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Editor’s note: Price-Pottenger has selected this article as part of our Winter Immunity campaign 2021 to help our readers enhance their natural immunity with healthy dietary and lifestyle practices. To view more articles in this campaign, search our website using the phrase “Winter Immunity”.
Paul Stamets, DSc (Hon), has been a dedicated mycologist for over 40 years and is a respected pioneer in the use of mushrooms to address the health and environmental challenges of our modern world. He has been granted ten patents on mushroom-derived products, with seven more pending, and has authored six books, including Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms and Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Save the World. Paul holds numerous prestigious awards, including the National Award for Contributions to Amateur and Professional Mycology (from the North American Mycological Association), and was recently named as an AAAS- Lemelson Invention Ambassador by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is also the first recipient of the newly created Gordon and Tina Wasson Award from the Mycological Society of America. In addition, Paul is the founder of several companies, including Fungi Perfecti (www.fungi.com). The following interview, conducted in August, focuses on some of the uses of medicinal mushrooms for enhanced immunity.
Meredith Harvey: Why do you think the medicinal use of mushrooms has grown significantly among the general population in recent years?
Paul Stamets: I think, in the face of dire need, we need new medicines. Because of this need, science is casting a wider net, looking for new sources of medicines that can help fight disease. Modern medicine recognizes the complexity of what it means to be healthy, and there’s a new awakening both to the urgent need for new medicines and the need to look at health as a system. Diseases can generally be characterized by a complex of symptoms, but there is also a complex of cofactors that, when multiplied together, result in health or disease. I see nature as a numbers game. There are coefficient multipliers on one side of the equation, and these include your genetics, your environment, the foods you ingest, and the societal stressors that impact you. They include the increasing amount of pollution we are exposed to today, which causes an excess of free radicals and leads to inflammation. All of these are part of the equation that determines your health state.
In addition, we all harbor lots of viruses and bacteria. We now know that many of the bacteria previously thought to be deleterious are actually part of our healthy microbiome, and this plurality of organisms working in concert makes up an extremely complicated system. The methods utilized by medicine in the past were fantastic at creating antibiotics, but antibiotics put pressure against the genome of bacteria, and nature always finds a way to adapt—nature bats last. So, now, we are finding that drug-resistant strains of bacteria are evolving. However, I want to point out that penicillin, after largely becoming ineffective about 15 or 20 years ago due to overuse, has resurfaced as a useful antibiotic after a couple of decades in which physicians limited its prescription. I think this shows the elasticity of nature.
Today, however, we’re facing a huge calamity, as the population of the earth is approaching ten billion people and we are denaturing nature. Through deforestation and the establishment of monoculture landscapes, we’re losing the biodiversity of nature, and that very biodiversity was the wellspring that gave rise to us. We’re dismantling the food webs and fabric of nature that have given us life.
The need for us to address this is time critical. It has been well known in biology for over a hundred years that diseases proliferate when an organism overpopulates an environment beyond what is sustainable. With our concentrated factory farming of cows, chickens, and pigs – and I think cities are a form of factory farming of people – there is an enormous flow of viruses and bacteria to animals with stressed immune systems. There are more routes of infection and more mixing of genomes because there are so many hosts – so many people, so many pigs, so many birds, so many bats.
We’ve entered the dawn of viral pandemics, and these pandemics are going to increase. Some of the viruses we are facing today are oncoviruses, known to cause cancer, while many others are thought to merely cause inflammation. However, according to many physicians and oncologists, the inflammatory pathways play a major role in the development of cancer, so even inflammation-causing viruses can greatly jeopardize the immune system’s ability to fight this disease. In fact, I think we all have cancer all the time.
Although this can all be rather frightening, I’m actually optimistic, because I feel like I’ve found the keys to a new kingdom – the knowledge of what mushrooms have to offer. And while I may be a pioneer in the field of mycology, I’m really more excited about the people who will follow me. It isn’t possible for a single person, in one brief lifetime, to make all the discoveries that are needed. I’m one of the leaders who can blaze the path forward so others have a map to follow, and I’m sure that their discoveries will be far greater than mine.
MH: You’ve said elsewhere that animals are more closely related to fungi than to the members of any other kingdom. How does our shared DNA make medicinal mushrooms particularly well suited for use by humans?
