to be a highly effective treatment for various forms of cancer. However, as an aggressive form of treatment, chemotherapy can also have side effects of its own, from hair loss and nausea to depression and fatigue. Managing the side effects of chemotherapy is an important part of a holistic approach to ensuring quality of life for the cancer patient.

The benefits of medicinal mushrooms and their unique bioactive compounds are rapidly gaining attention as a solution to various mental and physical ailments. Research into the concept of “mycomedicine”, which leverages the medicinal benefits of extracts within these mushrooms proves the efficacy of natural treatments for various conditions, including chemotherapy side effects.

Studies demonstrate the beneficial impact of medicinal mushroom extracts used either synergistically with radiation and chemotherapy, or as single agents.

Reducing Chemotherapy Side Effects with Medicinal Mushrooms

The concept of Mycomedicine and the use of medicinal mushrooms in a patient treatment dates back to almost the beginning of healthcare practice. Compounds from the unique components of medicinal mushrooms are already approved as a safe, clinical treatment within China and Japan.

Many clinical trials in cancer patients, included for example in a prestigious Cochrane review,   demonstrate that medicinal mushrooms like Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi) are well tolerated when used alongside other cancer treatments. This medicinal mushroom is particularly effective at stimulating the immune system, and supporting the recovery of the body, through beta-glucans, triterpenes, ergosterol and other key bioactive molecules.

According to studies, the administration of Ganoderma lucidum extract alongside radiation or chemotherapy can improve tumour response by up to 1.27 times, while improving patient immune response. The bioactive compounds of these mushrooms such as beta-D-glucans or ganoderic acids also assist with improving quality of life and immune function

Besides Reishi, the use of Maitake, or Grifola frondosa, as an adjuvant to chemotherapy has been shown to reduce the side effects associated with cancer treatment like leukopenia, pain, vomiting or need of erythropheresis having also e a synergistic effect on tumour regression in several types of cancer.

It is also important to highlight that for more than 40 years, Polysaccharide-K (PSK) products derived from another medicinal mushroom called Coriolus versicolor, have demonstrated non-interaction with chemotherapy drugs, ensuring safe combined treatments. At the same time, these substances lead to a better overall quality of treatment, and better outcomes than chemotherapy alone.

As adaptogens, medicinal mushroom extracts can safely complement oncological treatments (chemo, radiotherapy, immunotherapy) by preserving the performance of the immune system, while counteracting side-effects like nausea, anaemia, and low resistance to viral infection. The anti-cancer compounds in medicinal mushrooms play a crucial role as mitotic kinase inhibitors, reactive oxygen species inducers, topoisomerase inhibitors, and angiogenesis inhibitors, leading to apoptosis.

The Impact of Medicinal Mushrooms on Cancer Treatment

The bioactive compounds in medicinal mushrooms have the capacity to improve the performance of the standard treatments used for cancer patients, while simultaneously improving quality of life by reducing common conditions like nausea and even lost bone density.

In particular, these bioactive molecules are beta-glucans, other polysaccharides, terpenoids like triterpenes, proteoglycans, vitamins and minerals among others, which contribute to an immunomodulatory healthy state that benefits cancer treatment.  Bioactive molecules in mushrooms are also described in literature as antitumour, antiangiogenic, antimetastatic and cytotoxic for cancer cells. Studies further reveal some anticancer compounds from mushrooms in combination with commercial anti-cancer drugs can even improve the treatment of drug-resistant cancers.

Medicinal mushroom supplemented patients can also benefit from significant reductions to chemotherapy side-effects, improving quality of life during treatments. The administration of medicinal mushroom extracts can effectively counteract issues like loss of appetite, emotional instability, alopecia, and general weakness.

The administration of Cordyceps sinensis as an adjuvant treatment with conventional chemotherapy and similar treatments also proves to be promising for the reduction of serum creatinine. This extract is effective at increasing creatinine clearance, reducing proteinuria, and alleviating complexities associated with chronic nephropathy.

Cordyceps sinensis is also proven to be an effective treatment for the management of fatigue and energy distribution in the human body. As general weakness, muscle aches, and fatigue are common problems associated with chemotherapy and cancer treatments; this substance could be a valuable supplemental treatment to enhance quality of life.

Used correctly, the anti-cancer compounds within medicinal mushrooms can provide additional relief from side effects commonly associated with chemotherapy and other cancer treatments, by helping to rebalance homeostasis, supporting the immune system, and managing pain responses.

