The food value and healing potential of mushrooms and other fungi have been known for thousands of years in traditional cultures. Mushrooms are an established part of Pacific Rim cuisines, and the Chinese and Japanese eat more than 100 different species of them. In the West, mushrooms were often believed to be unfit as food, or even poisonous. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle described mushrooms as "foul pustules from the earth" that spring up after rain. But this prejudice is not shared by the French, who consume nearly 50 different varieties.
In the Orient, Russia and Europe mushrooms are sought for medicinal purposes, especially for antimicrobial principles. Their resistance to microbial attack is apparent from their hardiness in dark, moist environments where viruses and bacteria tend to flourish. The lower fungi (molds) were the first sources of antibiotics such as penicillin, erythromycin, and tetracycline; the higher fungi, the mushrooms, also make potent antiviral and antibacterial compounds to protect themselves against pathogens that would otherwise compromise their growth. MycoStat™ provides a blend of six of the most important adaptogenic and tonic mushroom species known to traditional medicine and documented by science. Key ingredients and actions are:
Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), once called the "mushroom of immortality", is a shelf fungus prized in China for its beneficial effects on the heart and lungs and for its ability to shorten convalescence. Reishi, contains an active beta-1,3-glucan constituent, as well as two branched glucans that may participate in its actions.
Reishi is a source of triterpenes such as ganoderic acid that may play a role in maintaining normal blood pressure and cholesterol, modulating platelet aggregation, and promoting liver function. A sulfur derivative, cyclo-octasulfur, has attracted research attention as a potential aid in maintaining healthy, open airways. Reishi has been used empirically to ease nervous tension, enhance sleep, reduce indigestion, and support normal immunologic mechanisms.
The principal active constituent of Shiitake is the polysaccharide lentinan (beta-1,3-glucan), which is being researched in Japan and elsewhere as an immune-support substance. Shiitake also contains a polysaccharide known as KS-2, and a polypentose, Ac2P, both of which are currently under investigation for effects on viruses and immune parameters. This species is an interferon inducer and increases the activity of the protective antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD). Shiitake is also being studied for potential homeostatic effects on blood cholesterol.
This variety of mushroom (caterpillar fungus) which grows on the bodies of moth larvae, came into wide public view in 1993 when a group of previously mediocre Chinese runners proceeded to break nine world records after using a cordyceps-based tonic formula-a display that left observers "shaking their heads in stunned disbelief".
Research indicates that this mushroom possesses testosterone-like activity and enhances oxygen uptake by the brain and heart while improving resistance to hypoxia. Cordyceps also enhances immunity by increasing the activity of helper T-cells and natural killer cells, and by accelerating spleen regeneration. In experimental and clinical studies Cordyceps preserves kidney function and, as with Shiitake, can increase superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity. Last, this mushroom has been claimed to reduce the loss of libido that is characteristic of aging.
Maitake (Grifola frondosa) provides immune-stimulating polysaccharides (beta-1,6-glucan), similar in nature to lentinan. Maitake polysaccharides enhance macro-phage and natural killer cell functions, stimulate the release of interleukins and other cytokines, and help protect the immune system from toxic insults. Preliminary experimental work also indicates that Maitake extracts can inhibit some effects of viruses.
Coriolus Versicolor (Turkey Tail), known as Yun-zhi or cloud fungus, contains two polysaccharides with significant activity. One, PSK-"polysaccharide Kureha" or "Krestin"-is principally a protein-bound beta-1, 4-glucan polysaccharide with extensive documentation and popularity in Japan as an immunostimulant. PSK may have a favorable influence on the helper/ suppressor T-cell balance in immuno-compromised subjects. Coriolus also contains PSP, a newly-discovered polysaccharide-peptide with immunomodulating activity.
Also called Shirokikurage or White Jelly- Leaf, this fungus contains substantial amounts of glucuron-oxylomannan, an acidic polysaccharide with very interesting biological properties. Dietary supplementation with this polysaccharide in crude form results in marked hypocholesterolemic effects, probably attributable to suppression of intestinal cholesterol absorption.
The constituents of MycoStat™ have been used for centuries as both a food and medicine. MycoStat™ contains 7-9% dissolved solids in water and alcohol (25%). A typical starting dose is one dropperful 2-4 times daily or as directed by a health care provider. Due to the immune-enhancing properties, individuals with allergies or autoimmune disorders should use this product with caution, starting with very low doses, under the guidance of a physician.
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