PS: We evolved with fungi for hundreds of millions of years. About 650 million years ago, there was an evolutionary split between fungi and animals, in which fungi went down the path of externally digesting their nutrients. They do so using their mycelium – the fine, fuzzy, cobwebby substance you can find by tipping over a rotted log. The mycelium expresses little droplets of digestive juices, which are known by scientists as extracellular or secondary metabolites. These little digestive droplets break down plant and animal tissue – and bacteria, for that matter – and then the mycelium absorbs the nutrients directly through its cell walls. In contrast, we chose the route of encircling our nutrients within a cellular sac, the stomach, and then producing not-dissimilar enzymatic juices to break down plant and animal tissue.
However, we have a closer genetic history with fungi than we do with plants and bacteria, and as new genomic sequences are discovered, the genes known to be common between fungi and animals are increasing. In fact, there is a new super kingdom called Opisthokonta that joins Animalia and Fungi together, because we have more common ancestry with Fungi than we do with any other kingdom. For that matter, many of the pathogens that affect fungi also affect us, bacteria being the prime example. E. coli, staphylococcus, streptococcus, and listeria are all pathogenic to us as well as to many fungi. Because fungi have host-defense mechanisms enabling them to stave off these bacterial predators, they can provide us with an armamentarium of antibacterial defenses. This is but one example of how we can benefit from fungi’s defensive capabilities. We can also benefit from their antiviral defenses, and this is an area I’m doing a lot of research on right now.
MH: Would you talk about the use of medicinal mushrooms such as reishi and maitake to enhance the immune system?
PS: First, we should give credit where credit is due, and that is to our ancestors in Asia, Europe, and elsewhere in the world. Among the Eurasian cultures, as well as others, it is widely recognized that mushrooms are best cooked before consumption. Not only does cooking kill bacterial pathogens, it also makes the mushrooms more digestible. Many mushrooms have chitin-like cell walls that are largely indigestible if the mushrooms are eaten raw. In addition, our ancestors learned that cooking mushrooms in hot water – in teas and soups – was greatly beneficial for health. Modern science confirms this. Hot water isolates soluble sugars, including certain beta-glucans, glycoproteins, and triterpenoids that can boost immune function.
It’s estimated that there are around 150,000 species of mushrooms, based on DNA work, and only 14,000 have been given names by science. This means that we have not yet identified over 90 percent of them. Of the mushrooms that science has identified, our ancestors focused in on around 200 species, and about 50 of these are super-medicinal mushrooms. Reishi and maitake figure among them. Through set, circumstance, or just the sheer numbers of mushrooms that they went through, our ancestors gravitated to these super-medicinal mushrooms, which have a panoply of constituents that boost our immunity. Beginning with the initial studies conducted in Asia, research has shown that they are immune tonics, setting the immune system at a stage of readiness and making it far more resistant to disease and disruption.
I coauthored a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant application with Dr. Hailing Lu from the University of Washington School of Medicine, and we identified seven pathways by which mushrooms, including reishi and maitake, enhance and activate the immune system – although we had to focus on only one pathway in the grant. We focused on toll-like receptor (TLR) pathways, which involve activation of the immune system when a potentially pathogenic organism is consumed. Of course, reishi and maitake are not fungal pathogens, and their immune-enhancing qualities are based on far more than just the TLR activation pathway alone. This mechanism is common to many fungi and would not in itself explain why these medicinal mushrooms would be cherished and selected over many others by our ancestors.
To more fully understand how mushrooms can boost our immunity, it is important to look at the mycelial form. The mycelium is in direct contact with the ground for weeks, months, or even decades before a mushroom, the fruitbody of the fungus, pops up. The mushroom is the fruit of the mycelium, just as a peach is the fruit of a tree. The peach is succulent and attracts herbivores – insects, deer, and even people – in order to spread its seed pit. That’s the way of nature. You attract those animals that can help you spread your progeny. And mushrooms operate in a very similar way. They produce spores, and the mushrooms, mycelia, and spores are fragrant. Mycovores consume the mushrooms, and then birds, insects, and other animals, including humans, spread the spores. So, the mushrooms are like lighthouses sending out a beam of nutrition to the environment, saying, “Come eat me.” They are nutritionally dense, packed with proteins, sterols, minerals, and vitamins, including D and the B vitamins.