Medical Mushrooms to Improve Chemotherapy

While chemotherapy is still regarded as the best treatment for cancer, it has various limitations when it comes to preserving quality of life for patients. Medicinal mushrooms are rapidly proving to be some of the best counteractive measures for those suffering from chemotherapy side effects, ranging from alopecia, to poor immunity and fatigue.

Safe for use synergistically with traditional treatments, medicinal mushrooms provide a safe and effective solution for integrative oncology. However, professionals must commit to seeking high-quality products to achieve the most effective outcomes. The best results from medicinal mushrooms are obtained from the synergy of powerful organic extracts with standardized bioactive molecules.

Quality medicinal mushroom treatments will become more common in the future of cancer management as studies continue to prove the safety and potential of this therapy.


Eating disorder complementary treatments and therapies

The search for eating disorder complementary treatments aim to supplement and enhance the results of common therapeutic solutions, such as cognitive behavioural therapies and medication.

Eating disorders are complex issues with many potential treatment routes. The methods chosen to address an eating disorder will depend on numerous factors, including the patient’s current situation and the specific issue they’re experiencing with food. A person’s current state of mind and how committed they are to pursuing recovery are also important.

In most cases, a combination of treatments is the most effective solution, as it allows tprofessionals to tackle concerns from a range of angles at once. Doctors may suggest medication, group or one-on-one counselling, and supplemental solutions, like medicinal mushrooms.

Exploring Complementary Treatment Options

Eating disorder complementary treatments build on top of the existing therapeutic method suggested by a healthcare provider, often assisting with issues like appetite and relaxation strategies to address anxieties about food. Common options include:

  • Body awareness therapies: A practice designed to focus on quality movement awareness. People with bulimia, anorexia, and unspecified eating disorders generally have lower body and self-awareness.
  • Exercise and yoga: Yoga can help to reduce stress levels and improve thinking processes. One study found significant improvement in feelings of wellbeing and positivity following a short program of Exercise can also assist with improving confidence and building appetite.
  • Acupuncture: A traditional Chinese medicine approach to holistic eating disorder treatments, acupuncture focuses on alleviating various issues associated with eating disorders, such as symptoms of depression and physical discomfort.
  • Relaxation therapy: Relaxation tools like massage therapy can assist with increasing levels of dopamine and serotonin, while reducing levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. One study found women with anorexia receiving massage therapy experienced reductions in body dissatisfaction and lower stress hormones.

Specific treatment strategies often differ according to the needs of the patient and any other conditions they may have. Some patients may also need assistance from a nutritionist to help them gradually increase the amount they eat over time.

Nutrition and Supplemental Treatments

Recovering from an eating disorder isn’t just an emotional and psychological journey. Physical recovery can also be a time-consuming process, requiring significant time and patience. Reintroducing certain nutrients and foods too quickly can cause additional problems and discomfort. Eating disorder complementary treatments can assist with rebuilding the body’s digestive system and improving physical performance too.

Access to nutritional supplements is often extremely helpful for people with eating disorders. Most common supplemental treatments suggested for those with eating disorders start with zinc and potassium, which help to improve the performance of the body and strengthen the performance of the stomach and digestive system.

Delivering the right levels of nutrients can be complex using traditional solutions, but studies are rapidly evolving to demonstrate the benefits of medicinal mushrooms in providing users with both nutritional benefits, and tools for recovering more rapidly from eating disorders.

The medicinal mushroom Ganoderma lucidum, or Reishi can improve the performance of the immune system, which is often compromised in people recovering from eating disorders, due to problems with the gut microbiota, and the lack of access to beneficial bacteria. The Reishi mushroom can fight against infections and immune inflammation, allowing people to recover quickly from the physical side effects of eating disorders.

Reishi mushrooms are also rich in a host of nutrients and vitamins which support the overall functioning of the body. Reishi has access to all the essential aminoacids, vitamins and minerals, and offers an easy way to access nutrients for people with problems eating balanced meals.

Reishi and Treatment for Depression

Reishi also has an impact on the mental health of patients recovering from eating disorders. Many people suffering from anorexia and similar eating disorders suffer from anxiety and depression too. This depression can make it extremely difficult to find the mental willpower to recover from an eating issue. Fortunately, the bioactive compounds in Reishi could be ideal for improving mood.

Studies have found that Reishi is suitable for helping not just with aches, pains and dizziness – all common physical symptoms of an eating disorder recovery, but irritability and anxiety too. Further research in a group of breast cancer survivors also found that taking Reishi supplementation improved quality of life for the participants, while reducing feelings of depression.

