13.7 C
New York
Sunday, March 3, 2024

Buy now

What Is the Best Mushroom to Fight Cancer?

Mushrooms indicated by cancer type

Reishi mushroom, scientifically known as Ganoderma lucidum or Ganoderma sinense, has been commonly known as the mushroom of longevity or immortality. Out of all of the different types of mushrooms, reishi mushrooms seem to be the most widely used mushrooms for cancer prevention and to inhibit tumor growth.
Reishi mushroom, scientifically known as Ganoderma lucidum or Ganoderma sinense, has been commonly known as the mushroom of longevity or immortality. Out of all of the different types of mushrooms, reishi mushrooms seem to be the most widely used mushrooms for cancer prevention and to inhibit tumor growth.

Reishi mushroom, scientifically known as Ganoderma lucidum or Ganoderma sinense, has been commonly known as the mushroom of longevity or immortality. Out of all of the different types of mushrooms, reishi mushrooms seem to be the most widely used mushrooms for cancer prevention and to inhibit tumor growth. Mushrooms play a role in boosting the immune system and brain function.

Reishi has been used medicinally in East Asia since ancient times. It is a traditional medicine used throughout Asia for cancer prevention.

Reishi mushrooms were outed to prolong life, prevent aging and increase energy. In China, mushrooms are used to fortify the immune system of people with cancer who receive chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

These mushrooms are known as reishi In Japan. In China, G. lucidum is known as chizhi and G. sinense is known as zizhi.

Different types of mushrooms that are effective against different types of cancer are listed below.

Table 1. Medicinal mushrooms indicated by cancer types

Type of cancer         
Indicated mushroom

 Breast cancer        
 Reishi, maitake and turkey tail   

 Colon cancer 
 Reishi, maitake and turkey tail

 Gastric cancer
 Turkey tail

 Hepatocellular carcinoma 
 Agaricus and reishi

 Leukemia 
 Agaricus and reishi

 Lymphoma 
 Cordyceps

 Lung cancer 
 Reishi

 Non-small cell lung cancer 
 Cordyceps

 Prostate cancer
 Reishi

 Sarcoma
 Reishi

What are medicinal mushrooms?

Medicinal mushrooms are mushrooms that are used as medicines. They are mainly used in the treatment of

  • Infections
  • Lung diseases
  • Cancer

Reported benefits of medicinal mushrooms include

  • Antimicrobial
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Immune boosting
  • Cardiovascular protective
  • Anti-diabetic
  • Liver protective
  • Anticancer

In Japan and China, mushrooms have been used safely for a long time, either alone or in combination with chemotherapy or radiotherapy. There are more than 100 types of mushrooms used to treat cancer. The most common ones include

  • Ganoderma lucidum (reishi)
  • Trametes versicolor 
  • Coriolus versicolor (turkey tail)
  • Lentinus edodes (shiitake)
  • Grifola frondosa (maitake)

Research has been conducted to determine the antitumor activity of mushrooms and mushroom extracts.

Some of the traditionally used mushroom species include

 Scientific name        
 Common name        

 Cordyceps spp
 Caterpillar fungi

 Fomes fomentarius
 Tinder fungus

 Fomitopsis officinalis
 Wood conk or Agaricon

 Ganoderma lucidum
 Ling Zhi

 Grifola frondosa
 Hen of the woods and dancing mushroom

 Inonotus obliquus
 Chaga, Cinderconk and Clinker fungus

 Lentinula edodes
 Shiitake, huagu and snake butter

 Piptoporus betulinus
 Birch polypore

Why people with cancer use medicinal mushrooms

Medicinal mushrooms contain several biologically active compounds that are effective against the development of cancer cells. They contain a class of polysaccharides known as beta-glucans. Beta-glucans have shown anti-cancer activity.

Who should not take medicinal mushrooms?

Medicinal mushrooms are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because they come under the category of dietary supplements. Hence, take mushrooms at your risk. You shouldn’t take medicinal mushrooms if

  • You are taking warfarin or other blood thinners.
  • You are undergoing chemotherapy.
  • You are taking immunosuppressants.
  • You are taking cytochrome P450 2E1, 1A2 and 3A substrate drugs.

What are the risks of taking medicinal mushrooms?

Generally, mushrooms are considered safe to include in your daily diet. However, there have been reports of side effects with medicinal mushrooms. These include

A few types of mushrooms may cause hallucinations because of the content of psilocybin. It is important to differentiate psychogenic, medicinal and poisonous mushrooms before you consume them.

Related Articles

- Advertisement -

Latest Articles