The cobwebby mycelium exudes a multitude of enzymes and other compounds into the ground. In fact, mycelium is the cellular foundation of our food webs, creating the rich soils necessary for life. It is also a digestive membrane that destroys many environmental toxic wastes – a fact that has spawned a new science called mycoremediation. Promoting the growth of mycelium in our gardens and yards helps neutralize many of the toxins that challenge our immune systems. Partnering with mycelium improves environmental health, both outside and inside our bodies.
The mycelium selects bacteria in order to create communities of microbes that are essential for its survival. They help it digest food and stave off predators, as well as enrich the ecosystem in which it resides, so that mushrooms can be produced. For this reason, mycelium-based products – for example, reishi and turkey tail—can aid our digestion and help promote beneficial bacteria in our gut microbiomes. They function as prebiotics, facilitating the growth of beneficial bacteria such as acidophilus, lactobacillus, and bifidobacterium, which enhance our immunity.
Because mushrooms typically fruit for only a few days, they don’t need much of a defense against harmful bacteria, but the mycelium does. The mycelium is in the ground, in direct contact with bacteria. It is surrounded by hundreds of millions of hungry microbes per gram, but it produces metabolites that keep those pathogens at bay.
We learned that the mycelium has this ability to fend off pathogens relatively recently, because the first tissue culture of mycelium was not grown until very late in the 1800s or the first decade of the 1900s. This understanding has opened up a whole arena of new medicines not previously known by Eurasian and traditional Chinese medicine practitioners, who advocated use of the fruitbodies prepared with hot water. By tapping into the mycelium, the immune system of the mushroom organism, we’ve discovered a huge number of novel, incredibly useful compounds.
I’ve been talking about this for a long time, and I’m really happy that, in the past two years, some genetic research has come out. Mushrooms contain between 12,000 and 16,000 genes, and in reishi, to give one example, it’s estimated that 20 to 25 percent more genes are turned on, or upregulated, in the mycelium than in the fruitbody. The fruitbody is at the end of its life cycle, so it doesn’t need to build a lot of new material, and therefore fewer genes are being expressed. Through studying the genes that are activated only at the mycelial state, we are discovering all sorts of new proteins, antibacterials, antivirals, and anti-inflammatories.
Let’s look at turkey tail, one of the over 700 species in my culture collection. We have thousands of sawdust blocks fruiting at any one time with reishi and turkey tail, and many other species as well. We also grow lots of mycelium, from the size of a tenth of your little fingernail up to 30 to 40 tons. Because of this, we see things in the life cycle that very few people ever witness. In the course of observing the mycelium’s development, we see attributes that are not apparent when one is just harvesting the wild mushroom.
Turkey tail is a source of PSK (polysaccharide krestin), a beta-glucan with a protein attached to it, as well as PSP (polysaccharopeptide). Both of these compounds have been very well researched and are known to boost the immune system. While the presence of beta-glucans is often deemed responsible for turkey tails’ immunological benefits, the full picture is actually far more complex. There are many things happening at the mycelial state that are not happening at the mushroom state. In addition to beta-glucans, there are all sorts of lipids and sterols, which are not soluble in water. When you use the traditional method of hot water extraction, those beneficial compounds are not readily dissolved.
This past year, Kenneth Quayle, Leanna Standish, Hailing Lu, and Catherine Coy published a paper showing that when they removed the lipid fraction – the fatty acid component – from PSK, the PSK was mostly inactivated. Without the lipid fraction, PSK lost more than 80 percent of its effect as an immune-enhancing agent. When you use hot water extraction exclusively, you are denaturing PSK by getting rid of the non-hot-water-soluble fractions – and it is these lipid components that activate the TLR receptors, enabling the beta-glucans to work as well as they do.
I was a co-investigator of a phase 1 clinical trial, funded by the NIH in conjunction with the University of Minnesota Medical School and Bastyr University, to study the use of turkey tail mycelium (containing PSK) in women with breast cancer. Pure PSK was obtained from Japan, and the researchers tested it alongside turkey tail fruitbodies and mycelium, which I supplied. They did an ex vivo test, exposing samples of their own blood to each of these substances – and our mycelium upregulated an immune response of the white blood cells much more than the PSK did.
One of the reasons our turkey tail was chosen for this trial was that we had a transparent chain of custody—we could trace it all the way back to the original culture from a turkey tail mushroom. Actually, there is a fun story associated with this. Dr. Andrew Weil, the noted physician, is my best friend, and he was at my house one day, when my kids were five and six years of age. They were all on a hammock strung between two apple trees, when, suddenly, the branch of one of the trees snapped, and thud! There went Andy Weil onto the ground. It kind of knocked the wind out of him, and my kids laughed all the way down. I threw the branch off to the side, into the shade, and six months later, I found turkey tail mushrooms fruiting on that branch. I tissue cultured the turkey tail, and that’s the very strain from my property that was used in the breast cancer clinical study.
