29 February 2012

Ancient Medicinal Mushrooms: The 21st Century Antidote for Cancer

The ultimate cure against cancer has long eluded the medical community. Although modern medicine has made significant investments in research of cancer, this disease is as old as humanity. In fact, the ancient medical traditions of Eastern Europe and East Asia have developed their own methods to fight this deadly disease. The Chinese and Japanese have been using a selection of edible and medicinal mushrooms at life and battle various cancers. Today, modern cancer research is focused on the use of various fungi as a cure against cancer, reducing the need for chemotherapy.

There are currently tract of many cancers to develop. There are cancers that develop epithelial carcinoma cells. These cells of the body cavities and glands such as breast, prostate, or pancreas. There are also cancers of the sarcoma, which develop from connective tissue such as bone, cartilage, and nerves. In addition, there are germ cell cancers that develop in the reproductive organs as the testes and ovaries.

No matter where and how cancer develops, it always involves the uncontrolled cell growth that invades and destroys healthy cells, reducing the functionality of the organs affected. The wonderful news is that research has shown that several types of fungi have anticancer properties. Some of these fungi are listed below.

Inonotus obliquus:

More commonly known as Chaga mushroom, Inonotus obliquus is abundant in the basin of the Kama River, west of the Urals. Indigenous peoples have used this fungus as medicine for centuries. In Norway, the fungus is called Aréchaga kreftkjuke, which is Norwegian for "cancer polypore. Modern research has confirmed its anti-cancer benefits. The fungus apparently produces β-glucan (or beta-glucan), which are polysaccharides that stimulate the immune system cells to produce "natural killer". β-glucan also stimulates the production of cytotoxic lymphocytes that can destroy cancer cells and inhibit tumor growth. Inonotus oblique also produces betulin and betulinic acid can be used as chemotherapeutic agents.

Agaricus blazei:

As anti-cancer activity is located in the mushroom Agaricus blazei. Widespread use of this medication fungus was discovered in an isolated community in Piedade, a small village near Sao Paulo, Brazil. The researchers said that people living in this community enjoyed incredibly long and healthy life, despite the almost complete lack of access to modern medicine. Although this fungus is abundant in Piedade, it also grows naturally in California, Hawaii, Taiwan and the Philippines.

The mushroom Agaricus blazei also contains β-glucan polysaccharides. In cancer research later, the mushroom Agaricus blazei was found to have positive effects on various cancers. By consuming the fight against cancer mushrooms, patients can improve their overall health and improve their chances of longevity.