Medicinal mushrooms for post-viral CFS/ME-type illness

Post-viral CFS/ME type illness is becoming an increasingly common concern in the medical landscape, particularly following the pandemic of 2020. Early studies into long COVID symptomatology suggest many overlaps with clinical presentation of ME/CFS. The need for monitoring and treatment for patients post-COVID is evident. 

Post-Viral CFS/ME-Type illness can vary in both symptoms, and the areas of the body commonly affected, however the main symptoms often include intense fatigue, pain in the joints and muscles, trouble sleeping, and concentration problems. 

Other less-common symptoms include headaches, difficulties with your vision, and, in some cases of Post-covid fatigue syndrome, issues with the airways. The rise of post-viral CFS/ME-type illness has led to extensive research into the problem, which reveals two underlying factors often at the heart of the ailment: poor immunity, and a history of viral infections.

For the treatment of this long-term condition, clinicians and practitioners are beginning to look towards more holistic treatment methods. Medicinal mushrooms are adaptogens capable of providing a safe, and natural solution to addressing the issue of both low immunity and infection. What’s more, these substances have natural bioactive compounds capable of supporting holistic wellbeing. 

A Holistic Treatment for Post-Viral CFS/ME-Type Illness

CFS, otherwise known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, is a condition growing increasingly complex as viral infections become more common. This condition can affect anyone, including children, but it is often more common in women, and often emerges as a result of low immunity issues. 

The main symptoms of post-viral CFS/ME-type illness is a feeling of general tiredness and discomfort. People with this condition can also find they’re more predisposed to infection and may not be able to carry out normal activities in their day-to-day lives. The symptoms of CFS/ME are often very similar to other ailments, making it harder to give an accurate diagnosis, and the correct treatment.

Due to the far-ranging symptoms of CFS/ME ailments, clinicians often advise a variety of treatments, ranging from medication to control pain and nausea, to structured exercise programs and cognitive behavioral therapy. Increasingly, researchers are discovering that the presence of NK cells could indicate post-viral CFS/ME-type illness. 

As a result, we are learning that medicinal mushrooms could be able to address the common factors of CFS-ME ailments as an effective anti-viral and immunomodulatory substance. Medicinal mushrooms offer a holistic and safe treatment for improving the overall functioning of the immune system, and the response to viral infection. Most importantly, these substances can be used synergistically, with multiple variations of mushrooms offering different results. 

Medicinal Mushrooms for Holistic Support

Herbal and holistic treatments for post-viral CFS/ME-type illness is not a new concept in the medical world. There is a long history of Cordyceps sinensis, the entomopathogenic fungus, being used for energy and vitality, as well as improved stamina. 

Modern studies on Cordyceps mushrooms have revealed positive mechanisms in the production of energy (ATP), and cellular oxygenation. Cordyceps extracts have demonstrated a consistent ability to improve the production of cortisol for energy and focus, as well as reducing the amount of lactic acid produced, to enhance muscular function and recovery. 

The immunomodulatory effects of Cordyceps mushrooms have been extensively explored as a solution for not only improving energy management, but also improving the body’s response to infection. In cases of influenza, for instance, Cordyceps mushroom can help to improve the body’s recovery rate and maintain better quality of life for the patient. The mushroom also helps to increase the number of NK cells – the cells most often missing in post-viral CFS/ME-type illness

Cordyceps is only one type of medicinal mushroom capable of improving the body’s response to viral infection and reducing the risk of CFS-ME problems. The Reishi mushroom, also known as Ganoderma lucidum, has also been found as a powerful solution for improving fatigue and quality of life in CFS patients in 12 weeks time while modulating immune system functioning. 

The polysaccharide rich Reishi mushroom also helps to balance the immune, nervous, cardiovascular, and hormonal systems before, during and after viral infections. Numerous bioactive compounds within the mushroom contribute to this effect. The Reishi mushroom can also assist with activating various substances within the human body to encourage faster recovery. For instance, G. lucidum (Reishi) mushroom can improve vasodilation to improve blood oxygen supply capacity, allowing for the reduction of fatigue. 

Treating CFS/ME-Type Illness

Treating Post-viral CFS/ME-type illness can be a complex issue for today’s clinicians, as pharmaceutical treatment methods are often deemed ineffective, or too likely to lead to adverse side effects. Medicinal mushrooms could provide an alternative, as a safe and natural solution for addressing both the underlying factors of immune system functioning and viral infections, as well as the symptoms of post-viral conditions. 

In some cases, a combination of extracts from various medicinal mushrooms, such as Cordyceps and Reishi, could ensure the faster potential recovery of the patient.