MH: Would you elaborate on using turkey tail as an adjunct therapy for breast cancer patients and tell us a bit about your mother’s healing journey from breast cancer using this particular mushroom?
PS: My mother was diagnosed with advanced stage 4 breast cancer at the age of 83. She had not seen a doctor since 1969, and, being a charismatic Christian, she opted for prayer over conventional medicine. Tumors emerged. One tumor was so large it was erupting through her right breast, and she had five or six angry lymph nodes on her right side. Her physician told her she should have been treated two years earlier, and she was too old for a mastectomy or radiation therapy due to the risk of infection. Instead, her oncologist put her on Taxol, a chemotherapy drug. She had a horrible reaction to Taxol, which changed her personality. When she refused to continue taking it, she was put on Herceptin, a wonderful drug. She also began taking, on average, eight 500 mg capsules of organic turkey tail mycelium per day. Six months later, her tumors had disappeared, and she’s been cancer-free ever since. She recently celebrated her 90th birthday, and she is happy and energetic. She also seems to have become a lot more mentally acute. In fact, she beat my two older brothers, who went to Cornell University and Reed College, respectively, at Scrabble three days ago.
Subsequent to my mother’s story, Hailing Lu and Leanna Standish published an article showing that PSK from turkey tail enhances Herceptin activity. This demonstrates that turkey tail can be beneficially combined with allopathic medicine. The evidence indicates very strongly that adjunct therapies using medicinal mushrooms can augment conventional medical practices.
Dr. Paul Nghiem, of the University of Washington School of Medicine and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, had a patient who spontaneously recovered from Merkel cell carcinoma, a highly aggressive skin cancer that is usually associated with a polyoma virus, which can enable it to quickly metastasize into many forms. There have been only 10 reported survivors of Merkel cell carcinoma beyond two or three years, and this patient was one of them. He, like my mother, was using a mushroom supplement.
MH: What should consumers look for in terms of quality when purchasing mushroom supplements?
PS: It’s very important that any mushroom product be certified organic and that people know where it’s coming from. Just because it is certified organic does not mean it is free of toxins. A recent analysis we conducted found dangerously high levels of lead and banned pesticides in Chinese-grown hot water “organic” mushrooms, despite the purveyor of these products insisting that they are pure and free of toxins. Not true! Also, what the public generally does not know is that many purveyors of mushroom products are buying in an on-the-spot market, and they often switch suppliers. This means that their products can vary greatly in quality. Also, the age of the material affects its quality. For instance, as mycelium ages, its cells divide less frequently. The surface of the mycelium network deteriorates, and you end up losing potency.
Even if you have a certificate of analysis for a product – showing that it’s authentic turkey tail mycelium, for example – you can only be sure of its quality if the company providing it discloses where they purchased the material, as well as other information about it. So, you can ask Company X: Are you growing turkey tail? Yes. Is it certified organic? Yes. Is it grown in the United States? Yes. Is it grown in a place where there’s very little air pollution? Yes. (That’s important because you could have certified organic material grown in New Jersey or China near steel mills or coal-fueled fires that are spewing out all sorts of heavy metals—not a good place for growing mushrooms to help your health.) Then the real clincher is: Has the exact material that I’m purchasing been studied scientifically, and if so, where? That last question is where 99 percent of companies will say no or become evasive.
Admittedly, research is extremely expensive, and it is very difficult to get a clinical study sponsored unless there’s patent protection. Without a patent, you cannot protect your invention in the marketplace. That just goes with the territory. Independent scientific studies are few and far between, but they are out there. A small number of commercial entities can point to third-party research that used their specific material and method of extraction.
MH: Are there any contraindications to using medicinal mushrooms?
PS: There are no known contraindications to the use of most traditionally used polypore mushrooms, such as reishi, maitake, and turkey tail. (Polypores are a group of mushrooms that have pores instead of gills on their undersides). However, reishi is known as a blood thinner. So, out of an abundance of caution, there are a number of researchers – including Christopher Hobbs and myself – who want women to know that heavier menstruation can occur if you’re taking reishi mushrooms. In addition, there can be blood thinning and increased blood flow with reishi, so caution is advised just prior to surgery.