Combined with a high antioxidant status, capable of reducing damage to the body’s cells, and potential benefits for heart health, among others, Reishi’s impact on mental health could significantly improve the likelihood of a successful recovery from various eating disorders.

Used alongside other eating disorder complementary treatments, or as an addition to tools like therapy and medication, Reishi could be a powerful tool in helping those with eating disorders to rebuild their internal ecosystem with essential vitamins and minerals, while fighting back against issues of poor immunity, discomfort, and depression.

Complementary rehabilitation treatments in modern healthcare

The complexity of the human body and its response to disease, infection, and injury means treatment of any ailment is rarely a one-size-fits-all solution. Many acute and chronic conditions require practitioners to create customised treatment solutions which combine a variety of therapies, including medication, psychological support, and supplemental treatment.

Complementary rehabilitation treatments in modern healthcare can help to manage the side effects and symptoms of conditions not addressed by primary treatment methods. The World Health Organization notes that approximately 65 to 80% of the global population uses some form of complementary or alternative treatment, often combined with common Western medicine practices.

While complementary rehabilitation treatments can improve the efficacy of primary treatment methods and deliver quality of life improvements for many patients, the success of the therapy will depend on a number of factors. Some complementary treatments are safer than others, particularly when combined with Western medicine.

Applying Complementary Rehabilitation Treatments Safely

Complementary therapies come in a variety of forms, from psychological treatments, intended to address the mental and cognitive side-effects of physical ailments, to supplemental treatments using natural and holistic substances. Most complementary treatments share a few common beliefs. For instance, practitioners using complementary medicines believe that a body in balance (a state of homeostasis) is more likely to recover than one out of balance.

The philosophy of complementary medicine also dictates there is no quick fix to many health problems, and that the whole person should be treated when searching for a solution, not just the symptoms or specific disease.

The efficacy of complementary treatments is an area currently attracting extensive study. To deliver safe complementary therapeutic treatments, practitioners must consider the unique needs of the patient, and the existing medicines or treatments that the individual is using. Some complementary treatments, though considered “natural” can still have a negative impact on the body when mixed with other substances. This is why it’s crucial to be cautious when mixing therapies.

Do Complementary Rehabilitation Treatments work?

In certain circumstances, complementary therapies have proven to be extremely effective. In one study, people with Parkinson’s disease were found to respond positively to complementary therapy focused on dance and movement. Studies into complementary and integrative health interventions for musculoskeletal conditions have revealed that various forms of holistic treatments, like acupuncture, and mind-body medicine, can have a positive impact on musculoskeletal pains.

Studies have even revealed that mind-body therapies can be effective when dealing with the symptoms and side effects of certain cancers, as well as the side effects of chemotherapy treatments. In these cases, the use of complementary medicines can improve the quality of life of the patient, while they go through traditional treatment practices (like chemotherapy).

The biggest concern surrounding complementary medicine is whether they may also have a negative impact on the patient in some cases. Certain herbal and natural products can cause approved medicines to have unintended side-effects. Concerns regarding interactions have prompted a deeper interest in medicinal mushrooms, which are proven to work synergistically alongside many primary treatment options, without the risk of negative interactions.

Reishi mushroom, or Ganoderma lucidum, for instance, is an effective tool for patients with fibromyalgia. The mushroom extract can address various symptoms of fibromyalgia, including hypertension, pain, depression, and trouble sleeping. The Reishi mushroom significantly improves the quality and quantity of sleep in patients, improving the defence levels of the immune system in the fibromyalgia population.

Studies into Ganoderma lucidum use for fibromyalgia also found that the medicinal mushroom can assist with improving overall quality of life, reducing feelings of depression, improving energy levels, and enhancing endurance in the lower limbs.

Medicinal Mushrooms as Complementary Therapies

Ganoderma lucidum is a popular complementary therapy for those in search of holistic treatments for a range of conditions. The substance has been evaluated for its efficacy in helping with pain management during cancer treatment. Reishi is also known for its ability to reduce inflammation and improve immunomodulation, to support the natural homeostasis of the body throughout various acute and chronic conditions.

Other medicinal mushrooms can also work synergistically with primary treatment options in modern healthcare. Cordyceps mushrooms, for instance, can assist with osteoarthritis symptoms, reducing pain and inflammation, while improving energy levels. Cordycepin, its main bioactive molecule,  blocks the inflammatory process that causes pain in osteoarthritis, without the negative side effects of NSAIDs. Cordyceps can also assist with muscle recovery and inflammation, allowing the body to recover more quickly from injury.

