Medicinal mushrooms have been used for centuries to improve health and treat various ailments. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the potential benefits of medicinal mushrooms for cancer prevention and treatment. In this blog post, we will discuss four medicinal mushrooms that have been shown to have potential benefits for cancer patients: Turkey Tail, Chaga, Reishi, and Lion's Mane mushrooms.
Turkey Tail Mushroom (Trametes Versicolor)
Turkey tail mushrooms are one of the most researched medicinal mushrooms when it comes to their potential benefits for cancer patients. These mushrooms contain a group of compounds called polysaccharides, which have been shown to have anti-tumor and immune-boosting properties. In clinical trials, turkey tail mushrooms has been shown to improve the survival rates and quality of life of cancer patients, as well as reduce side effects from chemotherapy and radiation.
Turkey Tail is known for its immune-boosting properties. The mushroom contains a range of compounds, including beta-glucans, which have been shown to stimulate the immune system. In particular, Turkey Tail has been found to increase the activity of natural killer cells, which are a type of white blood cell that play a key role in the body's defense against cancer cells. By strengthening the immune system, Turkey Tail may help to prevent cancer from developing and may also enhance the effectiveness of cancer treatments.
Turkey Tail has been found to have potent antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are compounds that help to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can cause oxidative stress in the body. Oxidative stress has been linked to a range of health problems, including cancer. By neutralizing free radicals, Turkey Tail may help to prevent cellular damage that could lead to the development of cancer.
Turkey Tail contains polysaccharopeptides (PSPs) and polysaccharides that have been found to have anti-tumor properties. These compounds have been shown to inhibit the growth and spread of cancer cells in a variety of different types of cancer, including breast, lung, and colon cancer. PSPs and polysaccharides are thought to work by blocking the formation of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow, as well as by inducing apoptosis (programmed cell death) in cancer cells.
Turkey Tail has been found to be effective in reducing the side effects of conventional cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy. These treatments can cause a range of unpleasant side effects, including nausea, fatigue, and loss of appetite. However, studies have shown that taking Turkey Tail supplements can help to alleviate these symptoms and improve quality of life for cancer patients.
One study published in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms found that breast cancer patients who took turkey tail supplements experienced significantly fewer side effects from chemotherapy than those who did not take the supplements. Another study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that Turkey Tail supplementation improved the immune response of patients with colon cancer who were undergoing chemotherapy.
Chaga Mushroom (Inonotus obliquus)
Chaga mushrooms are another type of medicinal mushroom that has been shown to have potential benefits for cancer patients. These mushrooms contain compounds called betulinic acid and triterpenoids, which have been shown to have anti-tumor properties. In addition, chaga is also a rich source of antioxidants, which help to protect the body from oxidative stress. This type of stress has been linked to cancer, so consuming chaga may help to reduce the risk of cancer by protecting the body from oxidative damage.
Reishi Mushroom (Ganoderma Lucidum)
Reishi mushrooms have been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine for their medicinal properties. In recent years, research has shown that Reishi mushroom may also have potential benefits for cancer patients. These mushrooms contain compounds called triterpenes and polysaccharides, which have been shown to have anti-tumor and immune-boosting properties. Reishi mushroom has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects, which are important for cancer patients as inflammation has been linked to cancer.
Lion's Mane Mushroom (Hericium Erinaceus)
Lion's Mane mushrooms are another type of medicinal mushroom that have been shown to have potential benefits for cancer patients. These mushrooms contain compounds called beta-glucans, which have been shown to have immune-boosting and anti-tumor properties. In addition, Lion's Mane is also a rich source of antioxidants, which help to protect the body from oxidative stress. This type of stress has been linked to cancer, so consuming Lion's Mane may help to reduce the risk of cancer by protecting the body from oxidative damage.
Medicinal mushrooms have been shown to have potential benefits for cancer patients, including Turkey Tail, Chaga, Reishi, and Lion's Mane mushrooms. These mushrooms contain compounds that have been shown to have anti-tumor and immune-boosting properties, as well as reduce side effects from chemotherapy and radiation. It's worth noting that medicinal mushrooms are a safe and well-tolerated supplement. In general, side effects are rare and mild, and may include digestive discomfort or mild allergic reactions in some individuals.
While more research is needed to fully understand the benefits of medicinal mushrooms for cancer prevention and treatment, there is promising evidence that these mushrooms may be a safe and natural way to support overall health and well-being for cancer patients. It is important to note that medicinal mushrooms should not be used as a substitute for traditional cancer treatment, but rather as a complementary therapy to support the overall health of cancer patients.
On a Personal Note
When I asked my mom (Julia, founder of Bloomable Natural Products) why she started exploring the world of medicinal mushrooms, she shared with me quite an interesting story.
Julia's mother (my grandmother), also originally from Irkutsk, Siberia, had found out that she had a brain tumour at the age of 55. After having it surgically removed, she was told that she would have to come back every 6 months to ensure that it does not grow back. During this time, a doctor friend of hers gave her an earthy, brown tea and told her to drink it every day to help stop the growth of the tumour. Uncertain, but open to different solutions, she obliged and stayed consistent. 6 months later, back at her check-up, her doctor was happy to report to her that not only had her tumour not grown, but it had shrunk in size. Julia's mother continued to drink the tea, with no more cancer scares, until she peacefully died at the age of 87.
Julia didn't realize that this tea her mom was drinking was Chaga mushroom until about 30 years later when exploring at a natural health store in Canada. She began to do research on the many benefits Chaga, soon after incorporating it into her own daily routine.
This is all to say that writing this blog post felt very full circle, as it is the reason as to why Bloomable exists today. Hopefully it gives you some more insight on how medicinal mushrooms can help with cancer treatment and prevention.