Of greater significance are the blood-thinning properties of the wood ear mushrooms called Auricularia polytricha and Auricularia auricula, which are used frequently in Chinese and Japanese foods. Auricularia contains a very potent anticoagulating compound. In the 1970s, with the abundance of Szechuan restaurants in the United States, Auricularia was found to be responsible for a phenomenon in which some patrons, particularly Anglo women, would experience breakage of blood vessels in their faces. This condition came to be known as Szechuan purpura.
The shiitake mushroom also bears mentioning, as it can cause a rare condition called shiitake (or flagellate) dermatitis, a reaction to a polysaccharide in the mushroom. This is seen most often with consumption of uncooked mushrooms, and only extremely rarely with cooked ones. Studies involving pinprick tests confirm that even people who have a severe reaction to the uncooked mushrooms often have very little reaction to the cooked ones.
There is another contraindication that is, frankly, rather scary: On the market right now, there are a number of companies selling Pleurotus eryngii, the king oyster mushroom. Eryngii and other oyster mushrooms, such as the well-known and widely consumed Pleurotus ostreatus, contain hemolytic proteins that basically cause red blood cells to rupture, and these hemolysins are heat labile, which means that they are destroyed by heat. One of them is eryngeolysin, which is deactivated at 122° F, and another is ostreolysin, which is more heat stable and does not degrade until it is heated to around 140°. It is very important that these mushrooms be cooked at temperatures over 140° in order to reduce these volatile toxins. However, there are companies promoting the use of raw Pleurotus eryngii mycelium, which can pose health hazards. I was at an international medicinal mushroom conference in Slovenia, and some researchers showed what happened to rats when they were fed raw Pleurotus ostreatus for eight weeks. In addition to the hemolytic effect, their brains shrunk about 50 percent. I don’t think brain shrinkage is a good idea.
So, again, it is very important that mushrooms be cooked. Lots of foods, including many vegetables – rhubarb being an obvious one—need to be cooked in order to render them safe. It’s not unusual for plants to have a consortium of beneficial and harmful constituents. Fortunately, the harmful compounds in these medicinal edible mushrooms—not all mushrooms, but the ones that we’re talking about – are rendered much safer and these heat-labile toxins are quickly destroyed with a modest amount of cooking.
Another thing to be aware of if you have a daily mushroom regimen is that you will maintain the best immune response if you stop periodically. In the NIH-funded clinical study, we saw a great increase in cytotoxic T-cells and natural killer cells with the use of turkey tail. However, after four to five weeks of a very strong dose-dependent response, the benefits could no longer be demonstrated. Your immune system can adapt to medicinal mushrooms, so eventually their benefit declines. That is why people skilled in traditional Chinese medicine, as well as many others, recommend “pulse therapy” – you would consume these mushrooms for a while and then take a break. I take a mixture of 17 species every day, including chaga, turkey tail, and lion’s mane. My regimen is to take it for three to four weeks, stop for a week to ten days, and then resume taking it.
MH: You mentioned your research on the antiviral properties of mushrooms. Would you elaborate on that?
PS: A lot of my recent research has focused on the effects of mushrooms on viruses and oncoviruses, and this presents an entirely different picture. Not only does consuming mushroom mycelium cause an upregulation of natural killer cells and cytotoxic T-cells, it reduces viral pathogen payloads in infected cells. I have found that extracts of living mycelium offer a very strong antiviral advantage. Recently, I made an astonishing discovery – and you’ll be the first people to hear of it. The story began in June of 2001, when I wrote an article for HerbalGram titled “Novel Anti-virals from Mushrooms.” I surveyed all the scientific literature to see what antiviral compounds had been discovered from mushrooms, and the article was a whopping one page long because that was all the material I could find. Because of that article, after 9/11, I was contacted by researchers working for the US Department of Defense, in coordination with the NIH virology program. They asked me to submit samples from my culture library of exotic fungi to see if any could provide a defense against bioterrorism. We submitted over 500 samples to the BioShield BioDefense program. More than 1100 molecular assays were performed from my samples, and, out of those assays, we had a hit rate of about 1 percent for antiviral activity.
