Medicinal Mushrooms: Which Type is Right for You?

Whether you want to improve cellular health or prevent the common cold, medicinal mushrooms are available in a variety of species to help you address your health concerns. Certain types of mushrooms have the distinct ability to boost immune health and fight diseases including diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and many more life-threatening illnesses.

These powerful herbal remedies are one of the primary foundations of alternative medicine, but with so many different formulas to choose from, it can be difficult to know which type best fits your personal health needs. Here’s a closer look at three varieties of common medicinal mushrooms:


Ganoderma lucidum, more commonly known as Reishi, is found worldwide and has a variety of active components, including proteins, amino acids, polysaccharides, volatile oils, minerals, vitamins and lipids. These properties make it effective in enhancing the oxygenation of the blood, lowering cholesterol levels, stimulating the immune system, and promoting liver detoxification.


This leaf-like, braided polypore fungus contains over 25% protein, various polysaccharides, vitamins, unsaturated fatty acids, and sterols that provide potent anti-tumor and immune-regulating effects. It is most highly recognized for its anti-cancer effects, as it provides protection against the harmful effects of chemotherapy, has inhibited breast cancer growth and metastasis in animal studies, and is the subject of ongoing human clinical trials with breast and prostate cancer patients.


This particular mushroom is the source of two well-studied extracts that include lentinan, a cell wall polysaccharide rich in Beta-glucans; and LEM (LentinulaEdodes Mycelium Extract), a protein-bound polysaccharide complex. Lentinan has been shown to be protective against various bacteria, viruses (including influenza) and parasites. Taking this mushroom regularly may help to decrease cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure.

Each of these mushrooms has profound applications that can improve vitality, decrease the growth of fungus and bacteria in the body, and even prevent deadly viruses by boosting your immune system.

By Dr. Isaac Eliaz on 02/02/2011

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