As I mentioned in my previous message, we’ll be sharing a series of articles in the weeks ahead exploring some of the amazing ways in which medicinal mushrooms can help support your immune system. The seed of inspiration for creating these articles is quite obviously the fact that we’re all seeking, in whatever way possible, to protect ourselves against the threat of the Coronavirus. Before I go ahead I want to make it abundantly clear that medicinal mushrooms cannot protect you from getting infected by the Coronavirus. In fact, nothing can - hence the reason why this virus has our society in such a tailspin to start with. So anyone peddling any product with the promise that it will make you immune to COVID-19 is nothing but a huckster attempting to exploit a collective tragedy for their own ill-gotten gains.
What medicinal mushrooms can do, and for which there exists abundant evidence, is strengthen your immune system through numerous mechanisms involved in increasing white blood cells, our microscopic friends that help us fight off infection from the inside. So though mushrooms won’t kill the Coronavirus, per say, they will make your immune system stronger by adding more “soldiers” to the ranks. That in turn means that should you become infected, your body’s ability to overcome this infection is dramatically enhanced. Strengthened immunity decreases the chances for a virus to really get a grip on you, so an infection will not last as long , and, of utmost importance, that it will be less severe and thus less dangerous.
And of course, the truth of the matter is that an enhanced immune system goes way, WAY beyond the current virus scare. A strong immune system is the foundation that protects you against all foreign invaders, be they viruses, bacteria, or other types of fungi. And as important, if not more so - a strong immune system is your best bet against developing cancer. Most of us without medical backgrounds rarely think of immunity and cancer in the same vein, but in fact the two are inextricable.
The manifestation of cancer in an individual is primarily due to very aggressive cells mutating, becoming dominant and overriding that individual’s immune system, causing damage to the organ systems where it is growing. There is a mistakenly held belief that there are some people that have tumors (and thus cancer), and the rest of the population are ‘healthy individuals’ without any tumours (and thus cancer-free). But cancer cells arise in the vast majority of our systems, and in most cases are consumed by our white blood cells day in and day out. It is a normal part of what our immune system does for us. Thank you, Body! <3 .
A tumor’s growth may spiral out of control when the abnormal cells are particularly aggressive, and dividing at a faster rate than our immune system can destroy them, and this can lead to a state in which we medically declare that individual to “have cancer”. Given that nearly 40% of all US adults will develop cancer in their lifetimes, it’s safe to say that we want to assist our little internal buddies that keep us healthy and strong in whatever ways we can.
So with this in mind I want to turn the spotlight towards a very special mushroom called Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor), which sprouted its mycelia in the scientific world thanks to Japanese researchers in the 1970s. The main reason there has been this long-standing scientific interest in Turkey Tail specifically is due to the fact that in the 60s researchers were able to identify and isolate a compound from it which displayed tremendous therapeutic potential. Not only that, but the compound was completely unique, and even till today it has not been found anywhere else in the natural world besides this specific species of mushroom.
This unique compound, dubbed PSK (short for polysaccharide Kureha), has been shown to possess wide-ranging benefits that are primarily related to immune modulation. Research also showed that it displayed potent activity against a range of different types of cancer, and produced little to no side effects when given to human subjects. Following numerous studies and associated trials, the Japanese government approved it as a treatment for several different types of cancer by the 1980s. By 1984, it was the 19th most commercially successful drug in the world with annual sales topping $255 million. PSK is still a popular cancer treatment in Japan today, either as a sole treatment, or more commonly, in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiation.
And the rest of the world is slowly catching on. In 2012 the US FDA allowed the first clinical trial using Turkey Tail extract in combination with chemotherapy drugs in treating Stage IV breast cancer. The study, conducted by Bastyr University in Washington State reported in 2014 that Turkey Tail was effective in restoring normal immune functioning in all patients that had undergone radiation therapy. Not only that, but Turkey Tail supplementation increases the amount and activity of one of the most important immune cells called “natural killer” (NK cells).
Furthermore, a 2015 systematic review (sponsored by the University of Toronto and the Canada Ottawa Hospital Research Institute), analyzed the results of 28 different studies regarding the safety and efficacy of treating lung cancer with PSK. They concluded that in the majority of cases PSK inhibits lung cancer tumor growth indirectly by boosting the immune system, and directly by modulating immune system responses. They concluded further that the immune modulation conferred by Turkey Tail not only inhibits cancer growth but also metastasis - the spread of cancer to other parts of the body.
Turkey Tail mushroom and its extracted component PSK are natural cancer treatments and safe supplements that could help prevent it in the first place. In the West we tend to only think about treating an illness after it has manifested in our bodies.The Western Medical system, for all it’s absolutely astounding achievements, has in this regard dropped the ball. Here we have a lot to learn from traditional medicine modalities from around the world - we need not only take a big dose of a medicine once we are already ill, but rather we can consume small amounts of a medicine every day to ensure we are never ill to begin with.
This week we are celebrating Turkey Tail for its amazing immune-supporting qualities! We wish to disseminate this natural wonder far and wide, to share its benefits with all those who wish to partake.We are offering 25% off our two products featuring Turkey Tail - Cafe Latte and Matcha Latte - all of today and tomorrow (Friday). Simply the code TURKEY25 during checkout to make use of this compound and bring it’s awesome benefits into your daily life!
Hope you all stay happy and healthy in the weeks ahead. If you have any questions related to what I’ve shared here, if you are looking for references, or if you have any specific requests on other topics you’d like me to address regarding mushrooms and immunity, please write to me - I would LOVE to hear from you :)