We produced hot water fruitbody mushroom extracts and hot water mycelium extracts, as well as extracts of both using ethanol and room temperature water. The antiviral activity was localized in the supernatant of the ethanol-water extracted mycelium, which was highly active against flu viruses, herpes viruses, and poxviruses. In fact, some of our samples had the highest activity of any that were submitted – and there were over 200,000 submitted, according to the official press release, although in fact we were told privately there were more than 2 million. Moreover, ours were natural products with such high activity, and they beat out all the pharmaceutical drug controls in side-by-side tests with human cells in vitro.
Let’s fast-forward to about a year and a half ago. I had previously submitted a few strains of the agarikon mushroom, which I had found in the old-growth forests of the Pacific Coast and which showed strong antiviral activity. Now, I contacted NIH virology to submit additional samples of agarikon, since we had amassed a culture library of more than 80 strains. This time, however, NIH told me that I was only allowed to send in pure molecules, rather than uncharacterized natural extracts. Well, there are more than 200,000 different molecules in these mushrooms. How could I guess which molecule is responsible for the antiviral properties? This is the type of thing pharmaceutical companies spend millions of dollars and decades to find out.
I decided to focus on some compounds that had come to my attention during my research on bees. I’m very active in bee research, and I think I’ve found a solution to colony collapse disorder, based on extracts from mycelium. I chose 20 polyphenols expressed by the mycelium as it decomposes wood, which are found in these extracts, and bought the purified compounds from chemical companies, since that was much easier than purifying them myself.
I submitted these in two sets of ten, and after they were juried to make sure no one had studied them before and that they made cytological sense, they were tested against the NIH’s positive drug controls. Out of the first set of ten, three came back as more powerful than the antiviral pharmaceutical controls. Of the second set, five came back as highly active against human papilloma virus (HPV) – and there are currently no good antivirals against HPV. So, eight of the twenty molecules that I submitted turned out to be unknown to science and to have more powerful antiviral effects than the drug controls against Epstein-Barr, which is an oncovirus; varicella zoster, the herpes virus that causes shingles; a norovirus; and polio. The odds against my choosing these molecules correctly were pretty astounding, and I don’t know how to explain my success. Perhaps, as Louis Pasteur said, “Chance favors the prepared mind.” I just feel like I’ve been gifted with a little bit of intuition.
I recently submitted a patent based on my discoveries. The thing about patents that people need to understand is that without patent protection, commercialization is far less likely. In addition, a patent gives us the vehicle to direct the course of research, and that’s what I’m motivated by. I’m not motivated by money. I’m motivated by ideas and being able to save millions of people. I want to steer the course of this development because, historically, what these big pharmaceutical companies do is quash patents. They get licenses for new products, but they do not bring them to market because they have a pharmaceutical that’s still under patent protection, and for them to develop a competing technology would be counter to their interests.
Anyhow, I’ve very excited about this and especially excited about the use of medicinal mushrooms with oncoviruses. Some of the same mushrooms that upregulate the immune system also have antiviral properties, and I see these functions as two sides of the same coin. Science has identified eight oncoviruses, and we know that 18 percent of cancers are related to oncoviruses or infection. There’s also very good evidence that a sudden rise in inflammatory states, which can be caused by viruses, tilts the balance so that the ability to fight cancer is reduced.
MH: Are there specific mushrooms you recommend for people who want to reduce inflammation or build up their resistance to viruses?
PS: Let me respond by saying that there are certain mushrooms that support immunity, and those mushrooms that I am highly favorable towards are turkey tail, chaga, and reishi, as well as combinations of those. The immune system is very complicated, with fields of receptor sites, and once these fields are flooded – once all those sites are activated – swamping them with more is not necessarily better. However, when we were doing research in Japan, we found that when we combined, for instance, seven species, including reishi, chaga, lion’s mane, turkey tail, and agarikon, the combination upregulated the immune system far better than any one species at the same dose.
Einstein once said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” I would add that complex problems need to be met with a complexity of solutions that rise to the level of the problems we have created. This is why I’m a very strong believer in multiple-mushroom formulas. Their beneficial compounds appear to work synergistically and may help us overcome the virulent diseases of our time.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Meredith Harvey is associate editor of the PPNF Journal of Health and Healing and is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner with the Nutritional Therapy Association. She has a private practice in San Francisco, California, where she helps her clients create healthy emotional foundations to support diet and lifestyle changes. Her website is: www.healthywholeself.com
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Published in the Price-Pottenger Journal of Health and Healing
Winter 2015-2016 | Volume 39, Number 4
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