Lion’s Mane, or Hericium erinaceus mushroom, has also been studied as a solution for complementary therapies in neural injuries and neuropathy. Studies into Transverse Myelitis, for instance, demonstrates the ability of Lion’s Mane mushroom to regenerate the neural pathways in the brain, and help them recover during rehabilitation treatments. Supplementation with Lion’s mane mushroom can help to improve the brain’s ability to rebuild pathways damaged by illness.

This medicinal mushroom stimulates nerve growth, and empowers patients to build strength, muscle, and muscle memory faster in a safe way.

For the future of healthcare, complementary rehabilitation treatments backed by scientific research, like medicinal mushrooms, will significantly improve the recovery rate in various serious conditions. Their unique abilities together with the safety of these substances, especially if there is an internal study of the producer that proves no drug interaction, make them the perfect synergistic solution for holistic treatment paths.

Improving life quality of hypernephroma patients with natural approach

Hypernephroma (also called renal cell carcinoma) accounts for approximately 2% of global cancer deaths, but recently its number has doubled compared to the past half-century.  Today it is the ninth most common neoplasm in the United States. Unfortunately, hypernephroma is often diagnosed after it has metastasized to distant regions of the body, thus resulting in poor prognosis even after surgical procedure is done. Currently, the survival rate of hypernephroma is about 76% in 5 years after diagnosis with optimal treatments.

Hypernephroma patients often suffer from low quality of life

Hypernephroma patients are prone to low quality of life during the duration of their disease. As with almost all tumors, pain is a major factor contributing to the situation. It often has a negative impact on patients’ functional status and quality of life.

Tumor therapies such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy often cause numerous side effects. These include hair loss, nausea and vomiting, abdominal discomfort, and dizziness, among others. As these patients continue their treatment, they have to somehow bear with the symptoms that they bring, and eventually also decrease the quality of life of the patients.

In order to improve patients’ quality of life, physicians will suggest most high-grade or end-stage cancer patients, including hypernephroma patients, for palliative care. This kind of therapy does not aim to treat the disease, but rather improve the quality of life. The goals of palliative therapy are:

  • Relieve symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, pain, and general discomfort
  • Help patients sleep
  • Ease emotional stress
  • Keep patients motivated

Medicinal mushrooms as a natural approach for enhancing quality of life

A comprehensive effort including a nutrition-rich diet, healthy lifestyle, exercise, and energy management can provide the needed resources for the body to battle against any tumor such as hypernephroma. Natural agents called adaptogens possess health benefits and play positive roles towards cancer prevention or treatments through several pathways such as inhibition of carcinogenesis and protection of body cells. As natural adaptogens, medicinal mushrooms offer a great variety of healthy compounds to strengthen the immune system in combating cancer.

One good example is Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum). This widely popular species has been extensively studied for its health benefits, especially as adjuvant in cancer. Reishi is thought to be able to protect the renal cell against superoxide induced damage, according to a pre-clinical study published in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine. The study evaluated the extract of Reishi in the liver and kidney and showed that Reishi demonstrated antioxidative effects on lipid peroxidation. Triterpenes, compounds found in Reishi, are known to be inhibitors of MMP (Matrix metallo-proteases) which regulate cellular motility and invasion. Another study exposed isolated renal tumor cells to Reishi, and it found that Reishi inhibited growth and down-regulated MMP-2 and MMP-3 expression by the renal tumor cells.

Cordyceps sinensis was also studied for its therapeutic benefits for the treatment of cancer. Cordycepin, the main bioactive molecule in this specie, had been extracted and shows tumor growth inhibition and promotion of apoptosis in cancer cells. A case series was conducted in 2016 in two male patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma treated by both standard therapy and integrative medicine consisting of extracts from various medicinal mushrooms including Ganoderma lucidum and Cordyceps sinensis. Following over four years of standard therapies and integrative care, these patients experienced improved quality of life and lived years beyond their predicted remaining life span.

Medicinal mushrooms are a viable approach to be incorporated into hypernephroma therapies. As an adjuvant therapy, medicinal mushrooms can provide positive roles in protecting body cells in hypernephroma as well as inhibiting disease progression in other tumors. Combined with standard therapy and supported by good management of health, diet, and exercise, hopefully patients will experience improved quality of life and better health during their battle against cancer.